Review Management FAQs

Updated March 30, 2020

Estimated reading time: 6 minutes

If you’re a business owner, you’re likely very well aware of how important reviews are to your reputation and the success of your organization. And, in that vein, you’re probably aware that, in this always-on digital landscape, it only takes one bad review to counteract dozens or even hundreds of good ones. Warranted or not, there’s only one thing to do after receiving a bad review: damage control.

We get it — we’ve been there and we’ve helped countless businesses manage their online reputation. That said, we also understand damage control is easier said than done. While it may be tempting to brush some bad reviews under the rug, we know that 85% of consumers trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations. In other words, bad reviews aren’t something you can ignore — but we can help. Read on to learn more about review management and get in touch to review your online reputation.

Is my online reputation important?

In a word: YES! We live in a digital world and, whether you’re an online business, brick-and-click or brick-and-mortar, your online presence is more important than ever – especially when it comes to driving new traffic through your doors. In 2017, 97% of consumers used the internet to find local businesses, and, in 2016, 90% read online reviews before visiting a business. In short, potential customers are using the internet to find you, and the things previous clients have to say matters.

What is online reputation management?

Online reputation management is exactly what it sounds like – managing you or your business’ web presence including websites, blog posts, images, and social platforms. Basically, anything that turns up in a Google search.
If something negative appears, it’s important that the link isn’t the first thing prospective customers see. An online reputation manager will ensure your online presence is professional, enhancing your expertise in the field and helping to attract more customers and sales.

How does someone protect a reputation from these attacks?

Bad reviews happen. Sometimes they’re deserved and sometimes not. After you’ve spotted a bad review, it’s normal to feel angry or even hurt. Our advice? Shake it off. Relax and rest assured that actions can be taken to counteract these situations. Sometimes negative reviews, links, content or graphics can be removed, but it’s usually better to focus on crafting information, detail-rich content instead.

Well-written blog posts, images, articles, video and other content posted to the right platforms can push negative reviews or links off the first page of Google’s search results. It’s important to use original content and to be tactful about the messaging included.

Why is having a good online reputation necessary at all?

A good online reputation is directly linked to your bottom line. Consider this:

  • More than 25% of a company’s market value is directly tied to its reputation, per Deloitte, and 87% of executives rate managing reputation risk as more important than other strategic risks
  • 66% of consumers trust consumer opinions posted online
  • A one-star rating increase on Yelp can translate to a 5% to 9% increase in restaurant revenue
  • 86% of people would pay more for services from a company with higher ratings
  • 73% of shoppers say positive reviews build their trust in a local business

What are ways a reputation can be damaged?

Negative blog posts, poor reviews, complaint sites and even on the local press can all negatively impact a brand’s reputation. Some jilted workers and customers even get creative and make fake domains to post bad things about a company or its employees — again, these negative reviews aren’t always warranted. 

What can happen if someone writes something negative?

If a negative post or comment appears on the first page of Google, the fallout can be bad for a business. Many small business owners report having to close their operations due to a bad link that persistently appears in their search results and drives away business. 

What should you do if something negative shows up?

Whatever you do, DON’T respond in the heat of the moment. Responding to a negative review or post in kind will only make things worse. It makes you look bad even if you’re right and, potentially, opens the door to a much larger dispute with the person in question.

Instead of reacting, focus on developing a plan for correcting the problem. First, ask yourself if the negative comment is deserved. If so, take steps to address the problem. You may be able to respond to the customer in a professional way, but take care when crafting a response. Sometimes people will remove negative reviews after the problem has been resolved or will post a follow-up comment showing the public that you handled the issue professionally. This can sometimes benefit businesses because it gives prospective clients an unbiased perspective of your company.

The best thing you can do, however, is focus on publishing informative, professional content about your brand and being active on Facebook, Instagram and other social media platforms. Eventually, the negative link will fall off the first page of your Google search results.

Once something is online, is it there forever?

In most cases, it’s there forever unless the author removes the post. That said, 92% of internet users only use the first page of Google when researching a business, so you’re usually fine as long as the negative link is on the second page or beyond.

Some people are afraid of having a bad reputation or getting reviews, so they stay offline. Is this a good idea?
Absolutely not. We live in a highly connected era and, again, 97% of consumers search for businesses online. You’re missing a huge opportunity to attract customers and boost sales if you neglect the internet. Plus, just because your brand isn’t promoted online, doesn’t mean negative links won’t show up. It’s better to be proactive about managing your online presence and combat negative links with high-quality content. 

How long does it take and how much does it cost?

It takes about six months for a bad review to fall off the first page of a company’s Google search results. Google changes its algorithms regularly and there’s no simple solution. The best thing you can do is invest time and effort in publishing informative content on effective platforms and remain active on social media. Reputation management costs vary, but the process can be expensive. That being said, most business owners find it far more affordable than shuttering their operations.