Reputation Management Explained
The concept of online reputation management has gained an increased profile during the past couple of years. In fact, some SEO specialists are concentrating solely on this area.
With an ever increasing amount of business being conducted online, the importance of having a strong, positive online presence is clear. To a certain extent, reputation management comes into its own when there are other business failings.
Dealing with negative reviews
An obvious situation where assistance may be needed is in the case of a business that has received a number of negative reviews. When potential customers search for your business name, they may spot these reviews, at the same time as they see your own site.
Indeed, as part of the research process, it’s to be expected that some Internet users will simply search for a review, before committing to purchase.
So what sort of approach should you be taking? Here are some simple steps:
1. Correct the problems
This is something that is absolutely critical. There may be a tendency to worry about the fact that a set of poor reviews may have a negative impact on your income levels. Of more importance should be the realisation that something is going wrong.
If customers are deciding to vent their feelings in this manner, then that’s a pretty good indication of the fact that your products, or service levels, aren’t up to scratch.
If you fail to correct the underlying problem, then your business will never be as successful as it should be. You’ll also soon discover that more positive reviews will be added, which will limit the progress of any reputation management campaign.
2. Identify incorrect, or malicious, reviews
There will be occasions when you’ll receive reviews that are factually incorrect.
In these cases, be prepared to approach Review Websites with full details of your dealings with specific customers. You should ask for such reviews to be removed.
You may also discover that competitors are sometimes keen to undermine your business by posing as unhappy former customers. Once again, you’ll find that the best policy is to be armed with evidence and to request that such reviews are removed.
It is worth noting that some Review Sites aren’t quick to respond to such issues and may even refuse to take action. In many cases, it is up to you to prove that you are correct.
3. Control the search engine results
Although many people see this as being the first step on the ladder, it should actually probably be the last.
If the search results are dominated by negative news and views, then you may need to think about reclaiming the search space for yourself.
It’s often easiest to do this using related, official sources of information. Your Facebook page, LinkedIn page and Twitter feed are 3 examples of such sources of information.
Playing by the rules
Some companies are tempted to take matters into their own hands. We’ve seen cases of reputation management involving the distribution of false, positive reviews.
Although it’s perfectly legitimate to issue positive Press Releases and articles, creating reviews of this kind is really taking things to a new level.
Indeed, depending upon you location, such an approach may actually be illegal.
Understand the actions that are available to you and play by the rules. You’ll soon have things back on track.
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