All businesses, big and small know that maintaining a good reputation matters. There have been countless local businesses that have been driven to close their establishment after negative online reviews were posted about their business. This clearly means that local online reviews matter and they should be taken seriously. If not, false negative reviews may be the reason why you are closing shop.
Why Are Online Reviews So Important?
As local online marketing experts have observed, these are the main aspects of your business online reviews affect the most:
Your local SEO ranking
Which of the search results are actually clicked on
The purchasing decisions of the customer
It comes as no surprise that in the digital age over 90% of all potential customers read online reviews before deciding to make a purchase. Although it might seem like these reviews should only take up a small portion of your local online marketing efforts, they should be top priority.
How To Use Online Reviews To Your Advantage
There is no way to stop online trolls from posting a negative review about your business. Even companies that do their best to provide their customers with excellent products and amazing customer service end up getting a handful of bad online reviews once in a while.
Since you cannot fully eliminate negative reviews, there are ways to use all posted online reviews to boost your SEO ranking. Here are some ideas:
Encourage Online Reviews
Every time a loyal customer has a wonderful experience with your business, encourage them to post a good review about it. When the number of excellent reviews outnumbers the bad ones, this will give you a better SEO ranking while also adding to your credibility.
Never Pay For Fake Reviews
As tempting as it may sound, paying for fake reviews is bad SEO practice. All of the online reviews should be made by real paying customers. Why? Posting fake reviews is considered as a blackhat SEO practice which will affect your rankings when Google and other search engines find out.
Respond To Negative Comments Professionally
A great way to boost your online credibility while also maintaining an excellent reputation online is to respond to bad reviews and comments. This should be done professionally to avoid any scandals from happening. Always respond with kindness and offer solutions to any of their problems with the establishment.
Customers want to feel like their comments and suggestions matter. Replying in a professional tone and manner will earn you more respect from loyal and new customers. If the reviews are very mean and are causing you to react negatively, step back and cool down before composing a reply.
Never Delete Negative Comments
It might seem like a good idea to only keep 5-star online reviews and delete all the harsh and negative comments so that future customers don’t see them, but this is not an honest SEO practice. While it may hurt to see bad reviews about your establishment, having those makes your business look real and legitimate. More people will doubt your business if all the reviews are positive.
If you want to dominate local online marketing, tap the services of a reliable digital marketing agency such as Tessa. Contact us today and let’s discuss strategy.