If you think online marketing and SEO are only about making your business grow, think again.
While it’s true that SEO can greatly help extend your business’s online reach by increasing your search engine ranking and making it easy for potential customers to find and connect with your business, it is not just about that. Online marketing is also about dealing with the negative image of your business and getting it right so that your target audience can see you for all the good things.
Wondering what we mean by the negative business image?
While you will do everything in your power to make your business grow, create an outstanding product, hire a great digital marketing company, and spend hours analyzing user behaviour and taking appropriate actions, there is one part that you might miss, that is preparing for negative feedback. As for where the negative business image comes from, there can be many sources, such as your unhappy customers writing bad reviews or your direct competitors spreading rumours to degrade your business.
No matter where the negative reviews are coming from, you MUST deal with them without wasting time if you really care about growing your business. Why? Because your potential customers see negative reviews and might be discouraged to buy from you and might even move to your competition if they see something they do not like. In fact, they might be willing to pay extra just to shop from a business having a good reputation in the market, which means, in the end, it may not even be about who has the best price for a product.
This is where reputation management comes in. Online reputation management is all about maintaining a positive reputation for your business among its target audience. That includes dealing with negative reviews and feedback in a timely and efficient manner (and that does not mean deleting reviews, but providing appropriate solutions as required). And this is how a good online reputation management agency can help your business, ensuring all-around growth while bringing and retaining more customers to your website.
The buying process is a very crucial phenomenon to understanding user behaviour during the journey to buying a product or service. Many marketers take this into account when creating their marketing strategies in order to target a customer at different stages of their buying journey and solve their problems in real time.
So, the shopping process involves multiple stages through which a consumer goes when buying a product or service. The common stages in a buying process include identifying the need, searching for the product/service, evaluating the options, selecting the right source, and purchasing. The behaviour of a consumer can be different at different stages of the shopping process, which might even affect their decision to buy.
When creating a marketing strategy, the goal is to focus primarily on the first three stages. First, you want to try to recognise the problem. Based on that, you want to cover the information part with the use of the right content. And, lastly, you want the customer to consider only your option as the best option through the use of the right marketing strategies, of which reputation management is a very crucial part.
Through marketing, we aim to make the customer curious about your product or service. However, that’s not enough. Even if a customer knows about your product and is genuinely interested in it, they might go to the internet and search for alternatives and may even choose a cheaper or another option that seems more viable to them. In other words, your marketing campaign ends up benefiting your competitors. How does this happen? Well, this happens because you were not focusing on all stages of the shopping process. While you prepared hard to understand customers’ problems and build the right product and get it out there through a marketing campaign, you might have missed a negative review out there about your business. But, your customer found it and changed their decision at the very last minute and moved on to the next business.
This is why reputation management is a big deal. A single negative review can destroy your months of work and send people away from your business.
We have inspired and motivated business owners, entrepreneurs, and professionals around the world for the past few years, and we’ve designed apps that both boost brand awareness and drives productivity off the charts. However, we realized that we couldn’t help everyone. and the truth is not everyone is our match made in heaven. Therefore, we only accept new clients after an extensive screening process that helps us determine whether we will be a good fit for each other.
For the past many years, we have been working alongside business owners, creators, and professionals around the globe to help grow their business value and reputation through meticulously curated marketing campaigns. We’ve built websites, apps and SEO campaigns to boost brand awareness and drive traffic that converts. However, we may not always be what you are looking for. To figure out whether we are the best fit for your particular marketing needs and goals, we have a detailed screening process to analyse a business and understand whether its goals assign to ours.
Irrespective of whether or not your brand has any digital presence, there will always be people talking about you, your business, products and services online. They’ll be openly discussing your latest product on forums, commenting about your brand on social media, and leaving reviews about your products, services and customer support wherever they can. And there is not much you can do about it, besides hoping that these conversations and reviews are positive.
Online Reputation is a big deal, if it’s not everything, for today’s businesses. And what your customers are saying about you and your business on social media and through reviews is something that can seriously affect your online reputation, especially if it’s something negative.
In an ideal world, you would want your customers to only say good things about your business. But, unfortunately, we do not live in an ideal world, and people will say whatever they want to say based on how they feel after using your product or service.
