8 Reasons to Protect Your Brand’s Online Reputation During the COVID-19 Pandemic

 

As the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic continues, businesses have been adopting digitalization in droves to maintain high-level KPIs and metrics, ensure audience engagement and retention, and reduce customer attrition rates.

Not only has the lockdown vitiated local offline businesses, but it has also impacted the performance of online businesses with weak or nonexistent SEO practices.

According to the United Nations, COVID-19 has impacted over 482 million workers in the retail and wholesale industries, 463 million workers in the manufacturing industry, and over 157 million workers in the business services and administration sectors.

While many brands across the U.S. have digitalized their business by adopting strong online selling and marketing strategies, the large majority is still struggling to navigate this complex and foreign transition. Despite the astounding 50% increase in digital sales, over 51% of Americans admitted to delaying digital adoption despite its exigency.

In addition, brands that are new to digital marketing are struggling to familiarize themselves with—and consequently utilize—indispensable marketing tools and best practices like social media management, content marketing, web design and development, and online reputation management.

The fact is, though, that those brands which are learning how to manage and improve their online reputation effectively are performing far better, even during COVID 19.

It is thus integral to monitor one’s brand reputation because it helps in maintaining, increasing, and enhancing brand visibility and perception, customer reach, sales revenue, and net profit margins during this ongoing period of rapid flux and uncertainty.

 

What Is Reputation Management and Why Does It Matter?

As online brand presence emerges at the forefront of establishing strong customer relationships and ensuring successful sales, reputation management has become a vital tool that brands can’t afford to sideline.

Reputation management services are designed to help businesses detect, process, and effectively respond to negative allegations and damaging misinformation.

Let’s circle back to why this is crucial during the ongoing crisis. Over the past few weeks, COVID-19 has caused:

  • 20% increase in social media usage
  • 40%+ increase in Facebook usage
  • 22% increase in Instagram usage
  • 23% increase in Twitter usage
  • 15%+ increase in YouTube usage

For instance:

Leaving reviews that could negatively impact brand identity unaddressed not only leaves customers dissatisfied but also results in more people expressing their discontent. As people engage with the review, they’re also more likely to form a negative opinion about the brand, thereby feeling less inclined to invest in their products/services in the future.

However, timely detection and a tactful response by the brand can undo a lot of potential damage.

For instance, Apple’s assiduous and prompt response resulted in the customer following up their tweet with:

 

While the aforementioned interaction is a great way to strengthen brand identity and appease customers, most brands remain in the dark about negative reviews, thereby running the risk of damaging brand reputation.

This is where reputation management services step in.

By conscientiously examining a brand’s digital presence, reputation repair experts ensure timely remedial action. As a fundamental component of reputation management, social media monitoring increases conversion rates, audience retention, revenue growth, net promoter score, website traffic, and customer satisfaction.

Still skeptical about leveraging reputation management to boost your business?

We’ve rounded up eight reasons to benefit from reputation management services during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

1. Reduce Customer Attrition

According to Forbes, over 97% of business owners across the U.S. attribute their strong brand presence to active reputation management. The reason? Reduced customer attrition.

With social media usage expected to hit an all-time high in the following months, people are increasingly sharing reviews on personal and professional platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Snapchat, LinkedIn, and Google My Business. Messaging platforms like WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger have also increased in popularity owing to the ongoing lockdown.

The consequent increase in negative reviews, false allegations, and factually inaccurate information can increase customer attrition rates, thereby affecting sales and diminishing brand credibility.

Reputation repair and management services play a fundamental role in improving brand perception by suppressing damaging and unfavorable content, thereby preventing customers from seeking competitors instead.

By concurrently utilizing response and removal strategies, reputation management services also help brands reduce the chances of an expansive digital altercation that could potentially attract attention for undesirable reasons.

Response strategies focus on crafting an empathetic, apologetic, and remedial response to the customer’s concerns.

Nike’s timely response—within the same day—is a great example of a strong reputation management response strategy. Instead of drafting an objectively remedial response, they engage with the customer subjectively, thereby establishing a virtual connection.

Not only does this rectify the customer’s concerns, but it gives potential customers a glimpse of the brand’s empathetic and prompt engagement.

While many brands tend to conflate customer service with reputation management, the latter undertakes an exhaustive and all-encompassing digital search to identify negative reviews on:

  • Social networks (Twitter, et al.)
  • Search engines (Google, et al.)
  • Review sites (Google My Business, Yelp, et al.)
  • Online video-sharing platforms (YouTube, et al.)

The methodical comprehensiveness ensures maximum engagement, thereby generating a positive brand reputation.

 

Collectively, these measures minimize customer attrition at the height of digital interaction.

2. Build Customer Trust, Credibility, and Loyalty during a Period of Uncertainty and Anxiety

The COVID-19 pandemic has gripped people with fear, anxiety, uncertainty, and an overwhelming sense of hopelessness. As the situation continues to deteriorate across the nation, people are actively seeking support, motivation, and encouragement from friends, family, and brands.

Trusted brands have some key traits, including:

  • Empathy – They even go as far as rather than having an us vs. them approach, they adopt the opposite: an us = them approach. Because of this approach on the brand’s part, customers find it easy to think of themselves as aligned with the values and priorities of a company.
  • Transparency – This consists not only of sharing information accurately and in the right amount but also phrasing said messages in an appropriate manner for the subject matter.
  • They connect through shared values – Shared values indicate a level of consistency in the brand’s approach. The content may change, the pandemic may evolve, and time may bring new challenges every passing day, but the morals of the company will stay consistent. This consistency builds trust with a customer.

