As Your Reputation Goes…So does Your Businesses
We talked on the last page about the power of good and bad reviews to make or break your business. On this page, we’re talking about a related subject…perhaps in some ways a larger and greater concept, your businesses overall reputation. We’ve already covered the review component, so here we’re talk about the other negative and positive types of items that can show up on the front page of google, yahoo or bing when your potential customers search your business name or business name city state.
Having control of this front page and filling it with all positive items can really help to increase your conversion of new customers to click, call and buy. Having negative items on your business’s front page can have the completely opposite effect. We realize that most of these negative items end up to be a). mistakes or for a different company, b). left by a competitor or angry ex-employee or c). a crazy customer that was unreasonable. None the less, as your reputation goes…so does your business!
So What Can Be Done?
First, let’s address what can be done if there are negative reputation items showing up on your business’s front page on google, yahoo or bing, as that’s a much more urgent and expensive issue than pro-actively filling your front page with positive PR. What we normally do, is work to get any possible negative items removed, however this is only 20% or so effective and can take a while. The faster method is to simply rank a bunch of postitive PR items on your front page, thus shoving the highest ranked negative item all the way off the front page. If your top negative item is at #2, it’s going to cost much more than if your top negative item is at #7. Also, some committed haters will actually try to get back on the front page via SEO, so can sometimes require some ongoing monthly SEO efforts to maintain control of the entire front search page.
If you are looking to pro-actively fill your front search page on google, yahoo and bing with great quality publicity, reviews, etc. that is a much easier and pleasant task. The mechanism is really the same as what’s described above to remove the negative items, but you’re not committed to owning the entire first page, as there will already be a number of neutral or positive items, so often we can just add a great, high quality positive item on each month, every other month, etc. which reduces the amount committed up front and can make it more of a monthly cost during the campaign. Additionally, unless a negative item shows up later, it doesn’t take much to keep the positive items on the front page and may be easier later, to keep a negative item off the front page or remove it when the time comes.
Unlike Reviews…Reputation Affects Every Business
Although reviews clearly have the most impact for local businesses, particularly retail or home service businesses, these other more general reputation issues will also affect you and your business even if it’s not very affected by local reviews. For example, you may have a shipping company, a regional manufacturing company, an info product, etc. and local reviews wouldn’t affect you much…but negative smears on your reputation, scam reports, fraud complaints, etc. could be absolutely debilitating and costing you as much as 80% of your new customers, regardless of how they find you or hear about you in the first place. A sobering statistic, is that 90%+ of people now give as much credibility to online reviews and feedback as they do personal referrals…wow!
We would love to help you with your business’s reputation, of course we’ld expect you to check out ours. Call to schedule so we can meet privately and get a good handle on your specific situation so we can suggest a strategy and budget moving forward.