Reputation management is essential for any business that wants to control their online and local reputation. The Internet has made reputations vulnerable to deception. Online review sites are frequently deceived by competing businesses and it can be difficult to monitor and control this activity as a business owner. In order to protect your image and brand, you need to react promptly to any negative comments and establish a positive view for your business. Online reputation management often revolves around your level of engagement with customers. If you don’t have an active presence on websites where consumers look most, your reputation could be vulnerable.
#1 – Respond to negative comments and reviews
As a business, you should always be concerned for the well being of your customers. Any time there is a negative light shed on your products or services, you must react promptly. Quickly responding to negative comments and reviews shows that you are an involved business that is willing to go above and beyond to meet the needs of customers. Never act frustrated or upset, respond to their complaints with a high level of professionalism and do everything you can to retain their business. Maintaining your integrity is important when your business is being challenged in front of the public eye.
#2 – Spread your company name far and wide
The more your company name appears in front of consumers, the more effective your branding is. Be sure to use your company name as often as possible on your website and when advertising off-site. By publishing press releases and articles that are optimized with your company name, consumers will start to find these when they search for your business. Additionally, your website should have several pages that have been optimized with your business’ brand.
#3 – Diversify your presence on the web
Diversity is the key when it comes to online marketing. It’s vital that you diversify your web presence and market your business through many different avenues. The more diversity you have with your online marketing efforts, the better rounded your brand will be. You will never be able to remove negative reviews, but you can balance them out with positive content that you can control. Blog posts, press releases, wiki pages and articles are great ways to diversify your web presence.
#4 – Use Social Media
Don’t forget, social media networks are huge branding opportunities for online and local businesses. Be sure to establish profiles on networks like Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn. Take an active role in the community and engage with your followers. Social media marketing is primarily a branding tool and if used effectively, it can balance out your reputation and be very effective.
#5 – Establish Backlinks with Anchor Text
Backlinks are one of the main ingredients to a powerful search engine optimization campaign. A backlink with anchor text is essentially a link to your website from another website, that has specific keywords used for the link. By establishing backlinks with keyword rich anchor text, such as your business name, you will increase your search engine rankings for that phrase. You can ask other websites for link exchanges, but don’t overdo it! Too many anchored backlinks and Google will start to catch on.
#6 – Regularly monitor your search engine presence
About every month, you should randomly perform search engine queries related to your business. This will help you find any pages on the Internet that reference your company, including online review sites. By regularly monitoring your search engine presence, you can find reviews and mentions of your company and you can take active involvement with those websites.
#7 – If you find something negative about your business, contact the publisher
Often times, negative reviews and comments can be sorted out quite easily. Contacting the publisher is a great way to resolve conflict. If you can find contact information like an email, website or phone number, do what you can to get in touch and change their viewpoint.
#8 – Over excel with customer service
Every customer is vital to your business and they should be treated exceptionally well. Good branding often relies on the customer service skills of employees. By over performing and excelling in the customer service department, you can limit negative comments on your business and make reputation management far easier.
#9 – Monitor your Wikipedia page
Wikipedia will often rank at the top of Google for a business’ brand. While it’s technically against the Wikipedia terms of service to edit your company’s own page, you can post in the Wikipedia community if there is any false information on your wiki. This would encourage others to take a look at the page and perhaps change the content if they agree with your comments.
#10 – Reputation management takes time
When your company’s reputation has been compromised, improvement can take time. Getting positive content to rank ahead of negative content on search engines will not happen overnight. Stay realistic with your expectations and try not to become easily discouraged.