How To Use Reviews To Improve Local SEO

Reviews are considered one of the important signals consumers use to make purchasing decisions. Ratings also catch the eye of search engines whenever someone is searching for a local brand. Those businesses with lots of reviews are more likely to appear on top search results, on Google Maps in Miami and within organic SERPs. How then can you make reviews work for your business? We’ll share the tips below:

Perform A Review Audit

Having one or two bad reviews about your business online is common. But it may become a problem if you have a long trail of negative reviews giving consumers a poor impression of your brand. You cant know unless you take time to perform a professional review audit. Go to all relevant review platforms and look through what consumers are saying regarding your brand. Sort out the negative sentiments and work out a plan to reach out to those consumers and respond to the same online.

Get Reviews On An Ongoing Basis

Sometimes you may get many reviews all at once, perhaps due to a campaign you were running during the month. When the reviews stop coming in, it may appear to those visiting you online that you’ve gone out of business. Think of a plan that will help you to get reviews in the long term. Research shows that customers find reviews that are older than 3 months irrelevant to them. Having recent reviews shows that people have had a frequent encounter with your business and received an amazing service that’s why they went ahead to review it.

Honesty Is The Best Policy

While there are local businesses that post their own reviews on sites like Yelp in order to inspire people to leave their real reviews, it’s not a recommended practice. In fact, writing your own reviews is a serious violation of Yelp’s policy. Reviews that are not real are simply a mark of dishonesty and it can lead to serious consequences such as Yelp publicly shaming the brand when they get caught. Avoid this misleading practice if you want to build trust within your local community.

Respond To Negative Reviews

If you have had a negative review, the worst you can do is to ignore it. there are some negative reviews that will need you to think through the response so don’t rush into giving any feedback. Here are a few tips on responding to negative reviews:

– Avoid being defensive even if the reviewer is completely wrong

– Avoid replying to the negative review when you are mad, sleep on it.

– Thank the reviewer for taking their time to leave the comment

– Keep it short and sweet

– Try and address the issue online. Most people opt to take the issue offline but it’s better to write a response to explain how the issue was handled without exposing any private info.

– Never get personal even if the customer did

– Take ownership: most times, negative reviewers just want to be listened to and not feel like a number.

– Don’t provide free gifts as it may appear as a bribe