Often we are asked, does responding to your Google reviews help with local SEO? Why is responding to reviews important? It’s time to settle this debate once and for all. Reviews help with rankings and local SEO. Today, online reviews are trusted by 88% of consumers just as much as they do personal recommendations. Try to remember the last time you did not read any reviews on a business before first visiting it? The success of a business is impacted by reviews a lot more than many brands realize. Since 97% of consumers state that their buying decisions are influenced by reviews, it means that review management needs to be a top priority for all consumer-facing businesses.
In 2018, Whitespark’s Darren Shaw released findings from his yearly Google Local Rankings Survey. The survey’s results found that reviews made up 15.44% of how local businesses are ranked by Google. That is up nearly 5% from 2015 when reviews were valued at 10.8% by Google in how businesses were ranked.
The Official Stance From Google on Responding To Reviews
The support page for Google My Business states that businesses should interact with their customers and respond to reviews that are left about the business. When reviews are responded to it demonstrates that you value your customers as well as their feedback on your business. The page also states that positive, high-quality customer reviews help to improve the visibility of your business and increase the chance that your location will be visited by potential customers.
Responding to reviews not only builds trust with customers but also builds trust with the search engines. Google wants to recommend the businesses that are most credible to their customers. What better indicator of credibility than a business that publicly goes above and beyond to respond to complaints, and thanking positive comments as well. Google encourages businesses to respond to their reviews to improve local SEO results.
Respond To All Reviews
When you respond to reviews it helps to build relationships and trust with your customers. Whether you get a negative or positive review, it is very important to respond to the review to show both the search engines and your customers that you are committed to customer satisfaction. You spend so much effort and time to attract customers, and it is just as important to retain them. If you do not respond to your reviews, you are running the risk that your customer churn will increase by as much as 15%. Do not view online reviews as one way or static flow of information. It is important for brands to interact and engage with customers to create open communication channels.
Positive results can be created when you respond to negative reviews. It is shown by statistics that customers who get a response from the company after they post a negative comment results in 33% turning around and posting a positive review. 34% deleted their original negative review.
Develop Your Review Response Strategy
Trip Advisor conducted a 2018 study that showed hotels who respond to their reviews received 12% more reviews and a 0.12-star increase in their ratings. The study reaffirms that when you respond to your reviews it can help to increase your rankings and customer retention. However, it is not enough to just respond to reviews. Recently the Local Search Association reported on a consumer loyalty survey from 2018 by Yotpo.com that found that a majority of consumers expect a response from brands within 24 hours. To do that you need to have a review responding tool and a review response strategy.
Tips For Responding To Positive Reviews
- Thank your customer – If an individual complimented another person in real life, they would thank them. It should be the same online. Show gratitude for the time they took to write their review and for their business.
- Get specific – It is okay to use generic responses, but if you touch on something specific from their review it will add a touch that is more personal that will be appreciated by your customer.
- Entice them to return – Whether a business tells a customer they look forward to seeing them again or tempt with a new product, give them a good reason to return and bring their friends with them.
Make Improvements To Your Review Response Strategy
- Thank them for giving their feedback and apologize. Negative reviews can help companies make changes that will help to improve their business practices. Thank them for providing honest feedback and apologize for their unsatisfactory experience.
- Respond appropriately – Keep in mind it is a public conversation. Don’t ever try to argue with the customer or blame them.
- Invite an offline conversation – If you have an unhappy customer don’t go back and forth with them on a public review website. Ask for additional details to make sure it doesn’t occur again and give them contact information for your customer service team.
- Short and Sweet – Only say what you absolutely need to. You want to handle reviews as politely and quickly as you can.
Developing and maintaining a review response strategy it is an excellent way for businesses to make improvements to their local SEO and rise in the rankings. Google has confirmed that local SEO is improved by responding to reviews and that means businesses need to have a strategy and tools in place to do that.
Mezingo is a revolutionary service that takes the effort out of getting real reviews from real customers. Based on sentiment, your customer is greeted with a video thanking them for their feedback. If positive, they are asked to post to the major review sites. If they are not satisfied they are presented with a request to tell you what went wrong. This helps keep negative reviews allows you the opportunity to take corrective action. For a demonstration and a free 14 day trial call 480-626-4807 or visit https://mezingo.com