You may have heard the term ‘reputation management’ or even been contacted by a company that offers this service. But what is it and do you need to know about it?
If you look up the name of your business in a search engine, you will find a page full of links. Many will be from your site, maybe someone who has linked to you. But if your unlucky then you may find a review site, forum, complaint site or someone’s blog giving your company a bad reputation.
Example: Lets say your company is called Joe Blogs Windows. You may find that on page 1 of the search engines, a review is screaming out words to the effect of, “Joe Blogs ripped me off, has shoddy workmanship and i will never use them again.” Pretty bad for the reputation of your business, right?
So to break this down, reputation management is Watching what people are saying about you and Controlling what searchers see, specifically negative comment removal.
If you can achieve this, then you will keep your reputation onlinetion. If comments can not be removed then you need to deal with the problem and thereby limit any damage.
Now the big problem is that the internet is pretty much enregulated. Anyone can slag you off and removing stuff from the web is no easy task. Your reputation can make or break you and the internet is where a big portion of your customers will first will find out about you.
So you type in your company name and find one or more less than complimentary reviews of your business. This is when a reputation management company comes to the rescue. Or you can get to work yourself.
What to do if you have been bad mouthed on the web
What you or your hired company need to do is simple. Try to remove any bad comments using a variety of methods. Determine if it was made by a competitor, maybe an ex-employee or a non-real person. Is the comment true or is it a lie? If it is, then you can contact the website carrying the offending comments and ask for it to be removed.
If the comment was made by a real customer with a grievance then contact said customer and try to appease or help them. The review may have been made in haste or in the heat of the moment. Many people are willing to login and amend or remove the offending message with a little persuasion.
The best method i think, is to start generating good reviews of your business which will remove bad ones further down the pages. You can achieve this by contacting happy customers and asking them to post a review on any number of directories such as Freeindex or Yell etc.
As an seo company, we can help to regain your reputation and help remove the bad ones from searchers eyes. Or if you have the time and knowledge you can achieve this yourself. But if you have’nt already, then i suggest you do a quick search for your company and make sure nobody has achieved page one by slating your business.
When your happy with your reputation, you just have to keep monitoring and dealing with any problems straight away. If you have a few bad reviews that cannot be removed, then don’t worry too much. Most companies have both good and bad comments made about them, just make sure the good ones get seen first.