No matter which industry your business is working in or how big it is, your reputation is one vital aspect of the long-term success of your organization. Because anyone can post anything online, it is very important to always keep up with managing your online reputation. So what must you do if your business suddenly goes through an increased amount of negative reviews or is stuck in the middle of a social media scandal? The most important thing you must avoid is panic. Panic is not really going to get you anywhere and instead is a big waste of time. Instead, use these tips from our Los Angeles digital marketing agency to recover your company’s online reputation.
What is reputation management?
Before we start telling you the strategies to restore your online reputation, you must first understand what reputation management is. Reputation management consists of improving your business status when you show up in search engine results, reviews, mentions, and any other online high-traffic areas. Any potential customer can see all the reviews and mentions that come up about your business in search engines, social media accounts, blogs, and everywhere else. This can lead to a viewer becoming a customer or just choosing your competitor. So, now it is clear what upholding your online reputation means.
Why your reputation matters
According to statistics, around 92% of customers check out online reviews before they make a final decision on a purchase. That means an online review can make or break your business. If your company’s online reputation is bad, you could lose up to 92 customers for each eight that you gain. Online reputation management helps control how viewers see you online so that you can reach more people and gain more revenue and business.
Strategies for repairing your company's online reputation
Now that you are aware of how important your online reputation is for your success, here are some strategies for managing and repairing it.
Start using search engine optimization (SEO)
Search engine optimization (SEO) is a method that helps your company show up higher in results when keywords and phrases that have to do with your business are searched.
But, to rank in the results for those specific keywords, you must start creating content that is beneficial to the viewers that target those keywords. If you have recently received a negative or bad review, it is even more important that you create this content. The more beneficial and informative your created content is, the more the negative information about your company will be pushed even more down in search results.
This is crucial since around 75% of searchers do not go look after the first page of search results. That means if a bad review makes it past the first page of the search results, you are good and can relax. Search engines love high quality and informative content. If your website doesn’t have a blog section, then it is already time to get one. This is where you can promote your products while also writing about topics your customers care about.
With SEO, you will be able to boost your content while also burying bad and negative reviews further into the search engine results.
Monitor your blog
This brings to our next step, which is monitoring the blog you create with SEO. Writing a blog is a great way to interact with your customers and showcase why they need your services or products to help them. After you create the content, you should also enable comments. By enabling all comments on your blog, you are opening a conversation with your customers. One comment can help you come up with a good idea for a new product or service. By reading the comments, you can also find out what content your customers enjoy or don’t enjoy reading. Of course, there is also a risk of receiving spam and negative comments. Spam comments ruin the look and feel of your blog. Try to always monitor the comments, only our blog posts, and delete those that look worthless or fake.
Request for Google to remove a page or site
Once any negative information about your business is published on the web, it can be a hassle to remove. But, if you notice that someone has posted inappropriate or defaming content about your business, you can contact Google to request them to remove the page or website from search listings. If you want more information on what content will be removed upon request, check out Google’s removal policies.
Keep in mind that once you complete this step, it still isn’t gone forever. Google is only able to remove it from the listings. You should still contact the site’s writer to take out the content from their site. Just because something doesn’t show up in the search results does not mean it no longer exists somewhere out there.
Create a Facebook business page
Currently, the world’s leading social media platform, Facebook, has over 2 billion users. Along with Google, you can be sure that potential customers will be looking at your company’s Facebook page before they decide to make a purchase. If you do not have a Facebook page for your business already, then you must create one as soon as possible. You should set up your page and fill out all the information accurately. Then start posting regular and relevant content. Always lookout for any responses that may be left by customers. When you reply to a viewer’s question and concern on Facebook, you are showing other people that you truly do care about what your customers think.
You can also motivate people to leave you reviews of your business. Facebook reviews always appear in Google searches, so these mentions are going to help you be more visible. If you receive a bad Facebook review, do not panic. Try to respond to the complaint and make an effort to resolve the issue mentioned. Keeping up a positive presence on media sites like Facebook will help you position your business in a favorable light and encourage viewers to become buyers.
