Unfortunately, those days are long gone. Today we live in an increasingly “virtual” world. We rely on our Smartphones and mobile devices to direct us towards reliable companies before we make a purchase.
This means that a single negative review can do serious damage to your business.
It’s important to stay a few steps ahead when it comes to protecting your image and the image of your company. Ben Franklin was once quoted as saying, “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure”.
When it comes to managing your online reputation, it’s far easier to prevent negative press than to undo it.
Read on for three ways to pro-actively protect the online reputation of your business – you’d be wise to put in the effort!
1. Buy your brand’s domain name and several variations
The first step to ensuring a flawless online image is to make sure you’re in control of your own brand. If you haven’t already, it’s a good idea to buy yourname.com and several modifications of the original. For example: yournamenews.com and yournamereviews.com.
This prevents anyone with sinister intentions from taking those sites and using it to drive traffic away from your business; or, even worse, to bash your product or services.
While this might sound unthinkable, you’d be surprised how nasty competitors or dissatisfied clients can be. Additionally, you can use these “sister sites” to create more content that links back to your main brand homepage.
When it comes to increasing search traffic on Google, owning the variations of the original domain name can be a valuable SEO tool.
2. Monitor Yelp and local review sites for customer feedback
It’s always a good idea to keep an eye on what customers have to say about your business on Yelp.
Not only for reputation management purposes but also because it can help you improve your offerings and appeal to your customers better down the line.
Some SEO-savvy organizations use Yelp as a way to communicate with customers and gain valuable insights into their own services.
Without formally surveying customers, you can essentially look for any commonalities among Yelp reviews, and make adjustments to your product accordingly.
3. Look out for negative reviews
No matter how hard you try, there’s always someone out there who wants to drag your name through the mud. Whether they attack you on a more personal level, or bash your brand, it’s unpleasant either way.
Keep an eye out for negative press by searching your company on Ripoff Report, scam.com, and other complaints sites. If you happen to stumble across a negative review, don’t panic. Contact the dissatisfied client and see if you can help.
This just comes back to basic customer service. If you feel like the issue has been addressed, you can ask them to take down the review.
The less time negative comments related to your brand spend on the Internet, the better it is for your online reputation as a whole.
Of course, you can’t expect to silence every naysayer, but with these three tips in mind, you can effectively monitor your brand’s online reputation and pro-actively promote business.
About the Author – Brian Patterson is a Marketing Analyst with Online Trading Academy, a day trading education firm with 33 locations spread internationally.