When trust is in this way built at the highest of levels between the customer and the brand, there are strong emotions tied to the customer’s investment into the company.

Lending your support by engaging with not-so-great reviews and comments in a friendly and empathetic manner will help customers feel positive and affirmed during a period of increasing chaos.

Building customer trust, credibility, and loyalty will also strengthen your brand identity.

3. Boost Digital Lead Generation (and Sales!)

Struggling to generate more leads for your business amid the ongoing pandemic?

You can boost your lead generation efforts using reputation management. Since reputation management allows you to stay in the loop on what conversations are being had about your brand on social media, use this knowledge.

Using active social listening, you can identify:

  • People that are seeking product/service recommendations akin to what you are offering. Then, very simply, recommend your product to them in a way that shows them it meets their needs.
  • Unsatisfied customers who have used your competitor’s product/service. If you’re aware that your product instead can actually help them, directly engage with them in conversation and tell them why. You can also share a useful blog post you made that helps them with their specific or even a lead magnet with good information, which would lead them into your sales funnel.
  • People who are intrigued by your product or service specifically. Finding consumer questions and inquiries as soon as they appear on the internet and responding to them helps you provide a very streamlined and high-quality customer experience, both for potential and current customers. This service incentivizes them to go on to or to continue using your product or service.
  • Relevant influencers who can help you attract more customers. Many are surprised that it’s not necessarily the biggest influencer that can help your brand but the one with the most relevance to your product/service. By interacting with such influencers, not only do you discover them but also figure out how you can work together to promote your brand.

Reputation management companies also offer SEO services, paid search marketing, and social media marketing, thereby maximizing lead generation. As your Google rankings are improved, you’ll notice an increase in customer attraction, engagement, and retention.

While most businesses initially consult reputation management services to strengthen their online presence, this synchronous benefit ends up ensuring long-term holistic business growth.

4. Improve Search Engine Rankings

Online reviews play a significant role in SEO.

SEO reputation management strategies—including link development, researching appropriate link partners, and running branded PPC ads, among others—increase SEO visibility.

This enhances customer experience and increases sales, especially during a period when most brands are struggling to maintain KPIs.

5. Understand Evolving Customer Needs and Expectations

COVID-19 has caused a massive shift in customer needs and expectations. While brands were previously focused on engaging with audiences through their products and services, there has been an increase in the need to establish customer relations by lending support during the ongoing crisis.

Instead of circling back to marketing and selling, more and more businesses are helping customers feel acknowledged and validated as the lockdown, and consequent fear surrounding COVID-19 continue.

Utilizing reputation management tools is a great way to establish meaningful connections with customers, thereby understanding their evolving needs and expectations. For instance, most travel businesses understand that their customers aren’t seeking their services at the moment.

However, this shouldn’t halt customer communication in the least. Instead, reorienting strategies in accordance with the changes helps customers feel comforted, thereby increasing the likelihood of a positive customer-business relationship in the future.

Reputation management services play a foundational role in responding to negative and positive feedback alike, thereby cultivating a genuine connection with the customer that goes beyond a temporary transaction.

6. Develop an Empathetic, Responsible, and Crisis-Sensitive Digital Customer Communication Strategy

While some brands have struck a fine balance between retaining metrics and engaging with customers in a responsible manner, there are many others that are struggling to traverse this tricky terrain.

While you may feel tempted to give in to a company’s capitalist roots and create solely promotional and/or sales-y content, you might want to reevaluate this decision.

The COVID 19 crisis demands that we move away from unadulterated branding and instead prioritize a more empathetic, human tone to brand messaging.

Providing helpful and supportive messages can… well, help an audience feel supported! Especially in this time of immense uncertainty and chaos.

Try to remember, people’s lives have been turned upside down. So they might view an overly promotional post as downright insensitive of a brand.

Change your messaging to reflect this shift towards a more “humanized marketing approach,” centering on the health of your audience. Showing that you care about holistically supporting your audience’s physical, social and mental health will place you as a thought leader and will ultimately serve to help build wider trust with your brand.

If you’re unsure about how to draft an effective and crisis-sensitive digital customer communication strategy, it may be best to consult professionals. Responding to customers in an unsupportive and dismissive manner can cause long-term damage to your brand’s reputation, especially given the sensitivity of the ongoing pandemic.

7. Strengthen Brand Visibility and Identity

One of the most favorable benefits of protecting and managing your brand’s online reputation, especially during COVID 19, is ensuring strong brand visibility and identity. This is especially important if your company has run into issues with customers, clients, and employees in the past.

If these issues become public, reputation management is imperative.

By taking strong measures to correct past explosive blunders and meticulously protecting present brand identity, reputation repair experts help businesses avoid stagnancy, or even their downfall. Companies like Equifax and Sears are still notorious for their abysmal reputation because they couldn’t save face and put up a strong front.

Remedial measures can go a long way in helping brands stay afloat and tackle the damage—especially if it was caused by an online smear campaign.

8. Increase Chances of Remotely Recruiting Top-Tier Candidates

COVID-19 has reduced—and even halted—recruitment across the nation. As the pandemic continues, the diminishing recruitment rate is expected to drop further until the situation ameliorates.

While the pandemic is preventing companies from hiring new talent, it’s been especially harmful to businesses with reputational inconsistencies and flaws. As candidates actively research potential workplaces, they’re very likely to stumble upon unanswered customer complaints, disconcerting interactions, and an unfriendly brand demeanor.

