Important Reputation Management Steps to Help a Business Recover

With the vast amount of online review sites available for anyone to leave a comment and openly express their views of a company, a business’s reputation is consistently on the line. How a business is viewed by customers can severely hurt or positively impact the business since customers define a business’s reputation.

While businesses recognize the vital importance of providing great customer service since they are consistently under review by customers, all too often information about businesses can be thoughtlessly or maliciously misused, damaging the reputation of the business.

Fortunately, a business’s reputation can be recovered through reputation management.

Reputation management is more than just managing a reputation. Reputation management is knowing how your company, products or services and your industry are viewed online. It’s also knowing how to debunk the malicious posts and provide customers with factual and beneficial information about your company or products and services.

Who’s saying what?
The first step in a reputation management is researching what is said about your company and by whom. You should research the comments customers are leaving and what sites they are posting to. While anyone can leave comments on review sites, people may also write articles and post on blog sites. Also, take a close look at the customers who left the comment as the comments may have been left by a rival business using alias names to purposely attack your company.

Know which keywords to target
When researching what’s said about your company, look at the keywords used in the writing. In most cases, the keywords are company names or products or services. These are important because these are the keywords that will be used in your reputation management campaign. The reason for using these keywords is because they have already made it into the SERPs. In order to debunk the negative reviews, new and positive content will be written using these keywords.

Produce new content
As stated above, new content will be produced in which the words already found in the SERPs will be used. Although in most SEO campaigns you should stem away from creating content that includes a business’s name or sounds like a promotional piece, a reputation management campaign is generally an exception to the rule. This is not only because you want to shed positive light on your business, but because the keywords usually include your business or products or services, as mention above. Since you want to debunk the negative reviews, you should post on an array of platforms including article submission websites, blog sites and review sites. Also, follow the common SEO practice of creating fresh content on each platform and use social media sites to help the content reach online audiences fast.

While these are only a few of the steps involved in a reputation management campaign, these are crucial steps that any business looking to remove a bad label should follow.

Trust Matters to an Online Audience

While businesses want to turn their visitors into consumers, it’s vital that businesses gain the trust of consumers. After all, visitors will not become customers with a business that they cannot trust.

What many businesses and consumers alike may overlook is that online marketing does not provide the one-on-one contact between the business and a company. Customers search for a product or service online and make a purchase. The business then sends the product or service to the customer. There is no direct contact between the two since everything is completed online. While this saves time and money, it can block the forming of a relationship between a business and a customer. How can a visitor become a consumer without a relationship?

Customers want the trust of a company for valid reasons such as:

Removing any skepticism
People online are more skeptical than ever. Customers want to know that an online business exists to service them, not their business. They want a business that cares for them and strives to meet their wants or needs. They don’t want to turn to a business that they feel ripped them off or didn’t provide them with the right service.

Building a relationship
If there’s one common theme among businesses and customers it’s that they both want to build a relationship with the other. Customers want to select a business that they can turn to consistently as opposed to having to resort to a different company.

Also, business should keep these two pointers in mind:

Word of mouth died
With the Internet and various social media sites available, people no longer gather information about a business through word-of-mouth, but rather online. And, as compared to share information through word0of-mouth, when information is shared online, it spreads like wildfire.

Search engines love trust
Search engines that recognize a trusted domain are sure to give the website attention. Without trust, websites won’t get ranked well in search engines.

Aside from just writing a paragraph on a website about why customers and their trust matters, businesses can help gain the trust of customers by providing the following:

Reviews
Like having a source for a resume, businesses should put customer reviews on a website. This lets customers know that they can trust the business. Reviews with quotes from customers are especially helpful in reaching the trust of an audience.

Referrals
Since businesses want to continue to gain customers, they should ask customers to provide referrals. This will help in the future when another customer is interested in a product or service.

Learn from their opinion
Businesses can provide questionnaires or ask for feedback from a customer to learn how to better the business for customers. After all, a business succeeds by its customers, and without customers, a business wouldn’t exist.

Working with an SEO Company to Knock ‘Em Down Rep Management Style

With the substantial number of online review sites available for people everywhere to leave a comment or rate a company, businesses and customers alike are paying close attention to these sites. But, they’re also looking at these sites from two different perspectives: that of the customer and that of the business. While customers find these sites beneficial since they provide information about a company, businesses, on the other hand, have to accept the overwhelming possibility that these online reviews can make or break their business.

Businesses that have been kicked to the curb because of negative comments, posting and other such content online have turned to SEO firms to launch reputation management campaigns aimed at knocking down the search result yielding negative reviews and replacing them with positive reviews. And while these campaigns work towards helping clients recover from a bad online rap, there are a few pointers to keep in mind when working with an SEO company managing a reputation management campaign:

Don’t knock down others to boost yourself

The purpose of the reputation management campaign is to make your company shine in the search engine spotlight; not to spend time working towards degrading a rival. Rather than focusing on kicking a competitor to the SERPs curb, you want to spend time focusing on how your company can take the lead on SERPs with positive reviews

Flaunt to the truth

Sometimes businesses fail to realize that truth is not only what defines them, but what bonds them to the world. You shouldn’t focus on selling your business as something it’s not in order to demote a rival. Rather, focus on what your business does and how customers can utilize your product or service. You want to establish yourself on the online community as a successful business that customers can turn to.

Time

Never put a timestamp on a reputation management campaign. Instead, speak with the SEO company and take the time to understand the strategy and approach the company will take in order to help you receive the results you want. By turning to an SEO company that is experienced in handling reputation management campaigns with a successful track record, it won’t be long before those negative reviews are tossed in the SERPs dumpster.