Why Companies Should Respond to Customer Reviews for Local SEO

There are many components to having an effective local SEO campaign, and of them, customer reviews are now more important than ever. This trend can be seen as ambivalent for businesses; they now have much more responsibility in dealing with customers after transactions, which will either lead to their demise if they ignore bad reviews, or will be another opportunity to show gratitude and turn one-time customers into loyal customers.

Customer reviews may seem a bit unfair for businesses; they may have plenty of satisfied customers who don’t feel the need to leave an online review, and then one disgruntled customer can wreck havoc on their brand reputation. Nevertheless, a recent Search Engine Watch article reported that 85% of consumers read reviews for local businesses and 60% of consumers read 2-6 online reviews before making a purchasing decision, signaling that unfair or not, businesses have to respond to customer reviews.

A recent Business 2 Community article discusses this new responsibility for businesses, and how both positive and negative customer reviews should be handled:

“Across all review sites and social networks, transparency is ideal. Utmost visibility means that local businesses can no longer delete these bad reviews or comments and expect the problems to disappear. Unless it is absolutely false or spam, we recommend addressing the issues and responding quickly to reassure current and potential customers that you’re on top of it. The same goes for positive remarks as well – thank them and build a loyal following.”

So even if a satisfied customer leaves a positive review of your company, it’s just as important to thank them and show that you appreciate their business. The idea is to focus on and create more attention at how your business not only has loyal customers, but also shows appreciation for them. When responding to a negative review in a professional manner, your business will seem poised and mature, juxtaposed to the over-the-top customer.

If you’re interested in local SEO and the effect of customer reviews, contact us.