5 tips to control your online reviews

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Does it sometimes feel like online review sites have your brand in a vise? With the continuing popularity of consumer review platforms, not to mention your favorite status in local search results, online reviews on Yelp, TripAdvisor, Trustpilot, and other review sites can pose a genuine and ongoing threat to your small business. .

A negative review at the top of a Google search doesn’t just create problems for your online reputation; it can turn off prospects, hurting your ability to connect with customers, close deals, and hit monthly sales goals.

What’s worse is that the longer those negative reviews go unmanaged, the worse the damage, disintegrating your brand trust and revenue streams. It would be helpful if you had this money and confidence to connect with stakeholders and grow your business. In some cases, not managing online reviews can turn into a major reputation management crisis that threatens the survival of your business.

With hundreds of review platforms and industry-specific reviews promoting customer feedback across the web, having a strong online review management strategy in place is essential. Knowing how to manage reviews correctly is key to protecting brand integrity and positively impacting customers. Here are five crucial tips for building a review management plan that does just that.

1. Target the business review sites that matter most

If you bypass online review management software and manage reviews independently, it’s essential to identify each review site with the most relevance and influence over your brand. Sites like Yelp, Amazon, and Google are likely to make that list, primarily due to their visibility and market share. Still, it’s essential to look for platforms with specific and significant influence over your industry. Regardless of your market, chances are there are some unknowns out there, which could significantly affect your industry and business.

Once these sites are identified, you have a stronger foundation for managing reviews and building a feedback footprint that resonates with your audience.

Related: 4 Lesser-Known Customer Review Platforms You Should Know About

2. Claim (and manage) your profile on preferred platforms

Many online review sites allow you to claim your local business profile on their platform. Once confirmed on sites like Yelp, Facebook, Google, and Angi, you are given control over your company’s unique business page. You have authority over company images, logos, biographies, and text that appear on the site. In most cases, claiming your profile allows you to monitor reviews and respond to comments, opening an essential gateway to more effective review management.

The process for claiming your business varies by site. But knowing each approach and how to take advantage of a claimed listing can pay dividends when managing customer reviews and mitigating the impact of negative feedback.

3. Map out your strategy for managing business reviews

With a list of relevant review sites and claimed review profiles in hand, it’s time to craft a review management plan that anchors your approach. Creating a comprehensive strategy provides a framework for dealing with positive and negative reviews as soon as they are published. This should include a roadmap for how and when to respond to feedback, collect reviews from happy customers, and choose who will oversee your review management process.

Such a strategy helps establish a central location to manage all your reviews and limit the consequences of negative customer feedback, no matter the source. It allows you to focus your efforts and map out a crucial part of your online reputation management plan.

Related: Creating a review response strategy

4. Learn how and when to remove bad reviews

You can provide a consistently exceptional customer experience and even win awards for doing so. However, no matter how flawless your business model is, it’s not uncommon to have dissatisfied customers. Those customers are often inclined to share that unhappiness through negative reviews online. This is more or less a byproduct of running a business, but it provides an opportunity to learn and show your commitment to doing things right.

Some negative reviews do not come from real customers. Many online comments are completely fabricated, posted by competitors or malicious actors for no reason other than to damage your brand. Often these reviews violate the review site’s guidelines and can be marked for removal.

Knowing this, it’s essential to learn how to identify fake reviews, navigate each site’s review removal process, and remove those reviews quickly.

Related: 4 things to know about online reviews (and why you can’t afford to ignore them)

5. Generate and optimize positive content for search

Creating optimized blogs, landing pages, and social media posts is a core component of a search engine optimization (SEO) or online reputation management strategy. But such tactics can also help combat and counter stubborn Google reviews, especially when they refuse to leave local search pages.

A focused content development approach can be a great way to market your values ​​and drown out unsavory feedback, complementing your other review management efforts with meaty, brand-positive blogs and guest posts that drive the conversation. Properly designed and executed, your review marketing content strategy provides a compelling alternative to consumers researching your business, reducing the reach and impact of bad reviews.


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