When we receive a bad review on our Google Business Profile or Google Maps profile, the most normal thing is to think that it will hurt us, since customers usually 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 to go against common sense, but negative reviews, if handled properly, can actually have a positive impact on our businesson sales and also on brand positioning on Google.
why are bad reviews positive?
First of all, a business or brand with too many entirely positive reviews is usually a red flag for consumers. A ReviewInc study points out that people trust a business with a 4.7 rating more than one with a 5.
This is because it is common knowledge that some businesses buy reviews, so the information on accounts that have a 5 rating is often false or heavily manipulated.
In general, customers know when something looks “too good to be true” and avoid doing business with those types of brands or companies. On the other hand, Google also has very strict policies on purchased reviews, so this type of move is often detrimental to a company’s search engine ranking.
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, as users are more inclined to provide 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 that influences rankings on platforms like Facebook, Google or TripAdvisor. That’s why encouraging users to leave reviews and respond to them is one of the best SEO practices for businesses.
Positive reviews affect rankings, but negative reviews allow you to strike a certain balance, as too many good reviews that look unobjective can lead to a suspension of all reviews of that business, which will affect SEO very negatively.
The average Google score is 4.3. Is this a bad thing? On the contrary, it is a way to build trust. Bad reviews create a sense of “authenticity” in the user. Moreover, if we are able to respond correctly to a bad review, we can gain the user’s trust.
A good response allows a user who is not familiar with our venue to better understand the context in which the review was given. We also show customers that we are empathetic and understand their needs, and that we are working to improve.
On the other hand, it is very important to keep in mind that a good response can end up converting a bad review into a good one.
Finally, we cannot forget that bad reviews (in most cases) provide us with first-hand information of what is not working in our company and, therefore, we also have a tool to implement improvements.