There are plenty of deceptive websites out there deserving a bad reputation, but what do you do when you’ve done nothing to deserve yours? The majority of negative reviews come from people working for your competitors. Sometimes you might inherit the reputation of the previous website owner who went out of business in the first place because of money problems, poor customer service, etc. If it’s clean up time for you and you’re not sure where to start, here are some proactive steps you can take to improving your reputation.
Your goal is to push up desired search results for queries about your business/website so consumers won’t come across the negative ones when searching for you. The more results you can control, the better your chances are of negating the bad results.
If you link from your website to your Facebook fan page, LinkedIn page, Twitter page and Google Plus page using the name of your company plus the name of the social page in the anchor text, these pages will be associated with your company name. A great place to do this is in the body of your home page, not the footer. Having the like button and share buttons is not the same thing. The anchor text is what makes the difference.
Pay attention to the activity on your social pages. When people want to complain, they like to leave negative comments on your page. Don’t ignore those comments. Handle them with dignity.
If you come across negative reviews, set the record straight. Don’t start a fight, but offer the facts about the situation which should include what you’ve done to remedy the problem. Note: Check the rules of the website. I came across one particular website which ranked number one for a client’s company review and the negative comments went against the own forum’s rules. They were removed upon request.
There are reviews plug-ins that you can install on your product pages. When a customer receives a product from you, have an automatic email go to that customer requesting a review. You can approve the comments, so you do have control over what users see.
If you don’t use a plug-in, you can still invite your customers to submit comments and select from them those you would like to publish on your website.
There are plenty of websites out there where your customers can leave comments about you and you can invite them to do so. If you are listed in Yelp, Angieslist, or other review websites, these reviews not only help readers, they can help your website rank in local search.
In cases where you’ve bought another company, doing a press release to reveal your reputation and how you plan to run the business/website can go a long way towards educating your potential customers.
Get listed with the Better Business Bureau and approved by a reputatable SSL certificate website. These things lend to your credibility.
Most of all, your behavior should be deserving of a better reputation. If you’re getting complaints, address the problem. If you’re just digging out from false reviews and a prior owner’s behavior, it’s only a matter of time before you develop your own reputation.
This is a guest post by Theresa Happe who works with NameFind.com where businesses discover domain names and their available corresponding social handles.