Simple Steps to Protect Your Online Reputation

Negative reviews can be a kiss of death for small business. Here’s how to make sure your online reputation reflects you in a positive light.

In the old days, if a customer had a bad experience they would tell ten people. Now, thanks to the internet, they tell the whole world!

As a small business, it’s crushing when all your hard work is reversed by a negative online review. An irate customer or even a competitor can post something on the internet that can damage your reputation in seconds.

The bad news is that these reviews are all but impossible to have removed. The good news is that you can reverse the damage.

Here are some easy steps to make sure negative feedback isn’t destroying your business.

1. Set up a Google Alert

Log in to Google Alerts with your personal or corporate gmail account. Type in the term that is closest to your business, e.g. ‘Bondi Smash Repairs’ and then click ‘Create Alert’.

Once you’ve set this up, every time a page on the web refers to your business you will receive a notification in your inbox so that you can click to see exactly what it says. If the emails are coming too thick and fast, set up a separate folder so that you can access them when you have time.

2. Respond to negative reviews

Sites such as TripAdvisor allow business owners to respond to negative reviews. If someone has posted a rant – write back! Let them know that you have seen their complaint and taken steps to rectify the situation. Ask them to get in touch with you offline for more reassurance that their problem will be fixed.

3. Fight fire with fire!

If there is content that is making you look bad, create content that is making you look good! Update your website with blogs, infographics, testimonials and videos that will push your website ranking higher.

Share what you’ve done with your social media audience to generate clicks that Google sees as valuable and slowly but surely you’ll be able to bring your website to the top of search results.

4. Gather testimonials

If you have had negative feedback in the past and have been able to rectify problems, your latest customers are likely to be much happier with your services.

Ask your most recent customers to add their experiences to popular review websites and your social media pages to push the negative content down the list and further out of sight.

5. Outsource to the professionals

If you really feel that negative reviews are affecting your business on an ongoing basis, you can hire a company to take care of it for you.

Do some research first to make sure you are getting value for money, and consider using them to keep an eye on your reputation on a monthly basis rather than as a once off.

Have you experienced issues with your online reputation? How did you rectify the situation?

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