Social proof is such a conversion booster. A range of genuine Google Reviews helps build trust and credibility.
9 out of 10 local consumers trust online reviews as much as a personal recommendation. That's not something that can be ignored when you want to grow your business and win over new happy customers.
But a poor Google review can do the exact opposite. It can be a business owners nightmare, driving away quality leads and and seriously undermine the efforts you've put into building your business.
This is even more of a problem if the review is fake, unfair, or completely untrue.
Many business owners can feel powerless in regards to these reviews, and live in a state of stress and fear about their star rating. But fortunately there are options you have in regards to minimising the damage or even removing the review entirely.
That unfair one-star review might not be a complete catastrophe after all.
For a full rundown of these reasons, we encourage you to read the original article at BrightLocal.
Google reviews are a ranking factor
If you’re new to local SEO, know this; local search is said to represent around 46% of total Google searches, so the knock-on effect of a negative review on your local SEO could seriously kill your local business website’s traffic.
Google reviews appear prominently on Google SERPs
From Google: Reviews on Google provide valuable information about your business to both you and your customers. Business reviews appear next to your listing in Maps and Search, and can help your business stand out on Google.
How to do damage control on a bad review of your business on Google
It isn’t easy to prove and remove a fake review, but it can be done.
- Respond to the review.
- Use words and phrases that suggest you don’t have a record of their custom, or invite the reviewer to get in touch.
- Be polite, professional and courteous in your response.
- Go to your Google My Business dashboard to flag the fake review.
- Locate the fake review and click on ‘flag as inappropriate’.
- Gather evidence of the reviewer - do research on who they are, their profile photo, where the reviews appear. What looks janky or suspicious?
How to remove a Google Review
Through Google My Business you can request a review to be removed if the review goes against Google's guidelines. If you have evidence the review is fake that strengthens your case.
A good response to a genuine bad review
Sometimes the review is just a genuine bad one. It sucks, but in these cases all you can do is rectify the issue publicly as best you can.
Good responses to bad reviews have the following things in common:
- The business apologises for the poor experience in a sincere manner
- The tone of the response throughout is authentic, polite, and helpful
- The business thanks the reviewer for their feedback and acknowledges that it can be used to help improve the business moving forward
- The business demonstrates a commitment to excellent customer service and a real desire to rectify the issue
- The business invites the reviewer to get in touch, via email or phone call, to discuss the issue in private
- If you’re able to work with the reviewer to resolve their complaint, ask them to update or remove the negative review.
Riaz and I have strategies to help get quality, useful reviews from your current database. And now thanks to the above info from Brightwater, you also have a few approaches in case there are some unfair or fake reviews ruining your business' rating online.
As always if you need any help with reputation management or SEO, then just get in touch!