Reputation marketing is now an essential part of keeping a business from losing customers at the hands of nasty things said online. If you’re a business, then you’ve likely heard where most of those nasty things can potentially be said: Yelp. The customer review is one of the best and worst tools for businesses today. Overall, they can help you reach the top of the search engine listings if you have all positive reviews, and potentially put you in the red if negative reviews prevail.
For some businesses, this can put them in a quandary if they don’t know how to control negative reviews from happening. But your best course of action is developing and marketing five-star reviews when you first open your doors. You can also still repair yourself even if negative reviews have unfairly consumed you.
Focus on Positive Reviews at Other Places
When you politely ask customers to write reviews for your business, you may want to ask them to not focus directly on Yelp or Google+. While those places are still important, having positive reviews from various sources will help your overall reputation. You might feel frustrated that Yelp and Google seem to hold all the power in business reputation. The truth is, other sites are available where customers can go to write reviews. PC World compiled a list of sites in 2012, and they recommend places like Angie’s List and Yahoo! Local.
Be sure to mention these places, and you can fight back against any idea that Yelp is the only place that holds the fate of your business reputation.
Make Sure the Reviews are Real
Never have anyone write a fake review for you or Yelp will punish you by publicly stating it’s fake. This can bring a business down completely with these tactics. Regardless, it’s also good because it proves to readers that the customer reviews are real.
When asking for reviews, always let your family and friends know how dangerous it is to write a fake or biased review. They may not be aware of what Yelp does and end up doing one behind your back just to help you out.
Keep the Reviews Going So They’re Current
With Google+ Local and their Carousel feature being a useful tool for local businesses lately, you have to make sure you stay ranked high there. As part of their algorithm, Google and other search engines usually take the most recent reviews and factor them into the equation. It’s one reason why you should request to your loyal and new customers that they keep writing new reviews. Encourage them to be honest, though with the hope they’ll be positive so the most recent ones will improve your online reputation.
If you’ve struggled with negative reviews for a while, this kind of approach can help restore things fairly quickly.
Marketing with Quality Reviews
As much as quantity of positive reviews helps, you also need to make sure they’re of the highest quality. Always encourage your customers to be as substantive as possible in each review. You can then use these reviews as part of an overall marketing strategy that goes alongside your use of SEO and a well-designed website. You can even feature some of the positive reviews through your website by linking to some of the sites mentioned above.
So don’t fret if you’ve been dealing with an online reputation that hasn’t been the best through unfair circumstances. From the beginning, though, you should consider that a healthy mix of positive and negative reviews matter in the bigger picture. This helps consumers make a better and more educated decision in using your services.