What is the impact of reviews on SEO promotion?
February 01, 2023
Table of Contents:
What is the impact of reviews on SEO promotion?
How a reputation is built on the web
What are the reviews influenced by?
- Audit, analysis and monitoring
- In addition, negative reviews can also have a certain positive effect, because they:
- How to deal with negative feedback?
- How to work with positive feedback?
- What do I do if there are no reviews?
Incorrect handling of feedback
In a highly competitive marketplace, companies use a variety of tools to increase sales. There are many ways to increase customer traffic, but the easiest and most accessible are tips and recommendations from your customers. Positive feedback from people increases the interest and loyalty of potential customers, and thus contributes to the growth of customer traffic.
Why is feedback so important?
Reviews are a key indicator of customer trust in a seller and an effective sales tool. According to a joint study by Data Insight and AliExpress, 99% of online shoppers read recommendations and reviews online. For one in five orders, they are crucial. A real customer review is customer feedback on a product or service provided. It shapes overall opinion and helps identify key business growth points. Therefore, to ignore or deny the importance of feedback is a big mistake.
How a reputation is built on the web
Wherever we go, our reputation, whether good or bad, is bound to beat us.
©. Philip Dormer Stanhope Chesterfield
A company's reputation is the formed opinion of people about it. It is made up of many factors and is evaluated according to various parameters. Customers, partners, suppliers, competitors and any other interested parties can give feedback about the company. One thing is important: the overall image of the organization directly affects the success of the business.
In today's world, the main source of information about the reputation of a company, brand or product is the Internet. Millions of users search for or leave feedback on products they like or dislike, share impressions of services provided, and express their opinions on interactions with various organizations. In the current environment, it is important for any entrepreneur to track and monitor information about themselves and their product on the web.
Disturbing signals worth paying attention to are:
- a large amount of negativity;
- lack of information.
The unknown is just as frightening as the negative experiences of other customers. When faced with a new, unproven company, a user is more likely to prefer a competitor that has at least a few reviews (and not necessarily exclusively positive).
In this case, even if the data collected showed extremely positive results, and most of the clients were satisfied, you should not think that your reputation is not threatened. Work on your image and "good name" must be regular and uninterrupted.
For the competent conduct of reputation management created a special direction - SERM (Search Engine Reputation Management) or "reputation management in search engines.
The main essence of SERM is that in the search results for brand requests to display information that would make a positive portrait of the organization and encourage potential customers to choose it.
But we should not forget that the main factor in forming a positive reputation of the company is its honest and conscientious work.
Who needs feedback?
The answer to this question is quite simple - to everyone. Both companies and customers are interested in feedback. On the consumer side, they are important for a number of reasons:
- First of all, it is a way to express your opinion and attitude towards a product or service, as well as an opportunity to be heard, both by the company and by others: it is a kind of expression of social responsibility;
- Secondly, they help you make a decision when buying or ordering: they give you confidence, and also reduce the fear of being cheated or of being dissatisfied.
It's a treasure trove of useful information for a company. Which services are the most popular and which ones are not in demand at all? Which employees do a better job? What can be improved and what should be paid special attention to? You can always get answers from customer comments.
What are the reviews influenced by?
Lack of reputation or the presence of negativity can have a negative impact on sales and profits. At the same time, the presence of reviews and positive feedback increases user confidence and leads to positive dynamics.
But beyond the main goal of increasing profits, a positive reputation also contributes:
- increasing the number of regular customers;
- rapid development and expansion of the business.
In addition, there are a number of proven facts about the impact of reviews on SEO. That is, in fact, in addition to its direct purpose, the value of reviews increases due to the possibility of attracting a new sales channel.
How reviews affect SEO
The impact of reviews on SEO promotion can be viewed from several angles.
CTR. The rating of the company is displayed in the snippet in the output. This in turn is reflected in its clickability. Firstly, the presence of the rating makes it more noticeable; secondly, a higher rating can encourage click-throughs to the site, and a lower one - on the contrary - discourage the user.
In the PS Google ranking is displayed in the blocks of local output, and the ranking also takes into account scores from independent sites.
- Behavioral factors. Having testimonials on a page can improve its behavioral factors - this is the result of an experiment conducted by SEO specialists. Placing at least one testimonial on a page can reduce the number of bounces.
- Commercial factors. The presence of reviews on a site is a commercial ranking factor in Google.
- The impact on ranking in Google. Although John Mueller has stated that Google does not use customer reviews as a ranking signal in normal search, having a large number of negative reviews can have a negative impact on a site's positioning. Google's algorithms pick up massive amounts of customer dissatisfaction when a company only has negative reviews.
- Trust Factors in Google's E-A-T algorithm: It's important for search engines to see content that users can trust in the responses to their queries.
Thus, reviews posted both on the site and on external sources are important, and certainly have an impact on SEO promotion. Proper work with them will improve the reputation of the organization and have a positive impact on many factors of ranking in search engines.
Proper handling of feedback
Before determining a work strategy, it is necessary to understand the initial level of reputation of the organization. This requires monitoring and auditing information in search engines.
