When you are looking to clean up your reputation, you will want to avoid ignoring any negative reviews or other content even if you might not assume that it can hurt you.
Your online reputation is something that can dictate the perception of your business. The Internet is essentially an echo chamber that can completely alter what people think about your brand. Every negative review, no matter how minor it may seem, can really harm your brand’s image. Even the most subtle negative reviews or content scattered on the Internet can have significant consequences to your business and this is why reputation management’s cost is worth every penny according to VelSEOity.
Due to the magnitude of these consequences, you will want to have a process in place to minimize the impact. You should look to set up Google Alerts for your brand and business’ name. By doing this, it will allow you to act on negative reviews and content when they do surface.
Below, we will go over a few steps that you should be looking to take when you notice a negative search result.
1 Create a Plan
One of the important things you should do is create a plan prior to reacting. The worst thing you can do is react prior to coming up with a plan. When you first get alerted to a negative post or review, your reaction will be to defend yourself. This is especially true if you aren’t used to facing this type of anonymous criticism. After all, it can feel as though you are personally being attacked.
The key is not to panic. Negative feedback happens to even the best businesses and brands. There are effective ways to deal with them and panicking is not one of them.
Posting about the feedback on social media is only going to draw more attention to it. You don’t want to confront the reviewer with hostility. This will only show a prospective customer that you will treat them the same way. You want to be calm when you are working through this process because it will help you deal with it as effectively as possible.
2 Look Closely At The Source.
First, you want to figure out where the negative search result is appearing. Typically, the content that appears is going to be from various third-party sources. That being said, you will have control over the source on occasion whether it be something posted on your social media accounts or even on an online forum. Thus, if you do happen to have control over the source, you will be able to delete or hide the post in question. If the source is not something that you can control, you will need to focus on other strategies to limit the damage.
3 Contact The Owner Of The Site.
You could always attempt to contact the manager of the site and they might be willing to remove the negative review, content, or feedback. Therefore, it is always a good idea to at least attempt this. You might find willing site managers that are sympathetic to your issue. You can send a personal email to the website manager and explain your situation and why you feel as though the post should be removed. You can use a variety of valid reasons including but not limited to the post being untrue, it being outdated, or any other reason you can think of.
4 Proceed To The Next Strategy.
If you happen to contact the direct source and the site owner isn’t willing to budge on removing it, you might be able to go a step beyond and contact Google itself. Google is typically not going to be willing to remove search results completely. However, they might be willing to do so in certain instances where it makes sense. For instance, if someone posts your personal information online without your proper consent, they might be willing to remove it due to it threatening your personal safety. Likewise, Google is willing and able to remove any posts that include detailed personal information that can be used as a personal attack against you in the form of identity theft.
5 Look To Hide It.
If you are unable to completely remove the content altogether, you should look to bury the content in question. To do this successfully, you will want to use the same strategies that you use to gain positive feedback and to improve your brand’s visibility throughout the Internet in the first place. You can do this by creating many more social media profiles and by actively engaging on them. You will also be able to do so by blogging more and getting your brand name ranking high with these blog posts. This will help to push down the negative search results which can really help you minimize the chances of it harming your reputation by being one of the first results to show up when your brand name is searched.
You want to integrate all of these strategies into your reputation management process to really minimize negative content and to reduce the impact it can have on your business. Keep Google Alerts active for your brand name and anytime your brand is mentioned in a negative light, you will be ready to act on it.