Recently, we’ve had more and more clients and prospects come to us with local business marketing and online reputation management concerns—bad reviews have been posted about their local businesses and it’s damaging their reputation within the online community. One client, for example, had a subcontractor post a negative review on his local Yahoo! account, and of course, there was a lot more to the story than what the review indicated. Unfortunately, however, the review was there with no way of removing it, which left the business owner ill at ease and wondering what to do next.
As local business owners, we work hard to create a good reputation amongst the local business marketing community, but with the ease of Internet access these days, a disgruntled individual can easily create bad press that can spread quickly throughout the local business marketing community. And as unfair as it might seem, we all know it takes only one bad comment to make potential prospects and customers think twice before buying your local business product or service.
But there is hope! Use the following reputation management strategies to help your local businesses overcome bad press.
3 Strategies to Diluting Negative Reviews on the Internet:
- Respond to the negative review. Good press or bad press, as a business owner, you should always be responding, so conduct an Internet search on a regular basis to see what’s being said about your business. As soon as you see a negative review, it’s critical you respond as soon as possible. Be professional and do what you can to alleviate the issue or concern, and use the negative review as an opportunity to build and establish accountability for your business.
- Report the review. If you believe a review is bogus, or simply an attack to discredit your company without merit, then you may opt to report the review if it’s anonymous. This doesn’t guarantee its removal, but in some cases does prove to be advantageous.
- Counteract a bad review with good reviews. It’s hard to please everyone, so a negative or bad review every once in a while is to be expected. What you want to make sure of, however, is that you’re receiving plenty of positive reviews. The more positive reviews you have, the better, and the most recent reviews will appear higher in the local business marketing search results, pushing any negative reviews way down to the bottom of any search result ranking list.
Though it’s true these negative comments posted about your business cannot be erased or removed due to freedom of speech, it is possible to counteract the comments and keep them out of high level search engine results pages by incorporating these tips into your local business marketing reputation management campaign.