How Bad Reviews Can Do More Damage Than You Think

November 16, 2021

Alice Wilks

Negative reviews are inevitable. Even the most popular and successful companies receive complaints and customer reviews are more important than ever. Did you know that 90% of customers read online reviews before making a purchase?

It is extremely likely that your business will receive a negative review at some point and you must know how to handle complaints when they arise. An SEO agency can help you respond to negative feedback and implement strategies to protect your online reputation.

In this article, we’re going to discuss everything that you need to know about how negative reviews can affect your business – with tips to boost your SEO and online visibility!

The impact of negative reviews on SEO

Online reviews are the fifth most significant parameter that determines your business ranking on Google. As of 2017, the impact of Google reviews on SEO has increased by over 20% year-over-year and this number is going to continue rising as customers rely heavily on online reviews when making buying decisions.

Google recognises when customers trust a particular brand. This means that the search engine will favour online brands that have a large number of high star ratings e.g., 4 and above. Whereas, your search engine rankings are likely to drop if you have negative reviews and low star ratings on Google.

Having a high number of quality reviews will give you a significant advantage over similar companies and boost your online visibility. This should result in higher conversions and an increase in profits.

Tips to handle negative reviews

Simply removing negative reviews about your products and services is likely to result in a sudden drop in your search rankings, as Google values meaningful and trustworthy feedback.

It’s important to have a plan in place to handle negative reviews so that your SEO and marketing efforts don’t suffer. Here are some tips to deal with negative reviews:

Monitor reviews

You won’t be able to resolve a negative review if you don’t even know it exists! You must monitor your website, Google Business profile, and social media accounts closely so that you never miss a review. You can use tools like Review Tracker to streamline the process and make it easier to monitor customer reviews.

Act quickly

The way that you respond to negative reviews will have a big impact on your SEO and overall brand reputation. Aim to respond to customer reviews quickly, ideally within a few hours. Avoid sending customers an automated ‘sorry message’ as this can cause further frustration.

Offer a solution

Showing your intent to help and offering a resolution is the best way to deal with negative customer reviews. Acknowledge the problem, apologise, and offer a good solution. This may be in the form of a refund, a discount, or some other form of goodwill.

Negative reviews can improve visibility

You might be surprised to hear that negative reviews can actually increase your online visibility. People often take negative reviews more seriously than positive reviews, and if your company only has positive reviews, then customers might get suspicious and question the credibility of your brand.

Customers find companies with a mix of positive, neutral, and negative reviews the most trustworthy. A higher number of reviews will increase your search rankings and negative reviews won’t necessarily discourage new customers.

Make sure that you respond to negative reviews publicly and offer a sincere apology and a solution. This will demonstrate excellent customer service and encourage consumers to buy your products and services. Use negative feedback as an opportunity to improve your business, enhance your customer service, and build meaningful relationships with customers.

Bottom line

Negative reviews reflect a customer’s first-hand poor experience with your product or service. They can be extremely damaging to your reputation and profits, but don’t panic! A couple of negative reviews is not going to destroy your company. Dealing with negative reviews is an inevitable part of running a business – you can’t keep everyone happy all the time!

An SEO agency can support your business when complaints arise and minimise damage to your search engine visibility and reputation. Get in touch with our experts if you would like to discuss how an SEO strategy can improve your business’s online organic visibility and reduce the harmful effects of negative reviews.

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