Last updated on September 6th, 2017
A good reputation can take years to develop, but can be lost in the blink of an eye.
In today’s fast-paced online world, negative press can spread like wildfire – and decimate your business in the process. This principle applies not only to online businesses, but brick & mortar outlets as well since many people research a business online before making purchasing decisions.
Just think about when you’re looking for products and services – would you trade with someone who has a lot of negative comments prominently displayed online?
So whether negative comments are legitimate or not, they can do great harm to your reputation and by extension, your business. That’s why adopting a comprehensive online reputation management strategy is an important, but often overlooked part of marketing a business.
Online reputation management can be broken down into two types – proactive and reactive
Proactive is just that…you go out and find where people are discussing issues relevant to your industry. You add to the conversation through blog comments, forum & social media discussions and targeted content to other sites. Syndicating content helps build your company as a thought leader in your industry, which builds trust and credibility among prospective buyers. Participating in the online discussion signals to prospective customers that you care, and are available to address their concerns.
In addition being a positive for your online reputation, participating in the discussion and adding unique content to external sites yields better search rankings for your firm.
Reactive reputation management is just the opposite. When someone posts a negative comment or complaint about your firm, you address their concerns promptly. Many of these comments though may be initiated by your competition, in which case you can contact the forum or blog and ask the comment be removed.
It doesn’t matter where negative comments come from – the effects are devastating just the same if they’re not addressed.
Promptly addressing complaints accomplishes two goals – one, it shows others that you’re prompt in addressing any concerns. Customers can rest easy knowing you’re there to help if anything goes wrong.
The other benefit to responding to negative comments is to dilute the negative press in search rankings. It’s commonly known that the vast majority of web searchers pay no attention to results past page 1, and especially past page 2.
If page 1 results for terms related to your firm are packed with negative publicity, that’s all anyone is likely to see about your firm. Responding to negative criticism and taking proactive steps outlined above pushes these negative reviews past page 2.
You may be asking…reputation management seems awfully similar to SEO?
In a big way it is. You’re trying to ensure that top results pose your company in a positive light. Proactive reputation management reinforces your on-site efforts to ensure you not only reach the top of the rankings, but stay there as well.
Check back often as we discuss different tools and methods for effectively managing your company’s online reputation.
SEO Buzz Marketing services from SEO Advantage help companies like yours harness these tools to effectively manage your online reputation. Check with us today to see how you can save money, enhance revenues and build a long-term basis for future growth.