Fix Your Local SEO: How to Deal with Bad Online Reviews

by TheWebTheory

Learn 5 ways your business can deal with bad online reviews to improve its off page SEO and see better rankings on search engines.

Reviews are a very important part of your local business SEO as they can improve your search engine ranking and help you connect with more potential customers. Online reviews can also make or break your business. Even if you operate an excellent business, there's no way to stop at least the occasional bad review from a customer. While doing everything you can to make your customers leave satisfied is part of the solution, it's also necessary to create a plan to handle the negative reviews when they do pop up.

Image credit: DesiItaly at Flickr

Here's a look at some tips you can take to handle these negative reviews and defend your good name online. Remember, online reviews are an essential part of off page SEO so it doesn't pay to ignore them!

1. View the Review as a Good Thing

How can a negative review be a good thing? Look at it as a chance to learn something and use it to improve your business and customer relations. You may find ways to improve your policies by reading these reviews, for example. If you decide to make changes to your business practices, it may be a good idea to respond to these reviews and let other customers know you've changed your policy on the matter.

2. Contact the Reviewer

If possible, try to contact the reviewer to thank them for their comments and ask if there's anything you can do to improve the situation. If you are able to fix the situation with your customer, they might be willing to update their review to reflect your response.

3. Respond to the Review

Some review sites allow you to make a direct response to the bad review to give your side of the story. This should be done carefully, though, because you don't want to come across wrong or make the situation worse. Not all negative reviews require a response, either. It's a good idea to respond if the reviewer is incorrectly stating facts (be polite!), you made a mistake and want to apologize and try to fix it, or the review is gathering a lot of attention. Because responding to reviews can be very tricky, try contacting a Miami SEO company before you begin to make sure you're not going to aggravate the situation.

4. Try to Get More Positive Reviews

Getting plenty of reviews for your website is a vital part of off page SEO and it can also help lessen the effect of negative feedback. Try offering an incentive to your customers to leave feedback online, whether you're giving them a coupon or a special deal.

5. Stay Ahead of the Game

Finally, the best way to keep online negative reviews at bay is to ask your customers if they're satisfied before they walk out the door. If they aren't happy, as what you can do to fix the problem before they go home. If you can address the problem, your customer won't be as likely to spend the time creating an account and leaving a bad review of your company.

Updated: 09/25/2012, TheWebTheory
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