As a human, it is natural for you to make mistakes. And your mistakes and imperfections can get online in no time. Depending on how famous your business is, even a minor mistake can turn into a PR nightmare and will eventually start impacting your business reputation. But, what you should really be worried about is a bad reputation influencing your customers and investors.
According to a 2016 survey, over 90% of customers check online reviews before buying from a new business or brand. Now, imagine if your reviews on Google and social media are really bad or there is a bad piece of news about your business on the first page of Google results, do you really think people, especially new customers, will still buy from you? I think not.
It only takes one mistake or one bad review by a disappointed customer to damage your business reputation beyond repair. On the other hand, a good reputation accompanied by positive reviews about your brand on Google, social media and listing sites can immensely help your business and revenue. This is why online reputation matters and this is why you should care what people think or talk about you.
Online reputation management or ORM refers to managing, adjusting and updating online information about your business, products and/or services as a way to influence public opinion of your business. In simple words, it refers to managing your business’s online reputation by creating a positive business image and dealing with negative things.
There are many aspects of online reputation management, with search engines being a very important part of it. What Google and other websites, including social media, say about your business can have a great impact on how people perceive you.
Now, Google is generally the first place a customer goes to when searching for information about a product or service that they are interested in. So, it’s crucial to manage what Google has to say about your business. Now, it isn’t always in your control what your customers see when they search for your product or business name on Google, but still, there is a lot you can manage when it comes to your business image on Google. Reviews are one such thing. Now, Google has a way of showing both negative and positive reviews of a business. This is their idea of giving a user the complete picture to enable better decision-making. So, even if your business has hundreds of positive reviews on Google, even a single negative review can play its part in discouraging prospects to buy from you.
What Google is showing about your business is critical. You must know and be willing to do something about it. If there are bad reviews, you must know why and what can be done about it. Even if there is no information about your business or product on Google, it can be an equally bad thing. Why? Because this means potential customers have no way of knowing about your business or work.
Gone are the days when people had limited options to let out their frustration about a business. Nowadays, there are hundreds of ways for people to talk about a business or service or product they recently used, whether it’s a good thing or a bad one. There is Google where people can share reviews, then there is social media where people can directly target specific brands, and there are forums where consumers can explicitly talk about their experiences with a brand. Basically, now, your customers and competitors have numerous ways to destroy your business name if they want to.
And if you think nobody cares if one or two of your customers/competitors are telling bad things about your business, you’re wrong.
Today, every person online has access to millions of people through social media. Just one bad review about your business on social media or on a popular review site can reach millions of potential customers in no time. What do you think a potential customer will do or think when they come across such a review when planning to buy from you? It might change their view or might at least make them review their decision.
And if you think people do not believe everything they read online, you’re wrong again. Even if they do not 100% believe a negative review about you, they will certainly think again before buying from you or at the very least it can affect how they perceive your business.
You can wake up one morning to find you have a horrible online reputation through no fault of your own. A drunk driver or sex offender with your exact same name can suddenly appear in the news. Or a political posting on Facebook you thought was private is suddenly spreading online … and alienating half your customers.
Your business could have hundreds of positive reviews online, but it only takes one or two negative comments to sabotage years of hard work.
Here are just a few of the horror stories we’ve seen …
A landscape architect, active and popular in his local community, receives a 1-star review and lengthy complaint from an unhappy customer on Yelp. She wants a refund. He politely refuses. She adds more detail to her negative review. It starts to appear on page one of Google. The landscape architect finally offers a refund in a desperate bid to repair his reputation. Guess what? The customer no longer returns his calls. The horrible review of his business stays online, where it remains to this day. He estimates the damage to his business at more than $150,000 in lost sales. And if he could go back in time, he’d willingly write a check for that amount to keep it from happening.
A carpet cleaner is doing well in his east coast city. Until a review from an unhappy customer appears on Google Plus, complaining about “bait and switch” pricing and rude treatment by employees. The business owner offers to reclean the room, then the whole house, then a refund … but the customer refuses to remove the negative reviews. Instead, he adds even more. Damage to his business is estimated at more than $30,000 – and growing.
A local deli has a fine reputation, until a random disgruntled reviewer (who’s never eaten there before!) goes online and starts posting negative comments on Yelp and other sites. Those false reviews are now appearing on page one of search results. The damage could easily top $50,000.
