Too many businesses don’t pay enough attention to their online reputation. This is understandable, since they have to spend time running their business and have probably already invested quite strongly in their search engine optimization (SEO), meaning it is just all a little bit too much to handle. However, you should really contact an online reputation management company to help you manage your reputation, since you could destroy your business if not.
What Is Your Reputation?
You need to find out what your current reputation is. Try to put yourself in the shoes of your prospective customer, and how they would look for your business and what its reputation is. And don’t think consumers don’t look at reputation, since around 85% of people now specifically look for reviews online before deciding whether or not to shop somewhere. 85%. That is a huge amount of people that won’t shop with you if they see negative opinions out there, and this clearly demonstrates why your online reputation matters so much.
There are a couple of places to look at what people are saying about you. The Better Business Bureau is one place, although you can’t really address the issues seen there. Yelp is another and TripAdvisor if you are in a travel related industry. Don’t forget social media either.
What Can You Do about Your Reputation?
Once you know what your reputation is, you need to create a plan of action to improve it. There are a number of things you can do for this:
- Directly address any negative reviews that are out there. Explain your side of the situation and offer a solution. If your solution is accepted, don’t be afraid to ask your customer to change their review.
- Ask the reviewer to remove it. Consider taking legal action for defamation of character or libel if the negative review is completely untrue and the writer refuses to take it down.
- Engage in a strong social media campaign. Launch your Facebook page and ask customers to review your site there. Give them incentives to do so if need be. Make sure you thank everybody regardless of whether they are positive or not, and address any negative issues.
- Engage in reverse SEO. This essentially means that you release various pieces of positive content, thereby effectively sending the negative content to a deeper page, where people simply don’t look. After all, nobody looks past the first two pages of Google anymore.
- Learn from your mistakes. People know that you may be a business, but that your business is run by human beings and human beings made errors. What matters is that you admit to any mistakes, apologize for them and use them as an opportunity to improve your offerings.
These are just some of the things you can do in order to improve your online reputation. What matters is that you do something. Ignoring your online reputation is a very grave mistake.