Your Business’s Online Reputation
When we talk about reputation management, we are referring to the things you can do to control or influence the way your business is represented online.
Let’s break it down. Those who see you online could come from at least three different angles:
- they searched for you by name
- they searched for businesses in your niche
- they searched for review sites for businesses in your niche
They Searched for You By Name
Sometimes your potential client or customer is searching for your business by name. What will they see? You should proactively strive to control the first page of search results for your business name, so that searchers will see what you want them to see…leave no room for negative publicity to rise up the search engine results.
They Searched for Businesses in Your Niche
Alternatively, a web searcher might be searching for businesses in your niche. You want them to see your Google Places listing on the first page, as well as your business website (search engine optimization is a must.) Depending on your niche and the search terms being used, a number of review sites may show up here. In addition to your Google reviews which show in your Google Places listing, a searcher may see Yelp, or a number of other review sites, again depending on your niche.
They Searched Review Sites for Businesses in Your Niche
This is where you have, in some ways, the least control…but you have a lot more power here than you think. There are a lot of steps you can take to influence your customers to leave positive reviews. At its best, this is an ongoing, proactive process. You want those few negative reviewers to be spitting in the wind of all the positive reviews coming from happy customers. Attack this thing correctly and negative reviews will never have any traction…our hypothetical “potential customer” searching for you online will see that you are a legitimate business with a good product and excellent customer service, and they won’t hesitate to bring you their business.
In addition to generating a flood of positive reviews, there are two other pieces to this puzzle. One is to claim and optimize your listings on those review sites. The other is to monitor all reviews and respond appropriately to negative reviews as they may appear.
How Does Your Business Look Online?
So…to recap…what will those potential customers learn about you, when they search for you online?
- how many stars do you have, compared to your competitors?
- what are the reviewers saying about you?
- have you claimed your pages and optimized your profiles on the review sites?
What To Do About Bad Reviews
So, what can you do about bad reviews?
This is a difficult issue that faces many businesses. Whether they were written by a competitor, a disgruntled ex-employee, or a legitimate customer who, for whatever reason, had a bad experience with you, those bad reviews sting and no one has a magic wand to make them just go away.
There are several strategies that we can employ on your behalf to address this problem.
One strategy is to drown out those negative reviews with positive reviews. You are not just at the mercy of the public in this area. We have some techniques for getting legitimate, positive reviews from your customers.
Another, mentioned above, is to respond to those reviews, with humility and grace, in a way that shows your dedication to customer service and satisfaction. The audience for this is of course not just the reviewer, but everyone else who reads the review.
Bad Reviews on Yelp
Yelp is a special case because they have become really stringent about what reviews they will show. They have a rather aggressive “review filter,” widely disparaged and mistrusted, that suppresses many reviews (including the legitimate ones!)
You can learn more about the inner workings and thought processes of Yelp by reading the official Yelp blog.
Call Us for Reputation Management
We have other strategies as well. Call us now at (800) 680-2487 to discuss your situation and learn more about what we can do to help.