When we receive a bad review on our Google Business Profile or Google Maps, the most normal thing is to think that it will harm us, since customers tend to read and trust this type of comments from other users. However, negative reviews can also be good for SEO and the online reputation of our business.
Negative reviews give users the feeling that the business is real and therefore they will be more inclined to trust the information they find.
First of all, you should never delete a negative review. It may seem counterintuitive, but negative reviews, if handled properly, can have a positive impact on our businessin sales and also in the positioning of the brand in Google.
Why are bad reviews positive?
First of all, a business or brand with too many totally positive reviews is often a red flag for consumers. A study by ReviewInc indicates that people trust a business with a rating of 4.7 more than one with a 5.
This is because it is known throughout the world that some companies buy reviews, so the information in the accounts that have a 5 rating is usually false or highly manipulated.
In general, clients know when something seems «too good to be true» and avoid doing business with such brands or companies. On the other hand, Google also has very strict policies on purchased reviews, so these types of plays are often detrimental to a company’s search engine rankings.
In another study, it was found that 65% of users do not leave negative reviews. This means that it is much easier to receive positive reviews than negative ones, since users are more inclined to offer positive reviews than negative ones. In fact, less than 5% of the reviews we find on the platforms are actually negative.
How do negative reviews help businesses?
First of all, reviews (whether positive or negative) are a factor influencing rankings on platforms like Facebook, Google, or TripAdvisor. That’s why encouraging users to leave reviews and responding to them is one of the best SEO practices for businesses.
Positive reviews affect ranking, but negative ones allow for some balance, as too many unbiased-looking good reviews can lead to a suspension of all reviews of that business, which will very negatively affect SEO.
The average score on Google is 4.3. Is this a bad thing? On the contrary, it is a way to build trust. Bad reviews create a feeling of “authenticity” in the user. Also, if we are able to respond correctly to a bad review, we can earn the trust of the user.
A good answer allows a user who does not know our place to better understand the context in which the criticism was given. We also show clients that we are empathetic and understand their needs, and that we work to improve.
On the other hand, it is very important to keep in mind that a good answer can end up converting a bad review into a good one.
Finally, we cannot forget that bad reviews (in most cases) offer us first-hand information on what is not working in our company and, therefore, we also have a tool to implement improvements.