And those horror stories don’t even take into account the people with a grudge against you personally. An ex-spouse, terminated employee, or angry neighbor can go after you for any reason – or no reason.
Bottom line: Anyone determined to damage your business online can tear down years of your hard work in a matter of days.
But there is hope. You can recover.
And we’ve found it effective to play both “defense” and “offense” to win this game. That’s because effective online reputation management has two sides: repair and protection.
First, here’s an example of Reputation “Repair”
This story from our client files shows that it is possible to recover from horrible damage to your reputation online.
A real estate professional had a hugely successful business. He ranked in the top 10 in America for home sales.
But due to a power struggle in his agency, negative stories came out in the press. The state licensing board got involved. They issued a restraining order that prevented him from selling any real estate for 60 days. No wrong doing was found, so they reinstated his license.
But by then it was too late.
Numerous real estate sales bloggers had picked up the story and run with it. About 65% of all search results for his name on the first 3 pages in Google were negative. His sales plunged.
So he came to us for help.
We created and promoted positive content about him online. We did NOT “push down” negative reviews of him in search — that would be unethical and could lead to a Google penalty. Instead, we simply spread the word online about good things he had done.
Within 9 months, every negative review but one had disappeared from the first three pages of search results. His reputation was restored, he has now built a very successful business again.
How does it work?
Normally, you wouldn’t care about one or two negative reviews, especially if you have hundreds of positive reviews on Google, social media and other places across the internet. But, you should care to know how or whether these reviews are affecting your business reputation. And most importantly, you want to immediately deal with reviews that are fake or outright lies spread by your competitors in a bid to spoil your business reputation.
As we mentioned before, even a single negative review can cause serious damage to your business, depending on where it has been posted and what impact it is creating. An online marketing company can help you identify and deal with negative reviews about your business. The best way to go about it is to try and discredit all fake reviews from all over the internet. As for genuine negative reviews from real customers, we deal with them by individually analysing every feedback, reviewing the best possible solution and providing all the support we can to particular customers.
See If Your Business Qualifies To Work With OTT.
See If Your Business Qualifies To Work With OTT.
Join clients who enjoy 96% satisfaction
After hiring a few SEO firms over the years, with little to no results, I decided to give one more crack at it. I learned about Over The Top SEO while researching the best link building companies on google, and found myself stumbling across their website. I was introduced to the founder, Guy Sheetrit, by one of his employees, and could immediately tell my experience would be different. Guy seems to have a knowledge of SEO that far surpasses that of 99% of the SEO firms I’ve dealt with in the past, and the results speak for itself. I plan on using his services in the months to come.
Over The Top SEO chose a great name, because their results really are over the top. I worked out an estimated ROI I’d get from working with them, and the results have FAR exceeded what I thought I’d be getting. First page results all over the place, ranking for wayyyyy more phrases than I was even expecting, and the traffic has turned into a game changing amount of new business for me and my company. Thank you guys sincerely!
I was the one to locate Over the top SEO for my University and I am happy I did it. These guys are no joke, they know what they are doing from A to Z. no games, no time wasting. purely professional.
We started working with Over The Top SEO after looking for serious SEO experts, we found them in the top positions for most of the competitive words we looked up and after much consideration we decided to go with them, We can’t disclose too much but I can say that it is a beautiful relationship and we are most grateful for the technical knowledge these guys have. Overall just 10/10.
We are a fairly big company in the auto parts industry and Over The Top SEO helped us grow A LOT in the past 2 years. we would gladly recommend them anytime, anywhere.
This company is probably the best we have encountered as of yet, we have been suffering from poor “SEO” experts by 5 companies that are known out there and yet all fail to deliver and over promise the sky. With over the top we literally had 100% interaction in our campaign, we were an active part of the process and still are always in the loop. We finally saw results after several short months with a continuing growth in sales. We are so happy to have met Guy and his team of professionals, and we are not going anywhere.
We were very surprised by the way Guy, Greg, Paul and the team at Over the top SEO works, its the first time someone opens our eyes to what is happening with our campaigns and involves us deeply into the process, which now I understand the importance of why they do it they way they do, we are with OTT for more than 9 months now and we are very happy with them, they are the only company that provided us with raw results constantly.
