No business wants a bad online reputation.
Most businesses have a seemingly endless amount of competition online, and when someone is doing research about your business, your online reputation will make the difference between them becoming a new client or them moving on to the next business on the list.
A bad online reputation can hurt a local business quite a bit. People simply have too many options, and they’re not likely to settle for less than the best. And, unfortunately, if you haven’t been actively managing your online reputation, it can easily get out of hand — and not in a good way.
If your business’ online reputation isn’t what you want it to be, you’ll be glad to know that all hope is not lost. There are a number of things you can do to restore your business’ good name online, and in Part 1 of this series, I went over a few of them. Be sure to check it out if you haven’t already, and keep reading to learn about more things you can do to rebuild the kind of reputation you want.
3 More Ways to Repair a Broken Online Reputation
#1. Earn positive reviews.
If you have three reviews and two of them are negative, it’s devastating to your average star rating on any review site. However, if you have 100 reviews and two of them are negative, it’s not a big deal at all. In fact, in cases like these, a couple of negative reviews can even be a positive thing for your business’ online reputation.
It’s never a bad thing to have positive reviews, but if all of your reviews are positive, it can make you seem inauthentic to some people. If your reputation appears to some people as “too good to be true,” even if it is true, it might lead them to believe that you’ve bought fake reviews. When you have a couple of negative reviews in a sea of positive reviews, though, it shows that you’re human and make mistakes, but that you learn from them and provide your clients with a five-star experience the majority of the time.
In my last blog, I talked about the importance of responding to negative reviews, and that is one great way to help minimize the damage they can cause. But, in addition to ensuring that you respond promptly, you should also make it a point to start earning positive reviews for your business.
A few ways to start earning more positive reviews:
- Focus on customer service – Not every review you get will be fair, but for the most part, your online reputation is reflective of the kind of service you offer your clients every day. Providing great customer service may not be enough to prompt people to write reviews, but it will ensure that, when they do, the reviews will be positive.
- Follow up by email – Following up with your clients after a service has been delivered is an important piece of providing great customer service anyway, but it’s also a great opportunity to remind your clients to give you feedback online. You can even provide them links directly to the listings that are most important to you.
- Ask for reviews – Only a small percentage of people will leave a review on their own, even if you wow them with the kind of service you provide; however, the vast majority of people will write one if you ask.
#2. Publish lots of content.
Just as you can push negative reviews about your business down and drown them out with positive reviews, you can do the same with any kind of bad press about your business through search engine optimization (SEO).
SEO is all about exercising more control over what ranks when someone searches Google for your business name, as well as helping your business to rank in organic search results for relevant keywords. Luckily, with the right SEO strategy, you can help to reduce the visibility of any negative articles or pages about your business and increase the visibility of your business online.
A lot of business owners are intimidated by the concept of SEO, and that’s because a lot of marketers tend to make it much more complicated than it has to be. You can easily get lost in the woods when trying to master the technical side of SEO, but the basics of SEO are simply keyword research, links, and content – the emphasis being on content.
In the world of SEO, content is king, and if your reputation isn’t what you want it to be online, publishing more content is a great place to start. There are lots of ways to go about this, including how-to blogs, tips and tricks blogs, guides, case studies, press releases, and so many more.
#3. Monitor your online reputation closely.
The longer you leave negative reviews or press about your business online unaddressed, the more damaging it can be to your online reputation. Not only that, but when people write a review for your business, they expect a response, and they expect one promptly.
Whether you’re repairing a broken online reputation, building an online reputation from the ground up, or working to maintain an already-glowing online reputation, it’s not a one-and-done thing. It’s an ongoing process that requires regular monitoring.
Monitoring your online reputation could mean logging into 10 different review sites every day to check for new reviews, but it doesn’t have to. There are a lot of different tools out there that help you monitor your online reputation, including Google Alerts and Top Rated Local®.
When you claim your Top Rated Local listings, you’ll enjoy a lot of benefits that will help you keep a close eye on your online reputation, including real-time notifications of new reviews on a variety of review sites, a Rating Score™ that’s updated regularly and reflects your online reputation as a whole, and a monthly overview of your overall online reputation.
Is your online reputation in need of repair? A great place to start is by claiming your Top Rated Local listing. Get started today!