This could easily take your company off the map, thereby further reducing the chances of successful remote recruitment. To ensure a seamless online presence for potential employees, clients, and customers alike, take strong measures to reduce negative media coverage, take down hate sites, and respond to negative reviews in a corrective, assistive, and cheerful manner.

In case of a serious attack on your brand reputation, we recommend consulting professionals to undertake an online investigation. In addition, false reviews with improper language or misleading information can be easily taken down.

Actively monitor the online comments being made about your brand—the good and the bad. This strategy will also help you familiarize yourself with prominent brand weaknesses that are being brought up by multiple customers.

Instead of taking strict measures to take constructive criticism down, engaging with it in a thoughtful manner and learning from it to better your brand can go a long way in ensuring customer satisfaction.

 

As one of the leading digital marketing service providers across the U.S., we offer expert reputation management services—including new domain and platform creation for link suppression, Google-friendly link building, and active response and removal.

Browse through our award-winning PPC marketing, social media managementcontent marketing, and web design and development services to choose the best package for your business. We’ve helped countless brands shift towards digitalization during the ongoing pandemic, thereby retaining metrics, boosting online sales, and increasing audience engagement and retention.

By completing our 20,000th project in 2019, we’ve established ourselves as one of the leading SEO companies across the U.S.

We offer the following reputation management packages:

  • Personal Reputation Management: An effective best practice to repair, revamp, and boost online reputation for entrepreneurs and business individuals. Our team works assiduously to monitor online profiles and pages, portfolios, and relevant industry-related platforms to respond to or remove discrediting information. Our strategies are in conformance with Google guidelines to ensure optimal results.
  • Business Reputation Management: An ideal best practice for small businesses, startups, and large-scale organizations interested in protecting, maintaining, and managing their online reputation. We undergo elaborate searches to detect, scrutinize, and remove false information, thereby reducing the risk of negative SEO and publicity.

For more information about our services, call 855-444-4777.

 

10 Ways to Build a Strong Personal Reputation For Individuals and Entrepreneurs

Ways to Build a Strong Personal Reputation

When it comes to reputation management, companies and entrepreneurs will do anything to save face in times of trouble, even if that means lying. However, there are better ways to tackle the mess.

Understanding Personal Reputation Building

The era of social media has enabled businesses to become more communicative and transparent regarding their operations. In this vein, C-level managers and executives have now become the face of a brand and its associated culture. Think of e-commerce giants like Amazon and Ali Baba. They employ people in the thousands, yet Jeff Bezos and Jack Ma happen to be the ultimate representation of the norms and values of these conglomerates. Every move that they make is duly noted and associated with the organization they run.

When it comes to managing your company’s reputation, there’s a whole lot of psychology that goes into the mix. Business leaders must always be cognizant of their own personal brand; how the public perceives them and what they expect from their character.

In the words of billionaire investor Warren Buffet; it takes decades to build a personal reputation but merely 5 minutes to ruin it.

Simply put, upholding a positive image of yourself can be a daunting challenge, especially when you and your actions become associated with the value of your business. However, there’s nothing more rewarding than being able to build a stellar name in the industry where everyone loves and respects you.

So how do you do it?

Here are some reputation management tips from us that you can incorporate into your journey to entrepreneurial stardom:

1. Foster Personal Integrity

Personal reputation is often rooted in ideas of honesty and righteousness. A morally sound individual is also seen as socially responsible—someone who won’t deceive the public to grow their business. As such, an entrepreneur’s reputation must be built on integrity.

Integrity comes from a long track record of actions based on positive intent. Now, intent is something that’s hard to catch with the eye, but when you practice what you preach, you’re gaining your peers’ respect automatically.

For example, if you’re someone who believes education is the most important factor in determining a leader’s success, you must have made some strides in the world of academia or have had gone out of your way to pursue education to show that you believe in what you say.

Someone with integrity has the advantage of bouncing back from their mistakes because the world sees you them as someone who’s inherently good at heart.

2. Don’t Lose Character

As your business begins to soar in popularity, you’re eventually going to lose reign over how the public perceives you. Entrepreneurs tend to lose control over their personal public image because now the media has the power to manipulate stories for and against you. This could spell trouble even for the most sincere and responsible business personalities.

Although it’s nearly impossible to control what the media says about you, you can most definitely control what you say and do. Unrelenting grace in the face of opposition can withstand the test of time and win you considerable public support over time.

Either way, it’s always best to keep your composure for the sake of your business and the employees who are counting on you to uphold the brand’s image.

3. Regulate Your Online Presence

Today’s entrepreneurs have the chance to curate their own personal brand and market it to far-reaching audiences. Working with social media can be a bit tricky because there’s just so much information circulating out there, but the good thing is that you can always control what side of you the online world will see.

From press releases to Google My Business posts, you can hire professional SEO marketing services to manage your online presence effectively. At Search Berg, we help businesses and individuals manage their online reputation, so they have a degree of control over search engine results against their name.

We believe blogs are a great way to show the public what you and your business are all about. They also help you develop a well thought out message that stays in line with your core values. You can talk about your opinions and allow your readers to communicate with you, creating room for an organic relationship with your clients. It’s also a fantastic way to get more referrals because each time an individual links back to your blog, your page goes up the Google SEO rankings.

