Whether you’ve gotten bad reviews or someone is out there writing negative blog posts about your company, one thing remains true: You want to prove that you’re one of the good guys. So what can you do when you’re being targeted with such awful press?
Your company’s reputation is important. And the good news is that it’s not impossible to repair your name. It takes time, effort, and a whole lot of dedication, but there is hope.
Here, we outline a few things you can do to begin the process.
1. Build positivity into your SEO efforts.
First and foremost, make sure that your company name is mentioned in every positive post. If positive reviews exist for you, make sure your company name is mentioned. (Sometimes, all this means is that you have to claim your listing on a directory site that allows reviews. If you need help with that, we suggest you read this post.) If a nice customer has written a review on your company elsewhere, make sure there is a link to your site or social media profiles. If for some reason they haven’t included it, just shoot them a nice email asking for them to help you out. This way, your name and your online presence become linked with positive words.
You can also check to see if your name is mentioned in the title tag of your pages. Do you have an “about” page that contains testimonials? Make sure that your webmaster–or whoever maintains the code portion of your site–links your company name with this page, and feature your best reviews here.
2. Set up your social media profiles to highlight your successes.
First and foremost, make sure you set up your social media profiles so that you get the most out of your SEO efforts. (Check out our guides on best practices for Twitter, Facebook, and Pinterest!) Fill out your profiles completely. Choose a username that best matches your brand. Make sure a link to your site is clearly included in your profile, and use keywords that match your services when filling out your bio.
If you’ve done all of this, bravo! That’s a great start. Now make sure to update your profiles regularly and engage with fans on the sites. Promote your positivity and build a great relationship with your following, and you’ll be well on the road to fostering a community that will sing your praises–and send those negative reviews packing.
3. Try other forms of media to promote your cause.
So you’ve made sure your name is mentioned with every positive review. You’ve ensured your site is search-engine friendly and sings your praises. Your social media sites are ready to go.
And… you’re still not seeing much improvement.
Well, have you considered using alternative forms of media to promote yourself? Videos are a great way to bring attention to your company. They are also looked upon quite favorably in the search results. So why not create a series of positive videos and promote them under your company name? You could highlight some of your customers’ favorite products, conduct interviews with happy clients, or you could even put together a tutorial series. People love learning new things, and if you’re willing to put yourself out there, it casts you in a positive, helpful light!
4. Purchase a domain and promote it.
Alright, so you’ve tried all those things and you’re still feeling pretty down about the reviews you’re seeing.
Well, in this case, you could try registering a few more domains and building them out.
What do we mean by that?
Let’s say you own johnscarpetcleaning.com. But your problem is that this site is being targeted by negative reviews. You could also buy johnscarpetcleaning.net, johnscarpetcleaning.biz, etc. Why? Because when you include your company name is in the URL of your site, it helps you rank better.
Now, if you purchase these domains fresh out of the (virtual) box, you’re going to have a lot of work to do. It can take a long time for Google to recognize a new domain as reputable. But if you’re willing to put in the work over the course of a few months to a year, this can be an effective way to start pushing down those negative reviews in the results pages.
5. Respond to reviews where appropriate.
If you haven’t already, you should read up on why customer reviews are so important. If you have only one or two negative reviews and no positive ones, try asking your customers to review you. Offer an incentive for those who take the time to review you–a coupon or a discount work well. Be careful, though, not to make it look like a bribe, or this could backfire on you! You can encourage positive reviews by placing signs around your store or featuring a link prominently on your page.
Finally, respond to reviews when it’s appropriate. If someone gives you a positive review, thank them for their time and effort. If someone leaves a negative review, try to help them out–solve the problem if you can. This shows that you care and are willing to go the extra mile for your customers.
6. Do press releases periodically.
Have you done a press release before? If not, perhaps it’s time to consider doing one.
What exactly can press releases do for you?
While they’re not going to instantly rocket your name to the top of the search results, you will be able to build more links and positive press for your website. When you destribute a press release through the proper channels, multiple sites will post it and link back to you. Rarely, a major news outlet will link to you too! But the important thing is to just get your name out there and build traffic that you can then direct to your website.
7. Try a new social media campaign and get your best fans to participate.
Have you ever participated in a contest online? It can be really fun–and it makes you feel positively about the company that’s hosting the contest.
So who’s to say you can’t do the same? In order to build some positive feelings about your products and services, you can try hosting contests, giveaways, special events. Encourage people to sign up for a newsletter or subscribe to your blog. Offer coupons, free products, or a guest spot on your next big project. Anything you can think of that will make your fans feel like they’re a part of your success.
If you don’t have the knowledge, resources, or time to pull this off, you could simply try changing up your social media campaign. Inject some humor into your daily posts. Share inspiring stories and photos. These things don’t cost any money, and they can really help improve your image.
8. Get some positive PR by going on local media.
Do you have a local newspaper, radio station, or news network that features local businesses? If so, you might want to consider reaching out to them. Many smaller towns love doing segments on local businesses and will gladly help out.
Don’t have any content you can share? Try building some positive press by volunteering or appearing at fairs or conventions. Local news teams often make appearances here, and you might just find yourself a great platform on which you can promote your wonderful services.
9. Be patient, and continue on your course.
If all else fails, you need to remind yourself that these things take a lot of time and effort. You are doing the best you can, and while it’s not a fun process, it’s something that must be done for the good of your company. Everyone gets bad reviews, but small businesses in particular often suffer the most–just a few negative reviews can dissuade local customers from choosing you over your competitors. So keep a positive outlook on things and continue to build a good presence for your company, and it will pay off eventually!
Internet Local Listings is an internet advertising company in Santa Ana, CA, serving clients across the country with the best website marketing services available in the industry. Visit us here for more information, or give us a call at (888) 770-3950 to see how we can help you be seen online.