There are many ways to build and improve your online reputation, and it can often be a struggle to know where to start, especially if negative reviews are threatening traffic and sales.
There are many methods to help manage your reputation online, some of which may be more effective for you than others. To help concentrate your efforts, set up an online reputation management plan with the most relevant actions for your reputation from the following:
If you do not already own a blog, then set one up as soon as possible. Try to set it up either as a separate domain, or as a subdomain. That way, you can ensure it ranks separately from your main site, which creates another online asset that can be used to help prevent negative results from appearing in the first page of a search engine results.
You need to be updating your blog with original, quality content, either about your company or about your industry in general. You can also offer out articles as guest posts on other similar blogs. Not only can this help you to rank for your name, but could also establish a valuable backlink to your website or blog.
Social media is a vital part of any online reputation management plan. Having an account on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, etc will increase the number of online assets you have, and increase your online presence overall. Not all sites will be relevant for all people or companies, such as YouTube or Pinterest, but it may be a good idea to sign up for an account anyway, if only to protect your name from being misrepresented.
To stay on top of reviews, comments and mentions, set up Google Alerts for your name or keyword. When Google finds something newly placed on the web, such as a news article, it will send an alert to your email to notify you of this. Not only can you keep track of positive mentions, but you can also stay on top of any negative content before it begins to rank.
You could also try to influence the Google autocomplete. If users see negative suggestions when searching for your name, they may be more likely to view that content, which is not what you want. Try to influence the Google autocomplete to only include positive or neutral search terms.
Testimonials and reviews are something you should always aim to include where possible. These should be genuine customer reviews. Of course, not everyone takes the time to leave a comment, so try to encourage users to leave feedback of their experience, and select a few to display on your website or blog.