Some business owners prefer to create a personal website that gives the public an inside look into how the company is run. These sites usually comprise of the owner’s biography, blog links, contact details, speaker profile and images. Having such online accounts with lots of information and images linked to you, is a great way to push down any negative online comments or reviews associated with your name.

4. Be Transparent in Your Communication

Since we’re on the topic of online reputation management, let’s talk a bit about social media. Your personal and business accounts on Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter are all highly convenient ways to communicate with your audience. It’s so direct and immediate, without room for any filters or message manipulation. Use it wisely. Sign up for some professional social media management if you need to.

The purpose of having social media accounts for your business is to be able to keep your employees, clients and critics informed about on-going activities. Ask them for their feedback and be very transparent in your statements so you can forge a loyal support system in times of distress.

Whenever businesses encounter trouble such as internal disputes, rumors spread like wildfire. Clear up the air through a message from your social media accounts before things get out of hand.

5. Hold Yourself Accountable

Making mistakes is human but it’s important that you don’t dwell on them. It’s unrealistic to assume that you’re going to have a botch-free career. It’s quite commonplace for executives to place the blame for their mistakes on subordinate employees in a desperate bid to evade negative press.

However—and this may seem counterintuitive, but hear us out—taking ownership for mistakes and holding yourself accountable to your wrongdoings is going to play out massively in your favor. You don’t have to take our word for it. History has proven countless times how accountability can help businesses save face.

Remember the Tylenol pills episode with Johnson&Johnson? The company owned up to the allegations that its painkiller isn’t safe and called back all associated products. It even took down advertisements for the painkiller and promised the public that they would research and improve the product before thinking about re-releasing it. Although the damage had already been done, Johnson&Johnson was able to safeguard its reputation successfully by acting fast and owning up to its mistakes.

As the CEO or chairperson of your business, you’re likely going to get the short end of the stick, but the public will appreciate you working hard to address your problems.

Hold Yourself Accountable

6. Take Inspiration from Others

If you idolize someone with a reputation of being morally sound, such as Bill Gates, then it’ll help to take a closer look at how they built their personal brand.

In the case of Bill Gates, philanthropy and the support for academic research has won him the admiration of millions around the world. This appreciation has also won him loyal customers for Microsoft.

This is probably why socially conscientious initiatives in the name of corporate social responsibility are so important for small and medium-sized businesses.

7. Use Your Opportunities Wisely

When your business begins rising in popularity and garners more public attention than it used to, it’s expected to deal with the unexpected. You could be sitting through an interview or press conference when a heckler decides to berate you. Perhaps, an audience member on a radio show decides to criticize you and your business brazenly. Although, this comes off as a sticky situation that no entrepreneur wants to deal with—it’s also a crucial opportunity to impress your peers with your grit and grace.

When you come across similar online backlash, it’s important for you to address the situation, instead of ignoring it. Try to make your argument convincing enough to win the support of your detractors and never respond unkindly. It’ll reflect worse on you than it will on the opposition.

8. Let the Haters Hate

No matter how convincing your argument is, you can’t please everyone. Sometimes it pays off to take the high road. Don’t get bogged down with negative comments on your posts. Use them to become more aware of public opinion about you and your business. If there’s something that needs fixing, you can work diligently on that.

Search Berg can always help you with some professional reputation management services! Eventually, you’ll be able to drown the handful of hateful comments in a sea of praise and appreciation.

9. Don’t Shy Away from Self-Promotions

If and when you’ve got to a point where your brand image is largely positive, it’s time to keep going! There’s no slacking off when it comes to reputation management. Build a bigger network; get in touch with journalists and producers that can work with you on special marketing projects. It’s all about being able to pitch your vision to the world without coming off as too sales-y.

Media and press releases are especially effective for businesses when they’ve garnered a significant reputation in their local industry. Use them to make important announcements or give updates on the release of new products and services. Although, word of caution: it’s important to be able to structure your press releases a certain way, so they don’t come off as a desperate marketing effort.

Get in touch with our team, and we can help you prepare professional press releases in no time!

10. Network Your Heart Out

A positive reputation and personal brand can only go so far with self-promotions. Couple them with some solid recommendations from your peers. When you network with businesses in your local industry or state, it allows you to reach out to a bigger audience. You can write guest posts for your reputable peers or collaborate with them on a project so some of their positive branding can brush off on you.

You can also work on link building to boost your online reputation.

work on link building to boost your online reputation

Want Professional Reputation Management Services?

Give us a call at 855-444-4777 or write to us here. Begin your journey to success with the leading SEO marketing and online reputation management agency in the country!

How to Build A Good Reputation for Your Business That Will Entice Viewers and Create A Positive Brand Image

Many businesses don’t think much about online branding and reputation unless they really have to. That’s usually when something goes wrong and customers are filing in negative reviews and comments about their services or products.

How to Build A Good Reputation

Your online marketing team is most likely late to the game because now your negative review is up on the internet for the world to see and if there’s anything you should remember about the world wide web is that what goes up here, stays here.

Understanding Online Reputation and Brand Imaging

Positive brand and online reputation management are two things that need to be worked on long before something goes wrong. Now, it’s unrealistic to assume that you’ll never get a negative review or bad press ever. However, your task should always be to ensure that the positive feedback significantly outweighs any bit of negativity. This is important because surveys show that 97 percent of online customers always read reviews before choosing to buy a product or service. That’s quite a big number to pass up on.

If you’re running a small business and want to figure out better branding techniques, here are some tips from us!

