All Systems Go Marketing, the premier SEO agency in San Diego, California, has published a blog post discussing the importance of a business’s GMB listing for its online growth.
A business’s Google My Business listing is usually the first thing to pop up in search results when a customer enters the business’s name in the search engine. The visibility of these listings plays a major part in a consumer’s decision to select a business for their requirements. It makes sense because as a consumer, one tends to play it safe and gravitates towards a business that is well-reviewed and has plenty of positive reviews. However, it also means that someone might be dissuaded from enlisting a business’s help when they find negative reviews about their service.
This is a persistent problem for local SEO as with time, the number of review sites and specialized registries that curate businesses in a particular sector have gone up significantly. Consumers are more aware and tend to use reviews as a dangling sword on the business to get good service. When they are dissatisfied with the service received, they vent their frustrations out in the form of negative reviews as the last recourse. Today, when a business gets listed online it doesn’t take a lot of time to find reviews that start popping up either praising or deriding the quality of the service they are offering.
Negative reviews can definitely be a liability for a business because newer clients will tend to take what the reviews say at face value and not give the business the benefit of the doubt. According to some studies, four out of ten consumers will avoid a business that has a negative review, even if they have worked with the business before. In other studies, it has been shown that around 86% of potential customers won’t even consider the business if it has a negative review. Though these numbers are depressing for businesses just starting out, it doesn’t spell all doom and gloom.
The article by All Systems Go Marketing then goes on to talk about the positive benefits of negative reviews on a business’s SEO. First of all, a review, even a negative one, increases the review count on the GMB listing. Second, the article reminds the reader that customers are generally smarter than one gives them credit for and they can tell when overly negative reviews are trying to malign a company’s image without adding constructive feedback. Consumers also tend to distrust companies with perfect ratings as they seem them as fraudulent or too good to be true. Negative reviews, therefore, add authenticity to a business. Third, negative reviews increase engagement metrics for a brand despite their adverse effect on the brand’s image. Fourth, they can be a source for keywords that help a business’s local SEO. Finally, negative reviews are a way to improve one’s service by taking constructive criticism to heart and implementing changes that improve the overall service. Bouncing back from a negative review and taking it in stride can help strengthen a business.
The article then concludes that negative reviews are bad for business but they are not the end of the world. They don’t have to be the death knell that a lot of people insist they are. The article says that Google takes into account negative reviews while recommending a business as it is a strong indicator of a company’s quality of service. The more people that recommend a business, the higher the affinity Google’s search algorithms have to put the business front and center in the search listings. To get more organic traffic, businesses should factor in managing their GMB presence in their online marketing strategy. A business that is hit by negative reviews might even consider hiring online reputation management companies to suppress the negative reviews.
SOURCE: Press Advantage [Link]
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