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Reputation management is a term that flies around these days, but what does it mean? Is it possible to “manage” what potential customers learn about your business as they poke around online?

The answer is a resounding yes! You are able to help your online appearance stay strong and showcase your business in its best (and realistic) light. But first it helps to understand how people find your business to begin with. You’ll learn about this in Part 1 of our 2-part series: Reputation Management: Where and How to Stand Out Online – Part 1.

It seems like whenever you Google your business something pops up. Hopefully the only thing that people see are your best reviews which will inevitably encourage potential customers to flock your way. But in all reality that is not likely the case. Negative reviews happen! It’s an unfortunate fact, as some people just can’t be pleased no matter how hard you try. It’s what you do about those less than perfect reviews that sets you apart from your competitor.

Repair Your Online Reputation

Negative reviews can occur when a customer has been traumatized from a random incident that may have very little to do with your business. When bad days hit and the inevitable poor review shows up, it becomes important to repair the situation before it hurts the appearance of your business.

According to Forbes, most online reviews are written by strangers and yet even poorly written reviews that are filled with haphazard emotions and not actual truth can still affect your business. BrightLocal reports that an overall 3-star rating will filter out 45% of the people who may have visited your business, so addressing these random negative reviews in two important ways is the first step.

Hide Negative Reviews

You can’t delete negative reviews unless you’re able to track down the reviewer and get them to take down the review. But you can highlight reviews that are 4 and 5 star ratings so that the negative ones fall further down the list and are less likely to be seen. This won’t change the overall review rating, but it will change what reviews will be immediately seen about your business.

End Negative Content Threads

When people get into a discussion about your business, sometimes it can turn sour. The best thing you can do is to come in with positive information to combat any negativity that is being spread while also removing negative content threads when possible.

Improve Your Online Reputation

Alongside the repair process, you’ll want to improve what is visible to others. While repairing your reputation is an important reactive response, what is even more important is to be proactive and create a positive impression from the start.

Vendasta mentioned that the star rating is the number one factor people use to decide on which business to frequent, and 44% of customers trust reviews that have been written within the last month. There are two main ways ensure that your star rating remains high and your reviews come frequently.

Highlight the Positive Reviews

You want to be sure to highlight reviews that are 4 and 5 star comments. People are skeptical about all 5 star listings, so by adding in the best 4 star comments you’ll showcase the top reviews while also creating a realistic example of what people can expect. Ninety-two percent of readers will still be interested in your business when a 4 star review is highlighted.

Add New Reviews

Keeping your reviews up-to-date shows that your business is active and helpful enough to encourage people to offer reviews. This is a two-fold benefit since people want to see newer comments and Google also wants to see that your business is adding new reviews which helps with your SEO.

One way you can add new reviews is by simply asking customers to add reviews. By keeping this as a regular marketing method, then you’ll continue to showcase the positive while burying any negative reviews. You’ll also increase your star rating.

Once you have great reviews, then you’ll want to highlight them! We offer a new method of highlighting positive reviews using YouTube. This platform is becoming more popular, particularly since videos generally stand out more than written marketing.

Protect Your Online Reputation

As your business grows year after year, you’ll want to dedicate resources to ensuring that your online appearance keeps your business in a positive light. According to Revlocal you want at least 5 reviews and even up to 150 reviews to create a strong awareness of your business. In this blog post, we highlight more information about the important of reviews and how your business can benefit from staying on top of your online reputation management.

If you’re ready to bury negative reviews and highlight the best parts of your business, then contact us today.