Your world is tumbling upside down when you search about you and your business and discover someone is saying bad things about your business; tarnished reputation is the least thing you want happening to your business, online. You’ve got to do something – fast – and one of the way in doing so is via online reputation management.
Here’s a DIY guide for you who want to bootstrap and try things yourself first before hiring any agencies.
1. Review your online reputation
Okay. There’s no time to panic. Just settle down and start focusing on the issue. The first thing you should do is now to measure how much damage the negative reviews, reports, etc. to your business: When you search about you or your business, you will get search results instantly.
If a bad review sits on any of the top 3 spots of the search results, you know that you need to repair things fast. In fact, if you see bad reviews on the first page of the search results. You need to note those pages, as you need to do something about them – fast.
2. Devise a plan – and start working based on that plan
This is the tricky part: You need to get rid of those pages. Here’s the reality: Removing bad reviews is very challenging, although not impossible – you need to contact the page authors or the webmasters, and persuade them to take down the pages.
A better alternative is for you to try to push down the bad review pages, in such a way that they will drop from the first search result page, mainly by creating high quality, relevant pages that will rank above the bad review pages.
Here are some things you can do:
- Use social media to buzz about your business positively – attract influencers to review your business and persuade them to say something (positive, of course) about your business.
- Persuade bloggers to blog about your business in positive tone; you can try sending blog posts for publishing on authoritative bloggers offering quality discussion about your industry and how your business can positively help others.
- Write press releases highlighting your positive achievements – and have them distributed to popular press release and news sites.
- Publish on authority network like Hubpages, Squidoo and such – the website authority itself can give your pages a much-needed boost in search engine result pages.
- You can also do the above by building multiple mini-sites for the particular set of keywords you target – and keep on feeding them with positive content about your business.
3. Track your results – rinse and repeat
You should closely track the results of your efforts: Are they effective? Are they achieving their objectives? Then you should analyse the results, make the necessary adjustments and start doing all over again from Step 1 above.
Of course, you can continue repairing your online reputation until you meet your goals.
There is no hidden or magic technique to repair your online reputation: The playbook is filled with the same tactics you would use when growing your business, online. It’s your job to know the right tactics to do – and do them right.
If you are not sure, you can always hire an online reputation management agency to help you in your endeavour.
And here’s what you should never forget: Repairing your online reputation is very much possible; however, your first and foremost thing to do is to improve the quality of your products and services; provide better customer support; retain customers better; and do whatever it takes to better every aspect of your business. Your reputation repair efforts are useless if your products and services, um, suck.
Good luck in your online reputation repair efforts!
Online reputation management