It sounds that I am very buyest, but hee, what these guys do works. On a daily basis you see your positions improve, traffic get better and your store grow. We are happy bumping into Over The Top SEO, even though we are a dutch company they managed to get Gereedschappelijk the ranking we were looking for. And still improving…!
Really Enjoyed my experience and will continue working with Over The Top SEO in the future. Much love.
Over The Top SEO chose a great name, because their results really are over the top. I worked out an estimated ROI I’d get from working with them, and the results have FAR exceeded what I thought I’d be getting. First page results all over the place, ranking for wayyyyy more phrases than I was even expecting, and the traffic has turned into a game changing amount of new business for me and my company. Thank you guys sincerely!
Basically, every business that has any kind of online presence, a website, a social media account or even just a Google Business page might need reputation management.
Online reputation is all about your business reputation in the digital space. And if the reputation or credibility of your online business is being threatened by negative feedback, whether genuine or fake, you need reputation management. Why?
Almost all of your customers research online before buying a new product or service, and if they happen to come across a bad review about your business, they will never buy from you, and the saddest thing is that you will never know why you are losing business. That means the online reputation of your business is everything you should care about when looking to grow your business in the digital space.
It can be difficult to imagine or understand if this hasn’t happened to you. But, the cases of negative reviews destroying good people and businesses are very real and happening all around us. Here are a couple of hypothetical examples to give you an idea …
Scenario 1: You had to terminate a worker because of a serious case of workplace misconduct or some other behavioural issue. Now that worker goes online and posts a review about your business on Google, Yelp and other platforms. It doesn’t matter whether the review is fake or not or if he’s lying. All that matters is anyone who reads the review will start having doubts about your business and services and may avoid engaging with you in the future, which is a direct loss to your business and profits.
Scenario 2: You delivered services to a customer, who, however, was not very happy with the service provided and published a review on Google saying bad things about how your prices are very high and employees are very rude, and so on. You offer to redo the service and even offer a full refund, but the customer is too stubborn to compromise. He eventually posts a couple of more negative reviews about your business, further adding to the damage.
While there is not much you can do about a genuine review posted by an unhappy customer, other than offering to rectify the mistake and politely asking them to drop the review. However, it is possible to recover from the damage done by fake reviews posted by the people who hold a grudge against you. This may be a jealous competitor, a terminated employee, or an ex-spouse. You can identify and deal with these reviews with the help of a professional Reputation Management company.
A great reputation online can boost the growth of your business, attracting more customers and retaining your existing customers, which means higher revenue and profits for you.
Other notable advantages of reputation management are as follows:
At the same time, you can retain more of your existing customers by showing them that you care about their feedback and are willing to take appropriate actions to resolve their concerns.
A professional Reputation Management company can help repair and protect your online business reputation through the use of proven reputation-building strategies.
We will first assess the damage and will then craft a customised plan to carefully repair your business reputation without causing any further damage. A major part of the plan will involve creating and promoting high-quality, positive content about the business in order to strategically discredit bad reviews from Google and other places.
We will avoid trying to delete or push down negative reviews from Google, as it may be treated as an unethical practice by Google and could lead to a penalty. Instead, we will simply focus on increasing your business reputation through organic SEO and online promotion using positive content, telling people about your products, what makes them good and why people should buy from you. The process may take some time (expect to see the difference in a couple of months), but the results you get will be steady and long-term.
Besides trying to repair your business image, we also focus on something we call “Reputation Protection,” which involves monitoring the internet and certain websites, Google and social media for your business, name and/or specific brand keywords to find any negative mentions about you. The tracking happens in real-time so that we can immediately identify and deal with any negative mentions of your business anywhere online. Upon finding a negative review, we take quick action to fix the problem fast.
To deal with a negative review, we create new content about your business, publish it on a top website and extensively promote it using 100% ethical and Google-recommended SEO practices to get the content to the top of search results in order to strategically discredit the bad review.
Your Reputation Score is the online rating of your business in terms of your market reputation and image. The score is a measure of how your business is perceived by your customers and everyone online. It is calculated using 9 factors such as your star ratings, review volume, review length, search impressions, etc. It is measured on a scale of 0 to 1,000.
