This is an online world. A majority of people do business online. It is natural for customers to go through online reviews before purchasing a product. A positive one does have a great bearing on the overall success of the business. It encourages others to buy. Any business entity would love to go to extreme lengths to have as many positive opinions as possible.
However, there is a flip side to the argument. Too much of positivity can arouse suspicions as well. Hence, there is a need for maintaining a perfect balance. No business is perfect in this world. There is bound to be the odd dissatisfaction among customers resulting in a negative opinion. One should learn to take the rough with the smooth. In fact, statistics show that it always helps to have a couple of negative views thrown in between the positive ones.
Position vis-à-vis SEO rankings
Positive reviews do have a good effect on the local SEO ratings. The marketing websites usually list out the number of user opinions thereby enabling prospective customers to get an idea about what to expect. One of the easiest ways to procure a good testimonial is to render flawless service.
This is entirely in your hands, but circumstances can arise where your services might not satisfy your customer thereby providing ground for him to post a negative opinion. It is perfectly natural. A couple of negative views do not affect your Google local SEO ratings much. In fact, they add to the credibility of the website and make it look genuine.
Should you ask for reviews from customers?
This is a million dollar question. It is entirely up to you and your SEO strategy. You can do so, but it is better to follow ethical ways of asking them. There is a thin dividing line between asking and demanding them. You should be aware of this fact before making any attempt to do so.
It is human psychology that you might not get any appreciation if you render good service, but criticism is sure if you do not. Therefore, it is logical for businesses to request people to drop in a good word or two when you deserve the same. This helps in balancing the equation.
How do you not ask for reviews?
Asking your customer to voice his opinion is one aspect of SEO. It is important to know how not to ask for their opinions. Let us look at them in brief.
Do not demand: You have to earn your positive opinion from customers. Demand them as a matter of right is just not on. In fact, you trigger a sense of rebellion from the customer if you do so. It can backfire on you and affect your local search SEO.
Never resort to threatening or coercing: If demanding positive opinions is bad, threatening or coercing people is worse. It is illegal as well. There have been cases where businesses have threatened their customers with dire consequences if they or their customers post negative opinions on any website.
Do not plead either: This is the other end of the spectrum. You give good service and try to earn the positive opinions of customers. Pleading with them to post something positive can show you in poor light.
No customer will ever patronize a product or a service if the business threatens them to penalize for negative customer opinions. This is a free world. Any person can post any kind of review on a third party website such as Yelp, Trip Advisor, and the like. There is no way anyone would be able to control this activity.
Creative ways of seeking positive views
Statistics show that customers give great importance to online reviews. An online survey conducted in 2016 by BrightLocal.com throws out the following facts.
As much as 84% of people trust these opinions as personal recommendations
70% of customers do leave an opinion if they are asked to do so.
This brings us to the question of seeking positive views from your customers. You can do so in creative ways. Let us look at some of them in brief.
Email newsletters: This is a traditional SEO marketing strategy. It may not produce 100% results all the time, but it is well worth giving a shot because of the legitimacy factor.
Traditional mail: This method might seem outdated, but it has made a comeback in a great way. You have the customer opinion cards that contain links to your websites. You can generate a fair bit of positive opinions in this manner.
Attaching a request to your invoice: In this electronic age, this option can work out very well. Good and reliable customers would feel honored when you put in a request in this manner. It is advisable to leave a gentle request instead of being too pushy in the matter.
Simply ask: This is the simplest way to do so. Give great service and ask your customers to leave in a word of appreciation. However, you should be careful to ensure that multiple users do not leave these appreciations at the same time. Platforms like Yelp and Trip Advisor have software programs that delete such opinions posted from a single IP address.
Takeaways from this article
Customer opinions are essential to any business. Gathering them in the legitimate manner can do wonders for your SEO.
Never threaten customers into posting their negative views online. In fact, you hurt their ego and ensure that they do so with renewed vigor.
Seek positive views in a creative manner. One of the time-tested methods is to offer excellent service and seek gratitude. People will be happy to oblige when you deserve the same.
Improving SEO rankings is necessary, but there is no need for resorting to unhealthy practices to do so. Doing so can backfire on your reputation and cause more harm than good. Provide exemplary service and earn your positive feedback.