Your reputation is on the line when someone "Googles" you. Whether you like it or not, people are going to judge you within five seconds of searching for your company online. Are you aware of everything that comes up about your business when someone “Googles” you? Do a search for your name, your company name, your product or service name. A number of results come up in Google when someone searches for your company. Your website, locations, contact information, social media accounts, articles, press releases, reviews, etc.
It doesn’t matter if you have the best testimonial quotes in the world on your website, what people see when they Google your name is what matters. Everyone is now considered a publisher because people can post and say whatever they want to about your business to the public. Are you truly prepared? No matter what you do, not everyone is going to like you and they will sometimes try to find a way to take you down. As long as you do what is in the list below, you can pull through. It is vital to make your online reputation management a priority for your business because Google is your new business card.
Follow these rules:
Verify that your business listings are correct
Double-check that your business(s) info is correct and up-to-date. If it isn’t correct, you’re hurting your rankings online and people won’t see you as a trusted business. You don’t want to make someone dislike you simply because you had the wrong address or phone number on your Google listing. If there is an option to claim or take ownership of your listing on Google…claim it.
Negative reviews can be so frustrating. Some people just aren’t happy and you can’t help that. Remember, your business isn’t perfect either and it can make mistakes from time to time. Although reviews and some posts can be awful and sometimes untrue, valid points can be made. Pay attention to what people are saying and make it a habit to respond in a timely manner, unless legal matters need to take over. Don’t use negative words and be honest and genuine.
Make sure your website is mobile-friendly
This is a big one. People today already expect that your site is mobile-friendly. Mobile users have very little patience, and if for some reason your site doesn’t look good or work easily on a mobile device, you can kiss them goodbye. If they are driven away by bad mobile design, they just might be driven away for good. Google says 61 percent of customers who visit a mobile-unfriendly site are likely to go to a competitor’s site. Google rewards sites that are mobile-friendly and penalizes sites that are not mobile-friendly in search engine rankings.
Remember to be a real person, even when you’re online
Most consumers can sense when a company has a generic response to reviews that never changes. It can even get your brand in more trouble if you respond with a cookie-cutter response.
Learn from your mistakes
This is key when managing your online reputation. It is normal to feel hurt or defensive when a customer shares negative feedback on Google or a social media platform. It is important to keep your cool and not point fingers. Don’t be afraid to learn what your business may have done wrong. Use your mistakes to build your future with your marketing strategy.
When a customer gives you a shout-out, be sure they know you like it. They took time out of their day to spend their money on your products/services and, most importantly, to let everyone know online! Respond in a timely manner and be thankful! People love to see their content and their friends’ content shared by businesses and brands.