Improving your online reputation can have a significant impact on how people view your business. If your business suffers a reputation crisis, fixing your reputation online becomes a top priority. Online reputation management can be challenging because it can be hard to track down the source of information. If you are a small business, your reputation can also suffer if you receive lots of negative reviews.
Consumers are now more engaged with businesses they deal with. It doesn’t matter what size your business is, your customers are talking about you. They post comments on Facebook, leave Google reviews, tweet about their customer experience, and even write about you in their blog. The biggest mistake for your reputation would be to ignore their voices. As a successful business, you can’t afford to ignore social media.
Of course, one or two negative reviews won’t impact your reputation as long as you are getting plenty of positive reviews.
What can you do if your business is suffering from a poor reputation? For example, when searching for local businesses, you see that yours has only a 1- or 2-star rating. Or, negative comments about your business are showing up on the same page as your business.
If that is the case, now is the time to take action to restore your online reputation.
In this article, you will find out how to repair a damaged online reputation. You will also learn about proactive steps to take for reputation management.
Why Your Online Reputation Matters
Your reputation is your biggest asset. A good business reputation gives you a massive advantage over your competition. What consumers read online about your business affects their decisions. This can be the deciding factor why a person chooses your business and not your competitor.
Many studies show why you should be concerned about your online reputation. Harvard Business School reported that a one star increase in Yelp resulted in a 9% increase in revenue.
It is not just the quality of reviews that matter to your reputation. The number of online reviews your business gets also affects the buying decisions of your potential customers. One study found that, when faced with a choice between 2 similar products, consumers were more likely to choose the one with the most reviews.
Are negative reviews always bad?
It is important to remember that a few negative comments don’t necessarily damage your reputation. How you respond to a negative review can do much to improve your reputation, or damage it further. If you handle the situation correctly, you can turn a critic into one of your best fans and promoters.
Read this article to find out how to respond appropriately to negative reviews
How to Fix a Damaged Online Reputation
A damaged online reputation is more than just a few negative reviews. You could be receiving many more negative reviews than positive ones, customers could be venting their displeasure on social media, or you may be facing the problem of fake negative reviews.
Unfortunately, there is no quick fix for repairing a damaged reputation. Digital companies offering “overnight reputation fixes” are either over-promising or using shady tactics. In either case, your reputation is likely to take a further hit.
Online reputation repair requires a robust management strategy to restore your good repute. With a solid plan, time, and effort, you can effectively project the right image to your customers.
Here are four steps you can take to fix a dented reputation.
1. Remove content at source
The first step is to identify the source of negative information. This may take some searching to find the original content. If the content is defamatory, unjustifiably critical, or negative, you could contact the website owner to ask them to remove the content. You could also explain why the article or blog post contains errors or misinformation.
The key is not being overly aggressive; after all, you are working on reputation repair. Unfortunately, this step is not always effective.
The next three steps are the most effective ways to improve a poor reputation. These are proactive ways to repair reputation damage and then maintain a strong brand.
2. Publish positive content
A common reason why businesses seek out reputation repair companies is that negative content shows up alongside their business in the search engine page results (SERPs).
In some cases, this could be old news reports or information that is long in the past. It could even be about a business or person with a similar name to yours.
The best plan of action is to work on your search engine optimization (SEO) to push down negative content. There is only so much space on the first page of the SERPs. So, start publishing regular blog posts, long articles, infographics, and other positive content about your site. You may even have to post blogs on your website daily.
Also, get busy on social media by posting short content on Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter. Remember to keep all your posts and tweets positive and cheerful. You should also manage social media reviews and recommendations. The key is to build transparency across all online digital platforms and handle them properly
In time, Google will pick up on these articles, and your content will start ranking on page one of the search results. This will push down any content that is harming your reputation, forcing it off the first page.
3. Address all negative reviews
When it comes to receiving negative reviews, it is essential to address each of them individually. Avoid the temptation to delete negative reviews, respond angrily, or ignore them. Even just acknowledging your customer’s frustration and promising to improve the situation is better than doing nothing at all.
You can also take the conversation offline by inviting the reviewer to contact you directly by email or private messaging.
If the negative reviews are unjustified or you have resolved the problem, then respond with a brief explanation.
Responding to negative reviews has several benefits when it comes to managing your online reputation. First, you help to defuse the situation. Second, your customers feel happier that you have listened to them. Third, it lets other people see that you take your customers’ opinions seriously.
4. Earn positive reviews
If negative reviews are hurting your reputation, you should work at earning positive reviews.
Of course, you may need to improve areas of your businesses that need improving.
What can you do if your satisfied customers are not writing reviews? What if it’s only a few disgruntled customers who take the time to express their opinions?
You can politely remind each of your customers to share their experiences. Even Google suggests that you should send reminders to your customers for business reviews. Getting more reviews from satisfied customers will offset any negative reviews on Google or Facebook.
As a busy business owner, you know that it can be time-consuming to send emails to all of your customers. It is also challenging to keep track of customers who have reviewed and who haven’t. The last thing you want to do is harm your reputation by sending needless reminders to customers who have already left a review.
At Starloop, we have come up with a solution for businesses to manage customer reviews. Our software application sends polite reminders to your customers to leave a review. For every review you receive, we plant a tree. This eco-friendly incentive boosts the number of customers’ reviews. The result is more reviews, more customers, and increased revenue.
Find out today how Starloop can help you manage your online reputation by getting more Google reviews.