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Search Engine Reputation Management for Small Businesses

People love to voice their opinion about the products they buy and the services they receive. The internet has opened the flood gates for your customers to leave direct feedback about your business – both good and bad.

No where is this more evident than with eCommerce. Product reviews are common throughout eCommerce sites across the web and their propagation and popularity proves that customers love to give feedback.

This type of feedback is no longer just for eCommerce sites. For businesses that don’t have inbuilt systems to manage customer feedback, your customers may just turn to another source to have their say.


Online Reputation Management

Many sites like Yelp, Review Centre and even Google provide a forum for your customers to leave feedback about your business and their experience when interacting with you. It’s easier than ever for your customers to voice their opinion; so the pressure to deliver a great experience has never been higher.

Online Reputation Management (ORM) is the process of managing how your company or brand is perceived online – and will directly involve gathering and interacting with these customers leaving exactly this type of feedback.

In most cases, a business or individual looking for ORM is probably suffering from overexposure of bad reviews or negative feedback and is looking to address this. Perhaps when searching the company name or brand name, the search results are highlighting pages that aren’t flattering to you.

This scenario can have a huge impact on your bottom line. Research suggests that 1 in 3 visitors to your site will research your reputation online before engaging with you. Imagine if a third of your visitors find negative reviews while deciding to purchase – see how easily this can affect your sales?


What can I do?

Every situation is different, but there are a number of things to look out for. The main goal of any reputation management would be to reduce the visibility of these negative reviews as much as possible. There are various ways of achieving this, all of which will depend on your personal circumstances.

However, not all negative reputation is equal. For example, what if a competitor of yours was purposely spreading this false info across the web? It doesn’t happen very often, but the possibility is there and spotting it can be difficult.

Ideally, the solution is to optimise the search results for your keywords in a way that promotes positive reviews and feedback and eliminates the visibility of any negative pages. Of course, this isn’t as simple as it sounds.


Own your feedback loop

Another tactic is to own your feedback loop and capture as much negative feedback internally as possible. If you can achieve this, it can be an extremely powerful way of developing positive feedback that is far more useful than your typical, generic, overly praising “I love this company!” style of reviews you often see.

Consider the following example:

A customer has a complaint about your business, but your feedback loop is well prepared so this is directed internally (rather than them leaving feedback on other, public websites). You go above and beyond to fix their issue and deliver outstanding service – as you typically would.

At this stage, the customer is now impressed and happy with you, and is more likely to leave positive feedback. This may include the initial complaint, but it will demonstrate how you solve issues and this will go much further in establishing trust than the above example.


Online Reputation Management for your business

If you’re in a similar situation or experiencing any of the above issues, contact us today. We can help in managing your reputation and ensuring your business is viewed in the best possible light. Contact us today on 0800 081 1688.


Posted by: Spiderscope on August 24th, 2012 @ 1:36 PM

Tagged with: Customer Review Optimisation

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