As a business owner or Marketing Manager, you care about what you do — and you want your customers to know it.
That’s why nothing hurts more than negative online reviews that unfairly represent you or your service. The worst part? It can hurt more than just your pride…
- 67% of consumers check Google Reviews before visiting a business.
- 94% of searchers will avoid businesses with negative reviews.
- Businesses risk losing 22% of business when potential customers find only one negative review on the first page of their search results. This jumps up to 44% when two negative reviews are found.
When it comes to reputation management, being on top of your Google Reviews and Facebook Recommendations is absolutely essential. So, let’s look at two simple strategies that can help you do this.
Firstly, maximise your positive reviews.
One of the reasons positive reviews are so powerful is because they’re unbiased, genuine, and reliable. They’re the digital form of ‘word of mouth’ marketing, so maximising them is essential. Online reviews also grab Google’s attention and can organically boost search engine ranking, making your brand more visible. So, how can you get them?
While some customers don’t need to be prompted to leave a review, it’s helpful to start with an initial gentle push. Contact all your previous happy customers, and ask them to leave their review. You can make this easy for them by sending them a direct link to your review page.
Secondly, deal with the negatives.
If you don’t have many reviews and are not proactive in regularly requesting them from happy customers, you open yourself up to being unproportionately represented by a single negative review. Of course, a one-star rating is viewed differently if it is your only review, compared to one of 100. But, removing negative reviews? Easier said than done.
It is difficult to convince massive technology companies (like Google) that someone’s opinion isn’t a legitimate one. There is a very particular, and not so straight forward process which can be followed to remove a negative review. It involves highlighting the clash with either local law or the platform’s user guidelines. While you could embark on a long and drawn out journey of understanding Google’s terms and conditions, I’d suggest you simply search ‘online review removal service’. There are a handful of companies which specialise in doing just this. Often, they offer a full money-back guarantee if the review isn’t removed, so there’s very little downside to engaging them.
So, there you have it. Get these two simple principles sorted, and you have taken the first step to having a reputable online presence.
— Scott Ingram, Director
Of course, this is just the beginning of optimising your reputation (online and otherwise). For more guidance on putting your best foot forward, give us a call to discuss how we can help you navigate this ever-changing landscape.