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Google Confirms Responding to Reviews Improves your Local SEO

Posted by Brandon Martinez on Nov 16, 2016 12:39:25 PM
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Reviews. Who writes them, who reads them, and why are they important to your business? The internet has become a hotbed for word-of-mouth communication and customer interaction. By now, everyone is aware that this user generated content will affect your online reputation, search engine rankings, potential customers buying decisions and ultimately the success of your business. What a lot of businesses don’t know yet, is that in addition to monitoring what people are saying, you also need to be responding to reviews and creating a 2-way flow of communication between your business and your customers.

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Motivated by the idea of helping product and service providers and the concern for other consumers, more customers are taking to sites like Yelp!, Facebook, and Google to share their customer experiences. Not only are more people participating in these online review sites, but studies show that 88% of consumers are using these reviews as a determinant when deciding whether or not to purchase a product or service. Potential consumers are trusting the voice of their online peers and using their reviews to determine the quality of a local business.

It's not just customers who believe that responding to customer reviews is important. Local search engines use your business’ reviews as a factor when determining your search page rankings. Google encourages businesses to respond to reviews in order to improve their local SEO. The Google My Business support page states, “Responding to reviews shows that you value your customers and the feedback that they leave about your business.”

According to MOZ's Local Search Ranking Factors Survey, online reviews are thought to make up over 8% of how Google and other search engines decide to rank search results. Google only wants to recommend the most credible businesses to their users. What better credibility indicator than a business that goes above and beyond by publicly responding to complaints, as well as, thanking their praisers.  

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Whether you receive a positive or negative review, it is important to respond to that review thus showing your customers and search engines your commitment to their satisfaction. You’ve spent a great deal of time and effort attracting customers, it is important to retain them. By not responding to reviews, you run the risk of increasing your customer churn by 15%. Online reviews should no longer be seen as a static and one way flow of information. It is important to interact and engage with your customers and create an open channel for communication.

About 52% of customers who have left a bad review expect to receive a response from your business within 7 days.

More importantly, statistics show that of the customers that received a response from a company after posting negative feedback about their experience, 33% turned around and posted a positive review,positive review, and 34% deleted the original negative review.

Up to 30 potential customers can be lost by receiving one bad review and for companies who receive hundreds of reviews every week, responding to these reviews can become a daunting and even intimidating task. Chatmeter’s Review Management software saves time and labor by tracking all of your online reviews and compiling them into one easy to use platform. Our dashboard allows your business managers to easily monitor and respond to these online reviews all in one convenient location.

Check out our website and schedule a demo to see first hand how Chatmeter can help you to easily monitor your reviews and more.

Topics: Local SEO, Reviews, Search Rankings

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