Think your online reputation doesn’t matter? Think again! Based on a study by Erik Qualman of Socialnomics.com, nearly three-quarters of respondents say they trust the info supplied by total strangers online. Further, some 80 percent of consumers have changed their minds about purchasing a product after reading a negative review online, and over 84 percent say they find online product reviews as being a trustworthy source of information.
This adds up to one simple fact: when those negative reviews or complaints appear, (and they will!) you should take them seriously and take countermeasures to mitigate the negative effects!
Here are five methods to do just that:
- Look at your brand’s search engine results on a regular basis – Check your company’s name in Google no less than once a month. Google Alerts can be helpful to tell you when there is any conversation regarding you, your business name or your important keywords. Be sure to look beyond page one, as damaging entries may be lurking there on their way higher.
- Deal with negative content ASAP – Do your best to make contact with the individual that posted the content in question as quickly as possible, especially if they are an unsatisfied buyer. Do your best to take care of their concerns in a positive manner. Don’t jump into a public tussle with them! You won’t like the results.
- Use your company’s name in your page optimization – Make certain your pages and other content are using your company’s name in keywords, tags, URLS, and titles. The more pages that you own that bear your company’s name, the better the chance Google will view your site as the authority for this keyword (your company name) and give you higher rankings. Also, most negative content will most likely not have done any SEO.
- Create more content channels – WordPress.com, Blogger.com or even sub domains of your own site are great for this, along with your social channels such as YouTube, Facebook, and Google . Post fresh content to these channels as well, so they maintain their search positions.
- Ask your customers for reviews – The most obvious and by far by far the most useful tool for successful online reputation management is to ask your satisfied customers for a review. Stimulate and even reward reviews. This is also your best source of social proof!
Follow these tips and preserve your good name! It’s the right thing to do.