You may have the friendliest and most beautiful website with tons of useful information for people, but when a few bad reviews start to circulate, this may stop people from visiting your awesome website. Regularly monitoring your online reputation will enable you to react swiftly and prevent rumours from spreading.
As an example, here are some reviews prominently displayed on the Google Places page of a local bakery:
“Amazing selection of sweet treats including cakes, pies and cookies” -ourfaves.com … “Plus, those prices are ridiculous” – blogto.com … “Go to a place with better cakes and service, you’ll be glad you did” – urbanspoon.com
“The staff are clueless and they could not decorate a cake to save their lives.” –urbanspoon.com
“Amazing selection of sweet treats including cakes, pies and cookies.” – ourfaves.com
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Are these reviews true? Maybe and maybe not. They could be posted by disgruntled employees or a competitor but the fact is if there are enough negative reviews and people see them everyone, people will start to believe the reviews and rumours. No one is perfect but there are steps you can take to address negative comments, reviews and rumours that affect your online reputation.
1. Google your name and your company’s name. Go ahead and type in your full name into Google and view the results. Then type in your company’s name. This will show you immediately how your name and brand is being seen online. Perhaps you are off of the radar or worse yet, a high ranking blogger has published a negative review about you with many comments which sits near the top of Page 1 of Google for your name.
2. Type in your company name followed by words such as “sucks” “scam” “rip off”, any common negative terms used in your industry. This will also give you an indication of whether people are posting negative comments about you and your company.
3. Visit your company’s Google Places page. As the local listings are beginning to rank more prominently in Google (more on this in a later post), the reviews pulled in by Google are significant. Do you have any star ratings from Google Hotpot? Are reviews being pulled in from other sites such as Yelp? Canpages? Toronto.com? Visit those sites too to see what people are saying about your company.
5. Depending on your budget, hire a professional internet marketing consultant who has access to software and tools that can scour the internet and social media for mentions, comments about your company as well as set up a listening post for regular monitoring.
Remaining blissfully unaware of your online reputation will cause more harm then good over the long term. If positive reviews abound – congratulations. Implement strategies to maintain them. If you discover negative reviews, remain calm – there are strategies to address them and minimize the potential damage which we will review this week. If you are panicked or feeling overwhelmed trying to manage your company’s online reputation, feel free to give us a call. We have helped many businesses around the world and can offer solutions for you. Until next time…