Reviews and feedback have nowadays become a crucial part of the buying journey and can greatly influence the buyer’s decision to buy or not from a particular brand. Your reputation score is the simplest and arguably the best indicator of your overall business health, quality and value, which is why it has a direct impact on how potential customers perceive your business when looking to purchase a product or service that you offer.
Moreover, the profits and growth of your business also happen to be directly related to your business reputation, so the better image you have in the market, the more profits you’re likely to make.
In this guide, we will in detail study the various strategies a business can and should use to effectively manage its online reputation. Note that not every strategy will work for every business, and you might have to try multiple tactics to be able to find out the most effective way to manage your company’s reputation online. As you’ll notice, most of these strategies are focused on online reviews, ratings and customer feedback, which happen to be a major driving force in the buying decisions of today’s consumers.
Reputation Management is a sensitive subject, mainly because it involves dealing with user-generated content such as reviews. You cannot (or should not) simply delete a user review that you didn’t like, as it may leave a really bad impression on Google and it may even penalize you. Instead, we follow Google-recommended guidelines and methods to deal with negative feedback and strategically improve your online reputation.
Before you can start dealing with the damage, you should have a clear idea of how significant the damage is. For this, you need a way to effectively monitor your business reputation across the internet.
Wondering where and how to monitor your online reputation?
Think of every possible place where your customers might be talking about you and/or writing feedback and reviews about your products, services and business in general. The most frequent options that come to mind are – social media, Google, online forums (Reddit, Quora, etc.), blogs (comments), YouTube, News sites, and review sites.
For the most effective and timely management of reviews, one should have an effective media monitoring strategy in place. Basically, you want to monitor all conversations and feedback around your brand across all leading social media, forums and news platforms. Do not wait for a crisis to happen before you start monitoring your online reputation. Do it NOW!
Review monitoring refers to keeping an eye out for any new reviews and feedback about your business so that you can respond to them without wasting too much time.
One way to track reviews and mentions of your brand is to set up Google Alerts for your brand name and related keywords. Then, you can choose to receive an email update every time someone mentions you or only specific emails by location and other filters.
However, it may be challenging to track all your reviews and mentions at all times, especially if you are a big brand having multiple offices.
Make sure to have dedicated team members handling and tracking your online business reviews. If you are using response templates, make sure that they have been personally reviewed and approved by you and are being used in an appropriate manner and not too extensively.
Whenever there is a new review about your brand, take the time to read and analyze it carefully and provide the best possible response in a timely manner. Always take a positive approach when responding to a review, even if it’s an inaccurate review shared by a fake customer. You can do it yourself or outsource an experienced review management professional for better results.
Reviews are everywhere. As mentioned before, we use advanced methods & tools to track customer reviews in real-time based on specific keywords, brand names, etc.
Some of the common places to find your business reviews are Google, social media (Twitter, Facebook, etc.), Yelp and other business listing sites, Quora, online forums, and directories.
What should you do once you find a negative review about your business?
The last thing you should do is try to forcibly delete or remove the review. Even if it’s possible to delete the review, you shouldn’t do it, as you may create a negative business image or further harm your reputation.
What you should do, instead, is respond to the review in the best, friendliest manner possible.
Let me tell you a secret: A bad review doesn’t necessarily mean that the person (who wrote it) actually hates your business. They just might be disappointed in your service or have had a bad experience with your product or want their feedback to be heard.
So, the best way to deal with a negative review is to respond to it and answer it positively. For example, if a customer is saying bad things about your product, you just ask them to share more details about their experience or the particular order to enquire what exactly went wrong and how you can rectify it. Tell them that you appreciate their feedback and will use it to improve your product/service to ensure a better customer experience in the future.
Make sure to always respond to each and every review about your business. If it’s positive feedback, say thanks. If it’s a negative one, respond in the best way possible, showing your customers that you care.
It is also important to respond to reviews in a timely manner, i.e. do not wait too long to respond to a review, especially if the customer is asking a question that requires an immediate response. According to a survey, faster response to reviews can yield better results for the brand and may increase the chances of a customer returning to the business.
When responding to reviews on social media, try to take the conversation in private messaging or offline (on call or email) to prevent further public escalation of the issue. Politely ask the customer to share their order id and details via email or private message.
Search Engine Optimization is the practice of performing a series of tasks to boost search engine rankings of your website for your target keywords. Besides boosting your search engine visibility, SEO can also help optimize your online image and improve your reputation.
