Are negative online reviews hurting your SEO? In this brief article, I want to run you through some of the steps to help you handle online criticism like a pro. Whether you live in Big City New York or a small country town, good ratings and reviews can have a massive impact on your brand, product, or service.
And the more dependent you are to the online world for your brands’ success, the more critical negative feedback this becomes.
Products or service reviews and ratings serve as the window to your potential customers, who make quick decisions based on what others are saying.
That’s why companies care about them, and it is no wonder why so many review sites have mushroomed across the internet within a short time.
But the main challenge in this area is the negative comments or poor ratings, which most often remain an ignored topic. Generally, what everyone discusses is the method to garner good feedback. And a straightforward mantra for this is to provide quality customer service, according to many.
Very rarely does anybody point out how a company should tackle a bad review online, and ho can be damaging it can be for your reputation as well as the overall SEO health of your website.
Impact of a negative review on SEO
According to some surveys, online reviews can impact nearly 13% of the decision-making process of the search engine. Search engines take quantity, speed, and diversity of comments into account.
From 2015 to 2017, the relevance of reviews for SEO has supposedly increased by 21.53%. If a company gets a high volume of reviews across different websites, it can have a competitive advantage over its peers.
There are a host of studies in the industry that suggest that local SEO rankings and the number and quality of reviews have a direct connection.
If you want to see your business occupying high ranking on Google, you need to have lots of reviews. It can give you the right positions for the city and the keywords you want to rank on top. For example, if you are in New York, you may quickly feature when the relevant search terms appear targeting this city.
Besides, since Google doesn’t allow anonymous comments, it automatically means that the search engine giant is looking to add credibility to the process with meaningful and trustworthy feedback.
That’s why companies that remove authentic negative opinions about their products and services experience a sudden dip in their rankings.
If your reputation strategy is not on track, you will face backlash in your SEO and digital marketing efforts.
Any SEO expert in New York would also tell you the same thing. Such being the case, you must adopt a few strategic practices to tackle negative reviews so that your company’s search engine optimization status doesn’t suffer.
Instead, it maintains excellent stability or becomes better.
The tricks to handling negative reviews
First of all, it is necessary to accept that some customers might be angry or upset with you even if you’ve got everything right, from product or service to customer support. It’s unavoidable.
You cannot put a check on them. Nevertheless, you have specific techniques to take advantage of when such reviews emerge to mitigate their effect and to turn them into a positive one. So, let’s explore them.
You have to know that a negative review has come online. So, keep checking them frequently. Review all the relevant platforms and social profiles to make sure nothing misses your notice.
Otherwise, you may never know when a single negative comment can go viral and disrupt things. So, identifying and addressing them on time is critical.
When people buy a product or service from a company, they get emotionally attached to their purchase.
Similarly, as a business owner, you too can have some strong emotions about what you have been doing for so long. Hence, it is understandable to feel bad or emotionally upset about a negative review. But don’t let this influence your job. You should think about your customers.
They come to you after doing research, having some amount of faith in you before they spend their hard-earned money on your product or service. Now, if after all this, something goes wrong, you can expect how they would react. So, don’t ignore, refuse, or counter them.
Responding quickly and showing intent to help them can be your best bet in such situations. If you acknowledge their problem and apologize, the customers can relent and even recommend your brand in their network.
Some studies show that nearly 45% of the people remove their comments after receiving an apology, while about 23% of them need compensation for this. It is an excellent way to exhibit your problem-solving skills to new and potential customers. However, make sure that you are genuine in your attempt and provide them with timely resolution.
To ensure smooth functioning in this area, you need to have a proper system in place so that there is consistency in responses and no knee-jerk reactions.
If you have a professional resource to look into these matters, your task can become somewhat more comfortable. The person or agency would have to analyze the source of the problem and set up preventive measures to alleviate risks.
In this context, it is necessary to point out that the automation of ‘sorry’ messages can prove harmful. People would think you don’t take them seriously. Hence, the responses have to be personal as well as genuine.
With your prompt apology and solution, you can turn a frown into a smile. For example, if a customer complains about your product, apologize to him and ask him to contact the office. If you think he bought the wrong product, replace it with the one he needed, and make sure it gets delivered fast. It will show your seriousness as well as a positive attitude towards customers. In the end, the person can leave a few beautiful lines about his experience with your service.
Negative reviews spare none. But what makes a real difference is how they approach it. If you, too, wish to do well in this area and see your SEO efforts continue to maintain a positive streak, then take care of online customer reviews and ratings.
Since it can be a lot of work in itself, you can hire a trustworthy SEO agency for this job.