Business Reputation Repair: What Every Business Owner Should Know
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You’ve worked hard to build and grow a successful business. Don’t allow one, two, or more negative reviews send your hard work down the drain. Instead, reclaim the narrative and put your best foot forward with business reputation repair.
At Reputation Sciences, we empower business owners to control how they are perceived online. This is done through advanced ARM (Audit, Repair, Monitoring) services.
When you partner with Reputation Sciences, we’ll do the heavy lifting, so you can focus on driving growth.
But first, let’s take a closer look at some of the basics of business reputation repair.
What Can Cause a Negative Brand Image?
There are a number of ways your business can garner a negative brand image. But your online business reputation is most likely to be sullied by three key sources:
1. Negative Customer Reviews
As word-of-mouth recommendations for the 21st century, peer reviews are extremely important. If your business or product masterfully collects positive reviews, you can increase brand recognition and goodwill.
In contrast, negative reviews can be a glaring warning sign to potential customers. To make matters worse, there are professional reviewers who specialize in socializing negative reviews.
For example, if you’re mentioned on sites like RipoffReport, you’ll likely need business reputation repair to rectify the damage.
2. Negative Media Coverage
While most media sites are legitimate, several gladly publish any type of negative content about your business. And all it takes is one or two negative stories to damage your business reputation.
3. Targeted Sites
The third and arguably worst source of brand slander comes from hate websites. Such sites provide customers or a disgruntled former employees with axes to grind a powerful way to destroy your image. Like it or not, these sites get the job done.
Hate sites are usually designed for specific businesses and filled with negative information. They’re also known to publish false information about business owners.
What’s worse: these sites are usually highly optimized for search engines. This means they often end up on Google’s first page.
How Do I Know If I Have Negative Information Online?
When dealing with negative business information, a proactive approach is key. Regularly searching your business on Google, review sites and industry publications is a good way to identify bad info.
For example, if you owned a home repair business, we’d recommend keeping a close eye on review sites like:
- Angie’s List,
- Trust Dale,
- Home Advisor
It’s also critical to look for mentions across social media and review sites, including:
- Google My Business
- Trip Advisor
- Better Business Bureau
And whenever possible, search your name and anyone else affiliated with your business.
What Do I Do After Finding Negative Reviews & Articles Online?
In the event you find negative reviews or bad news, address it immediately – and in a professional manner. But if you’re like most business owners, you may not have the time or resources to keep that approach up for very long.
Fortunately, business reputation repair can mitigate damage to your image and ensure your brand image stays positive.
What Is Online Brand Management?
Online brand management is a comprehensive reputation management strategy. Generally, it includes monitoring and shaping your online image.
There are a number of methods involved in business reputation repair, including:
- Social media management and monitoring
- Search engine optimization
- Content creation and management
- Acquisition and management of customer reviews
- Competitor monitoring
- Third-party website monitoring
- And more
While you can take on each method individually, reputation repair is most effective with a holistic approach.
Why Is Reputation Management Critical to Business Success?
Even if you run a reputable brand, your online image won’t always reflect that. All it takes is one mishap or disgruntled customer to produce a damaging review and slander your business.
And if only one review is available for your business, it can speak volumes.
Today, a stunning 89% of consumers turn to search engines to research your brand. And when they’re confronted by negative reviews or unkind comments, they may turn away from your business in droves.
In short, your image is key to business success. And in the end, it just makes sense to invest in reputation repair.
Some of the top reasons for this include:
The connection between a positive reputation and your bottom line is clear. The better your image, the liklier you are to attract and retain clients.
Better word-of-mouth advertising
By fostering a positive brand reputation online, your customers are more likely to recommend your business to friends and family. In other words, the power of word-of-mouth can’t be underestimated!
One thing is certain: no one wants to work for a company with a bad reputation. For potential employees, this may mean a bad workplace culture.
Ultimately, reputation management helps create a positive online brand that drives profits, improves word-of-mouth advertising, and provides access to top talent.
How to Find a Trustworthy Business Reputation Management Company
If you’re considering a reputation management company, you’re on the right track.
Yet, choosing the best reputation management company is easier said than done. With so many options, it’s crucial to find a firm that specializes in white-hat ORM.
- White-hat tactics work best on Google. They rely on quality content, are transparent, and are highly effective at boosting your SEO reputation. While companies using white-hat tactics may take a while to yield results, those results are more likely to stand the test of time.
- Black-hat tactics are more aggressive, spammy and ultimately risky. And because search engines regularly update algorithms. they tend to penalize sites that engage in black-hat practices.
Top Black-Hat Business Reputation Repair Practices You Should Avoid
When it comes to reputation management, brand reputation repair is a marathon. And while the promise of “overnight” results may seem appealing, it almost certainly means they engaged in black-hat practices.
Make sure to steer clear of any brand reputation management company that confesses to any of the following black-hat practices.
Keyword stuffing is nothing new. It’s also a well-documented black-hat practice. But that doesn’t stop some brand reputation management companies from stuffing as many keywords as possible into metadata. When it comes to keyword usage, it’s best to stay natural.
Astroturfing or Creating Fake Reviews
We all know the importance of real reviews. But to scam the system, some companies perform what is known as astroturfing. With astroturfing, brands create fake accounts on review sites and use them to post fake positive reviews.
There are a number of effective ways to garner positive reviews. But astroturfing isn’t on the list.
Similar to keyword stuffing, invisible text involves stuffing keywords that are the same color as the background. These words may be invisible to the reader, but they’re highly visible to search engine crawlers.
Fake Content or Websites
As the name suggests, this technique involves fake blogs and websites that mask negative results. These are results people may find when searching the services you offer.
Link spamming is the process of building as many links as possible to generate positive content about your business. In doing so, it increases the likelihood this positive content will be ranked highly.
Spambots, Hacking, and DOS
Another black-hat method involves making it hard to find negative content. These tactics might include denial-of-service attacks, spambots, and hacking methods that target negative content.
What Is the Best Way to Rebuild Your Online Reputation?
While there are several ways to rebuild your online image, we tend to utilize a strategic three-pronged approach:
1. Online Presence Audit
The first step of business reputation repair is to effectively audit where your brand’s online presence is.
Our experienced professionals scour every review, article and social mention pointing toward your business. Once we carefully analyze your digital footprint, we create a robust digital strategy for owning your narrative and amplifying your reputation.
Undoubtedly, a thorough business reputation audit is key to your long-term success.
2. Business Reputation Repair
After creating a clear picture of your business reputation, our specialists work closely with you to mitigate any harmful content you might have online.
Then, we create a narrative around your business with fresh, engaging content. We take a multi-channel approach that simultaneously expands your brand reach in the right direction.
3. Online Reputation Monitoring
We strongly believe in the power of metrics and analytics. As a result, we use state-of-the-art tools to help promote and maintain a positive brand image.
We continually monitor the impact of our collective strategies to amplify your brand story and image — the right brand image.
Make the Right First Impression Every Time with Business Reputation Repair Services
To make the right impression every time, we help amplify your brand voice to new levels. Whether you’re a small mom-and-pop store or a growing business based in your parent’s garage, business reputation repair helps cast your brand as much as necessary.
But if negative reviews or disparaging information hurt your business without recourse, you’re likely to fail. Fortunately, the team at Reputation Sciences has your back, front, and sides with our comprehensive business reputation repair!
For expert Business Reputation Repair Services, contact us today.
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