If handled improperly or ineffectively, damage to your reputation can cause your business to fail. For that reason, reputation management is a skill that every burgeoning business owner ought to spend the time to acquire. Staring with the information and guidance presented below is a great way to begin this key process.
If your website does not rank on the first few pages of an Internet search, it may be time to invest in a company that specializes search engine optimization. This company will take each of the pages in your website and incorporate keywords throughout it using the latest in SEO practices.
Monitoring your personal reputation or business brand is very critical to online reputation management. Set up automatic alerts to happen when your name comes up. Use Trackur, Monitor This and Google Alerts to send you notices when new content comes up. That way, you can know the very next day, if not sooner, when someone is talking about you.
Satisfy displeased customers and keep your good reputation. Turning a bad experience into a positive one is going to show customers that you care about them. This will help you to improve your image. Also, it will show that you care about your customers.
Set realistic expectations with your customers. If you own a small business, let your customers know when you will respond to their questions. If you cannot answer every question immediately, place a banner saying that all questions will be answered within a certain amount of time, such as within 72 hours.
Make sure that at least several of your business web pages are optimized for your business name. You want Google to recognize your business homepage as the authoritative Internet site about your business. You want to have the number one search position for your business name, not number two or three behind a Wikipedia article or some blog. Make sure that your website is the first listing someone sees when they Google your brand.
Try searching for your company online like your customers would. It is possible that doing searches on your computer may yield very different results than your potential customers. This may be due to your personalization options. Try turning off these options to get a better idea of your search engine results.
Monitor the presence you have online. A displeased customer may talk about you online, and you can see this through a search engine result. Being mindful of search results will help you stop these things from reaching the first page. Do this a few times a month.
If you are going to use anyone’s ideas, you should always make sure to give them credit for that. Everyone out there can learn a little from others, so giving due credit will show people that you don’t think you are above that. This is a great way to earn their respect.
You need to plan out your business moves online. You can’t just start replying randomly to all of your customer’s posts. You need to take some time to plan out how you’re going to approach them and what you’re going to say. Not doing this may cause some problems for you.
If you receive negative feedback here and there, you should not remove it. Most businesses will have unsatisfied customers every once in a while. If you only have positive reviews all over the place, people will start wondering if you are doing things to make yourself look better than you are.
When you have a business, it is very important that you establish a process to handle reviews that are negative. Always respond to negative reviews properly and quickly; otherwise, your silence can come across as indifference. Also, it is just as important to acknowledge any positive reviews with appreciation and reinforcement.
Make sure you welcome complaints. Customers may wish to leave bad reviews due to no apologies or follow-ups to issues. Try including a complaint form that is highly visible and easy to use on your website. Respond to them all. They will know that you’ve heard them and that you’re dealing with the issues. This can help you decrease or eliminate negative reviews.
If you are selling a product or a service, always offer a money back guarantee with no questions asked. This is just good for customer service. Keep in mind that this is likely to initially negatively effect your profit margin in a small scale. That said, you’re doing the right thing by your customer.
Have a plan available to deal with individuals who post numerous poor reviews with the intent of harming your business. It is better to have a plan and never need it than to find yourself the victim of such an attack and be unaware of your rights with no idea on how to manage the situation.
Make the most of social media to build a solid online reputation. Be sure your company name plays prominently on your social media pages. If you have a couple of dozen fans on your Facebook page, get a custom URL that includes the name of your company. This is also possible with LinkedIn. Having your company name in your URL will help get your social media page ranked higher in the search engines.
Check to see if your company is listed on Wikipedia. This is a very good thing for your reputation because Wikipedia entries consistently rank high in the search engines. If your company is not listed, it may be a good idea to find a journalistic writer who can create a Wikipedia entry without bias to write one. You shouldn’t write it yourself as this would not present a neutral picture of your company.
When a businessperson’s reputation takes a hit, the consequences can be quite serious. Knowing how to dodge the bullets and buoy a faltering reputation is essential to ongoing success. By keeping these tips handy at all times, it should be possible for any businessperson to navigate temporarily rough waters and recover fully.