So, the basic function of SEO is to boost the search engine rankings of a web page or site. In the case of reputation management, it can prove to be helpful by allowing businesses to get their high-quality, positive content to rank on top of the first page of Google to slowly but surely discredit any negative content. Here’s how you can use content SEO to restore your business reputation online.
For every negative review out there about your business, you should be getting at least 10 positive reviews, if you even care about levelling the playing field.
Managing your online reputation is not just about dealing with bad reviews, you must also be able to constantly generate positive content and reviews. This shows potential customers that a major portion of your customer base is happy with your services, even if some are not. It also shows that people are actually buying from you, using and liking your services and that you are regularly engaging with them through replies and comments.
Generating reviews does not mean that you should be writing and publishing reviews by yourself. That’s not how it works.
Reviews are user-generated content, and that’s how they should always be. What you should do is encourage your customers to write reviews and share their feedback after they’ve tried one of your products and/or services. This is a great way to generate all-natural positive feedback for your business.
There are many ways to ask for reviews from a customer. You can ask directly when selling a product or service to a customer or send them a link via SMS/Whatsapp/email to share their feedback on a recent purchase or send a review request card with every order asking them to rate you on Google or Play Store and so on. You can try any or all of these methods and more to find out whatever works best for you.
Alternatively, you can use reputation management software that also provides the service to send automatic review requests for every order. To make it easier for your customers to share feedback, you can provide them with the option to share it on social media, Twitter and many other places, whichever they find convenient. It also allows them to share reviews as and when it’s convenient for them rather than having to do it immediately after buying a product/service.
You should know that asking for reviews is a skill and how many of your requests actually convert will depend on how well you persuade your customers to share their feedback. Or you can hire an experienced Reputation Management agency to help you get more reviews for your business.
Also, for every negative review or post that appears on Google about your business, we will write and publish fresh, high-quality content and promote it to get it on top of the SERP to strategically discredit the bad review.
Other than reviews, you can use different types of content, including articles, blog posts, press releases, forum discussions, and social media content to gradually improve your business reputation. Create and publish positive content about your business, customer feedback, testimonials, how-to guides, product benefits, features, comparisons (with similar products in the market), and so on. Use SEO to get your content to rank high in search engine results to beat any negative feedback.
Managing online reviews is just one part of business reputation management. There are other things you can do to uplift your overall brand image online. Claiming your local listings and keeping them up to date is a good place to start.
Online listing refers to listing the information of your business on a listing platform or business directory to make it easier for potential and existing customers to find you and connect with your company. Many online listing sites now also offer the option for customers to share feedback and views about businesses, products and/or services they’re using. This gives your company another platform to gather reviews about your business and see what people are saying about you.
Google Business Profile is one of the most popular platforms to list your business. This is how you can make your company page appear on Google whenever someone searches for your brand name or specific products/services you sell.
Make sure to keep your business listing as detailed as possible, including information about what you do, products and services, contact details, website, phone number, email id, and more. Allow customers to write reviews if there is an option.
Link building is an SEO strategy that involves creating high-quality, relevant backlinks from authority websites to your website in the same niche. Links act like votes when it comes to telling Google how relevant and quality a website is for its target keywords. It is widely believed that link building can help increase your organic rankings in search engine results.
When looking for reputation management, you can use link building to increase your appearance on Google, i.e. quality link building can get your website pages to rank higher in the SERP for relevant keywords. For one, it will help establish you as an authority in your particular niche, as your link will show on the top page of Google whenever someone searches for your products or services. As more and more of your website pages appear on the first page of Google, any bad articles will automatically get lost behind or drop in rankings. SEO can help you do that.
When building links, however, you should be careful to focus on quality and relevancy as bad links (irrelevant, low-quality) can do more damage than good and could even result in a Google penalty, which would have much more drastic impacts on your business than a bad reputation can have.
Your website is the only representation of your business. Make sure that it’s great and impressive. Routinely audit your website to identify and remove bugs.
Your website is generally the first link that will appear in search results whenever someone searches for your specific brand or product/service on Google. They will click on the link to visit your website to find out more about your services. It is your responsibility as a business to make sure that your website looks professional in every aspect and is easy to navigate through. The content should be top-notch, relevant and useful. Avoid cluttering your website with too much unnecessary detail. Always include your contact information. Add social links and Call to Action on every page.
