Every business, whether a small mom-and-pop shop or a large world-spanning corporation, has an online reputation. Every time you interact with a member of the public, whether they're buying a product or simply calling for a quote or to ask a few questions, that online reputation is built. But how do you track it? How do you know what people are saying about your company? And how do you prevent or remove unfair or even outright libelous reviews? Here's what goes into a website reputation check.
Make a List of Sites to Monitor Your Website Reputation
Every industry has review sites and consumer response sites it should be using to monitor an online reputation. Generally these sites are in three categories: Professional organizations, such as the Better Business Bureau; industry-specific review sites, such as Urbanspoon for restaurants and Angies' List for contractors; and general review websites, such as Google+. Your focus on each category should vary depending on your business. For example, a service business such as a food truck or a record shop should keep a close eye on Google+, but a more business-to-business organization that interacts less with the individual consumer should focus its energies on the Better Business Bureau. You can do this individually, but to save time, consider working with a site that specializes in business reputation management, such as ReputationDefender.
Search For Your Company On Each Site You've Chosen
The next step in checking your web reputation is to see what people are saying about you on the sites you're monitoring. It's as simple as finding your company, or branch of the company, by using the site's search engine and looking at the reviews. Keep in mind that some sites, such as the BBB, don't necessarily have reviews, but discussion of consumer complaints, so the tone will be different from site to site.
If one or two bad reviews turn up among several good ones in your web reputation check, there's less reason to be concerned than all bad or mediocre reviews. Bad reviews among good ones can actually help bolster your business's online reputation, as customers may view a business that has nothing but raves as somebody paying for good reviews, not working to get them. While a bad review is something you should read closely, remember that one or two amid positive reviews will give the good reviews more credibility, and shouldn't be a point of concern when monitoring your web reputation.
Create Alerts so You Can See Reviews as They Come In
In truth, generally a customer has to be highly motivated to review a business. Either a very positive or very negative experience with a business is the catalyst behind a review, so it's good to configure each site you check to contact you with new reviews. Generally you'll be required to claim your business on the site, which gives you access to tools for responding to critics and you can configure alerts as each review comes in, making web reputation monitoring easier.
If you want to save time and get access to the right tools for your business's online reputation management, look no further than ReputationDefender. We can help any business reach out to critics, bring in positive reviews from satisfied customers, and bolster their online reputation. Don't get overwhelmed; get help with ReputationDefender.