Why Online Business Reputation Management Should be On Your Radar
A lot of business leaders are so busy running their businesses that they don’t have time to focus on building marketing systems that get them new clients, let alone worry about their business reputation management online.
Your Business Reputation is Whatever Google Says It Is!
Face it, when someone is looking for your business, or your services they go to Google and type in your business name. The chances are the results they will include your website, amongst several other citations of your business.
Now you might think, “Well that’s ok we have a website and it has positive testimonials on there so we are fine, no need to worry!”
Well I am sorry to tell you that that isn’t good enough and here is why:
Very rarely do people enter your website url directly into the browser, even if they know you. The normal web user goes to Google and types the company name into Google and then hits search.
What the user is presented with is a list of pages that Google believes to be the most relevant for your business name. Now of course your website is one of those pages, or at least it should be, if it is not then you really do have trouble! The other listings will be other relevant and useful information concerning your business. This could be:
- Press releases
- Forum sites
- Blog Posts
- Local directory listings
- Review sites
- Social media sites.
- PDf articles
Do you see my point? If the answer is no, then let me explain some more.
There are many forms of content that people can place online, all of which can be relevant to your business, your name, your products or services. If you don’t know what is online when someone searches for you then shame on you.
Remember, the internet is not static, so just because you checked what came up in a search 6 months ago it doesn’t mean it’s the same today, or tomorrow or the day after and the day after that.
One negative comment left online, or a negative article, can quickly be syndicated to many sites across the internet. Once this happens then that piece of content becomes more credible in the eyes of the search engines because people are taking the time to comment on it and share it.
That means the piece of negative content moves higher up the search engine listings damaging your business reputation, potentially losing market value and impacting your lead generation.
3 Steps to Better Your Business Reputation Management
Don’t ignore your online business reputation. Make a point of taking responsibility by assigning someone in your business to take ownership. Then go out and proactively work to provide the search engines with useful, relevant and quality content that adds value to your business and to people searching for your company.
The sooner you create value added content, the sooner it can be indexed and shared by the public, therefore increasing relevancy.
Don’t enter a Slanging Match
“He said, she did, I said,” is not going to help you out in this situation. If the comment or content is someone having a good old rant then sometimes it is best not to add fuel to the fire by leaving a response.
Analyse the comment or content that has been posted and think about how best to respond. If the comment is reasonable, for example if the user is talking about an experience they have had with your business and how it was disappointing, then step up to the plate and offer an apology and an avenue to interact with that consumer in order to investigate the issue and make things right. By doing this you get the opportunity to rectify the client’s sentiment about your business and also show the outside world, who are watching, that you really do care about your customers and clients.
Positively ask for feedback
Getting positive reviews is another way to counteract the negative press that is online. There are many 3rd party review sites that allow consumers to leave their honest feedback about businesses that then get published online.
Ask your customers to go to these sites and leave honest reviews about your business, this will help build up a series of reviews, hopefully positive, that can be used to push down the negative reviews, provide feedback to your business and increase the perception of your business online.
Ultimately business reputation management is vital. If someone is saying something negative about your business or services they might have a reason to make a valid complaint. Consider all negative comments or complaints seriously and take corrective action where warranted.
If you want to know more how we could help you develop an online business reputation management system, marketing the GREAT work that you do for clients, protecting your business from the bad comments and winning new and repeat business online then call us today. 0161 850 4413