Dealing with Negative Online Reviews: A Digital Marketing Perspective

a digital marketing take on negative reviews

The continued development of social media allows people to make their opinions known very easily. They can take to Facebook or popular review sites such as Yelp, Zomato, TripAdvisor, and others to let their friends know about a rough experience at a popular local spot.

The reviews users post on these websites can affect the Google search engine ranking for your business, so even though you want to wish away the negatives, you’ll have to find a way to deal with them. From a digital marketing perspective, lowered rankings can dramatically reduce the organic traffic your business receives. While those sites do let businesses claim their own listings, they typically prohibit businesses from managing and editing their reviews.

Today, JumpSIX Marketing shares some quick online review marketing tips for helping you deal with the negatives before they begin to drag your business down.

Assess the Issue

When you first notice a particularly scathing online review of your business, it’s likely that you will feel a little upset. This is normal. But, as anyone in digital marketing would warn, do not immediately start pounding away at the keyboard to let the reviewer know how wrong they are. We’ve seen this happen before, and it tends to go awry very quickly, especially when it is visible to the public in a comment thread. When you do notice a negative review, it’s best to let it sit for a while until you feel ready to calmly address the issue.

To learn more about how reviews effect your SEO, read our blog: Do Online Reviews Have a Real Impact on SEO Performance?

Address the Issue

When you’ve cooled off and ready to deal with the situation, you have a number of options that can work to your benefit.

One thing you can do, advisable only if the online review seems like spam, is to contact the review site itself and ask that they consider removing the review. If they decide that the review is unreasonable, threatening, or otherwise violates their terms of use, then they may remove the post.

When dealing with a reasonable but negative review, you can often choose to respond either privately or publicly. If you choose to respond publicly, you must remember that you will have more readers than the reviewer. You have an audience, and you’ll want to put on a good performance. Your company’s image is on display, so be courteous. Acknowledge the customer’s concerns, apologize, and offer a solution to the issue. Business owners offering to personally address the concerns or cover the cost of the poorly-reviewed service have many times seen the customer return to the review site to delete their negative review and offer up a new, positive one. This is a digital marketing win.

Be Proactive

Heading off the possibility for negative reviews is in your best interest. Of course, you likely can’t maintain a perfect record, but why not try? To encourage more positive reviews, ask for reviews on your website. If you own a restaurant, try setting up some table tents recommending that customers offer reviews.

Digital Marketing with JumpSIX

JumpSIX Marketing updates and maintains clients’ local listings as part of its digital marketing services. While we don’t handle your reviews, our SEO team will make sure that you’re ranking highly on search engine results pages, and we’ll be able to tell if you’re being harmed by bad reviews. Give us a call for help with your digital marketing today.

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