Reputation Management and SEO in Partnership

29 July 2015

Nowadays, business reputations are often built on online reviews and testimonials. When everybody loves your product or service, the abundance of glowing reports can boost sales and improve your reputation, but what if you’ve had a rash of bad reviews?

And what if they are taking over your search-engine rankings?

Poor reviews can certainly have a negative impact on sales and conversions. But the damage they do can go even further still, potentially hampering your search-engine optimisation efforts by making influencers wary of endorsing you or industry blogs hesitant to publish your guest post.

Taking control of the situation is best done sooner rather than later, so we’ve put together some tips:

1. Have a good ‘listening’ system in place

Do you know when someone leaves a bad review on your Google+ profile or one of the major review sites for your industry? You can’t respond or react if you aren’t aware of complaints, so set up a process in which you check – or are notified of – any new reviews about your business.

2. Request reviews from your customers

Many people only ever think to leave a review when they have a complaint. Change that by prompting your happier customers to leave feedback about your product, service or brand. You could even incentivise reviews by offering a discount voucher to anyone who leaves one (though this would break the rules on many third-party sites so only do this with reviews or testimonials posted directly to you).

3. Create and optimise social profiles

Brands’ social media profiles often show up in the first few search results when you are looking for their website, sometimes outranking the site itself. When you want to downplay negative reviews on, say, TripAdvisor or Yelp, make sure you have signed up for the main social media sites, if you don’t use them already. Keep them active, and fill them with relevant, keyword-rich (but not spammy) descriptions to try to outrank the negative feedback.

4. Ask staff to review your company

Websites like Glassdoor allow staff members to review their workplaces for all to see. Consider asking your members of staff to review your company to push up the number of good reports available online.

5. Fix any outstanding problems

It goes without saying that, if you have an unhappy workforce or sell a defective product, asking for reviews won’t improve your situation at all! If the complaints you are seeing in online testimonials ring true, start by remedying any problems that exist before starting the process above.