Online reputation is crucial for the success of any brand. That’s why brands use numerous strategies to maintain and repair online reputation.
Before the internet, companies mostly relied on word of mouth recommendations and traditional advertising modes to build a strong reputation.
💡 Read Brand Reputation 101: Monitoring, Analysis, and Management Tools
But all that has changed.
In today’s day and age, your brand’s online reputation could be tarnished by many things. Negative reviews, false news, misinformation—all of these could harm your online reputation. Even an ill-timed or inappropriate social media post could do a great deal of damage.
When you Google your brand, does it come back with negative content? If so, how do you repair your online reputation to get it back on track?
I have compiled 5 effective strategies you can leverage for it.
5 Strategies to Repair Online Reputation
Before I talk about strategies to repair online reputation, let’s understand the importance of brand reputation.
Why is online reputation so important for your business? Because a great reputation is one of the most powerful assets your business could have. It’s the first impression that you make on your customers. Your reputation shows how your prospects and customers perceive your brand.
A negative perception will hurt, for sure. So, you want to make a strong one.
If your online reputation has been hurt, here are 5 effective strategies for repairing it.
1. Audit your current reviews
The first step in order to repair online reputation is to understand what people are saying about your brand.
So, how do you go about it?
A good place to start is to look at what customers are telling your customer support team. But, don’t just stop at that.
Be sure to look at Google reviews too, as shown in the example below.
Other websites that you should look at are Yelp, Amazon, Better Business Bureau, TripAdvisor, and so on. Social media platforms are also an excellent place to understand what your customers are saying about your brand.
Read Online Reviews: the Ultimate Guide on How to Track and Handle Them
Platforms like Facebook allow customers to add their reviews, so do check those. Creating a creative social media marketing strategy helps you boost your brand awareness on these platforms.
From these, you’ll get a general pulse if people are saying positive things about your brand or not. You can also leverage a social listening tool to assist you in this analysis.
Here are some things to pay special attention to:
- Is a particular store getting more negative reviews than others?
- Do you have better reviews on one site than another?
- What is the common feedback you have been receiving?
- If you own an ecommerce website, which products receive more negative reviews than others?
- Are your ex-employees leaving negative reviews about your company?
- Has a competitor created a comparison blog about your business?
- Have any of your social media posts backfired on social media platforms?
The answers to these questions can help identify the root cause, helping you formulate effective strategies to repair online reputation.
2. Repair negative sentiment
When negative content hits the web, it may be difficult to remove. However, that should not stop you from taking measures to remove negative, defaming or inappropriate content about your brand.
Imagine this situation.
You reviewed several online course platforms and were particularly impressed by a Thinkific review. So, you decided to start using the platform and launched your course. Although you found many takers for it, there were also negative reviews.
In such a situation, you may reach out to the students to find out what they did not like about the course. Use the feedback to improve and upgrade your course content. You can then apologize to them to change their sentiment around your course.
Similarly, you can also reach out to influencers who have posted a negative story about your brand and apologize sincerely. Making a genuine effort on your part to make things right could sway most people, helping you create a more positive impression on them.
Sometimes, you may receive negative reviews for unavoidable reasons.
Say you have launched a software to help brands manage business expenses. Perhaps the software is too complicated for them, which leaves them unhappy. You can reach out to those who’ve written negative reviews and then understand their issues.
Perhaps something as simple as explainer videos could do the job of rectifying their issues. This may turn the reviews in your favor.
A good idea is to address each negative comment and respond with the changes you’ve made to improve their experience. It’ll improve the overall experience of the reviewer. At the same time, others will note that the brand cares about its customers and this can have a positive impact on your online reputation.
Having a degree in strategic communications is greatly helpful in this situation. It equips you with the right set of skills needed to convey things appropriately to your customers while swiftly handling public perception about your business.
3. Leverage the power of SEO
When people need to research products or brands, they turn to search engines like Google and Bing. About 81% of people in a survey said they used Google to evaluate a local business in the last 12 months.
One of the most effective strategies for repairing your online reputation is to ensure the search results paint a trustworthy picture of your brand. And for that, you must target the number one spot on search engine results.
By leveraging SEO best practices, you can not only rank higher but also control the message when people search for your company. You can ensure that your website tops the list for branded keywords instead of a negative media mention about your brand.
Keyword monitoring allows you to target and rank for the right keywords, which can not only drive traffic but also improve your online reputation. Consider optimizing each webpage for SEO to ensure that you consistently rank high on the first page of Google.
Blogging regularly is another one of those effective strategies that can help you snag search rankings. You can demonstrate your leadership and expertise in your field through your blogs, helping you build a loyal community. And when you publish high-quality content that’s helpful, your audience will start seeing you in a positive light.
Here is an example.
By providing quality and useful content, you can get your followers to speak highly of you online. You can also use your blog to promote positive content about your business, which can be very helpful in repairing your online reputation.
Read Media Monitoring for SEO Purposes
4. Amplify your online presence
Having a strong online presence is another effective strategy to repair online reputation.
You may have already created a page for your business on platforms like LinkedIn, Facebook, and Instagram. However, have you claimed your Google My Business and Yelp listing yet?
Claiming your listings on sites like Google and Yelp can help you manage and respond to online reviews, as shown in the example below.
Responding to online reviews shows that your business offers excellent customer service and you are dedicated to helping your customers find the best solutions.
However, you cannot limit your presence to these platforms alone. Remember, the internet is vast.
So, how do you monitor the content related to your business on the web?
A simple and very effective strategy is to leverage social listening tools. They can help you track your brand mentions on multiple platforms and even help you identify the overall sentiment around it. You can even respond to your customers from within these platforms.
5. Encourage Positive Reviews
If you have more positive reviews than negative, it will work wonders for repairing your online reputation.
When customers make a purchase, don’t hesitate to ask for feedback. Encourage them to rate their experience by asking them to post an honest review.
But, don’t ask for feedback just for the sake of it. Leverage the feedback to improve the buyer experience. If you are able to deliver a superior customer experience, your chances of getting positive reviews increase manifold.
Finally, make it easy for people to leave reviews. For instance, you may consider incorporating star ratings on your product pages just like Amazon.
If your online reputation has been hit, it can be very damaging for your business. To keep the damage to a minimum, it is crucial to implement strategies for repairing your online reputation.
The above strategies can help you reduce the impact of negative content on your business and strengthen your online presence. So, go ahead and start implementing these strategies to grow your business reputation.
Gaurav Sharma is the founder and CEO of Attrock, a results-driven digital marketing company. Grew an agency from 5-figure to 7-figure revenue in just two years | 10X leads | 2.8X conversions | 300K organic monthly traffic. He also contributes to top publications like HuffPost, Adweek, Business 2 Community, TechCrunch, and more.