Three Tips for Successful Online Reputation Management for Local Businesses

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As part of enhancing online reach, local businesses need to be able to maintain and control the image of their brand online. My Local Leads, an online lead generation firm based in Maine provides three helpful tips for better online reputation management for local companies.

Many business owners are moving online and doing their best to enhance their reach. However, many of those same business owners are completely unaware of work that must be done behind the scenes to effectively handle online reputation management. Online reputation management helps to control the way a company’s brand is perceived. The easiest way to begin the process is by doing a search online through Google, Bing, and Yahoo. Look for the brand, not just the keywords that are being targeted for the company. From there, see what people are saying about the company. If there are plenty of positive comments, most of the hard work is already done. On the other hand, if there are no comments or many negative comments, it means that the work is just beginning. My Local Leads specializes in local search marketing and online lead generation for local companies across the US. These are some of the same tips they provide to their own clients when it comes to properly maintaining and building a brand online.

The first and most important step in online reputation management is to be sure to claim the brand online. This will entail searching review sites, business directories, local directories, and more. Many will allow companies to lay claim to their own data once they have verified their identity. Google Local, for example, sends a postcard to the business location with a unique code to enter online. Claiming these business listings does a few things. First, it usually allows business owners to input vital information including updated contact information, a website URL, hours of operation, and so on. That can help benefit customer experience, incoming leads, and local SEO. This also provides the business an opportunity to remove or address negative comments or reviews.

Some will recommend that businesses remove any negative comments that they can from online sources. It is important to not be too hasty. Spam links, comments with no substance, or just outright false information should be removed. There are many mischievous people out there. For those with valid complaints or concerns, it may actually be beneficial not to remove those, but rather address them. Show that the company is willing to work with people and make things right. This does not work, however, if there are not a number of positive reviews to overshadow the negative ones.

Finally, one of the most important parts of success online reputation management for local businesses is to be sure to offer superior products and services. Being great to customers encourages them to remember and tell their friends. There is nothing wrong with asking people, after they have done business with the company, to leave a review online. The company can even suggest where such as Google Reviews or Angie’s List. There is a problem when those reviews are false or the customers are given some sort of kickback for leaving positive reviews, though, so do not fall into that trap. By providing excellent customer service, however, local businesses are building their brand in a natural, organic way, which will pay off both online and offline, bringing in repeat and new business.

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Chris Moreno

Cameron Corniuk
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