4 Surprising Ways Negative Reviews are Good for Your Business


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Business owners and marketers agree that positive reviews are essential for building social proof and securing more sales. How could they not? Research shows that 70% of shoppers look at reviews before making an online purchase.

When visitors see positive reviews from other users, they are more likely to engage with your brand. The idea that real people are buying, using, and reviewing your product is enough to convince prospects who are on the fence to become customers.

In your pursuit of positive reviews for your product or brand, you’re bound to come across customers that had a bad experience. Negative reviews are unavoidable. You can look at the most successful companies on the planet, and you will still see people leaving negative feedback.

Many marketers make the mistake of automatically correlating one or two poor reviews to an inherent flaw with their product. We are here to tell you that this is not always the case. There are several surprising ways that negative feedback is good for your business, in moderation. Today, we will look at some of these benefits and explain how you can make the most of your negative reviews.

You can Build Trust with New Visitors

First, let’s talk about how seeing negative feedback from previous customers can help you build trust with new visitors. Don’t believe us? Consider this; you visit an Amazon product page and notice that they have 10,000 reviews and a perfect 5-star rating. Are you skeptical of this business, or do you think, “they must have the best product ever!”

If you’re like most of us, you’re skeptical. Online shoppers know that fake reviews are a problem and actively keep their eye out for this type of behavior.

Imagine you’re on the identical product page. Only this time, they have 10,000 reviews and an average rating of 4.5 stars. Would you be more likely to make a purchase? Odds are, yes! Unfavorable reviews show new visitors that you are an authentic company and allow consumers to speak their minds after a purchase. Evidence suggests that by allowing negative reviews to exist on your product page, you could see up to 85% more conversions.

You can also build trust with your audience on social media by not censoring negative reviews. There are slightly different tactics you should use here. For instance, it’s always best to resolve the customer’s problem through a private channel, like direct messages. If you manage to resolve their issue, you may see them amend or remove their negative feedback. Globally, 3.96 billion people use social media sites like Facebook and Twitter, so it’s clear that this strategy can help you shine a spotlight on your brand’s authenticity.

Find New Ways to Fine-Tune Your Marketing

Now, let’s discuss how negative reviews can help you fine-tune your marketing strategy. We look at reviews across all of our brands when we decide to add a new feature or change our existing software. In many cases, people who leave negative reviews will tell you exactly what was wrong with their experience.

For example, suppose you get a few negative reviews that claim the user couldn’t figure out how to use your product or service. In that case, you know that it’s time to address your onboarding program and develop your content marketing strategy. These two tweaks will help you deliver a better user experience, which means customers will have an easier time seeing value in your brand.

There are countless opportunities to improve your website, brand image, and marketing channels by reviewing feedback. We suggest keeping a document that prioritizes customer complaints, so you know which issue to address next.

Use this strategy in combination with gathering feedback from your customers through email and social media to find new and exciting ways to take your marketing to the next level.

Turn Unhappy Customers into Brand Advocates

You may be surprised to learn that most customers that have a poor experience won’t bother to leave a review. People who go out of their way to share their thoughts are generally looking for a solution and to inform potential buyers.

If your team is there to start a conversation with customers immediately after they leave their reviews, you have a chance to redeem yourself in their eyes. The best thing you can do in this situation is to show your users that you understand that they weren’t satisfied and want to do anything you can to help.

Often, this will lead to the user telling you precisely what they expect from your company or product. In many cases, you’ll have a chance to fix the problem, which could result in the user changing or removing their review. In a “best-case scenario,” the customer may be so impressed with how you handled the situation that they become a brand advocate and tell others about how you turned their negative experience into something positive.

Bad Reviews Can Boost Your SEO Efforts

Finally, it’s worth pointing out that bad reviews can actually have a positive impact on your search engine optimization efforts. Google looks at a long list of factors when determining how and where to rank various websites. On average, Google receives 3.5 billion searches every day. If you can rise through the ranks for your chosen keywords, you could see a significant boost in traffic and engagement.

If a visitor uses one or more of your target words in their review, Google’s algorithm can learn more about the intent of your site, which can lead to a boost in your search position.

Like the other tips mentioned today, you don’t control when a customer leaves a negative review. However, it’s clear that there are plenty of ways we can act once a user voices their opinion. We have a notification system set up to see when users leave feedback on prominent places, like our website and social media.

If you’re willing to track this data and make the most of negative reviews, you’ll start to see why a few negative reviews can benefit your business.

Syed Balkhi
Syed Balkhi is the founder of WPBeginner, the largest free WordPress resource site. With over 10 years of experience, he’s the leading WordPress expert in the industry. You can learn more about Syed and his portfolio of companies by following him on his social media networks.


  1. I can definitely relate to the experience of quirking a skeptical eyebrow at a company with a reputation that is too good on Amazon. I also love the idea of using negative reviews to improve product guidance and design. All feedback is good feedback!


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