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January 6th, 2015
Great very positive online reviews and comments about your business or website is probably one of the best ways to generate revenue, sales inquiries and all round boosting your brand. The better the reviews, the more positive the comments, the better off you will be. It’s a no brainer and Sydney, Melbourne in fact all Australian businesses absolutely love rave reviews! It really doesn’t matter which industry your are in. Reviews cut right through and can have a huge influence on consumer buying patterns. In fact, over 75% percent of online potential clients will search online before deciding to deal with you and if there are some NOT SO NICE comments or articles, then this could prove a MASSIVE problem.
On the other hand if what they read is all glowing, then you are going to see huge rewards. Understanding how this works and how online reputation management can influence your business is now more than ever vital. Having a process in place to safeguard the reputation of your business online should be part of your marketing process and if it isn’t then you should start thinking about this...cause 1 bad review or negative comment can do some real nasty damage.
It’s like having an insurance plan and if you are running a business that needs a clean online image then following are some great tips to help you start managing your online reputation. If you do not have time for this, then I strongly urge you to give us a call here on 02 9360 8514 - we can look after your online reputation and make sure that it is totally squeaky clean. Following are some steps you should immediately take to protect your online and brand image.
1) Make sure that you have a website.
This is really the first line of attack. You should own the domain name with your business name in the URL. For example if your business is called ABC then you MUST own the domain name www.abc.com.au. Also, try to get all the usual social media accounts setup up with your business name. This will protect your intellectual property in this social space. If these are already taken, then try to have variations of this. Again if www.abc.com.au is taken, try www.abcaust.com.au as an alternative.
2) Google your business name and see what people are talking about.
I know this may seem like a bit of a hassle but you should Google your business name on a regular basis and see what reviews, comments or chatter people are saying about you. There are Google alerts to help you with this, but all you really need to do is type in your business name or your personal name. If you do not like what you see then it’s time to take some action. If there are bad reviews then you need to start looking at ways to get rid of them.
3) Answer all Negative Reviews.
OK, you have seen the negative comments on your blog or another article website, then you really need to be proactive in addressing these. Make sure that you are quick to answer any complaints, for example if you are in the restaurant, travel or hotel business, address these asap. If someone has complained that your service was poor in your restaurant, be quick to explain why or give a reason. If your motel or hotel bed was not up to a customers expectation, then be quick to answer then online and offer some kind of compensation. If you are honest and legitimate in your approach then you can stem any further negative publicity you may be receiving online. remember, these kinds of things can snowball out of control, so the quicker you are the better it will be.
4) Engage an online reputation firm
It’s absolutely heartbreaking to read some negative publicity about your business online. Most people put their heart and soul into their business and to see negative comments and bad press is simply horrible. PLUS it is out of your control. basically, people can publish what they like and you have absolutely zero control to stop them. This is getting worse and more common as more review sites start popping up online. Nowadays, a bad review can be posted within seconds. The best thing you can so is to get in touch with an online rep firm that can help you out and start to eliminate these posts from page 1 of Google. If you find that this publicity is starting to do some serious damage to your firm, business, company, organisation or medical practice, then you need to start thinking about getting professional help.
5) How do you find the best online reputation management firm?
This is a tough task. Really, it’s not as easy as it looks cause there are so may reputation management firms out there online looking for your business. The trick is to find the right agency at the right price that can actually do what they say they will do.
Following are some great tips to help you find the best Reputation Management Agency:
a) Choose only the agencies that are ranking organically. Those that are advertising on Google through Adwords are less trustworthy and probably all based offshore. Google keywords like; ‘online reputation management help’ and go from there.
b) Make sure you are able to go to their office and meet with them with a face to face meeting. Far too many of these types of ‘so called’ reputation management companies are just freelancers trying their luck in this business and are just going to outsource your work. This is not a good first step as you need to partner with a company that is in a physical location that you can see. anything else in my opinion is NOT ON and NOT a GOOD WAY to commence your reputation management.
c) Don’t go down the cheap and cheerful path. Some firms may quote you ridiculously cheap prices to get your business but these are the exact types of people you want to avoid. They are there to just take your money month after month and do nothing - avoid these scammers!
d) Online reputation takes time. Nothing in the online space, especially Google can be done in a hurry. If you hear them saying that they can fix your online reputation in a matter of a few months BUT need most of the money upfront....avoid these cowboys! Online rep is a form of SEO and this needs to be done in a very thorough and organic manner. This is the way it works and anything other than this will never last. what will happen is that your negative comments will go off page 1, but will in a few months return. Online reputation scammers operate in this fashion and are lurking online to take your business...WATCH OUT!
6) Get going now. If your reputation matters then its time to speak with a professional team that has an actual office in Sydney - if these comments are keeping you up at night and aggravating you - let us wipe the slate clean and fix this mess up for you today! It;s a free consultation and once finished you will have peace of mind knowing that we can start this clean up process for you NOW!