It’s also important that the message is consistent throughout the website, i.e. readers should be able to get a clear idea of what you do by reading your website content.
Make sure that your website is well-optimized for SEO, including fresh and up-to-date content, proper interlinking, good quality backlinks, simple but professional layout, easy navigation, fast speed, quality images, and optimized metadata. Here are a few other things to keep in mind when auditing your website to ensure a great impression on visitors:
By maintaining a great business website, you will help build a high level of trust in your customers, which is crucial for managing and growing your online reputation. An optimized website can also enable you to appear more often in search results, thereby leaving limited opportunities for bad feedback to affect your reputation.
Another way to discredit inaccurate reviews shared by fake customers, jealous competitors or a terminated employee is to use the option to report or flag the inappropriate review.
Most review sites and platforms, including Google, Yelp, Facebook and others offer a reporting option to allow businesses to report reviews that seem to have been shared by fake people or are factually inaccurate. Make sure to use this option as and when possible to report such inaccurate reviews about your business.
Avoid directly deleting the review even if you have the option. Instead, you can flag it to let Google know that it was shared by a fake person or your competitor trying to discredit your business reputation.
However, if it’s just a negative review shared by an actual customer who has purchased services/products from you, we strongly recommend trying to resolve the customer issue yourself and responding to the feedback in a timely manner.
When responding to a negative review, make sure to include all the details and also mention the efforts you are making or improvements you have made to resolve the customer’s concern.
Once you manage to solve the customer’s concern, politely ask them to drop their negative feedback or update it to let others know that their concern has been resolved.
Make sure to use social networking platforms for expanding the reach and popularity of your business. Millions of people are active on social media sites like Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, and more and they may be talking about your business.
By setting up your social listening, you can engage with your existing and potential customers, listen to their views and feedback and provide timely solutions to them.
To get started, create your official business accounts/profiles on all top social channels and encourage your customers to join, follow and share reviews. Make sure to respond to each review, engage with your customers, solve their queries and show them that you care.
Use a social listening tool like Hootsuite or Talkwalker to set up alerts so that you know every time someone mentions your brand or name on social media. Then, you can take immediate action to provide a proper response, if needed.
If you are feeling overwhelmed already, consider outsourcing the management of your online business, reviews and reputation to a professional online marketing agency.
Rather than waiting for a bad review to disappear by itself, take immediate action to minimize the damage.
Start by getting better control over the information about your business available across various online resources. From Google Business to review sites, social media, blogs, business directories and forums, know about every online platform where your business has a profile or listing or sparking a discussion. If there is a negative review being published somewhere about your business, you should be one of the first to know about it.
Your potential customers will most likely scout the internet searching for reviews from your existing customers when looking to buy a product or service from you. It is your job to make sure that whatever they read is only positive things about you and your brand. This doesn’t necessarily mean that you should find out and delete all negative comments/reviews about your business. But, you can still make sure that most of the information available online about your company is positive, including good reviews from your happy customers.
While you address negative reviews, get your existing loyal customers to post positive reviews about you at all places that your prospective customers frequently visit.
Routinely review and update all online information about your company, on your social media profiles, directory listings, website, blog and other places. Keep your contact information up to date and easily accessible. Give your customers multiple ways to reach you, via email, phone, social media, website, and more. Allow comments on your business content and blogs to encourage engagement.
Post updates regularly on your social channels and the company blog to keep your readers and followers engaged. Be proactive about responding to customers’ questions and handling complaints. Do not take too long to respond or resolve a concern. Reply to all reviews on all channels. Be respectful and polite when replying to negative reviews. Thank your customers for the positive feedback.
Besides offering sufficient channels for your customers to connect with the business, it is also crucial to maintain healthy communication between your company and its customers. A lack of communication can easily result in a misunderstanding, which can in no time turn into irreparable damage.
You need to be in control of market sentiment about your brand by encouraging positive communication between your business and your customers. In other words, if there is something your customers should know, you should be the first to tell them about it. Use your social channels and blog creatively to share the latest updates and news with your followers. Even if it’s bad news, your customers will be assured that you are in control and doing everything in your power to resolve the issue.
