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How to Handle Negative Self Storage Reviews

October 4, 2018

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4 min

StoragePug is a modern marketing company for self storage. We create intelligent marketing websites that allow you to rent units & take payments through your facility’s website.

It is a storage facility owner’s worst nightmare to have their facility associated with a negative search result—whether it be a negative review, article, or blog post. We have good news and bad news about getting rid of negative information on the Internet.

The bad news is that it can be challenging and expensive to get something negative removed—especially if it is on a site that you don’t control.

The good news is that there are steps you can take to reduce the impact of negative search results without having to resort to legal counsel or hiring an online reputation management service.

Before outlining some steps, you can take to reduce the effect of negative information online, keep in mind these important points.

A few negative reviews can be a good thing

According to a study by Northwestern University and Yelp, consumers trust reviews more when they see a mix of negative and positive reviews.

Although you want your facility's positive reviews to outnumber the negative ones, consumers are wary when businesses have no negative reviews at all.

It can hurt your online presence if you try to suppress negative reviews or information that are factually correct.

Instead, use them as an opportunity to highlight areas of improvement for your business.

Negative online reviews are a part of doing business

Sadly, negativity is often the nature of the Internet.

Experts say that learning to respond effectively to negative reviews is much more important and useful than trying to banish them outright.

Realize that taking steps to get negative content removed can inflame the situation
—thereby creating more negative material in the process.

Sometimes the best decision is to let the content exist without doing anything—especially if the reviewer/writer seems disturbed or mentally imbalanced.

Learn to Effectively Respond to Negative Reviews

The best way to counteract the effect of negative reviews is to learn how to respond effectively to them. We covered how to do this in this article, but a quick refresher is below:

  • Respond quickly and politely
  • Acknowledge the customer’s issues
  • Offer a solution or remedy.
  • Take it offline as quickly as possible.
  • Flag or Report Reviews That Violate Standards

Most services will not remove online reviews unless it is a clear violation of the site’s Terms of Service, standards, or guidelines. For example, Google’s policy regarding online reviews is as follows:

“Google doesn't get involved when merchants and customers disagree about facts since there's no reliable way to discern who's right about a particular customer experience.”

Yelp and Facebook have similar policies. Unless you can prove that a review violates a site’s standards, chances are the review will stay up.

6 Types of Negative Reviews Google will Remove

  1. If a user leaves a negative review for multiple locations of a business. Google usually sees this as a sign of review manipulation.
  2. If the review was written by a current or former employee. This used to only apply to current employees, but Google has changed that. 
  3. If the review involves illegal content or racism. Google will remove those promptly.
  4. If the person leaving the review has left multiple similar reviews for related businesses.
  5. Google will remove the review if the person has created multiple accounts so that they can leave multiple reviews.
  6. Mistakes happen. Sometimes people accidentally leave a review for the wrong business. Google will respond to remove the review.

Terms of Service Links

Below are links for terms of service for Google, Yelp, and Facebook as well as links to how you can report inappropriate content.

Google

Yelp

Facebook

Use Reverse SEO

Another way to counteract negative information online is the use of Reverse Search Engine Optimization (SEO).

Unlike regular SEO (which attempts to get information in the top search results), Reverse SEO focuses on moving negative information lower down in search results—counting on the fact that 90% of people don’t read beyond the first page of search results.

Engaging in Reverse SEO can be time-consuming because it involves creating positive content that will show up at the top of search results—thereby pushing down the negative information. (Keep in mind that Reverse SEO won’t necessarily affect negative reviews.)

Here are ways to implement Reverse SEO

Activate and maintain social media accounts such as Google+, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and LinkedIn. The key is to keep these accounts active and fresh with new content.

Start a professional blog on your website. A blog will help to generate content for search engines to index and also provides material that you can link to or share on your social media accounts.

Write articles on industry blogs or news sites. By associating your business and name with reputable industry sites, you’ll increase the reputation of your company while minimizing the impact of the negative content.

To read more about my favorite StoragePug features, take a look at: