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Conquering Negative Reviews In Local SEO

By Tom Seest

Can You Master Negative Reviews In Local SEO?

At WebsiteBloggers, we help website bloggers develop strategies to create content, traffic, and revenue from website blogs based on our experiences and experimentation.

Google reviews can be an invaluable asset to any local SEO strategy, providing candid customer feedback, social proof, and ranking factor support.
Moz has identified review data as an integral factor of local search ranking factors, accounting for 15%. How should businesses respond to negative reviews?

Can You Master Negative Reviews In Local SEO?

Can You Master Negative Reviews In Local SEO?

Are You Losing Customers by Ignoring Negative Reviews?

Reviews play an essential part in local SEO and can have a dramatic effect on the visibility and traffic of any business. By responding quickly to reviews, you can show search engines that your customer engagement is genuine; by responding swiftly, it increases the chance that your listing will make the local pack (Google Maps’ top three businesses listed when searching for specific services or products).
Being proactive when it comes to Local SEO is of key importance, yet managing customer ratings and reviews on your website or Google Business Profile can be challenging. There are tools available that can assist you in automating this process and streamlining review management.
Respond quickly and thoughtfully to all reviews, particularly negative ones. Negative reviews that go unanswered could severely damage your reputation and turn away potential customers from doing business with you. By responding within two days of its posting, you can demonstrate that customer feedback is being taken seriously and that you are committed to developing your company further.
Furthermore, it’s crucial that your responses be polite and respectful of customers. Avoid engaging in heated arguments with customers who disagree with you; instead, offer to rectify the situation by solving their issue or offering discounts for future visits.
Although it is essential to respond promptly to each review, taking more time with positive reviews will highlight their positive aspects while encouraging new customer testimonials and future reviews from satisfied customers.
Be sure to personalize your responses by addressing reviewers by name in your responses, making them feel valued while showing you took time and care in reading and responding to their feedback. Furthermore, thank them for providing it and express how much you appreciate their contributions; this will not only reinforce their positive experience but will give them another reason to come back later on!

Are You Losing Customers by Ignoring Negative Reviews?

Are You Losing Customers by Ignoring Negative Reviews?

Are You Losing Customers Due to Negative Reviews?

Your customers can leave reviews for your brand on Google Business Account, which appears in search results when someone searches within a given geographic area. While these reviews might not have the same impact as a high-quality review from an established source, they still make an impactful statement and may influence purchasing decisions. A sound review management strategy can help generate positive responses while quickly responding to any negative ones when they come in.
Word-of-mouth advertising was traditionally one of the most effective means of business promotion. A company’s reputation could quickly suffer if too many individuals had bad experiences at once; these accounts would then be passed along through family, friends, and social media to friends, further damaging its business if local operations depended on customer referrals for business success.
But in this digital era, things become more nuanced. Although most online customers only hear positive experiences about your product or service, any negative ones that go unresolved may become magnified over time – which is why it’s critical that any customer complaints be handled swiftly rather than left lingering on Google Business profiles or elsewhere on the web.
Negative reviews may allow your competitors to outstrip you in local search results, as the main search engine and local map pack algorithms use separate systems. While some local search ranking factors overlap between systems, other signals like RankBrain priority and user intent might play out differently depending on which algorithm powers local map packs and map engines.
If the Google review for your business ranks higher than your own, this could indicate that an authoritative piece of content you created about it has made an appearance in local search results. To overcome this situation, ensure there are enough high-quality reviews in place that outrank competitors with more negative reviews by employing an effective review management strategy that includes gathering, tracking, and responding to all reviews as soon as they appear.

Are You Losing Customers Due to Negative Reviews?

Are You Losing Customers Due to Negative Reviews?

Turning Negative Reviews into Positive Experiences

Many businesses hesitate to request reviews out of fear that their star rating or review might plummet, while another business could receive negative comments or even be penalized by search engines for attempting to manipulate the system by only posting positive reviews. According to Local SEO Guide, however, receiving some negative feedback can actually help a business appear more genuine and trustworthy to prospective shoppers – receiving only positive reviews can make your business look fake to potential shoppers and result in penalties from search engines for manipulating their system.
Reacting quickly and thoughtfully to customer reviews – both positive and negative – can do wonders for a company’s online reputation and the chance of ranking in Google’s 3-pack results for specific services searched.
Responding to reviews is especially essential in highly regulated industries like medicine and legal or financial services, where negative feedback can have an outsized effect on public perception.
As well as responding to reviews, it’s also advisable to encourage your customers to post positive ones themselves. Happy customers tend to take more time writing reviews than dissatisfied ones – so try offering a discount code, adding QR codes on reception area flyers or flyers, or posting a call for reviews via social media channels as a way of increasing positive customer experiences with your business.
Thanking customers for their feedback will go a long way toward showing that you appreciate their business and care about the quality of products or services provided.
Be sure to utilize their name when replying, and keep your message short and sweet; canned responses look robotic and less likely to make your customer feel valued than personalization would. Also, remember to include only keywords related to your business – overdoing this could result in being flagged as spam and removed from search engine results altogether.

Turning Negative Reviews into Positive Experiences

Turning Negative Reviews into Positive Experiences

How Can You Turn Negative Reviews into Positive Feedback?

Businesses should make the time to solicit feedback from happy customers, too, not only as an additional way of responding to negative reviews on Google Reviews but also to demonstrate you care for their opinions and thereby balance out negative ones. Before responding to any reviews, it’s wise to review all customer records first, as any incongruent reviews should be removed as spam immediately.
Local search engines rank businesses based on various factors, but one of the most influential elements is your online reputation and reviews. A positive online reputation conveys to users that your business is trustworthy and reputable while simultaneously serving as proof that what was promised could be delivered upon, proving itself beneficial for SEO efforts and overall business performance.
Implementing an effective review management strategy is essential for all types of local businesses. According to the Widewail Local SEO Checklist, review signals rank third out of eight core local ranking factors; thus, the more positive reviews your business receives over time, the more likely it is that it will appear higher in local search results.
Make it easy for customers to leave reviews by including a link in all marketing emails, social media pages, storefront displays, and websites that make leaving reviews easy for them. When your relationship with customers is strong enough, they should gladly give an honest evaluation of their experience with you.
Though having many positive reviews would be ideal, quality should take precedence over quantity. Aim for several stellar reviews across multiple high-authority review sites instead of an overwhelming quantity of glowing ones that may cause potential customers to question your company and an excess of negative ones that damage its credibility.

How Can You Turn Negative Reviews into Positive Feedback?

How Can You Turn Negative Reviews into Positive Feedback?

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