Negative Online Customer Reviews Turn Away Business!
We talk to lots of small business owners and very few of them understand how local businesses appear in search results for likely keywords. Part of the problem is that the business owners rarely go online to check this — they just assume that their web developer has taken care of placing them at the top of every search engine’s results. However, even if these businesses are listed on page one, the business owners almost never realize that customer reviews of their businesses and their competitors’ businesses could be deflecting potential customers away from ever visiting their websites. Here’s how that could happen.
Google, Yahoo and Bing are the three major search engines with well over 90 percent of search traffic, and Google alone usually has around 70 percent of search traffic. Most prospective customers will use one of these search engines with relevant keywords to find your type of business. When the search engines determine that the search is for a local business, they will display a short list of local business listings at the very top of the search results page, ahead of all website listings. Google usually displays a list of seven or fewer listings with summary information about each listed business, an area map showing the business locations, and a link to more information and reviews, if customer reviews are available. There are two ways that prospective customers deflect away from your website right here.
First, if this short list of local businesses includes one or more of your competitors, listed with great customer reviews, those motivated prospects will have no incentive to continue searching and they will purchase from one of those reviewed local businesses. Second, if your business is listed in the short list and has poor customer reviews, these motivated prospects will go somewhere else to avoid you. So what can you do?
First, you should claim and monitor your local listing for all three major search engines. Second, you should set up a process for asking your loyal customers to leave reviews for you online. Third, you should expand the process to include responding to reviews and using feedback to improve your products and services. Your customer reviews can work as marketing magnets to attract new business or they can deflect business away. It’s up to you.
If you need help getting this started, contact IX Brand SEO Services Company!
How have customer reviews affected your business?