Question. I just read your book, SEO Fitness Workbook 2017, and reviewed it on Amazon. Great book; it provided the structure to apply SEO strategy to a business I plan to start soon. The one question that I did have was regarding reputation management for non-local business. I will use your business, SEO consultancy, for example. What steps would you take if someone was writing negative commentary about your products/services on an industry forum or even worse made a negative review site to bad mouth your company? Clarification this has NOT happened to my business but after reading your section on reputation management it made me think a bit. I know this happens a lot to larger companies, i.e. http://www.walmartsucks.org or https://www.reddit.com/r/applesucks/. However I would think if malicious acts like this happened to a small business it would crush them. I’d be interested to hear your thoughts on the subject.
First and foremost, EVERY business should be concerned about their reputation online and off. However, as any business that has substantial customers will soon find out, you can’t please everyone. You’re going to have some bad experiences (some legitimate) and you’re going to encounter that very unhappy 1% of the population that NO ONE can please. Fora like Yelp and GlassDoor have, unfortunately, given that 1% a place to vent and hate. “Haters gotta hate,” as Taylor Swift taught us in “Shake it off.” So
#1 – Every business SHOULD pro-actively care about their reputation, online and off.
#2 – There are the people who are angry / unhappy that have a legitimate reason (LEARN FROM THEM) and the haters (SHAKE THEM OFF).
Next up… from an SEO perspective…
IF you are a local business AND they trash you on Google or Yelp, you have a HUGE problem. Negative reviews will be devastating to your business, especially if that’s all you got. So for local businesses, they MUST monitor their reviews and they MUST pro-actively encourage the “happy campers” to review them. Or they’ll generally end up with a lot of haters.
For non-local businesses…
Identify your BRANDED or REPUTATIONAL searches. For instance,
For most businesses, the BRANDED search is just their name, and the REPUTATIONAL search is their name plus the word “reviews” as in
At this point it becomes an SEO problem / task.
Do we, Houston, have a problem or not? If you don’t have a problem… then you can do nothing / be passive… OR be pro-active. If you DO have a problem, then you have to be pro-active.
You don’t have to go that black or grey but you can if need be. But, in summary, I always caution businesses to take reviews seriously. Don’t “Shoot the messenger.” Reviews that are real but negative are an opportunity to learn what customers do NOT like about your business, and fix that. That’s always your best option.
Got a question? Click this link to email Jason or call 888-993-1122. Dr. Jason McDonald is founder and Senior SEO / Social Media Director of the JM Internet Group. He teaches the SEO training classes for the group, and therefore provides most of the SEO tips for this blog. His goal with this blog is to provide an easy 'one-stop shop' for the busy marketer looking for tips, tricks, and secrets on how to get to the top of Google and Bing for free using proven SEO tactics. When not dreaming up SEO tips, Dr. McDonald lives in the San Francisco Bay Area with his wife, two dogs, a cat, four iguanas and twelve children (just kidding). Really you read down to the bio on this guy? Enjoy the blog.
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