Monitor your other social media platforms
Social media accounts and pages are a good way to gain detailed information that you require about businesses. Always check up on your social media accounts to monitor your online reputation. Even if you do not have enough content or time to post every day, you should still check every day to keep track of the engagement. Just like on Facebook, it is crucial that you reply to both positive and negative comments on all other social media accounts. If you wish to be notified by receiving emails, you can turn on your email notifications and always be on track.
Claim your Google My Business listing
You should also claim your listing on Google My Business. After you claim your listing, you can manage the page and reply to your mentions. If you have any negative reviews, always try to remain positive. This is going to show viewers that you care about your customers, and you are dedicated to finding the best solutions for them. Here too, you can encourage your customers to leave reviews about your company. These reviews will also show up in search results when people search for your company online.
Claim your Yelp listing
Yelp is one of the highest rated sites for online reviews. The reviews on this site can have a very large influence on a viewer’s decision to trust your business and make a purchase. Similar to Google and Facebook reviews, Yelp reviews also show up in online search results. If you haven’t started using Yelp yet, you must go on and claim your profile. People have most likely already left reviews of your business, so sign up and respond to both positive and negative reviews. This will show your visitors and clients that you are committed to providing great customer service, and it will assure them that they are choosing your business for a good reason.
Create Google Alerts for your business, products, and services
With the Google Alerts service, you will be able to scan the web for any content related to your company. Once you have set up your specific alerts, you will be receiving emails about when new results about your company are posted in Google search results. This can include any mentions of your business name, products, services, and more.
This will allow you to easily track the latest news and mentions of your business, products, and services. You can also add your competitor’s name in the keyword search so you can keep tabs on them. Google Alerts will help you stay in the know, and you can play an active role in your business reputation management. If it finds any negative attention, you will be the first to know, and then you will have enough time to respond and save the situation.
Encourage positive reviews
You can also control your reputation by motivating people to leave positive reviews about your business. Firstly, you must ask for feedback. When a customer makes their purchase, take the time to ask them to rate their experience. Alongside that, you can also make calls to action on your site to prompt customers to leave reviews about your products and services. This also applies to social media customers. Set up surveys, questionnaires, and fun polls to keep customers coming to your page. Do not do this too frequently, and keep your questions short and fun.
You must make it easy for your customers to write reviews on your website. For example, you can add star ratings on your product sections and motivate people to rate the products after they have purchased them. You can also offer discounts and perks to those who leave reviews to encourage them further.
Check up on your partners
Creating a collaboration with another business can be a great opportunity to have more exposure, promote your company, and lower your online marketing costs. But, before you announce your new partnership, make sure you have checked up on their online reputation. A negative online reputation of your partner can also damage your business in the process. Be aware of who you are partnering with and be prepared for any consequences that may arise. Stay away from business with terrible reviews or those with previous large scandals that may be associated with you.
Use other monitoring tools
If you want some more detailed monitoring options, then you can find a variety of tools to use available on the internet. Here are two of our favorites.
YouScan is really a listening service. It looks through all social media platforms and websites to find any brand mentions. This tool also analyzes all of these mentions to figure out the broader social impact. You are going to see billions of data points which you will be able to go through along with many ways to analyze all the data. The most unique feature that they have on their site is image recognition features, so you can get even more specific with visual searches. When you set up your account, you must insert a few search examples to collect the data you require. Once the system has understood what data meets your criteria, it will show you whatever it has found that is relevant. You can then filter everything down to find what you need.
BrandMentions is another tool for deep digging on the internet. It analyzes all major social media platforms and other nonsocial websites too.
Firstly you must identify all the keywords you want to track, and you can also choose to monitor all of your competitors’ keywords. Once you set up your project, you can also select inclusions and exclusions of specific keywords, then filter the results afterward.
As you can already see, online reputation management is a process that is crucial for any business. It may sound scary at first, but it is simpler than it seems. If you need any extra help with online reputation monitoring, our team at Mirdon Production will love to assist you with anything you may need!