When it comes to general business management, it is understandable to be a little hesitant and wary of online reviews — especially when running a startup. It can often feel like one of the few wildcards of the industry, as online reviews have the capacity to propel a company to stardom or bury it with a scathing review from a reliable source. Search engine optimization (SEO) is often the solution when it comes to the potential of negative reviews. Such is the reason why many different businesses in various industries make use of the best SEO agencies. They often have an effective strategy that accounts for even the most scathing negative feedback.
That said, some of the best SEO agencies out there will tell business owners that an abundance of online reviews is a good thing, even if they might not always be good reviews. It can be quite confusing, as negative reviews can rock the boat to the point where it can tarnish an otherwise good online reputation. In the field of online reputation management (ORM), the idea of negative reviews being a good opportunity is strange at best.
However, there are undoubtedly ways to make use of online reviews as an optimization tool for various industries. In a world where a reviewer’s opinion counts for more than ever before, it can be hard to imagine negative feedback ever being useful. Fortunately, an understanding of search engine optimization is a fantastic means of figuring out why online reviews are so crucial for SEO solutions.
First and foremost, understanding how to react to negative reviews online
Not too many startup owners understand how best to handle a negative review, though the solution is much more simple than it seems. The only thing a company has to do is to try to provide an amicable solution to the situation. If the feedback is negative but still provides plenty of suggestions, it would be wise to take their criticism into account and contact the reviewer — especially on social media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter.
Even companies that do not have too much experience in ORM understand that how a business reacts to a negative review is far more crucial than the contents of the review. If the company maintains a professional and polite stance while still making an effort to connect and rebuild the trust between the company and consumer, it will always favor the business. Remaining consistent in responses and taking the time to address a clients’ concerns will undoubtedly earn the trust of many more potential supporters.
It is crucial not to stray from the professional and kind tone, as any company that reacts negatively to such reviews — no matter the platform — will end up with the ire of the Internet. Even if the reviewer was clearly in the wrong, acting unprofessionally will only result in a PR nightmare.
How online reviews act as content marketing
For those who are not in the know when it comes to SEO solutions, content marketing is the use of relevant and unique content to try to encourage online users to make a purchase. The most common type of content marketing makes use of various blogs and articles that might pique the interest of online users. The reason why it is such an effective SEO strategy and not just an effective marketing strategy is that the content can be used as landing pages, and having unique blogs and articles tied to the primary website will likely result in the algorithm ranking the website much higher in the rankings. It is similar to having plenty of citations with the company’s accurate information in various sources. The more consistent information the algorithm sees, the likelier it will be to rank higher in search engine results pages (SERP).
In much the same way, online reviews directly mention the business, which adds to the data the algorithm uses when considering a company’s place in the rankings. While the inner workings of such an algorithm are still largely unknown, it does not change the fact that such best-practice methods have succeeded in ranking companies higher than their competitors. It means that so long as online users are writing down reviews in the correct format, it will continue to connect to the company in question.
How the best SEO agencies can help companies with negative reviews
While negative reviews can be quite disheartening for most business owners, the best-practice method above is the best approach for negative reviews. Not only does it provide an adequate solution for the problem, but it shows other online users that the company is willing to make amends no matter the scenario. While that is about the most a business can do when it comes to negative reviews, an SEO agency can help make things easier by effectively burying a negative review that cannot be changed with SEO tactics. It can be buried by encouraging users to write down positive reviews in the correct social media and review channels.
Utilizing negative reviews as a powerful optimization tool involves helping a company turn things around by trying to address the concerns of the unhappy customer. Considering how much of an impact a negative-turned-positive review can make to convince online users to make a purchase, the only thing an SEO agency has to do at that point is to encourage more users to write down positive reviews. Remaining consistent and professional will help move the process along, and ensure that there is always a solution to any problem.
The idea that negative reviews can be turned into an effective marketing tool almost seems too good to be true. However, best-practice methods not just from the best SEO agencies but the company owner can turn a potentially devastating situation into one that can effectively propel a company’s online reputation. It will not only ensure that positive reviews help the algorithm find a better spot in the rankings for a company, but the SEO agency can also bury the negative reviews without an obvious solution in a sea of positive feedback.