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3 Big Reasons Why Negative Reviews Help SEO

3 Big Reasons Why Negative Reviews Help SEO

This post was sponsored by ReviewInc, opinions expressed in this article are the sponsor’s own.

You will receive the notification of a new review in your inbox.

Then hold your breath and say a short prayer before opening the email.

You are preparing for a negative review.

Business owners like you regularly experience this fear; You know that a picture can say more than a thousand words – so can a review (even with a character limit).

We know that consumers depend on reviews for their business decisions.

Therefore, your first thought may be to put your best foot forward and avoid negativity like the plague.

But sometimes bad is good.

Should I remove negative reviews?

You may be surprised, however no, not at all negative reviews.

It seems counter-intuitive, but trust us – negative reviews have a very positive impact on the brand, sales and visibility of the search engine results page (SERP).

Let’s explain.

Can bad reviews be good?

Yes! Bad reviews can be good, especially when we talk about reviews online.

Why is some negativity good when it comes to online reviews?

Incredibly, it can be a red flag for consumers to have too many positive reviews.

More people would trust a 4.7 rating than a perfect 5-star rating, according to a study by ReviewInc.

This is because some companies “gamble”, falsify or pay and exchange for positive reviews – and customers know this.

Customers know when something feels too good to be true, and when this happens, they often decide to take the business elsewhere.

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Also, the FTC has a lot to say about bribing customers for good reviews and playing the system (and what they have to say is not what you want to hear).

That being said, A good rating that includes negative reviews is a strong indicator of authenticityregardless of the platform.

We know what you’re thinking next.

How often do people leave bad reviews?

The good news is that bad reviews are not as common as you might think.

In 2022, ReviewInc conducted a survey and found that 65% of people do not leave bad reviews when they have a negative experience.

That’s good news!

It is also interesting to note that there was no measurable difference in gender; All genders reported equally on avoiding writing negative reviews.

In other words, the probability of getting a positive review is much higher than getting a negative review.

Based on ReviewInc’s overall ratings, 92% of the reviews are positive (and 96% of the positive reviews are 5-star ratings).

Less than 5% of reviews 1 star reviews.

3 Big Reasons Why Negative Reviews Help Online SEO & Reputation Management

Results from ReviewInc Google Survey, January 2022

So, what are the exact reasons why negative reviews are good for your business?

Let’s dive into how bad reviews can actually increase your brand.

How Negative Reviews Help SEO & Online Reputation Management

By keeping your bad reviews in place and managing those reviews with online review management tools, your star ratings can:

  • Help improve your overall SEO & visibility in search.
  • Increase trust, loyalty, and customer base.
  • Give insights into how you can improve your business for future growth.

1. Negative Reviews Provide Authentic SEO

Reviews and ratings on sites like Google, Facebook, and Yelp factor in Google search engine optimization rankings.

Google describes how reviews play a role in prominence in SEO rankings. Specifically, “High-quality, positive reviews from your customers can improve your business visibility and increase the likelihood that a shopper will visit your location.”

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Encouraging all reviews and responding to them is a good practice that will enhance your local SEO and your online reputation.

When it comes to negative reviews, they tend to provide a necessary balance, as an abundance of fake “positive” reviews or biased reviews can result in all the reviews being suspended from a key review site which will heavily impact SEO.

Regardless, don’t fear a negative review, there is good news.

2. Negative Reviews Build Brand Trust & Loyalty

“The average review score on Yelp is 3.65, which is the lowest out of these platforms. The average reviews on the other major platforms are 4.42 on Facebook, 4.3 on Google, and 4.25 on TripAdvisor.” (Neil Patel)

While those numbers, especially on Yelp, can seem scary, the truth is that reviews are trust-building mechanisms that help customers know what they are getting into before purchasing.

In short, bad reviews are a necessary ingredient of authenticity, which ultimately can lead to more sales.

The trick is to use a sympathetic response, which will:

  • Help future customers understand the context of a bad review.
  • Show future customers that you understand their needs and will work to accommodate them.
  • Show reviewers that you are there for them.

With this technique, a previously bad reviewer may actually update their review to a higher star rating.

According to Google’s guidelines, “When you reply to reviews, you post publicly as your business. Replies may not appear across Google immediately. However, reviewers will get a notification when you reply to their review. After they have a chance to read your reply, they can update their review.”

How Do I Respond To Negative Reviews?

We know that bad reviews often feel like bad news, but a well-crafted reply can neutralize the effect.

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Responding appropriately to a negative review can also be seen by other customers.

How you handle the situation will matter more than the negative review. (Here are some tips on replying to a negative review).

Responding to reviews shows that a business cares about its service and reputation.

The response alone engenders higher confidence in a company.

3. Negative Reviews Help Improve Business Operations & Profits

So, what about that 1-star review?

There is a genuine benefit from negative reviews and what their intent should be.

Negative reviews tell a business what it needs to fix and improve.

This is especially important in today’s competitive environment.

Sometimes criticism can make us better as people and businesses.

If a customer has a frustrating experience and writes a review, it will draw your attention to an issue you may not have noticed:

  • Is there a faulty product?
  • Does a team member need guidance?

Not all bad reviews need to end a business – they can be an opportunity to improve and strengthen customer service.

How To Manage All Your Reviews

The high importance of online reviews and star ratings makes it necessary to have an online reputation management strategy.

It is vital to monitor your reviews, campaign for more reviews, and have a strategy to respond to all reviews.

After all, your response might influence a negative review to change into a positive one.

This strategy will enhance both a business reputation as well as its SEO.

With reputation management software, businesses can have a team overseeing their online reputation and all reviews left.

A good service will also have tools that help you compose responses and manage them.

The software allows your business team to respond quickly and appropriately, so you do not have to handle the stress of negative reviews.


Image Credits

Featured Image: : Phoenixns/Shutterstock

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