The reputation of your business is everything. A great reputation means great scope and opportunities to having a very successful business. A bad reputation will mean less new business and can jeopardise your clients returning to your company. Bad reputation can also suggest a lack of trust and confidence in your company- two things that are vital to a successful business.
It is of paramount importance to manage your reputation across the internet, because if you don’t others will by posting negative feedback tarnishing your name. You can improve your company’s online presence by using the following simple techniques:
Claim Your Territory
First things first, taking ownership of your name is the first priority. Register and purchase all relevant domains and Top Level Domains as well as social media networks like Facebook, Twitter, Linked In, Google+ and so on. Holding the domain and TLDs without social networks leaves a gaping hole in your branding strategy which can have a big impact on your business as a whole.
Use a website like Knowem.com to check the availability of your brand name across hundreds of social media networks.
The Importance Of The Search Engine
One of the most important things to remember is that search engines affectively display your reputation before users even view your website. So if the generated search results are producing negative portrayals of your company, users (potential customers) will most likely be put-off because of these reviews and choose to give their business to your competitors.
Monitor your company by conducting regular search engine tasks to find out how you’re being presented. Remember that most users will only scroll through the first couple of pages so concentrate on those.
Constructive Use to Negative Customer Feedback
It may be difficult to do in some cases but try to benefit from negative reviews and comments. Instead of leaving or eradicating negative feedback, attempt to resolve the issues by contacting the disgruntled or genuinely upset customer and find out how you can turn their negative review into a positive one.
Firstly apologise and then assure them that you are in the process of resolving the issue and would like them to help you do so. Also offer a refund or freebie to help win back the customers confidence and trust.
Google Alerts or Reader
These two are great free tools for keeping an eye on what people are saying about your company on the web. Spend some time setting up specific keywords relevant to your company to ensure you received optimised results.
If you believe you are really suffering from negative reputation management, you may need to re-evaluate your keywords. Changing your keywords may help hide negative feedback and reviews but this is only a temporary measure, not a cure.
Proactive Reputation Management
The main way to positively help your reputation is to establish your company as an authoritative figure as this will provide a variety of benefits (more backlinks, more business opportunities etc). Leaving your credibility aside, you should try to strengthen your search engine rankings by:
- Starting groups/organisations
- Giving free advice by participating in forums/Q&A pages and making guides etc
- Write blogs and guest blogs on popular industry-leading websites
- Try to get as much (positive) media attention as you can- especially local as this will establish you in your community
If these suggestions do not appear to help your company’s online reputation, there may be a more serious underlying issue that needs to be addressed. You may not be wholly comfortable tackling such a serious problem so if you think you are over your head you need to contact a Search Engine Optimisation or reputation management company to effectively manage your company’s reputation.