Today, before someone chooses to do business with you, chances are they may take the time to ‘Google’ your name or business name. While this may seem like the smart thing to do as a consumer, it can be a nightmare for businesses.
If you happen to have an unhappy customer who wants the world to know what he or she thinks about you, your business can be dragged through the mud. Therefore, online reputation management is something that businesses of all sizes need to be aware of and actively involved in if they want to protect their image.
Here are some tips on how you can monitor and improve your online reputation so you can stay on top of things:
Google Yourself – The best way to stay on top of your reputation is know what is being said about your business online. So make it a habit to ‘Google’ your name, as well as your business name, and carefully read the results that come up. Chances are you will find a lot of good reviews and some negative ones. However, at least you will be aware of how your business looks in the eyes of potential customers. Steps 2-10 will give you some pointers on what to do when you do find those negative reviews.
Answer Negative Reviews– Often times, business owners make the mistake of ignoring bad press and negative reviews online; this generally only makes the situation worse. Places like Yelp.com allow people to comment and review your business, but they also allow the business owner to respond. Maybe someone had bad service at your restaurant and instead of coming to you about it, they turned to the internet. As the business owner, be proactive and talk to the person writing a bad review. Apologize for the service and invite them back in to do business with you. Accept the mistake and show them you are willing to fix it. This goes a long way in terms of public opinion of your business. Take control of your online reviews here
Start Blogging – One of the best ways to help push down negative reviews and get them off the first page is to blog on a frequent basis. SEO algorithms are constantly changing, but one thing the search engines have always looked for – and still do – is frequent and informative content. So the more you blog, the faster your blog posts will fill up the top of search engine results.
Distribute Press Releases– A press release will generally go to the top of search engine rankings rather quickly. However, since these are dated they will not stay at the top for an extended period of time. Therefore, creating press releases on a regular basis can be a good start in pushing down negative content while filling up the first pages of the search engines with good, positive content.
Get Social – Google places a lot of quality on social media sites and this means that the more social media sites you are on, the better for your SEO. If you have negative reviews on places such as Google+ Local, Yelp.com or other review sites, use social media to get your happy customers to leave reviews. Social media is a great way to boost your online reputation as it allows you to engage and interact with your followers; building trust and loyalty over time.