In business, your reputation is everything. The right reputation can make your business a success while the wrong reputation can sink your business.
That is why it makes sense to ensure you have the best reputation possible. This article helps you with the best online reputation management strategies for your retail business.
Before we get started, just keep in mind one item. It can take months to improve your online reputation management. In fact, a study by Ahrefs stated that new websites generally take a year to get on the first page of Google.
That is why before we even get to the strategies below, we encourage patience. It might take time, but it is worth the investment.
5 Online Reputation Management Strategies
While Google and Bing have improved their algorithms quality significantly over the past few years, they still use backlinks in their equation to determine the highest-ranking websites.
Therefore, you should consider adding authoritative links from different websites.
An easy way to start this process is by evaluating the links on your site currently, so you can add similar links. A great tool to help you is Open Site Explorer. This tool also allows you to see which sites your competitors use for their backlinks.
By examining trends on your competitors and your own site, you can determine the best methods for getting additional backlinks.
While you are building your backlinks from external sites, do not forget to cross link your own websites. One way to improve the quality of links is to check to make sure you fix your broken links.
Finally, since this is for local search consider local resource directories for additional backlinks.
2. Google My Business
If you want to claim your reputation on search engines you need a base of operations. That means you should start by claiming your business on Google My Business.
This way you can manage reviews that come in, and have a full profile describing what your business does and how they can help people.
Note: When you set up your Google My Business account, make sure your Name, Address, and Phone number is correct, so it matches with other citations of your business on third-party websites.
3. Be prepared
Your business can be humming along perfectly for years until you get that one customer who was just not happy. It might have been an unreasonable request on the part of the customer or a small misunderstanding that exploded into something more. However, now your company is torpedoed with negative reviews on Google from this customer.
If you want to protect your business from these type of attacks then you need to bullet proof your online presence to fight off the negative reviews.
Every profile you create online can help:
- Website (make sure it is up to date)
- Blog (do you regularly post?)
- Social Media Presence on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, Google+, and YouTube.
- Business profiles (E.G. Yelp, YP.com, Superpages.com, Ozfind.Com.Au, etc.)
- Industry profiles (E.G. Powerretail.com.au or Restaurants.com)
- Local associations membership (Chamber of Commerce or Better Business Bureau)
- Wikipedia Page (This comes with a lot of caveats, but qualified businesses might want to consider this because of Wikipedia’s search power.)
4. Dealing with negative items
However, what can you do if you receive an attack when you don’t have all or most of the pages listed above?
Fortunately, you still have some few options. For example, you can ask some review sites to remove reviews that broke the sites rules.
Additionally, you can reach out to the reviewer to learn more about how you can make amends to the problem they face. It is much less confrontational, and could yield unexpected benefits when done right. F
Furthermore, you might be able to approach an attorney for legal options to the reviews based on your specific case. Since we are not attorneys we recommend speaking to an attorney for more information about this could work.
Finally, if you have still specific questions about how to remove negative reviews contact us at Shout for a complimentary session. We can discuss how to help you with your specific challenges.
5. Combine traditional PR with search engine optimization
Another option for improving your online reputation is to increase your PR work. Most news agencies have high ranking sites, because of the volume of content they put out daily.
Because of their reach and audience, they are also a great place to promote your products. That is why so many businesses want to improve their public image.
PR also has another benefit for your online marketing efforts. All the references to your businesses can increase your citations and backlinks to your website and Google My Business Page.
Therefore, spend some time coming up with a great promotion that fits the needs of the media to improve your image online and offline.
Every business has different needs to improve their online reputation. However, by using the strategies discussed above, your company has a chance to improve that reputation. Just be patient! Quality online reputation management does not happen overnight. It takes time to develop.
If you are not sure that you have the patience or personal resources to increase your online reputation then give us a Shout. We are more than happy to sit down with you for a free initial consultation to discuss your online reputation management.