Audit, analysis and monitoring
You can perform an audit using manual or automated methods. The manual method consists of searching and analyzing data on the mention of the brand in the results. To do this, you need to make a list of queries, which users could find out information about the organization. Usually these are: name, address, contacts, names of managers and employees. Also, use adding inclusion of the word "reviews," such as "post office usa reviews." Resources shown in the top 10 almost always give a complete picture of current reputation:
You can also collect information from specialized services:
- Google Alerts is a free notification system in which you can track mentions and changes in information on topics of interest to you (for certain queries). The collected data is not graded by tone, so further analysis must be done manually
- Brand Analytics is a service for monitoring brand reputation and analysis in social media and mass media. The results identify the main trends, the most relevant publications and the main tone of the messages. The service is paid, but there is a free demo version.
- YouScan is a platform for analyzing social media, blogs, forums, and review sites. It collects and classifies information according to various parameters: authorship, source, tone of comments, etc. There is a possibility of comparison with competitors. The service also has a demo version.
- IQBuzz - a tool for detailed analysis of data from various sources of online media, as well as social networks. The possibility of creating various reports, setting up a system of notifications about the appearance of new mentions in the Web. Free functionality for 7 days.
There are many other programs, the principle of their work is approximately similar. Based on the data obtained, you can determine the current status of the company's reputation:
- positive - there are predominantly positive reviews;
- Negative - clients are categorically dissatisfied with the work of the organization;
- mixed - there are both positive and negative reviews;
- zero - there is no information about the organization.
But we should not jump to conclusions; any type of reputation has its pitfalls. Exceptionally good reviews and high ratings can look suspicious and indicate the possibility of "scamming" reputation: posting fake, specially written comments. In this case, there are several disadvantages:
- users may be skeptical of an "excellent" site and give preference to a competitor with a more realistic score;
- You can't get any useful information for the development of the site from fake messages;
- search engine algorithms are getting better at recognizing fake reviews, and do not consider them in determining the overall score of the site, and in some cases may remove them.
A large number of negatives may be a signal that there are custom "hater" reviews. More often than not, fakes are ordered in a "package": many of the same type of negative texts appear in the output.
The most favorable scenario is the presence of a variety of reviews: in this case, the reputation looks most natural.
By determining the current state of the company's image, you can understand what you should pay more attention to and in what way to conduct further work.
Defining the strategy
Depending on the established image of the company, the algorithm may vary. If negativity prevails, it should be:
- Direct forces to work on the negative feedback: to understand the situations, to give detailed and polite answers.
- Identify weaknesses: identify the most frequent problems and try to prevent their occurrence in the future.
- Return customer loyalty: motivate customers to make new orders with promotions and special offers, personalized bonuses (and ask for an opinion after making them).
It is important to note that having negative feedback is not a tragedy and is quite normal for any company. Google's instructions to assessors state in paragraph 2.6.3:
"Customer reviews can be helpful in evaluating the reputation of a store or business. However, you should interpret these reviews with caution, especially if there are only a few. Be skeptical of both positive and negative user reviews. Anyone can write them, including the creator of the website or someone the store or business hires for that purpose. When interpreting customer reviews, try to find as many as you can. Any store or business can get a few negative reviews. This is perfectly normal and expected."
Thus, both positive and negative comments can be questioned. And both from search engines and users. In other words, if someone wrote a bad comment about you, it does not mean that others will believe it unconditionally.
In addition, negative reviews can also have a certain positive effect, because they:
- increase the total number of messages about the company, which in general is not unimportant;
- balance credibility: as having only positive reviews can cause a certain amount of wariness;
- provide the opportunity for additional contact with the customer.
When reviews are in roughly equal proportions, a company has a neutral reputation. This situation is not bad, but it does not give an advantage over competitors. In this case, it is also necessary to motivate customers to increase loyalty, and the impact of negative comments should be mitigated by constructive and polite responses.
If there is a positive image, the main task is to preserve it. It is necessary to exclude the possibility of fake positive comments, which can be exposed, as this will severely damage the reputation. You should continue to have an open dialogue with customers, encourage users for leaving feedback.
If your company is a newcomer, and the Internet still knows little about it, you need to do the initial work to increase its visibility. First of all, expand the presence of your brand in directories, directories, "otzovicky" and portals: registration in most of them is free.
In order to determine the list of sites, let's dwell on them in more detail.
There are several types of sites where users leave their opinions about products, services and the quality of work of organizations:
Review sites. Resources with a wide profile, where people leave reviews about all areas and directions, for example:
Narrowly specialized sites for reviews. Particularly characteristic of medical topics, for example:
Marketplaces. A place to post a product review:
Geographic directories. Having an organization profile in such directories is a must if you want users to easily find your location. Example:
Free directories. They are also an important source of data on various organizations, for example:
- Websites about employers. Websites that show the company's reputation in personnel policy and relationships within the workforce.
The more sites will be covered, the more opportunities for the company to receive reviews, thereby increasing its presence in search engine rankings. The main thing is to give preference to high-quality, well-visited sites, and not to forget about profile resources.
