Online Reputation Management

Reputation management has become a pillar of online marketing.

Few consumers or B2B buyers complete a purchase these days without some level of Internet due diligence.

When it comes to managing your online reputation, you don’t need to feel helpless. In fact, you must take control of your online reputation before it takes control of you.

Taking the right steps is important, because your digital reputation doesn’t just affect how people see you, it also affects how the search engines rank you too. Lack of a reputation management strategy could spell disaster for your SEO visibility.

With an effective reputation management strategy, you can improve and protect your SEO rankings while dramatically improving your website conversion rates.

Let’s take a look at how reputation management affects your SEO rankings and what can be done to develop an effective reputation management strategy.

online reputation management

How search engines use your reputation

In recent years – especially in terms of local search – online customer reviews have become a major ranking factor.

Online reviews can come from a variety of places. For instance, a search engine might crawl and index ranking data from sites such as Yelp, The BBB and of course Google My Businesses, in order to collect and use consumer review data from these sites.

If you have a lot of positive reviews, search engines are likely to rank you higher in local search result pages.

If you have a lot of negative reviews, you may get the wrong kind of visibility. And if you don’t have any customer review, you might not get any visibility at all. Why?  Google trusts reviews from authentic sources.

And here’s another useful tip:  the content within customer reviews is VERY important.  A simple review that says “Great job guys” is not nearly as helpful for SEO as a review that details the service or product, especially when the review included targeted keywords.

Search engines want to show top rated businesses, above those that have less of a reputation or no reputation at all.

If search engines consistently show people where the best companies are, they will continue to trust and use them.  Its that simple.

Developing An Online Reputation Management Strategy

Reputation management service have come under fire in recent years. Its been the classic problem of over-promising and under delivering.

DIY efforts also fail. Business owner cannot just go out an solicit reviews en masse. Virtually all of the major review sites prohibit this kind of solicitation and they have sophisticated filters that automatically detect this kind of activity.  Yelp is a great example of an online review site with very aggressive review filters.

Because of this, it is important to find out what the rules are for each of the review websites out there.

Different websites will allow for you to follow different strategies.

Here is a website that provides some tips on what the different websites allow when it comes to asking for reviews.

If you want to keep things simple, you might just want to ensure that you’re making it easy for people to leave a review.

Provide visible links to websites that accept reviews for your business. Make these links easily visible on your website and on social media profiles.

You may also have leaflets or posters in your brick and mortar premises, that tells people where they can leave a review.

Note that you tell them where a review can be left, but you don’t actually tell them to leave a review.

Dealing With Negative Online Reviews

You might be dreading the day your business gets a bad review. After all, what happens if you get a bad review and it goes unnoticed for months, slowly eating away at your online reputation?

Thankfully, that does not have to be the case.

With the help of Google Alerts, you can set it up so that you get an email any time your business is mentioned online.

You can then quickly respond to any negative reviews that have been posted.

In most cases, you won’t be able to take the negative reviews down. You can, however, approach the person who posted the negative review.

Upon approaching them, you ought to do everything in your power to turn around their perception of you.

In doing so, they may later consider amending their review, having seen how dedicated you are when providing customer support.

Raising Your Profile

Reputation management is a key skill in today’s world.

You need to make sure that when people see your business in the search rankings, they also see that you’re highly rated.

Of course, if you are not highly rated, there’s a chance that you won’t even be seen at all, as search engines prioritize highly rated sites.

Even when you are highly rated, you need to make sure that you’ve got a strategy in place to deal with the negative reviews.

When your reputation management efforts are dialed in, however, your business will have raised its profile. As a result, it will now be more visible and trustworthy to those who find it in the search engines.

Your only job now is to be ready for when more people contact you, ready to do business!