1. Create Your Own Website

Do you have a website and domain address for your business? There’s no online reputation management without a solid online presence. If you’re still thinking about the name for your new website, we suggest you put in your business’s name exactly how it is.

If you’re a one-man-show, you can put in your own name. In terms of SEO marketing, websites that have a person or business’s name in them tend to rank higher than vague, edgy named websites. If you want to own more domains, make sure they’re related to each other and the essence of your business i.e. go for sub-domains.

Some websites have separate domains for their social networking feeds, online radio channels, video sharing platforms, contact pages etc. Separate domains will always be harder to rank on search engines, even when they come from the same name.

2. Blog Away

The blog page listed on your business website doesn’t have to be the only one you use. You can mix your personal and main blog easily. Just tell Google a blog is a related to you or your business and have the blog page show up alongside your business homepage! You can also connect your blog to your social media so it pops up under the same search results.

Another thing to keep in mind when you’re linking your blog pages is to insert relevant keywords into the title or URL. For example, you can write “your-business-CEO-your-name.com” and add something in the bio section that you think potential site visitors would be looking for. If you sell used cars for example, mention that! Feel free to let your creativity flow and link your blogs to your personal social media profiles with the help of Google authorship.

The point is that you want more people to get an insider look at your company. Blogs serve as a great opportunity to reach out to a broad group of consumers and get those SEO rankings going too!

3. Be Active on Social Media

Rule number one of social media activity is to not create an account on a medium that you’re not going to use. This is super important in terms of reputation management. It reflects very badly on your brand image when your social media accounts don’t have a complete profile, missing images, dated posts and no new updates.

You don’t have to be on every social medium out there. However, for the ones that you do use, make sure you’re regular on them. Try building strong networks with your audience and other local industries that could link back to you.

If you’re not sure if you can give time to all your social media sites equally and regularly, you can always get in touch with us for professional social media management services. We can help you come up with marketing strategies and content for Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, Pinterest, YouTube and more.

For each platform, just remember the following pointers:

  • Your profile name should match your personal or business name. This will help determine the category of your SEO rank.
  • Always upload a profile picture with your business’s name.
  • Three strong social media profiles will fare better than ten weak ones. Post content regularly!

Active on Social Media

4. Create E-Business Cards

Back in the day, business cards were a popular way to manage brand reputation and draw networks with potential partners and clients. You can do the same online. There are plenty of websites that let you create customized pages that show a brief bio and have room for links to your blogs and other social media. Whatever website you choose to create your online business cards on, make sure you’re using your name or your business’s name so it shows up under relevant searches.

5. Claim Your Local Profiles

If your business is local, make sure you claim all those directory listings in your name. Create them if you’re not yet listed in local directories. From Google My Business to Yahoo Local, there are plenty of places to get your business listed. This should also help you with some advertising because an embedded local business map can make it easier for customers to find you online.

6. Write as a Guest

Guest posts are helpful for reputation management because they allow you to reach out to a broader market segment than your target one. Don’t go looking for one time opportunities where your guest post barely features you on the byline. It’s better to be guest writing for websites that let you have your own author profile or custom bio page.

7. Always Say Yes to Interviews

If you ever get the opportunity to do an interview, even if it’s a transcription posted on a blog—say yes! The thing with interviews is that they rarely go un-credited. Your personal name as well as your business name is going to be in the forefront; preferably, in the title, which will help the entire content rank well. Not to mention, the number of people watching or reading your interview is going to improve your brand visibility, which is always great for a positive image.

8. Put Up Loads of Images of Yourself

Loads of Images of Yourself

When you’re creating your social media profile or putting out guest posts, you’re already uploading lots of images of yourself and your business. This is a useful strategy to push down any negative reviews or search results associated with your name. When someone types your name into the search bar what they’re going to get is lots of image results. This includes all those blog posts, bios, social networks and profiles where you have uploaded your image.

However, this trick will only work if all your images have been uploaded with the same name—not with something vague and descriptive. If you’re going to embed your picture on a website then make sure you optimize the code to SEO standards. The embedded link will enable your picture to pop up immediately for image searches and will lead your visitors to your webpage—a nice trick to generate some traffic.

9. Make Lots of Videos

Want to boost your SEO rankings? Videos are a surefire way to do it. If you want to improve rankings specifically for Google, your best bet is to upload your videos on YouTube since they’re owned by Google and are definitely going to show up in the search results. However, there are other options like Vimeo too. You can upload your work there too. In any case, the interesting thing about videos for brand and reputation management is that it’s less about the content of the video and more about how it’s indexed. The title of the video is especially important. Always include your name and your business name in the title and description sections. Also, keep the title short.

10. Write Press Releases

Press releases are a tried and tested method to get your name out there when all else fails. This is a time sensitive reputation management option and works best when it comes to handling a crisis of sorts. It’s also a formal way to respond to a query or accusation when posting on social media doesn’t seem appropriate. In any case, press releases are a great way to introduce a new product or service and keep your clients updated with business happenings. You can get professional press releases prepared with Search Berg at a fraction of the market rate.

11. Integrate All Your Links

A top SEO ranking makes a major positive contribution to your brand image. Studies show that over 80 percent of people will click on the first brand listed on the search results. So in a way, brand familiarity builds alongside SEO ranks. To get that rank however, you’ll have to ensure all your links are interconnected. Back-links are king! Here are some tips on how to effectively back-link:

  • Mention your blog and website on all your social media profiles.
  • Add links to all your guest posts, interviews and podcasts so people can be led to your homepage.
  • Embed videos to your blogs and then share them onto your social media platforms.
  • Link your sub-domains and blog posts to your homepage.
  • Proudly mention all your notable achievements on your social media and directory listings.

