We’ve written about the importance of a) getting reviews , b) how the law sees a business that fakes reviews, not to mention c) management of negative reviews, but what is rarely discussed is an OPPORTUNITY that lies in the d) response to a review. An important element of ‘reputation management’ is, in fact, a response to a review(good or bad). A business must understand that it is speaking less to the reviewer than to the entire public of prospective buyers. And because review content can influence consumers when they search, it only makes sense the Google algorithm also uses that content as a ranking signal.
How we respond matters to more than just the reviewer, good or bad, so let’s review ‘best practices’ and maximize those benefits to an overall digital marketing strategy.
Tips For Responding To Reviews
1. Acknowledge The Reviewer In A Response
– By using a reviewer’s name the business owner not only grabs that reviewers’ attention, but it acknowledges her personal thoughts. It simultaneously demonstrates accessibility to the public, likely appreciated by both!
2. Acknowledge Details In A Response
– By acknowledging details of the review in a response, the business demonstrates a genuine interest in what that person thinks. By taking the time a business also shows a reviewer, as well as the public, commitment to customer service.
3. Offer Advice Related To The Review In A Response
– By offering advice based upon details of the review in a response, the reviewer and the public may become aware of other options. It’s possible that advice will generate more and future interactions, if not transactions.
4. Use Target Keywords In A Response!
– According to Moz’s 2017 survey of local search ranking factors, reviews are a signal that influences how businesses rank locally. Being we all know Google uses reviews as one of their (200) signals for ranking companies and their content, it’s good logic they are reviewing the keywords in that content as well. While we cannot control what our reviewer says, we can use our ability to respond to add keywords! Note: a rule we should all live by with SEO is the content needs to be good enough for humans to be good enough for search engines. So when writing a review response, be careful to only use those keywords specifically related to the review exchange. Do not ‘keyword stuff’ and be sure that you yourself would trust that response before adding it. If so we can all incrementally improve our performance for those target keywords in search engine results!
Any questions about reviews or reputation management, please do not hesitate to get in touch. And ask us about Local SEO best practices – increased visibility, traffic and lead capture performance!