A Short Guide to Converting Reviews Into Opportunities for Reputation and SEO Impact

After having a jam-packed day, when you are in no mood to prepare dinner, you decide to order food online. Now you don’t just go around picking a restaurant randomly, right? The chances are that you will use Google or Yelp to check out the food menu, locations, and above all, customer reviews. After spending some time on the web scrolling through all these details, you will finally place your order knowing the meal will be appetizing because you did your research well. As human beings, we like to believe that if most people loved something, we’d enjoy it too and what’s a better way to find that if not reading customer reviews? Such situations have now become part of our daily lives.

Customers often search for a local business on review websites such as Google and Yelp and select the winner depending on those star ratings and reviews.

REVIEWS AND WEB EXPOSURE

For decades, reviews have played a prominent part in helping customers make purchasing decisions, and this isn’t limited to restaurants only. In the past couple of years, the importance of customer reviews has risen exponentially to the extent that they can even determine an entire company’s fate. Reportedly, more than 90% of consumers use the internet to look up businesses, and around 1/3rd of them read customer reviews now more than ever, thanks to the pandemic. Given the data, it isn’t possible to downplay the significance of a positive customer review.

Positive customer reviews impact business exposure in a good way. It’s relatively simple – a brand’s perceived quality will undoubtedly contribute to a buyer’s final decision, and a customer will seldom trust a three-star business over a five-star one, for obvious reasons. Generally, the three-star businesses will rank too badly to get featured in Google local pack in the first place. These are a group of three local search results that Google displays for a given query and are designed to make it easier for users to discover the best results matching their search query while pushing down the less-recommended alternatives. This exposure alone works wonders but reviews influence visibility in Google’s local packs as well as the buyer’s eventual decision.

BOOSTING PRESENCE AND REVIEWS VIA ENGAGEMENT

Reviews typically highlight a particular feature of the business that appealed the most to the specific reviewer, such as fast service, on-time delivery, friendly staff, great ambiance, and so on. And the same stands true for negative reviews as well. If you have various bad reviews, the odds are that there will also be particular problems customers are mentioning. In such a case, there are only two steps you can take – either neglect the negative comments or engage with them actively. Since less than half of the total consumers would even think about buying anything from a business with less than four-star ratings, bad reviews need to be taken seriously, at least mostly.

An ideal way to engage with the reviewers instantly is to just reply through Google’s owner response function available in your Google My Business dashboard. Replying (thoughtfully) can help you bag empathy, forgiveness, and even a transformed star rating for your business. Consumers are more understanding than you think, and they eagerly wait for the business owner’s response to their review. They’ll value the time and effort you took to understand their complaint, even without any incentives such as discounts or gift coupons. Moreover, for small businesses, a couple of three-star ratings transformed into four or five-star ratings can mean a significant boost in Google or Yelp results. Apart from this, direct communication improves trust from existing as well as prospective customers and can result in concrete business gains.

STAYING RELEVANT AND HONEST

Forging good reviews is not a new thing in the business world. Even though review sites such as Google and Yelp do have some shields in place to detect and remove fake reviews, these platforms do not automatically find each and every review that goes against their guidelines. This implies that it is up to the business owners most of the time to realize their responsibility and ask themselves if it’s moral to deceive people deliberately with fake reviews and misleading advertising.

Of course, the answer is and should be no. Companies that depend on fake reviews hoping to achieve a quick increase in search rankings or foot traffic might end up on the wrong side of the lawsuits, faced with multiple legal penalties, deletion of business listing, and permanent reputation damage.

For local businesses expecting to enjoy numerous years of success in their respective industries, a whole lot better approach will be to commit to steadily winning and building a reputation by means of extraordinary customer service. Instead of deceiving the audience with fake opinions, welcome your customers as a source of both free quality control (in the form of bad reviews) and the most persuasive sales copy anybody could ever post about your brand (in the form of good reviews).

When a customer gives you an honest but negative review, think of it as a mini-examination a person did of your business, mentioning parts you can actively correct most of the time. However, a pile of negative reviews citing the same complaints might require a few elementary operational changes to upgrade customer experience, inducing action from you that can ultimately result in a desirable and profitable online reputation. If truth be told, your brand is a whole lot better off when unhappy customers speak up because mentioned issues can be resolved. Plus, when your public replies demonstrate how earnestly you act on grievances, you are actually providing credible proof that your business puts customers first for real.

On the other hand, when a customer takes out his/her precious time to write a positive review for your business, make a humble gesture by thanking them for the same. Utilize the owner response space to express gratitude, and when and where possible, state something exciting about your brand, like a new item on the menu or the launch of a new product/service that you expect they’ll drop in again to try. No need to get too salesy, but yes, do engage actively. At their best, reviews are a two-way conversation, so treat them like one.

Wrapping It Up

In case you are just starting to promote your brand online and are getting a sense of urgency about earning your first reviews, go through multiple review platforms’ guidelines and build a compliant review acquisition campaign that produces results. However, be sure to take things a bit slowly as a heavy inflow of reviews at the same time can lead to the removal of your business listing. Also, bear in mind that you’ll be acquiring reviews for the life of the brand you are advertising. It is a long walk instead of a race. Keep away from guideline contraventions and focus on delivering exceptional customer service, and you will be multiple steps ahead in the review game from the beginning itself.

Hariom Balhara is an inventive person who has been doing intensive research in particular topics and writing blogs and articles for Tireless IT Services. Tireless IT Services is a Digital Marketing, SEO, SMO, PPC and Web Development company that comes with massive experiences. We specialize in digital marketing, Web Designing and development, graphic design, and a lot more.

SOURCE : SEO Reviews

 

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