Branded Search and Reputation Management

When people have done their due diligence, spent time doing research and decided they are ready to purchase, they typically will type in your brand name in order to find your site.  These people are at the bottom of the funnel, and are ready to convert.  They’re usually trying to get back to a page they already found, or they have been referred to your brand by a satisfied customer.

Looking good online when someone types “YOUR COMPANY reviews” as a search query is critical at this point.  This is why a good reputation management strategy is important.  A user gets a first impression oftentimes from star rankings on Google+, Yelp or Facebook.  If you have low star rankings, even a referral from their friend may not be enough to overcome this barrier of a low review score. That’s why having a solid, simple process for collecting reviews is important.

Here are simple steps to ensure that you’re consistently collecting honest, solid reviews from satisfied customers:

  • Deliver Good Service.  There’s no amount of online paid advertising or social media marketing that can replace good, quality service.  This should be the cornerstone of any small business.  If you have done something wrong, missed a deadline, delivered a faulty product, own up to it, correct it, and apologize.  Mistakes and misunderstandings are going to happen, but when a customer sees online that your overall goal, and your overall customer satisfaction rating is good, they are more likely to trust you.
  • Claim Your Profiles On Relevant Review Sites.  This can take time, but it’s important that you have claimed your business on all relevant platforms like Yelp, Google+, FourSquare, TripAdvisor or any other review site that is relevant to your industry.  Claiming the profile allows you to get links embedded into your site and emails that make it easy for customers to leave a review, but more importantly, it allows you to respond to negative reviews.
  • Create links on your site and in emails that make it easy for customers to leave a review.  When you email your customer their receipt, the email should contain text that is linked to wherever you want them to leave a review.  People ARE satisfied with your service, but they’re also very busy.  Making the process of leaving a review simple is a great way to show your customers that you respect their time, and they’re more likely to leave a good review if it only takes a moment for them to do so.
  • Respond to negative reviews.  Yes, do this.  Try as much as possible to sound accommodating and not defensive.  Yes, there are people who will leave reviews that are not accurate, ranting, and unreasonable.  While there are steps you can take to have these types of reviews removed, it’s best to respond in a way that is apologetic and demonstrates that you are willing to have further dialogue with the customer to try to remedy the situation.
  • Put the stickers up at your brick and mortar, and make it easy to leave a review. When you claim your profile on most platforms, you can put the stickers up indicating “We’re on Yelp,” reminding customers to leave a review.  If you want to go a step further and generate a QR code that directs people directly to the review site, that’s even better.

Having a solid, consistent process in place for collecting reviews will help ensure that you’re getting enough positive reviews, getting recent reviews, and getting reviews consistently.  All of this helps with organic results, but more importantly, it mitigates that unusual negative or marginal review, and helps keep your overall ranking high.


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