Review Management FAQ: A Short Primer for Beginners

What’s online review management?

You’re probably already aware of online reviews. If you have a business, your online reviews are a form of social proof that customers use to validate the trustworthiness of your business.

Online review management is reputation maintenance.

It’s a way for brands to ensure customers have an accurate assessment of their business. 

Online review management ensures customers:

·       Have access to positive and negative reviews from real customers

·       Aren’t deceived by spammers, predators or vengeful customers

·       Are able to gauge the overall sentiment surrounding your company

Online review management is a way to prune customer feedback. It’s a way to ensure that the reviews you receive are accurate and your organization is treated fairly.

Why is online review/reputation management necessary?

Research shows 9 in 10 consumers say they read online reviews about local (and regional) businesses. According to a TripAdvisor survey, 97 percent of business owners say their online reputation is important for their business. Online reviews of the validators customers use to identify trustworthy brands.

Research from Moz found businesses risk losing as many as…

·       21.9 percent of customers if you have just one negative review listed on page one of Google

·       44.1 percent of customers if you have two negative results

·       59.2 percent of customers with 3 negative results

·       69.9 percent of customers with 4 negative results

What’s the ROI of online reviews?

 Using Moz’s research, we can calculate the ROI. Here’s the formula you can use.

Y = X / (100 – X)

Y = How many more customers you could have had (as a percentage)

X = Average percent of lost customers for businesses like yours

Where are we going to get X? From the data provided by Moz! If you have one negative result X would be 21.9 percent. If it’s two 44.1 percent and so on.

Let’s also say there are four negative results listed in Google. Our formula would look like this:

Y = 69.9 / (100 – 69.9)

Which means Y = 2.32 or 232% more business!

What’s the difference between review management and reputation management?

The terms review and reputation are often used synonymously, but they’re not the same thing. Review management is proactive; it begins immediately once you’ve developed a relationship with your customers. Reputation management, on the other hand, is reactive. It begins after a crisis or negative event.

A review/reputation management campaign includes both.

Why can’t I do review/reputation management myself?

You absolutely can.

With the right tools, a clear strategy to follow and a bit of know-how, you should be able to do most of the work yourself. That doesn’t mean it’s a good idea, though.

What do I mean by that?

An agency is better at doing the work. A good agency does this regularly for a variety of clients in varying circumstances. They have lots of practice dealing with very unpleasant scenarios. They’re also removed from the situation. It’s easier for them to stay calm when the disagreeable customer insults your business. It’s much harder for you to do that.

An agency also has complementary skill sets.

They’re able to reach out to notable influencers in your industry, the kind of influencers who can sway thousands of people to your side. They’re able to create content on a variety of platforms in a variety of formats. They can create ads, blog posts, landing pages, and PR campaigns with ease – something even large companies struggle to do.

If you prefer to do the work yourself, go all in. Fully commit to the process and do the work that’s required.

How does review management work?

Review management follows a few simple steps.

1. Delight your customers

2. Audit your review site listings and local search profiles

3. Optimize your review site listings and local search profiles

4. Request a review from your customers (or share your review profile with them)

5. Happy customers write positive reviews

6. Unhappy customers write negative reviews

7. Promote customer reviews (to prospects) to attract more reviews, leads, customers and sales

How long does it take for review management to work?

The unsatisfying answer is, it depends.

It depends on your review portfolio. Do you have a strong review portfolio – lots of five-star reviews spread across several mainstream and niche review platforms? If so, you can expect to see results quickly. What if you have no reviews? Less quickly. Negative reviews? Improvements will take time.

The results you achieve will depend on your circumstances.

Are you willing to make drastic changes in your company? You’ll see results faster. Do you have the budget to advertise or promote your reviews? You’ll see results faster as well.

See what I mean, though?

It all depends on you.

How long will my positive reviews last?

Once posted, your reviews are available online indefinitely. If they’re marketed well, you’ll continue to receive value from your reviews, long after they’re posted online. 

Does this mean you can rest on your laurels?

Absolutely not.

In fact, research shows consumers think local reviews older than three months are largely irrelevant. When you think about it, this makes sense. Customers want to verify that you’re still trustworthy, that things haven’t changed.

This means you’ll need to continue to attract new reviews from your customers.

How long does it take to remove negative reviews?

While negative reviews typically aren’t removed by review platforms, they can be buried. So that’s what you should do, bury your negative reviews?

Not at all.

It’s actually a better idea to embrace your negative reviews. Here are three reasons why:

1. You can show customers that you’re willing to make amends for any mistakes you’ve made. This shows customers you can be trusted to make things right when things go wrong.

2. Customers don’t trust brands as much if their profile is filled with nothing but positive reviews

3. Customers ignore unreasonable reviews. If they’re toxic or their review is full of vitriol, customers know it and they’re more than willing to cut you some slack, especially if your responses show that you care about them.

Accumulating a large number of negative reviews is clearly bad for business. That’s not what I’m talking about here. I’m discussing reviews from customers who just weren’t a fit for your business.

Have more questions for us?

Share your review and reputation questions with us at Eugene SEO Agency – Eagle Eye Media. 

About the author

Nick Wiley is the owner of Eagle Eye Media, a Eugene SEO agency that specializes in all the online marketing tools: search engine optimization, website development, online reputation management, social media, and paid search engine.