Want Professional Reputation Management Services?

Positive brand marketing and online reputation management isn’t everyone’s cup of tea. It takes serious dedication and SEO marketing knowledge to get quick results. Perhaps then seeking professional help is the ideal solution for small businesses.

Search Berg offers online reputation management services to all kinds of businesses and is a specialist in the White Hat SEO marketing department. Get in touch with the leading content development firm in the United States today!

The Right Approach To Online Reviews And Testimonials For Hospitality Businesses And What It Means For Reputation Management In 2018

Consumer trust is of the utmost importance for businesses that work in the hospitality industry such as hotels, lodges, and luxury resorts. The more reliable, efficient and cost effective your services are, the higher the chances you have of expanding your existing customer base quickly. In the online arena, trust means positive reviews and testimonials left by actual individuals who have used the services at a hospitality establishment and are rating their experience. This makes popular review sites like Yelp, TripAdvisor, and Google Reviews, essentially goldmines.

This post will highlight some recent research on the crucial role reviews and testimonials play for businesses in the hospitality industry. It will also highlight some strategies companies can employ to create custom benchmarks to conquer their competition.

Industry Stats—What Does The Research Say?

Here are some enlightening stats regarding the importance of customer reviews for hotel chains, lodging providers, etc.

According to an Ipsos MORI study, 97% of TripAdvisor users agree that customer approval was a key factor contributing to their purchase decision.

Moreover, 98% of those surveyed maintained that they considered online reviews, testimonials, and citations to be a leading cause of increased sales.

Yet another survey conducted by Static Brain established that 49% of customers refuse to make reservations at a hotel with no reviews. With such conclusive research, it’s evident that online reputation management is an indispensable part of the corporate strategy of businesses in the hospitality industry.

What Positive Online Reviews & Testimonials Mean For Your Business

There are several ways businesses in the hospitality industry stand to gain for favorable online customer reviews and testimonials. Some of these include:

  • It’s Great for Search Engine Optimization—Customer reviews consist of a client’s genuine opinion and are a treasure trove of useful data like keywords, customer perception about your brand, service hits and misses, etc. Reviews make reliable content for search engines, strengthening your digital media presence and SEO efforts.
  • Gives You an Opportunity To Improve Corporate Strategy—The reviews you receive should be used to learn something specific about your business. For instance, you might think that branding yourself as a ‘Bread and Breakfast’ aligns with your vision. However, the opinions of hundreds of customer reviews may open your eyes to other marketing pathways. Likewise, testimonials on your site about a particular service which has become a customer favorite should tell you a lot about which direction you need to go in.
  • Little Effort Is Required From Your Behalf—When it comes to reviews, clients are the ones creating content for. Depending on the size of your business and the current season, you could get thousands of reviews on a monthly basis.

The Right Approach To Managing Online Customer Reviews

Now that we’ve established how important good customer reviews are for the productivity of the hospitality businesses, let’s discuss how we can get them.

Independent platforms like TripAdvisor allow existing customers to express their opinions about a company—good or bad—without the company’s interference.

This is the ultimate reputation management technique because it dispels negative or false information about your business. Customers are assured that the review platform has no stakes in the game and therefore, is providing genuine customer feedback.

The following are a few effective tips on generating positive reviews.

  • Provide Top Quality Service—There’s no way around it; without genuine hard work, your dream of becoming a 5-star hospitality business will stay a dream. You can’t deliver a sub-standard experience to customers and expect great reviews. If you feel like your service management could use some more work, start investing the necessary time and resources into that department today
  • Respond To All Kinds of Reviews—Even if you think a review is fake, don’t ignore it. Leave a polite, non-committal response to the review instead of leaving a blank space in the designated area. The simple fact that you didn’t ignore such a review shows that you have confidence in the quality of your services and are always willing to consider customers’ feedback. This gives readers a chance to judge your brand’s personality and know exactly what kind of company you run.
  • Make Social Media Handles Public—More than TripAdvisor, social media platforms like Instagram are taking the lead as the number one source of customer reviews for some businesses like restaurants. Make your Instagram handle public so that every mention of your company on listings leads readers to your business. Typical Instagram searches for a business show photos and comments of customers who’ve visited your business. From the photos customers share to their comments, and even the emojis they use, all of these tacitly point to the quality of service you provide.

While it’s true that SEO is crucial for any industry, the hospitality industry depends on favorable customer reviews and testimonials from sites like Yelp. Unfortunately, where there are positive reviews, there are also negative ones and often times negative reviews are left with the purpose of hurting a business rather than sharing an actual experience. This is where SEO-based reputation management—one of the most effective ways to counter negative SEO, improve brand perception and increase consumer trust—comes in. A positive company image, powerful brand identity, and a high level of trust are the key benefits businesses enjoy from hiring professional reputation management services.

Final Word

If you want to put your best side forward, consider the reputation management services we provide. Search Berg understands exactly how great customer trust can help businesses in the hospitality industry to gain web authority and strengthen their brand.

This is why our RM services are customizable and designed to boost a company’s online reputation and increase the level of trust customers have in your services.

Our repertoire of services includes SEO, SMM, PPC, Content Marketing, and more.

Contact us today if you want to avail exemplary reputation management services to win the game.

