It can take years to build up a positive reputation for a business, delivering a consistently good service to their clients and customers. Earning their trust is hard work, particularly online where people are able to get to know everything. Unfortunately, it can happen that a business has worked at its reputation for years, and a single disgruntled customer can undo all that hard work in a matter of minutes by posting a negative review.
This is why every business must focus strongly on their online reputation management. Destroying a reputation is all too easy and it often happens in a very unfair way, with people posting false comments. Businesses must therefore have a number of strategies in place to ensure their reputation is always a positive one.
What Is Online Reputation Management?
Essentially, online reputation management is the process used by experts to build and maintain a brand or company’s positive reputation. Good consultants will almost always combine reputation management efforts with search engine optimization (SEO) efforts, as the two are very closely related. Combining these two strategies helps a business build credibility and ensures a website is able to get to the first page of Google at the same time.
Strategies Involved in Online Reputation Management
Online reputation management uses many different strategies, and these are generally designed and tweaked for the specific business they are applied to. However, a number of strategies are almost always used, and businesses could also consider applying some of these strategies as standard to their own work. These include:
- Improving SEO practices so that they end up on the first page of SERP (search engine results page). If a negative comment about a business has a high SERP ranking, then it is important to make sure that this is changed. It is not possible remove pages posted by others, so all that can be done is to get other, more positive pages to rank higher.
- Pushing bad feedback links backwards. As stated, it is nearly impossible to have a page completely removed from the internet. Businesses can, however, downgrade them significantly so that they move further down the SERP. At the same time, it is important for a business to identify who links to them. If these links come from negative comments, they are allowed to ask these links to be removed. Alternatively, they can have them changed to no-follow.
- Businesses can also create sister websites to promote themselves. By creating micro-sites that link back to the business, they are engaging in excellent SEO practices. Not only will it be easier to find a business’ own website, the micro-site will also start to rank much higher. This, in turn, means that the site can be used for further positive reviews and comments.
- Blogging. Blogging is absolutely vital to making sure people spot a positive reputation. It is one of the most basic and simplest to follow SEO procedures. If used properly, and people who search for a certain business will always end up either on their website or on their blog. This means that they only see the positive things, as the business has managed to overtake anyone who is leaving negative results about them on the internet.
Online reputation management is vital to the success of a business, both online and offline. With the above steps, it should be possible to make sure that any negative comments are quickly sent to the dark corners of the internet, never to be seen again.