“Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me.”
This nursery rhyme doesn’t apply in today’s highly connected world, where are a few negative words can cost your business dearly. The whole world can see everything from quality reviews and recommendations to legitimate issues, and reputational complaints are here for the world. Managing your reputation online is no longer optional. It takes a simple strategy that combines tracking what is available about you with an appropriate response. This ensures that your business is not unknowingly harmed by negative feedback.
Even if you’ve never added your information to Yelp, Google My Business, or other online business listings, that doesn’t mean your business isn’t already visible online and safe from adverse reactions. Of an unhappy customer.
How should your company manage its online reputation?
Because it is critical to your business’s success, you need to manage your reputation online proactively. It’s not something you should leave to someone else. When it comes to responding and engaging your audience, you need to take it personally. Here are 5 tips to get started:
Check your brand’s reputation regularly.
Look up your business name and see what pops up. By conducting a vanity search, you can identify where you are listed and what is being said about your business. You want to make sure that your information is correct and complete.
Make a note of any places where your business name appears. You need this information to determine which online directories are essential to claim and manage.
Request your local business listings
Did you know that 90% of consumers are looking for local businesses online? So how is your business visible in a crowded local market?
Claiming local business listings is a mandatory activity. When a listing is claimed, a message is sent that the business is open and ready to help. Unclaimed listings will keep your business out of this world. Besides, you run the risk that someone else might claim your ad.
Ensure the content on the list is accurate and optimized to include your main keywords to gain better visibility for local searches.
Stay or get more active online.
Is there anything wrong about you or your business showing up in search results? Removing content from search results is almost impossible, but you can make it less visible.
Implement a good content marketing strategy. Create more enjoyable, positive content that pushes the negative down and off the first search results pages.
Create a blog.
Remember that every blog post is a new page that can be indexed.
Implement a PR strategy.
Public relations are a great way to post positive news about yourself and your business.
Post on LinkedIn.
This content may appear in search results.
Guest posts on popular blogs.
Develop a guest posting strategy and access quality blogs that receive guest posts. Google wants new content, so the more you post, the more content you’ll have in search results. New pages of content in your name or your company will cause harmful content to lower in the products and the site.
Encourage customers to write reviews about your business.
You can’t easily remove negative reviews, but there are ways to minimize their impact. However, you need to get your best customers to need to speak for you.
There are several ways to encourage reviews without being pushy:
Add a note to the invoice asking, “How did we do it?” and refer them to your website.
Provide links directly to your Google My Business review writing feature.
Create a large “Write a Review” button on your website that will take them to a page with links to Google My Business, Bing Local, Yelp, or other online review sites. This allows you to easily direct them to a place where they can click on a link and write a review.
Respond immediately to negative comments and reviews
You can’t ignore what’s posted online about your brand. Reviews, both positive and negative, will happen whether you want them or not. Most rational people understand that you can never please everyone all the time, so some unflattering reviews are expected. But if I find only negative feedback, I will question the integrity of the company.
Take the main road and respond to negative reviews. Try to solve them as soon as possible. Like you, the business owner, the answer is visible, genuine, concerned, and humble about the situation. This will allay fears and convey the message that your business cares about its customers. (Then strive to get happy customers to post positive reviews!)
For most of us, tracking and managing our online reputation isn’t that hard. It takes some time to keep an eye on what’s out there and figure out what you need to do to respond or change perception. This exercise is part of your marketing plan. It’s essential to create the image you want your prospects and customers to see. Even if you don’t have harmful content about you, you still have work to do to create a visible, believable, and consistent image with your brand.