Post-Crisis Practices: Repairing Your Company’s Reputation The Right Way

A bad review here, a client complaint there; it’s not uncommon for businesses to experience some kind of setbacks regarding their offline and online reputation. Then there are cases where the slip up is too big to remain limited to an agitated user’s response in your Facebook comment section.

Reputation downfall happens to the best of businesses. From an angry ex-employee going on a rampage online to a misunderstood incident at the retail outlet, something happens and the internet notices—and not in the good way.

Before long, you’re bombarded with messages from customers and general public, and top Google search engine posts about your business deliver bad news.

So what do you when that happens? Here we will be discussing the ways you can rebuild your company’s reputation.

Understand how reputation affects business

In fact, understand what business reputation is: it’s everything you do. Every single word you say on your website, in your blogs, on your social media posts, or even to a customer in an Instagram direct message—it all matters.

Approximately half of adults in the U.S. have said that they Google a business before considering buying from/working with them. Every step to take, every change that occurs—whether it’s the color scheme of a new product on the brochure design for a new service—has a role to play in your reputation.

Business reputation also involves everyone who is a part of the business. Collaborating with celebrities with a bad media image has proven to be damaging for businesses, even if their own practices are void of any unfair, unethical practices.

Your business reputation is that pervasive.

Research what started the reputation downfall

In order to restore your company’s reputation effectively and minimize any surprises,get your facts straight. Limit potential surprises. You may want to start reputation building by first eliminating the factors that deteriorate your reputation—otherwise you’re rowing a boat that essentially trying to go forward with weights pulling it back.

Have your PR team and marketers research the facts before they go public. You’re not only looking for what happened from your point-of-view, but also how the public perceived it.

Do not delay responding to customer complaints

Before the speculation gets out of hand, before the real story becomes populated with rumors, clarify the situation and apologize to whom you owe the apology. Responding on time is not going to fix everything, but it is a start.

Here is the thing: a happy customer will tell five of their friends about their experience, whereas an unhappy customer’s audience is doubled. The longer you delay your response, the more people get to know about the problem, and the more business you risk losing.

Make your comeback with specific content

As much as we love the content internet for its ever-lasting nature (unless it’s deleted or temporary), it’s not as charming a quality when you’re working on rebuilding your reputation. You’ve issued your apologies and are working hard to reverse the problem, but the news, social media content and user reviews are there to stay. Removing them isn’t the solution.

Creating content that beats it is. Here are a few online marketing strategies you can invest in:

SEO-Based Content Marketing

Consumers today have stopped trusting ads, trusting in the “real information” which is a few clicks away, i.e. a Google search.

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is particularly useful for small businesses that do not have the means to repair their reputation via traditional marketing or events. It’s valuable tool for small-scale B2Bbusinesses too; SERPs (search engine result pages)happen to be B2B buyers’ #1 resource for research, and online content effects 9 out of 10 business-to-business purchases.

An expert SEO service such as SearchBerg can help you return your company to a position trust by improving your content’s rankings. Google-friendly link building improves ranking both onsite and offsite.

Social Media Marketing

Social media, if navigated right, is the platform where billion dollar-worth businesses are launched and run. Studies reveal that over 95% of online adult users (ages 18-34) today get invested in brands because of their social media reach than most other forms of marketing.

With a combination of right paid and organic social media content, you can reestablish your target audience’s trust in you in a more personal way. Keep interacting with your followers and potential customers. Post about what’s hip and happening. Humanize your brand; people are more understanding when “corporate-speak” is not involved.

In short, take control of the social conversations about you.

Reputation Management

In addition to conventional online marketing strategies, go for reputation-building experts who can help you put your best side on display. Trust, reviews, and recommendations all result from the right reputation management.

This includes positive branding, not just through website content and social media, but other means, including guest blogs, press release publication, as well as analytics services to monitor the progress of reputation management campaigns.

Reputation management companies do not just create content, but do so with the right “tone”. When it comes torestoring the brand’s image, a single out-of-place word matters, which is why in-house content creation is usually not advisable.

SearchBerg, in addition to an array of online marketing services, also specializes in aspects of content-based reputation management. The experts identify all negative data about the business circulating on the internet and create and implement multi-tiered strategies to shine a positive yet not-so-drastic light the business through targeted content.

Rely on customer reviews and testimonials

“Real people, real things”—it’s popular phenomenon on the internet. Between influencer review blog posts and Instagram story-based reviews, people trust content shared by other people.

Research reveals more than 84% of people read online reviews trust the information in these as much as they trust the information provided by a friend.

That being said, reviews and feedback are your new best friends on your journey to repairing your company’s reputation. Encourage your customers/client to share their opinions. In addition to testimonials on your website and social media ratings and review, rely on third-party sites such as Yelp and Google My Business (GMB).

Reward customers and supporters

In midst of the reputation dilemma, there will be people who come forward and give you a chance and speak out in your favor. Do not take it for granted. Reward them with recognition, and discounts and freebies on your products and services.

Give it space when needed

There’s a thing such as trying too hard, and it applies to reputation management. Dish out positive content, be proactive and solve problems when they occur, communicate with customers, encourage positive reviews—and do it all at the right pace. At times, leave some breathing space; the public will forget and forgive if you maintain the right balance of pushing and giving then time to think over the matter.

FINAL THOUGHTS

Every next move should be made with regard to the situation at hand. Stay consistent with investing in reputation management measures and monitor the changes consistently. Leverage the preexisting good things, get legal help where necessary, and involve everyone to your team to contribute.

