Do Online Reviews Have a Real Impact on SEO Performance?

Star rating smartphone image.

Online reviews can be a valuable resource for deciding whether you want to buy a product or use a service. They can also be a big help for your SEO performance. Unfortunately, they can also be a major hindrance. This is especially true if your chosen method of dealing with negative reviews is to ignore them. Or, even worse, delete them outright. How do online reviews impact your SEO performance? And how do you use them to your advantage? JumpSIX Marketing offers up some important advice.

Potential Customers Read Reviews

We’ll start simple: people read reviews. How many things have you bought from an online retailer without reading the reviews first? How many times have you sought out one-star reviews just for the fun of reading someone raging about a bad experience with a product or service? Reviews posted online are always visible and easily accessible. This also means they always have the potential to do your business real damage.

Bad News Spreads Much Quicker Than Good News

On top of the fact that people read reviews, people are always more likely to remember the bad ones. It seems that everyone is predisposed to finding and reading bad news first. Maybe it’s a survival instinct. Regardless of why so many of us have a morbid curiosity about single-star feedback, it’s the last thing you want if you’re selling a product or service.

Customers and Clients Assess How You Respond

We’ve talked about how to respond to negative reviews in a previous blog, but just to remind you: deleting bad reviews is always a terrible idea. Unless they’re genuinely offensive or an obvious troll, you should always respond to bad reviews with an apology and an offer to make it up to the customer. Add in some contact information, too. Never get aggressive or argue with an unhappy customer, especially online for the world to see.

Reviews Are Vital in Search Rankings

These factors are all pretty general, but what about the impact on SEO performance directly? Well, reviews are often used as a factor in determining your ranking. A preponderance of one-star reviews and a dearth of positive feedback is going to send you downward in search results. It’s not just those star ratings that are going to hurt you either.

Negative Phrases Mean Negative Search Results

If you have enough negative reviews, you’re going to start showing up in some negative searches. For example, if you own a hotel and have a litany of bad reviews about your location, then searches relating to the “worst hotels” in your area are going to start leading people to your site. Popping up in searches for the worst of anything is going to be bad for not just your SEO, but your business overall.

The Importance of Reputation Management

What can you do to fix the issue? Do a better job of managing your hotel, for a start. But you also need to manage your online reputation. Properly responding to negative feedback is absolutely vital for your business and adapting, refreshing, and updating your content is going to help keep your SEO performance positive, even in the face of a few bad reviews. Of course, if all the reviews are bad, it might just be time to rethink your career path.

Contact Us for Dedicated SEO Services

If this all seems like a lot to manage, don’t worry. We’re here to help. JumpSIX Marketing provides professional SEO services for all kinds of industries and we can adapt our SEO skills to suit whatever your company needs. These skills can also help with managing online reviews and your digital presence, meaning you can dedicate your time to running a successful business. For more about SEO and digital marketing, contact JumpSIX Marketing today.

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