Dealing With Negative Online Reviews

Thursday, October 11, 2012

While maintaining a good online reputation generally does not take too much effort, repairing a bad one can be time-consuming, complicated, and frustrating. Thankfully, we have a few tips for repairing your damaged online reputation and reviews.

The first thing you'l need to do is to set up metrics. Repairing a poor reputation can often take a long time, and day to day improvements might not be visible at first. By setting up a consistent set of metrics by which you can take stock of your online reputation, you'll be better able to see how your image improves over time. 

Set up Google alert keywords for the worst offenders and keep a weekly count of negative versus positive posts. Note which bad sites are listed on the first page of Google search results for your business name. 

Your main goals are to increase the ratio of new good online postings to new bad online postings and to push all negative mentions on Google to at least the second page of search results on major search terms for your business.

Once you have metrics set up, it's time to start repairing your reputation. Get in the habit of responding quickly to online complaints; do your best to resolve issues before other people see the original complaint. This will prove to the community that you're actively trying to improve, and will garner goodwill among those who look closely at review sites.

Set up online profiles at several high ranking sites such as Twitter, Facebook, Wikipedia, or YouTube. (Just be aware that editing your own Wikipedia company profile is frowned upon.) While this step does entail some risk that users will use these sites to further damage your reputation, so long as you continue to respond quickly and fairly to all complaints, it should be straightforward to keep things under control. 

The important thing here is to have as many sites as possible that come up as search results for your business name. Since only the first ten results show up on the first page of Google search results, it is in your best interest to hold as many of those top ten spots as you possibly can. Every one you hold is one that naysayers don't.

After you get in the habit of being vigilant with customer responsiveness and ensuring that negative results don't come up high in Google searches for your company, you will be well on your way to repairing your damaged online reputation and reviews. Further action can be taken if you go through a professional, but these initial steps will be more than enough to get you started.

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