Remember, it’s all about cleanup.

Online Reputation Management And SEO: Is There A Link?

Contents

In an age when digital technology has made online communication easier and faster than ever before, creating a positive online image has become an absolute must for businesses.

Regardless of the type of business or industry, business owners must go the extra mile to safeguard their online reputation. Negative customer reviews or bad publicity can cause unimaginable damage to a business.

Simply put, your company’s online reputation can make or break your brand.

Reputation 101

A brand’s online reputation is what customers think of it. Creating a positive image or reputation is crucial for any business. As a matter of fact, it’s the stepping stone toward business growth and success.

Importance of Online Reputation

laptop displaying the term ‘reputation management’ in a corporate setting

 

It can take a business several years to carve a name for itself. Yet, sometimes, all it takes is one angry customer’s review to tarnish the entire reputation of a well-respected brand.

One shouldn’t undermine the significance of good online reputation management. Proper online reputation management can benefit your business in the following ways:

Build Trust, Loyalty, and Expand Your Customer Base

From customers to investors, people trust positive brands with an impeccable online reputation. Most people research a business before investing in their products/services. If they read negative reviews about the company, they’re more likely to move on to the next firm.

Earning customers’ trust and loyalty is an important goal for most businesses. Keep in mind, news spreads fast on the internet. If a customer is disappointed with your products or services, they’re likely to share their experience with their friends and family. As a result, this may hurt your company in the long run. A proper online reputation management plan can help you take control of the situation.

Generate Substantial Returns

graphic design illustrating a person browsing through business listings online

When it comes to revenue, a positive online reputation can increase business sales. Increased sales come from customer trust and satisfaction. On the other hand, a poor online reputation can result in losses.

Good or bad, a company’s online reputation has a significant influence on a potential customer’s decision making and, in turn, the company’s revenue and profits. Therefore, businesses must come up with comprehensive online reputation management strategies.

We’ll go over a few options below.

SEO and Reputation Management

When an online user searches for your brand on Google, the information they see on the first page of search engines influences their purchasing decision. This means that both positive and negative information will be on full display for the customer to review and mull until they reach a decision.

As per research by Edelman Trust Barometer, 64% of people trust online search engines the most when conducting research on a business. This is primarily due to the fact that the Internet has become the number one source of information, including information about businesses.

Information appearing on search engine results can be the differentiator between the success or failure of a brand. If online users see damaging content or negative, false reviews about your business, it’s quite likely that they won’t purchase anything from your company.

SEO for Reputation Management

Search engine optimization is the fix for negative reviews and false information. Leveraging SEO can help you suppress and disavow incorrect URLs, and increase traffic to your website, resulting in more leads, conversions and sales. Statistically speaking, Google controls 77.98% of search engine traffic and that’s what you want to focus on.

A simple Google search can lead to customers having a negative or positive impression of your business. A negative reputation can hurt your business’s search engine ranking. It’s safe to say that online reputation management and SEO are closely connected.

In order to protect your brand’s online reputation, follow these golden rules:

Clean up Your Social Media

two phone screens displaying social media sites

Social networks enable businesses to promote and sell products/services to customers. Customers use their social media accounts to check out products/services and place orders. Simply put, social media is the new marketplace. It helps facilitate communication between businesses and customers.

Whether you run a Facebook or Instagram account for your business, post quality content (blogs, videos, product images, etc.) on a regular basis. As the leading social media platform, Facebook is a gold mine for marketers. Here’s some insight into how you can grow a small business through Facebook.

Your company’s social media profiles should include information that is consistent with your website. This includes information regarding products and services, contact, etc.

Register your business on Google My Business. Additionally, if a customer posts a negative review, refrain from ignoring the issue. Listen to and respond to a customer’s complaint or query immediately. Following these steps will strengthen your company’s reputation and boost your search engine rankings.

Find out more about the right approach to online reviews and testimonials to ensure you receive positive feedback and cultivate a strong online presence.

Quality Content Matters

Improve your brand’s reputation with quality content.

Be it social media or your website, original, insightful, and consistent online content adds value to a business. High-quality content is the key to building customer trust and loyalty, and improving search engine rankings.

Use industry and brand-specific keywords in your content without going overboard. Keywords need to be strategically placed to create a strong brand image. In addition, add Google-friendly links and promotional videos to cultivate a stronger brand presence.

Post Informative and Engaging Blogs

graphic design of an individual working on an engaging and informative blog post

Demonstrate your writing skills by posting insightful blogs about your products and services. You can promote blogs on your website and social profiles. Similarly, you can create guest posts for platforms with a high domain authority to attract quality backlinks and dominate search engines. Blogging can improve your SEO and online reputation.

Disavow/Report False or Incorrect Links

Any negative information about you must be redacted from the Google Index. This entails contacting the domain owner and asking them to remove the derogatory content. In some instances, further steps may be required. Facilitate the process by getting in touch with an experienced SEO agency.

Online reputation management can be a major undertaking that requires the technical know-how and expertise of a professional SEO agency.

At Search Berg, you can count on our reputation management services to deliver guaranteed results! After assessing your company’s online reputation, we will develop an effective reputation management strategy to strengthen the online image, reputation and search ranking of your brand. We also implement post-crisis practices to repair your company’s reputation and prevent long-term damage.

Call 855-444-4777 to discuss your business needs and get started! We also offer expert link building services to help your website climb SERPs and become an authoritative voice in the industry.