However, if your customers end up hearing something bad about your business from a third party, they might lose trust in your ability to maintain transparent communication or might even consider you dishonest.
Try and invite feedback from your customers for every major change the company is going through. Building a new product or website? Ask customers for their opinions. Conduct surveys, thank customers for their feedback, and let them know that you value their opinions and that you will be taking appropriate actions based on the feedback received.
One of the major sources of negative feedback for businesses is a discredited or unhappy employee. People do not care who the feedback is coming from, they will simply know that someone somewhere is unhappy with your company or services and will react accordingly.
So, start damage control from your own company. Establish a positive work environment with an open communication channel with all your workers. Appreciate your employees from time to time by rewarding them for their efforts and contribution to the company. Invite employee feedback and opinions on important business matters, especially when they have a direct impact on the workers.
Avoid disrespecting employees in public or scolding them often. Even if you are going to terminate a worker, do it respectfully and offer complete benefits as deserved. If publicly disrespected or scolded, an employee might never be able to give their 100% to the company even when they continue to work for you. And their frustration might even pour out when interacting with your customers on social media, resulting in a bigger disaster than you could have imagined.
Keeping your employees happy is a nice way to increase customer satisfaction.
Lastly, you’ll need a way to effectively manage the performance of your reputation management campaign.
No matter how many great strategies you are using to track and manage your online reputation, without a way to measure the ROI, it may all be for nothing.
Measuring your reputation management ROI (return on investment) will allow you to gain actionable insights into the performance of your marketing strategy and know which parts need to be improved, removed or added.
There are multiple ways to track the performance and ROI of your marketing campaign. The most obvious one is a notable shift in your star rating, which is the rating given by your customers on your Google business listing and other review websites. If your campaign is working, then your ratings should also improve with time.
Other than that, your social mentions should also start showing some improvements as a result of your Reputation Management campaign. Your brand’s engagement and reputation on social media should visibly improve. In addition, your social media mentions and comments can give you useful insights into which strategies are working best for your campaign and where you can make improvements to boost engagement and attract more loyal customers to improve your business reputation.
Another ROI metric to consider when tracking your Reputation Management is the NPS score, which refers to the Net Promoter Score or the number of customers who would refer your business, products or services to others. NPS score is a good way to determine the loyalty of your business customers.
And finally, you can check the search engine results page for your brand name or keywords to see whether or not the negative reviews that were appearing before are still there. If they’re gone, it means your strategy is most likely working well. If not, you may need to make changes to your Reputation Management Strategy.
Online Reputation Management is not simply about deleting or disavowing negative reviews from the internet or trying to discredit genuine feedback from unhappy customers. It’s about creating a sense of transparency, accuracy and fairness by properly responding to every single feedback of your business, good and bad, and letting your customers know that you are taking necessary actions to avoid such bad experiences in the future. It’s about creating a transparent and trustworthy system based on honesty and open communication.
When trying to manage your business reputation online, we try to find what bad things people are saying about your brand through real-time research and tracking of social media and the internet and come up with the best way to fix the problem to restore your brand image.
Trying to bury negative reviews isn’t always the best solution when it comes to reputation management. Instead, we carefully go through each review to understand the problem and provide a timely solution. Meanwhile, we make sure to respond to every review of your customers to show them that you really care about them and value their feedback.
Not all negative feedback needs to be dealt with the same way. For example, if a fake person pretending to be a dissatisfied customer is saying bad things about your business by sharing inaccurate reviews, we try to report or flag such reviews and discredit them through official channels. However, the best way to deal with genuine negative feedback from real customers is to read, analyze and respond promptly and take appropriate action to resolve their concerns. Once done, you can politely ask them to remove/delete the review if possible.
Need help? Hire a professional Reputation Management Services provider.
Reputation management, as the term suggests, refers to managing, controlling, improving and/or protecting the reputation of a business or an individual. In other words, reputation management involves the practice of influencing or changing how people (generally target customers) think of a brand or person as someone they might want to interact with or transact with. It also involves actively monitoring and dealing with any negative feedback or reputation threats about the business. Online Reputation is a big deal for today’s businesses, as your business reputation can have a great impact on whether or not a potential customer buys from you.
Who knows? OTT might be the best thing that ever happened to you.