Algorithm of work
In order to make a correct work plan, you need to answer three basic questions:
How to deal with negative feedback?
The main rule of working with references is to prepare clear and correct answers. Negative references are no exception. To successfully work off such a reference and minimize the consequences, you need to show the client your interest in solving any problem that has arisen.
Before you can respond to a user's comment, you need to determine the type of comment:
Constructive. The most useful type, containing a clear position and description of the problem. It is recommended to respond to such messages most promptly, in detail and in the most loyal manner.
- Clarification of the details of the problem (if necessary);
- Notification to the client that a solution to the problem has been initiated;
- correction of the situation;
- notifying the client of a favorable resolution of the issue.
With the help of such feedback you can identify the weaknesses of your business, and the public resolution of problems that have arisen will help demonstrate to users that you care about them.
- Impulsive. This type of feedback is characterized by emotional coloring and a lot of negativity. At the same time, the problem may not always be that significant. You should respond to such feedback as politely as possible, while trying to solve the problem quickly and in a way that is convenient for the client.
"Trolling. Some users post comments excluded for the purpose of provocation. The task of such reviews is to arouse emotion. Recognize them quite simply: they contain incorrect information, and often are not even of the nature of a claim or expressed negativity.
You can react to them in three ways:
- Do not respond. This is the only type of feedback, which can be ignored.
- Reply, in case the text may raise doubts in the minds of other users. At the same time you should not show emotion, you should answer calmly and clearly.
- Make a joke in response. Sometimes humor will help stop further discussion of a useless comment.
"Trolling" is not always evil, sometimes it is used purely for entertainment purposes.
Unreliable review (Black PR). There are cases when the reality of a negative review raises doubts. Or the text clearly shows the purpose of defaming the name of the brand, without pointing out the facts. In order to expose such commentators "in the clear" it is necessary:
- clarify contact information;
- clarify details and details;
- politely point out falsehoods or errors.
In doing so, refrain from passive or overt aggression.
How to work with positive feedback?
Positive customer comments also require responses. It is necessary to thank the user and prolong the positive effect of the interaction. Positive feedback without a comment can make the customer sad, and show the company's lack of involvement to others.
However, the answers should not be the same, and look like mere "Replies".
To compose a competent commentary, you can follow the following scheme:
- emphasis on the details noted by the client,
- mention of new products, discounts or promotions,
- inviting the client for another contact.
The response should clearly indicate that you have read the user's feedback and really appreciate it.
What do I do if there are no reviews?
If the company is completely absent mentions need to work to motivate users.
Requesting Feedback. The best way to get feedback is to ask the customer directly. This can be done in various ways: via email or SMS mailing, a phone call, a reminder to leave a comment about the order in your personal account.
You should also keep in mind that excessive annoyance and untimeliness can discourage customers, so do not send too many reminders.
- Bonuses or promotions. Special offers, discounts on the next purchase can be a good incentive for customers to leave a review.
- Handy forms. Help customers leave feedback by adding a handy form to your site, with the ability to structure your response.
- Different ways. Let customers choose the most convenient option for feedback: a form on the site, comments on social networks, communication via messenger. There is also a convenient way to collect feedback from Google.
One of the options for filling a company's profile on the sites is to post reviews yourself. But in this case you should not get carried away. It is advisable to post only real reviews that, for some reason, are not on the web, for example, they were written in the "Book of Responses and Suggestions" or sent in a personal message. When adding such reviews, it is better to ask the author's permission to publish them in advance. It will not be a violation of the law to publish without notice, but under certain circumstances it may cause a negative reaction from the client. Adding specially written texts is a highly undesirable practice: such reviews are easy to recognize, and this fact can have a negative impact on the company's image.
Incorrect handling of feedback
Checklist of improper work with customer complaints:
- Ignoring. Do not leave feedback without attention. Every customer who voiced an opinion should be heard.
- Aggressive response. The response to even the most unflattering comment should be polite and restrained. It is necessary to be able to admit mistakes.
- Not keeping promises. It is important not only to promise to solve the problem, but also to monitor the process and then notify you of the resolution of the issue.
- Template responses. Responding to messages in the same way is not the best option. In this way you lose the opportunity to increase customer loyalty and offer them additional services.
- Deletion. It is not recommended to delete even reviews that look like "fake". Each comment can be worked out as a real one, showing professionalism.
Useful tip: When writing responses to positive feedback you can use the name of the company in the text, so you increase the relevance of this review, and it is more likely to appear in the search engines for branded queries.
Feedback plays an important role in business: it shapes a company's reputation, identifies weaknesses and prompts points of growth, can have a direct impact on sales and profits, and has an impact on SEO promotion. To make reviews work for you, you need to follow a few rules:
- Regularly monitor and analyze mentions of your company or brand on the web.
- Don't ignore customer messages - respond to all of them.
- Motivate users to express their opinions about your product or service.
Remember! Feedback is not an end in itself. High marks from clients are the result of quality and honest work.
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