A customer bases their buying experience on how they perceive they are being treated by a business. Research shows that nearly 70% customers use treatment as a yardstick to base their buying experience, and merely 4% customers let a business know when they are dissatisfied. That means 96% consumers out there are unhappy with a business. Online feedback by customers can make or break a small business, and knowing how to deal with negative review should be part of any small business’ SEO strategy.

SEO and Negative Review

You may wonder what search engine optimization has to do with a review. Well, when there are reviews that don’t have anything nice to say about your business, they will work against your search engine optimization efforts. While you are going out on a limb to understand what is SEO and make it an integral part of your online marketing efforts, there are online testimonials that showcase your business in poor light to prospective customers.

Research shows that more than half of the customers in the digital realm prefer a business that has positive reviews. Hence, if you are spending significant amount of time and money on honing your SEO tactics to funnel traffic to your site, it is going for waste. A negative review is a sign that a business may not be worth the money and effort that a customer is willing to invest to purchase a product or service.

It is prudent to remember that positive reviews are important, but even one negative review will wreak havoc with your business. When customers are unhappy with your service or product, they will have no qualms about posting their feelings and experience. And, when others read this unfavorable review, they will form an opinion about your business. Consumers tend to stick together, and if one reports a poor experience, others will join the club and avoid that business.

This experience will spread like wildfire across the internet and before you know it, you will lose 67% of your customer base because of a single poor review. As a result, all your SEO efforts will come to naught.

If you find even a single review online that does not portray your business in the proper light, it is time to mitigate the damage by adopting negative review management. Here is what you can do:


Get in Touch with the Review Site

The moment you discover a bad review online, get in touch with the site. While it will be a challenge to get the site to remove the bad review, you should make all efforts to ensure that no further bad reviews are added to the site. Sometimes, other businesses post poor feedback to bring down their competition. If that is the case, you can be certain that the site will take appropriate action. This said, genuine user reviews will not be deleted as such sites are meant for sharing positive and negative experiences.

Participate in the Conversation

If you cannot get the site to remove the bad review, don’t worry. You can respond to it in a professional manner while addressing the concerns raised by the customer. It is best to respond on the site as this will allow other readers to hear what you have to say.

Remember, if the mistake lies with your business, don’t try and defend it. Instead, apologize to the customer and acknowledge the mistake. Finally, it is best to offer something to the customer to make up for the poor purchase experience. You can rest assured that this experience will be a positive one and invariably, the customer will update their review and compliment your organization for the service. This is because no testimonial is etched in stone and can be updated and changed by the reviewer at a later date.


Bring the Positive to Forefront

Most sites that publish testimonials use an algorithm to filter genuine reviews from the fake ones. Sometimes, even legitimate ones can get hidden from the public eye and land in the filtered testimonial section. So, when answering comments, you can draw attention of readers to this section where there will be positive comments by customers.

You also have the option of using SEO tips and tricks to syndicate reviews onto blog pages and propel them to the top of search engine results pages. For some local businesses, this can be an effective method to draw attention to the quality of the service. Nonetheless, it is important to check the online world everyday to respond to negative feedback. In case you think a comment is misleading, don’t hesitate to get in touch with the customer and ask them to alter or delete it.

Get Customers to Post Positive Feedback

It is important to realize that negative comments cannot be deleted. However, you can create a better impression about your organization by requesting other customers to post positive comments in multiple sites, like City Search and Angie’s List, instead of just focusing on Yelp. In fact, this is one of the many SEO tips that businesses adopt to showcase themselves in a positive light.

Online testimonials

are here to stay. You cannot do much about negative comments as they depend on whether the customer’s expectations were met or not. Nonetheless, it is imperative that you respond to unfavorable comments so that they have minimal effect on your business locally.