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Online Reputation Repair Can Be Avoided By Effective Online Reviews and Reputation Management

2012 June 1

Do You Know What People Are Saying About Your Business Online?

What Is Online Reputation Management?

Here’s Wikipedia’s definition of Online Reputation Management:

Online reputation management is the act of monitoring, addressing or mitigating search engine result pages or mentions in online media and Web sphere content. It primarily involves tracking what is written about a client on the Internet, then utilizing sophisticated online and offline techniques in promoting positive and neutral content, while at the same time pushing down those links the sponsor may not want to show when their name is searched.

Did you know the 2011 “Social Shopping Study” indicates that 50% of consumers spend 75% or more of their total shopping time conducting online product research? Furthermore:

  • 92% of Adult Buyers Regularly Check Online Reviews Before Purchasing
  • 70% of Consumers Trust Other Consumers’ Opinions That Are Posted Online

Why Is Online Reputation Management Important?

Marketing local business online flourishes because the whole world is coming online, too.

  1. Your prospects are online
  2. Your competitors are online
  3. Your customers are online
  4. That includes your unhappy customers, too!

The Internet Has Changed Everything !?!?

Local small business marketing has benefited in so many ways from the Internet. However, the online universe has also empowered consumers.

  • Before the Internet, businesses delivered their messages to consumers via one-way communication channels that they controlled (think – TV commercials)
  • Business NO longer completely control their message!
  • Thanks to the Internet, everyone comments on business messages via blogs, social media, customer reviews, etc.

What Are People Saying About Your Business?

Your company’s online reputation is being discussed:

  1. By former employees
  2. By bloggers
  3. On forums
  4. On social media
  5. In customer reviews

Online Reputation Is Crucial For The BIG BOYS, Too!

Don’t believe me? Google the company names for which these all too common
namesakes sprang up:

  • www.walmartsucks.org
  • www.homedepotsucks.com

What Are The Negative Effects Of A Bad Online Reputation?

  1. Bad customer experience
  2. Unresolved customer issues
  3. Bad reputation
  4. Lost revenue

What Can Happen If You Don’t Repair Your Tarnished Online Reputation?

Internet marketing for small business needs every advantage possible to succeed. A tarnished name puts you at great risk.

  1. You could lose existing customers
  2. New customers may be difficult to find
  3. Your business can suffer financial loss
  4. You could go out of business!

What Happens When You Repair & Defend Good Reputation?

  1. Your positive good online reputation stands out from the crowd
  2. You will retain existing customers
  3. You will get new customers easily
  4. Your positive brand image will be credible & authoritative!

How To Maintain Your Online Reputation

Marketing your business online is about building and nourishing relatinships. So, too, is reputation management.

  1. Be proactive instead of reactive
  2. Monitor online conversations about your business
  3. Respond and interact with consumers online
  4. Regularly create and distribute positive content

What Are The Benefits Of Actively Seeking Online Reviews?

Actively seeking online reviews from satisfied customers is certain to:

  • Boost conversions, and
  • Provide feedback about your product or service

Consumers trust and expect online reviews and, seeing them, will gravitate to your business.

How To Get Customer Reviews To Build Or Repair Reputation

Referrals and new sales leads continue to be your ultimate goal. What better way to build social proof than to ask for a review?

  1. Survey all of your customers for feedback all of the time
  2. Offer incentives in exchange for reviews (e.g., coupons, discounts, free samples)
  3. Ask customers to review products by placing calls-to-action on your product pages
  4. Send customers to your business listings on Google Places, Yelp, CitySearch, etc.
  5. Link your business listing profiles to your website

Always Create Positive, Branded Content To Promote Reputation!

Flood the first search engine results pages with positive, branded content:

  • Your well-ranked website must be the first result for your company name
  • On-going search engine optimization (SEO) for all of your webpages
  • Videos, press releases, photos, articles, etc. promoting your good name
  • Tips, tools, helpful tutorials & other useful content for your visitors

Monitor Online Conversations For The First Line Of Reputation Defense

Find out what people are saying about your business:

  • Do a Google search for your business name …
  • What do you find when you search for you?
  • Check articles, blogs, forums & customer review sites
  • Frequently check your own blog & website for comments
  • Pay close attention to the social network sites

Reputation Repair Requires Response & Interaction

  1. Listen to what people are saying
  2. Be respectful
  3. Display a helpful & friendly demeanor
  4. Respond to both positive and negative comments
  5. Always quickly offer solutions to problems

Why Respond & Interact To Fix Online Reputations?

  • It builds relationships
  • It allows you to actively manage & control your brand
  • It allows other people to see your point of view
  • It shows that you care

You do care, don’t you?

How To Repair Your Reputation

Do you already have negative online comments and reviews?

  1. Make brand optimization your main focus
  2. Use SEO to drive negativity further down the SERP’s
  3. Create and publish videos, press releases & articles
  4. Create a blog — regularly publish fresh & unique content
  5. Engage in social media to build a loyal & eager following

How to Improve & Fix Your Online Reputation

  1. Ask for negative reviews to be removed
  2. Promptly address issues
  3. Don’t ignore unhappy customers
  4. Don’t argue with customers
  5. Know when to walk away
  6. You cannot please everyone!

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