Now that you know how online reputation is important, you monitor it and address any issues with your customers in a timely manner, let's take a moment to talk about potential improvements.
A PR or marketing team must be proactive to effectively protect a company’s online reputation.
The following tactics can help prevent a company from suffering from deleterious online reviews:
1. First, identify if negative articles already exist on the first two pages of search results for a Google query of a company name or product (e.g., “Walmart”). This simple task should be conducted regularly. Google often shifts search results around, so a negative article—which typically attracts a higher click-through rate—is unfortunately likely to climb the rankings as individuals engage with the piece.
2. Next, monitor and analyze the current sentiment of reviews on popular review sites like Google+ and Amazon. Other sites, like Yelp or TripAdvisor, should also be checked often, as they can quickly climb Google search results. Do not attempt to artificially alter the results, but instead look for best practices on how to improve Yelp reviews or other review sites and implement them. The goal is to naturally improve the general buzz around your business.
3. If negative articles exist, there are solutions for improvement. A company’s marketing and public relations team may benefit by highlighting and/or generating positive press and reviews about the product or service through SEO and ORM efforts. By gaining control of the search results for your company or product, you will be in control of the main message that individuals see when looking for more information about your business. That's done by working to ensure prospects and customers enjoy a satisfying experience when interacting with your brand, whether online or offline.
Being proactive with a brand’s reputation, as viewed in the Google search results and on review sites, does have an impact on the bottom line. As we see in the data, people are less likely to make a purchase as the amount of negative reviews increase in Google search results. By actively ensuring that honest, positive reviews appear, you can win over potential customers.