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How's Your Online Business Reputation Being Managed?
Regardless of the size of your business, reputation management remains essential in driving customers to your front door. Gone are the days where only large companies and brands have to worry about their online reputation. In the digital age we live in today, your online reputation can be the single most important aspect of your business.
Why? Customers are always online wanting to talk about your business, whether that's in a negative or positive manner. Don’t let years of hard work creating a strong brand be tarnished by a negative online reputation. With that being said, here are some of the best ways to create and maintain an effective online reputation management strategy.
Effective Online Reputation Management Strategies
- Reverse SEO/Suppression SEO. Reverse SEO, otherwise known as Suppression SEO is the process of pushing down, or suppressing, web pages on Google search that contain negative content about your business. For example, if there's a webpage on the top of the first page of Google search that contains a negative review or comment, online reputation management agencies could implement Reverse SEO to push that webpage down from the top of the SERP, with the ultimate goal of getting it off of the first page.
- Consistently Create Positive Content. Reputation management isn’t exclusively focused on finding negative content associated with their client’s business. Constantly producing positive content across multiple online platforms is a fantastic way to grow a business’s brand and reputation.
- Engage With Your Online Audience. There are two sides to creating a strong business reputation, the business and its customers. Having said that, it is imperative that as a business, you engage with your customers early and often online. Having a great customer service reputation is one of the best ways to make customers happy, while simultaneously boosting a business’s online brand. Customer service should stretch across a multitude of social media platforms, attempting to reach any and all customers experiencing problems. If left untreated, unhappy customers will have no issue taking their problems to the keyboard and subsequently ruin a business’s reputation.
- Attack False Information. In specific cases, people may post false information related to a business online. In these instances, it is much better to discover the source of the information, perhaps by hiring outside investigators, and deal with it accordingly whether that be a lawsuit or different course of action. It is essential to cut the head of the snake immediately in these situations. If you don’t there is no guarantee that more false information won't be spread online over time.
- Respond to Every Review Without Emotion. If you ever notice, businesses with great google reviews generally respond to every review listed, good or bad. This is important for a couple of reasons. Firstly, it makes the customer feel like their voice matters, and don’t get confused it absolutely does. Secondly, it reflects well upon the business to put forth the effort. One thing to always keep in mind is to leave emotion out of responding to online reviews. The bottom line is some reviews are warranted while others are not. If a business receives what they determine to be an unfair review, the last thing to do is respond emotionally. Getting publicly upset at a customer for giving their opinion, whether it’s right or wrong, will only negatively compound the situation. Always be polite and professional when responding to customer reviews. This can help a business’s online reputation and brand tremendously.
- Let Mistakes Be Learning Lessons. Don’t be afraid of making mistakes. Everyone makes mistakes at some point. The most important aspect of making mistakes is learning what you did incorrectly and making adjustments so that those mistakes aren’t made repeatedly. The same can be said for online reputation management, if mistakes are made correct them, then analyze what was done wrong and move forward with additional knowledge to avoid the same mistake in the future.
- Collaborate With Local Businesses. Reaching out to local businesses in the same industry is an awesome way to build relationships and potentially gain referrals as a result. At the end of the day, you can never capitalize on local networking if you refuse to reach out to those around you. Who knows, you may connect with someone who is able to drastically improve your business and its brand.