Preserving your online reputation is one of the most important things any business in today’s technological world must pay attention to. While dealing with your company’s reputation online can sometimes be difficult or time-consuming, it nevertheless remains an important step on the staircase of success. Thankfully, there are a few simple rules you can follow to help you understand how to successfully implement internet reputation management.
First, you must establish a set of metrics. Like most good business policies, it is far better to have metrics attached to every goal you undertake so that you know exactly how well you perform (or underperform) on accomplishing those tasks.
Do a Google search for your company name. Record how many of the first page search results are negative, positive, or neutral, and where they rank in the results. (Be sure to do this search while not logged into Google, or else your personal searching preferences might skew the data.) Your goal is to ensure all of the first page results are eventually positive.
Another metric to pay attention to is review sites. Identify which sites are most appropriate for your business (restaurant review sites are different from product sites, though most businesses should pay attention to map sites) and record both the ratio of good to bad reviews alongside the frequency of new reviews in each category. Your goal here will be to increase the ratio of the frequency of positive to negative reviews and to resolve negative reviews into positive customer experiences.
The next step is to set up Google alerts on relevant keywords that will keep you up to date on when a new mention of your business appears online. Every negative review should be responded to quickly with an honest attempt to fairly resolve their issue. If you’re public about such attempts, then even if you do not gain the complainant as a customer again, you will nevertheless garner goodwill from others reading the conversation on the review site. Being open and honest about these problems will do a lot to ensure that the online community will think good of your company.
Once you are in the habit of resolving issues regularly, the next step is to fix your Google search results. Setting up profiles for your company on sites that already rank highly is a good way of crowding out some of the negative first page results, but if more is needed, you’ll best be off dealing with professionals who can better create good press to cover whatever online reputation issues you still have.