10 Steps to Building a Great Online Reputation
Reputation by word of mouth has always been one of the key drivers to any business’ success. But what used to be a process that was restricted to friends talking to each other, has now exploded into cyberspace, with a “reviews and comments” culture that is growing exponentially.
Getting to the top of search engine results pages should be an important goal for any business. But while ranking is very important to get customers to consider you, it is your reviews and online reputation which will clinch the deal.
- Deal with good reviews swiftly. Deal with bad reviews immediately.
- Do not get defensive with a bad review. 9 times out of 10, you will be able to get a bad review retracted if you deal with it politely, effectively and swiftly.
- If you cannot get it retracted, don’t panic. Just outline all you have done to remedy the situation in your replies to the review. Customers will read the thread and usually draw a balanced conclusion.
- Don’t buy fake reviews. Don’t write fake reviews and don’t get others to write fake reviews on your behalf. This is a big no-no and Google is cracking down on it, penalizing sites that try these black hat tactics.
- Ask for appropriate feedback from clients, even in an online thread. Reviews, trust and reputation come through honesty. Asking how you could have improved something inspires trust moving forward.
- Do not ignore and trash negative reviews on your website. Chances are the client will also turn to Google reviews and say you ignored them. Address the issue and if it is resolved ask them to redraft a review, or publish the full thread.
- When people leave reviews, encourage them to name the product or service. If they have not, just answer and include it yourself.
- Have a feedback form on your website. Make it simple and easy to use so you can extract data from it to help you improve in the future.
- Leave your own reviews on your partners and suppliers’ websites so you can get your branding out to a wider audience. It also boosts your visibility and people might search for your business if it is relevant to them.
- Don’t forget the old school approach. Remember that you and any of your employees represent your brand. You ensure that they are good ambassadors in the physical world and you should do the same in the online world.
There are plenty of other ways to build a good solid and trustworthy online reputation, but if you keep the concepts of honesty, integrity and above all else, response time at the top of your list, you have given yourself a big head start.
Managing your reputation is crucial, a bad review can reduce your sales by 60%. Make sure to have the right plan (and the right tool for your plan) to monitor your reviews on all the general platforms like Google, Facebook, Yelp, Yellow Pages including the platforms related to your industry.
If you want to work on your online reputation but have concerns about getting it right (because let’s face it, you only have one chance to get this right) we’d like to offer you a Free Reputation Audit.
Book Your Free Reputation Audit here - we audit and review your online reputation on all the online platforms then you get a free 30-minute call where we help you put a strategy in place.