How small businesses can manage their online reputation

By Nathan Segal, CIO |  IT Management

There are many things you can do-some related to SEO, some to building business relationships-to push malicious reports down in search results:

  • File a rebuttal. Avoid using emotional language, as that will diminish your credibility. State the facts in a calm, clear manner that's free of name-calling or blaming. In addition, it's a good idea to ask your colleagues to post rebuttals on your behalf. This will show any viewer that you have plenty of support on your side.
  • Buy all available domains that match your business. Place a blog on each one and make sure they contain an "About Us" page. Another variation on this idea is to buy domains with long tail keywords that match your business and use these as "feeder" pages that direct to different parts of your website.
  • Obtain testimonials on Linkedin and use those for the different blogs.
  • If your colleagues have websites or blogs, ask them to post a testimonial about you and your business with a link to your site.
  • If you have videos, make sure you add your name to each one. This will make it easier for viewers and search engines alike to identify that you are the source of the information presented in the video.
  • Join professional membership sites and create a full profile for each one.
  • Produce content each week with your name, your business name and links to your website.

Don't Let Bullies Get Under Your Skin

Amid the initial shock of discovering a malicious report about your business, it's important to know that there are people out there who will use bad reviews to try and get your money. In one case, a business owner was sent a letter from a reputation management firm only nine hours after the report was posted, offering to fix his damaged reputation for $5,000. If you get a letter like that, don't respond. It's probably coming from an extortionist; if you engage them, your problems will become worse.

Another nasty problem can arise when customers demand special treatment from a business and threaten to post a negative review if they are denied. It's happened to innkeepers on TripAdvisor more than once.


Originally published on CIO |  Click here to read the original story.
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