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How to Handle Negative Reviews

Online reviews have become commonplace as part of the shopping experience for consumers seeking local services. In fact, a recent Local Consumer Review Survey showed that 92% of consumers read online reviews, and 40% of consumers form an opinion after reading just 1-3 reviews. What’s more is that the star rating has become a leading factor by which consumers judge a business. This means that even one or two negative reviews of your business on sites like Yelp or Google+ could have a significant impact as potential customers search for services online. While standard practices of popular review sites will not let you simply delete most negative reviews, you can reduce the negative press of these reviews by joining the conversation and responding to customers who have had bad experiences with your business. Read on to discover more about the best strategies for handling negative reviews with ongoing reputation management.

Find the Source of the Review

Legitimate reviews from real customers will not usually be taken down by the review site, regardless of how negative the reviews are, because review sites are intended to serve as a forum for customers to share their experiences. You can, however, have non-legitimate reviews—those written by direct competitors, for example—taken down by contacting the review site directly and identifying the source of the review.

Respond to Legitimate Negative Reviews

Ignoring a one- or two- star review can be a detrimental step for your reputation management, because negative reviews actually present opportunities to offer great customer service. When you respond to negative reviews, you are not only taking important steps to turn a bad experience with your company into a positive one, but you are showing prospects that you care about customer satisfaction. In some cases, you might discuss the issue on the open forum of the review site, or it may be more appropriate to offer the customer a chance to resolve the issue via phone or email. In either situation, you will want to be polite and take strides to highlight the positive aspects of your business.

Encourage Clients to Post Positive Reviews

One negative review will be much less impactful when it is among a long list of positive customer reviews. While you should not offer direct incentives to get customers to post positive reviews, you might simply encourage clients to like your business on popular review sites. Of course, offering great customer service is the first step in prompting positive reviews, but you might also make it easier for customers to post reviews by using widgets from review and social sites on your own website.

negative reviews

Negative reviews do not have to take down your business. To speak with one of our marketing experts about reputation management and other elements of a comprehensive online marketing strategy, give Local Search Essentials a call for your initial consultation with our team. (904) 823-9747

What You Need to Know About Local Listings

local listingsAs you invest in online marketing efforts for your business, you might wonder how ads and optimized pages will reach clients in your area. Maintaining accurate local listings is an important tactic in reaching the audiences you want to interact with your website. However, there are some misconceptions about local listings that can impact your visibility when local individuals perform searches relevant to your business. While some business owners assume that local listings auto-update, local listings do actually require some effort to remain accurate.  And to drive traffic not only to your website, but also to your physical location.

Small businesses need to manage their own local listings.

Most businesses will have listings that they did not create. Addresses may be automatically pulled from maps, government documents, local directories, or even your website. Therefore, you only need to claim and manage listings rather than create them yourself. In addition to updating your listing with a current address, name, and phone number, there is also another task. You should categorize your business to ensure that it shows up correctly in local searches. It is also important to manage local listings in all major directories. You do not want to rely entirely on services like Google My Business. Consistent, accurate listings can go a long way. This means that it is worth the time to manage all existing listings with the right information.

Local listings can improve visibility and leads.

A local listing contributes to your SEO efforts. It does this by increasing the likelihood that your business will come up in a set of local listings on a search engine results page. It can also improve visibility of your physical location when a person uses Google Maps or any other online map service. Another important attribute of well-managed local listings is mobile marketing. This is becoming increasingly important in the changing landscape of web searches.

A growing number of people browse exclusively on mobile devices. You should not overlook the value of reaching these audiences, which begins with your local listings.

Managing local listings can help you beat out national competitors.

If you are competing against businesses that serve a national market rather than a single local area, your local listing is critical to achieving visibility above your competition. The good news is that Google will reward your listing for having local address and contact information within a given area. To give your local listing even more power against national competitors, include pictures and reviews in your listing.

Like many online advertising efforts, managing local listings is an area where you can find help from local experts. We are ready to boost the visibility of your business. To see how Local Search Essentials can assist in maintaining your local listing and improving your SEO, call us today for a consultation. (904) 823-9747 Or sign-up for a free analysis by clicking here.