Every once in a while I receive an inquiry from a small business that is attempting to recover from a bad review(s), legal issues that are made public, or a news story that damages their online reputation. If they didn’t understand the power of the Internet to amplify their business profile previously, they get a quick education through a negative situation.
The first question I get is “how can I make these bad reviews go away?” or, “can I remove these negative comments, posts or news articles from the web?” Unfortunately, in most cases, the answer is “no.” Many damaging reviews, legal outcomes and inaccurate news reports will live on into perpetuity. Even if you are able to get a bad review or news story taken down from a website, other sister sites or data aggregators will have the same article, or article excerpts, listed on their site. This situation is especially true of stories that are distributed through press release websites.
Therefore, in reputation management, a good defense is developing a proactive offense to minimize the impact and visibility of the negative articles. By creating new articles, directory listings and online profiles the negative articles will be pushed lower in ranking results for the keywords in question.
However, the first step should always be to address the root cause of the bad reviews and negative press. If your business practices or employees have caused harm, address those issues first! After that, you can embark on the long and time-consuming process of repairing your web reputation.
- Research Keywords
- Identify key search terms that bring up the negative Google Results you are trying to mitigate.
- Develop a business description that incorporates those keywords into the description. Title tags, that appear in the tab of a browser and H1 tags, which are usually the main subject of the page are key.
- Setup a Moz.com/local account
- Improve your local listings score to 100%
- Create press releases on top PR sites
- Create business listings and/or personal profiles on key sites
- Create Social Media profiles
- Linkedin biz page
- Linkedin personal pages for Directors
- Google Plus (business page and maps listing)
- Pinterest (ask Pinterest users to make pins linking to the website)
- Setup a Google Alert on the business name and keywords that are triggering high rankings in Google for the negative stories.
Repairing a business reputation is an arduous task and there are a select number of reputable reputation management companies that will help guide a business or individual through the process for a handsome price. Make sure the agency explains how they will document their efforts and repair the damage and also how they measure and independently validate their success.
Creating and/or verifying a Google Places for Business listing is one of the most important things a local business can do to show up on in Google organically. A Google Places for Business listing is what is required in order for a business to show up on Google maps. If your business is incorporated you may already have a listing on Google maps. In this case, claiming and verifying the listing is your first step to optimizing the directory listing.
Once the Google Places listing claimed, page managers can be added to the account. A page manager might be needed to add graphics, including a logo and banner image, or to create a Google Plus Business page that can be associated with the map listing.
Whoever “claimed” or created the Google Places for Business listing needs to login and add the page manager to the account. These steps will guide you through the process!
- Go to: http://www.google.com/business/placesforbusiness/
- Sign in using the link at the top right side of the page
- The listing(s) will appear on the next page. Click “View Dashboard”
- Click the “control wheel” toward the top right of the page and select “Manage Listing Access”
- Click the blue “Add Manager” button.
- In the popup window add email addresses of page managers. Mine should be: firstname.lastname@example.org. These should be Google connected email accounts.
Clients often want me to take care of this process for them. In this case, they give me their email address and password to log into their Google Plus account.
Check out my other “How To…” articles.
Today, I have been married to my wife, Nicole, for 21 years. Nicole and I have actually known each other for over 28 years thanks to the place we first met; Kentucky Fried Chicken in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.
I was attending the University of Wisconsin at the time and had a part-time job as an assistant manager at the KFC location on Bobolink Dr. Nicole was still in high school and worked part-time as a cashier. She and her mother lived a short distance from the store.
Nicole was very shy and quiet and was easily the best employee in that store. She was diligent, detail oriented, and not afraid to work long hours. As a second-year surgery resident in 2014 she still works long hours but is not so shy!
Nicole and I worked several other jobs together before getting married including Hardee’s, security services, and an entrepreneurial business, University Painting.
I am sure neither of us could have envisioned the long and winding road we would have together. The entrepreneurial bug that I had in college has come full circle into the development of a full-time web consulting business. Nicole has always had an interest in medicine and is living her dream as a surgeon.
I recently did a Google Street view search of our KFC rendezvous and it seems we have outlasted the original place of our pairing.
I thank God for the best job I ever had since it was there that I met and married the woman of my dreams and the mother of our three children.
Happy anniversary Nicole I love you!
P.s. I still love those original recipe chicken wings! …just in moderation.