How to Handle a Negative Google Review – Yikes!

Negative Reviews

Did You Get A Negative Google Review?

It’s Not The End Of The World

One of the best ways to generate local organic traffic and publicity for your business is to encourage your customers/clients to write a Google review. Their objective opinion carries a lot more weight than any of the marketing messages you use, and they often focus on aspects of your products/services you never would have thought to highlight.

The drawback, however, is that a negative review carries just as much weight as a positive review. And since the content of that review is completely out of your hands, it can end up being exaggerated, inaccurate, and just plain spiteful, casting a shadow over your business that it doesn’t deserve.

Luckily, there are ways you can effectively handle a negative Google review. We’ve outlined a few below.

Contact the Review Site

Most review sites, and especially Google, have strict policies limiting a user’s ability to get a review taken down. But there can be wiggle room if the review proves to be fraudulent. It never hurts to reach out, just don’t expect a lot of support.

Write a Response to a Negative Google Review

In the same way that anyone is free to write a negative Google review, you are free to write a response. You can do this privately, but if your goal is to tell your side of the story you will want the public to see your response. No matter what you write, maintain a professional tone, avoid any personal attacks, and be honest about your own mistakes.

Accentuate the PositiveNegative Reviews

You can use simple SEO techniques to create a few pages that will rank high when someone searches for “Your Business + Review.” This is a relatively simple way to drive traffic to positive impressions of your business. Just make sure that the reviews you do include don’t seem like biased endorsements.

Grow Your Response

You may not be able to hide a negative Google review, but you can dull its impact by surrounding it with positive reviews. The way to that is by encouraging everyone you work with to write a review, or at least give you a ranking. As these reviews build up it will become a lot harder to find the negative one and a lot harder to take it seriously.

Watch Out for Scams

Since negative Google reviews can be so damaging, some unscrupulous individuals have begun threatening to leave bad reviews unless a business gives them something for free. It may sound outlandish, but it happens more often than you think. Make sure you have a plan for responding to these scams.

Follow Up Fast

In the future, you may be able to head off a negative Google review by following up with the customer early. If they are somehow disappointed, giving them a chance to vent, offering a sincere apology, and possibly giving them a discount/perk can go a long way.

Thrive Online with Studio C5

If you are striving to stand out online and keep your best face forward, the performance-driven marketers at Studio C5 can help.

Request a free marketing assessment and to learn ways we can help you optimize your web presence and connect you with customers ready to write rave reviews.