There are numerous ways to improve your SEO ranking, but one that recently received additional affirmation from Google is responding to reviews. Studies show that more and more consumers trust online reviews and use them to guide their choices when making quick online searches for local businesses.
Reviews aren’t going away. The fact is they actually seem to be gaining popularity and authority. According to a recent article from ChatMeter, “At the end of last year, Darren Shaw of Whitespark released the findings from his annual Google Local Rankings Survey. The results of the survey found that reviews accounted for 15.44% of how Google ranks a local business. This is up almost 5% from 2015 when Google only valued reviews at 10.8% of how they rank a business.”
When taking a look at Google’s own support pages, responding to reviews is listed as a way to improve local ranking within the search engine. Although Google does not confirm exactly how much weight reviews have in overall local search rankings, it does encourage business owners to manage and monitor reviews for best results.
In addition to search ranking, responding to reviews has practical benefits for establishing positive branding. It makes sense to assume that a business with five stars and glowing reviews from customers will be appealing to a potential customer. As the amount of online business searches continues to increase, modern shoppers depend on reviews to quickly help them decide where to go and who to trust.
How Should You Handle Negative Reviews?
What should you do when you get a negative review? This is where responding really comes into action. You may not be able to completely avoid a bad review from getting posted, but you can show other customers that you value each opinion by making sure to respond quickly and respectfully. No need for a long answer, simply include that you are sorry to hear about their complaint and will reach out to them personally.
Many customers today simply want to be heard. Providing them with a sincere and prompt response is the best way to maintain your business’ branding reputation and even help regain that customers business: “Responding to negative reviews can create positive results. Statistics show that of the customers who received a response from a company after posting a negative comment, 33% turned around and posted a positive review, while 34% deleted the original negative review” (ChatMeter).
Make it Easy with a Response Strategy and Reputation Management Platform
The best way to step ahead of the game when it comes to online reviews is to have a review response strategy. Ensure you have someone at your dealership who is in charge of monitoring and responding to reviews. There should be response guidelines in place for consistency, both for positive and negative reviews. You can always get more details and resolve issues one-on-one with a customer in a private channel so keep public responses polite and simple.
Here at Dealer eProcess, we want to make it effortless for you to organize your reviews and maintain your online branding! With Dealer Watch, you’ll be able to see incoming reviews across various platforms, assign tasks, and much more. It’s all done through one simple dashboard, as you can see in the image below. Our tool is your one-stop-shop for reputation management.
To learn more about Dealer Watch or schedule a demo, call 877-551-255 or complete the form below.