When a negative comment pops up on Yelp or RipoffReport.com, it can start to bleed your business dry. What do you do when you can’t afford to hire help? You do have options that you can take advantage of with a limited budget, and you can start doing something about it as soon as possible. You can call in the online repair cavalry to eliminate the problem.
The Cost of Repairing a Damaged Online Reputation
To be honest, fixing a damaged online reputation can cost a small fortune, but unfortunately, it’s the only option next to going out of business. In general, reputation repair can cost anywhere from $5,000 to $10,000 or $15,000. It depends on the extent of the damage because you do not have a magic delete button where you can remove negative reviews. It requires thought and can take a lot of time. Do the math: If it takes 100 hours, and you are paying $15,000, that is around $150 per hour.
Go on Lockdown
What can you do to stop from having a poor online reputation even if you don’t have $15,000 to throw around? First, go into lockdown mode. This is where you look at all the online platforms like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and blogs, and you lock them down so that comments will not show up. You want to stop the comments from showing because Google will see these as something of interest, and it could rank that damage link much higher in the search results. Also, you will want to remove any negative references and edit profiles. You may have to deactivate your use of a site entirely, but this is only as a last resort.
Eliminate the Negative
One of the best approaches to maintaining a positive reputation is deleting negative links and comments before they get out of control. It’d be great if this worked all the time, but in reality, it only works 10 percent of the time because comments on RipoffReport.com and Yelp cannot be removed. Understanding that, you can hire a firm that can do their best to remove these comments and images.
Avoid Commenting and Do Nothing
In general, you should never write a comment on an existing comment. This will only make you look guiltier when you attempt a rebuttal or to explain the situation. In reality, it normally will make things worse because Google will see the post received a response, and the search engines will give it a higher ranking. You want to keep these things from being seen, not give them a higher ranking.
DIY Not Possible
If you attempt to do DIY on your own, it will probably crash and burn. Normally, it takes around 100 hours to repair damage to an online reputation, and that time could easily go much longer than that because you have no experience with bringing the negative comments and blogs to a halt.
Be Selective When Building Your Infrastructure
Creating your online infrastructure should be done in a controlled fashion so that you can avoid being too visible and fanning the flames if there are negative comments going around about your business. Avoid creating an active social media profile until after you have hired help that can eliminate the problem. You want to keep things from getting worse. Google prefers to look at established sites over new sites. Until after you have hired help, you do not want to use social media too much because it can do more harm than good. Again, you want to avoid drawing too much attention to the problem.
When you follow these simple steps, you can reduce the problem without forking over a lot of cash. $10,000 may sound out of the question, but depending on the extent of the damage, BrightPast might be able to start repairing your reputation. The goal is to keep the problem from snowballing to a point where it will need full-blown repairs.