5 Things to Know About Responding to Reviews

Right now in the world of local search reputation management is the big, hot button topic. There’s plenty of ways to look at it, but proper reputation management will always come down to responding to reviews. Specifically, the reviews left on Google and other prominent review sites.

As the reviews roll in having a plan lets you make the most of any feedback from customers. All interactions, negative and positive, should be met with a strong review response plan. Here we will go through the five key points to keep in mind when you are designing and creating reputation management plans for your brand clients.

1. Respond to reviews and see star rating improve

Responding to reviews has been shown to directly increase the average star rating of each location. It is very common across verticals for people to search for business rated 4-star or better, responding to reviews has been shown to improve star ratings by 0.12 stars. While on the surface this might seem insignificant, Google rounds up to the nearest 0.1 stars, so this small improvement can be the difference between showing when a user filters to see businesses rated 4-stars or better.

2. Interact consistently with reviewers to build brand trust

People understand that not everyone is going to enjoy the same thing and that sometimes, even customer service workers, have a bad day. When people look through Google reviews, it is expected that you will find negative reviews on businesses, to the point where it becomes suspicions if you see a business with only 5-star reviews. Businesses can show they take negative reviews in their responses. Namely by responding to reviews, both positive and negative, this shows care and empathy for the customer. This leads potential guests to trust that if something happens that business has genuine interest in corrected problems for the future.

3. Respond to reviews and see higher review rates

Across verticals, responding to reviews is shown to lead to more reviews. When people see and trust that they will be heard they are more likely to provide feedback. Business that responds to reviews can see as much as 12% more reviews compared to the business that do not respond. This is important as the number of reviews left on a listing is also a critical ranking factor. And anything that can be done to increase review volume is a good thing. More reviews also give Google more content to reference when judging relevance to search queries.

4. Add keywords to responses increases relevance

Reviews and your responses to them create more content that Google can, and will, reference when determining relevance to search queries. While you cannot control what your guests say in the reviews, you can control your brand’s responses. So, when responding reviews choose your words carefully. Including things like the brand name, location, and other relevant keywords can help the listing and the review be showcased in search. Google will often find reviews that are relevant to the search query and showcase them in the knowledge panel and/or GBP pages in Google Maps.

5. Use programs made to scale to your review volumes

To run and implement a proper review response program, you will need to respond to every review received from every location under your client’s brand. Depending on vertical locations can receive what seems like a manageable number, maybe 5-10 reviews per week. But when you multiply this by 100s to 1,000s of locations you quickly will run into problems scaling solutions that are consistent across your brand clients. It is important to work with a software provider that has already solved this problem. Through tracking, automation, and email notifications you can gain more insights to solve problems for your clients and improve SEO benefits for both the performance and future strategy of your efforts.

Learn more about responding to online reviews

The more you answer reviews with tailored responses, the stronger their reputation management will be. To keep racking up high ratings and meaningful review interactions, you need an accurate pulse on what matters most in the moment. ConvergenSEE has the resources to help you keep up with the latest in reputation management. Download our guide, Change Your Stars: How to Respond to Online Reviews, for more expert advice on mastering responses for your clients’ online reviews.

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