Can You Fix a Bad Online Reputation?

Maintaining a positive online reputation is critical to maximize your success. But what happens if you get some bad reviews that bring your reputation down to an unacceptable level?

Bad Online Reputation Impact Opinion

A survey conducted by Bright Local in 2016 revealed the following statistics:

  • 84% of people trust online reviews as much as a personal recommendation
  • 7 out of 10 consumers will leave a review for a business if they’re asked to
  • 90% of consumers read less than 10 reviews before forming an opinion about a business
  • 54% of people will visit the website after reading positive reviews
  • 73% of consumers think that reviews older than 3 months are no longer relevant
  • 74% of consumers say that positive reviews make them trust a local business more
  • 60% of online users lose trust in a brand that has negative reviews
  • 58% of consumers say that the star rating of a business is most important

These numbers reveal that current reviews are necessary, good reviews are crucial and negative ones need to be mitigated in order for your online presence to be most effective.

Online Reputation Management is the Key

Online reviews are the basis for you online reputation. There are many resources for customers to review your business and you have to make sure you know what they are saying. These reviews are public, so if you don’t keep on top of them, you will lose ground quickly. Here are some tips to managing your online reputation and reviews:

1. Be proactive. Many consumers will be quicker to leave a bad review if they are dissatisfied, while positive reviews are less likely. Reach out to your customers before they leave any reviews. Let them know you care what they think.

2. Register your site on all of the major review sites. Some of the more popular sites are:

  • Amazon
  • Angie’s List
  • Better Business Bureau (BBB)
  • Bing Places
  • Citysearch
  • Consumer Reports
  • Demand Force (newer review site)
  • Dex Knows
  • com
  • com
  • Google+ Local / Google Places
  • Home Advisor
  • Insider Pages
  • Judy’s Book
  • MerchantCircle
  • Trip Advisor
  • Yahoo! Local
  • Yellow Pages
  • Yelp!

There are also industry-specific associations, organizations, and directories offering reviews on their sites. When you register on any review sites, make sure your business information is accurate and complete. After registering, make it easy for your customers to post on the sites. Provide links and step-by-step instructions on how to post reviews.

3. Create major social media accounts and stay active on them. Add regular posts with information that is engaging to your target audience and promotes sharing, liking and following.

4. Check the reviews and comments on all sites and social media often; daily, if at all possible. They can get out of control quickly if you don’t.

5. Be proud of your great reviews. Share them on your website, social media, newsletters, ads, etc. Show off your positive reputation.

6. Mitigate negative reviews. This is probably the most important and most difficult factor in online reputation management. One bad review, if not addressed quickly, can leave a permanent scar on your digital profile and they are virtually impossible to remove. No one really likes criticism, but you need to address it nonetheless. Some tips for doing so:

  • Always respond. If you don’t you give the impression that you don’t care or you’re hiding something. Your response should always be respectful and not defensive. Don’t make it a canned response, either. Saying something like, “Thanks for your comment” does little toward resolving the situation.
  • Don’t carry on an online debate. One brief response is sufficient; if there is additional discussion needed, take it offline. Perhaps an online response similar to “I’m sorry you had a bad experience. Please call/email us immediately to discuss further.” And provide your phone number or email address.
  • Build up enough positive reviews to dilute the negative ones.
  • Look within. The review may be legit and you may need to fix something.
  • Check out other reviews the customer has posted. If he leaves negative reviews for almost every experience, he’s probably just a “hater” and you need to accept that.

Contact St. Louis SEO for Growth today!

Managing your online reputation takes time and effort, but it is definitely worthwhile in the long run. Let St. Louis SEO for Growth help you in improving your business presence and online reputation.

We can help you create a review funnel to make it easier for your customers to write reviews, detect negative mentions of your brand to provide an opportunity for customer service, eliminate negative fake negative reviews, and keep your company’s reputation intact. Contact us today to learn more.

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