How To Stay on Top of Your Company’s Online Reputation

How To Stay on Top of Your Company’s Online Reputation

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What do people really think of your business? There was a time when gauging word-of-mouth buzz and general public perception might have been a tricky thing for business owners to accomplish, but in the age of, it is far too easy. All a business owner needs to do is conduct a quick Google search or consult with a few online review sites, and the general consensus about their brand, their products and their services, becomes quite clear. 

But make no mistake about it: Your online reputation is not just a concern for your business image. It can actually have a huge, bottom-line impact on the business’ ultimate success. This is because people really do read online reviews, or at least check out the star ratings. After all, review sites make it easy for consumers to do their homework, to feel like they are making informed decisions about where and how they spend their hard-earned money. As such, positive online reviews can lead to more customers and clients, while bad reviews can scare would-be customers away. 

So it is in your best interest to shoot for the most flattering reviews — and lots of them. You can’t really control what the critics (aka your customers) have to say about you, but here are a few techniques to boost your clout on and other online review sites.

6 Tips for Online Review Management

Keep the following tips in mind when trying to increase your online reputation: 

1.     Management begins with monitoring. The last thing you want is to be completely in the dark with regard to what people are saying about your company. You can’t afford to simply ignore online review sites, so make sure you check into your profiles on Angie’s List, Yelp, and other applicable review sites at least once a week, just to take the temperature.

2.     Let go. Remember that the only way to “control” what people say about you or your business is by offering good services in a professional manner. You can’t force positive reviews, any more than you can prevent negative ones. Threatening to sue over a bad review is not going to do you any good either because courts view online review sites as avenues for free speech. Bad reviews are devastating, but there’s no use spending all your time fretting over something you cannot control.

3.     Control what you can. You can work to control certain facets of your reviews. Some review sites offer you space to include an “About” section, general contact information about your company, a logo, and more, on your company’s profile page. Take advantage of these fields to brand your company as positive and desirable.

4.     Respond appropriately. When you receive a positive review, say thank you. When you get constructive criticism, take a few deep breaths, make sure you’re not responding in anger, and offer a quick word of affirmation, promising to correct the problems as best you can. Finally, should your company get totally flamed by an outright-malicious cyber bully, it is usually best not to respond at all. Nothing good comes out of dealing with a bully in a public forum. If you give these negative reviews attention by commenting, you are essentially telling Google they are relevant. In turn, Google will rank the negative reviews higher because of the activity.

5.     Fix what you can. Not all online criticisms are going to be reasonable, but many of them will be. If you routinely get dinged for poor customer service, for example, it might be time to have a talk with your front office team or your customer support representatives.

6.     Ask for positive reviews. Ask your devoted, faithful customers who use your services regularly to help you out. Leave links to your online review profiles on invoices and in email signatures. You might even offer some small discount in exchange for an online endorsement. The more positive reviews you have, the better it reflects on your business — and the less damage those ugly reviews will do. 

What other people say about your company is ultimately up to them. However, you can and should work to position your business as brands of choice on the Web. 

About the Author

Amanda E. Clark is the president and editor-in-chief of Grammar Chic Inc., a full-service professional writing company. She is a published ghostwriter and editor, and currently under contract with literary agencies in Malibu, Calif., and Dublin, Ireland.

Since founding Grammar Chic in 2008, Clark, along with her team of skilled professional writers, has offered expertise to clients in the creative, business and academic fields. The company accepts a wide range of projects and often engages in content and social media marketing, drafts resumes, press releases, Web content, marketing materials and ghostwritten creative pieces. Contact Clark at


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