How Negative Reviews Can be Used to Drive Positive Traffic
It’s no surprise that the internet can be a mean place at times. For a small business, negative reviews online can feel particularly aggressive and personal. Unlike the Amazons and eBays of the world with their deep pockets, there’s no PR team to deal with public criticism or cushion the blow.
According to strategist Neil Patel, "earning perfect reviews isn’t critical for your business." In fact, negative reviews can actually help your business in unexpected ways.1 It may seem counter intuitive but receiving negative criticism can help you improve your content and your digital strategy in more ways than one.
Turning Reviews into Resolutions
Hearing criticism about your business can be a tough pill to swallow. Putting a bruised ego aside, it’s also the perfect opportunity to highlight your customer service. As Patel says, "Customer service is not just about assisting a purchase. It’s about solving any problems that come up before, during, or after a purchase and preventing them from happening again."
When responding to negative comments, it’s important to have a game-plan ahead of time. Make sure to respond within 24-48 hours and offer an explanation or solution to make things right.2 It’s normal to feel defensive, but don’t let your emotions get in the way of a purely professional situation. How you respond to criticism will not only show your work ethic, but also a more human side to your business.
All Publicity Is Good Publicity
When you’re looking to purchase a product online, where do you look for a credible opinion? If you’re like most users, you’ll look at the comments to get a general perspective of a product - and often, a negative opinion will help you decide your case because they make the product and the seller feel credible. According to Statista, "85% of consumers look for negative reviews in order to make informed purchase decisions." This number rises to 91% among 18-29-year-old consumers.3 Having a diverse array of opinions, including a few negative reviews, helps search engines verify the legitimacy of businesses online.4
Negative reviews also add to the total number of reviews on your site, positively affecting its SEO presence. Even sites like Google reassure their clients that a few negative reviews will not affect their ranking in the algorithm. However, brands can use their reviews as research by examining their products, their target audience and how the two can support each other successfully.
Don’t see your negative review as a failure. See it as a learning curve and an opportunity. Time and again, we see cases of good customer service online, turning complainers into life-long clients. The key to growth is learning from the criticism and steering on a clear path to success with positivity and information in your back pocket.
If you’re struggling to rank higher in the search engines and build your brand’s success online, we at MintCopy are here to help. From our offices in Mississauga, Canada, we’re a team of dedicated writers and digital strategists with a passion for SEO.