Rumson, NJ, November 07, 2008 --(PR.com
)-- Internet blogging has given individuals unprecedented access and free distribution of written content and opinion. This is both a blessing and a curse depending on the content and target of the written piece. The need for Internet Reputation Management has sky-rocketed in response to business owners who find themselves confronted with highly visible commentary of their business on Google, Yahoo and MSN searches.
Business owners often feel helpless in protecting their online reputation from valid blog posts and negative posts planted by competitors. On the flip side, businesses often fail to leverage positive commentary and testimonials posted on the Internet. Having a proactive strategy for disseminating positive commentary can often be the best defense against future negative attacks.
Internet Reputation Management services have a bright future. New web content is growing in direct relation to the explosive growth of social networking portals. Each month new tools are being made available to allow a non-technical Internet user to create their own website, blog and social networking portal. With the ease at which content can be created, organized and shared on the Internet, business owners need to be mindful of what is being written about their company.
Free Basic Reputation Tracking Tools
Protecting a company's reputation on the Internet can start with using a simple and effective tool called “Google Alerts”. Once a free account is created with Google, specific search phrases can be entered into a 'watch list'. Google will then send the company an email with links to articles that include the phrases in their watch list. Companies can request notifications as they happen or summarized daily, weekly or monthly. The Pasch Consulting Group recommends that companies start with the “as it happens” choice for a week, and then decide to move it to “once a day”.
The Pasch Consulting Group watch list includes ‘Brian Pasch”, “Pasch Consulting”, “Pasch Consulting Group”, and “NJ SEO”. They also include in their watch list some of the buzz words in the niches they cover. For their Automotive Marketing Division their watch list includes: “Automotive SEO”, “Automotive Digital Marketing”, “Car Dealer Websites” and “Automotive SEO Specialist”. PCG use Google Alerts for both reputation management as well as tracking what other companies are posting in their competitive space.
Creating A Reputation Management Watch List
A recommended strategy for a business watch list would include the business name, the product names and the names of the company's key executives. Knowing what is being said, both positive and negative, is the first step in creating a sustained reputation management plan.
An Internet Reputation Management strategy should have a clear escalation plan for positive and negative commentary. Positive commentary should be evaluated and the very best should be included on a company blog or website news page. Companies should get permission from the individual to repurpose their commentary in marketing materials.
Negative content should have an immediate response strategy which is best handled by a seasoned SEO and Reputation Management Consultant (RPC). Every post will have a different strategy depending on where the post was made and the policies of the website host.
Reputation Management for Professional Services
Recently, a New York City executive coaching and placement firm called the Pasch Consulting Group about a barrage of vicious attacks on the firm’s founder and on the services they offer for executives in transition. The negative posts were well planned and well placed so that they appeared on Google Page One, when consumers issued a search on the company name. The CEO said that these comments were directly hurting their business and needed immediate relief.
The company’s lawyer had already pursued legal action against the individual who posted the verbal assaults under different names and aliases. This disgruntled individual eventually signed a retraction letter and promised to stop this Internet reputation attack. In reality, he never stopped posting. So the Pasch Consulting Group was called in to help. Within 30 days most of the visible articles were removed from the various websites. PCG also found additional negative posts on business portal sites that they were able to remove directly.
PCG created an offensive plan to get articles posted about the hundreds of satisfied clients the company had from its long history. For this client, they never invested the time to post their client testimonials and case studies on the Internet. Using various techniques, PCG was able to add significant content in Google page 1 and 2 for searches on their company name.
Reputation Management for Car Dealers
For Automotive Dealers, online reputation management must be part of their Internet Marketing Strategy to protect their PMA from neighboring car dealers. If a car dealer’s visible Internet reputation is poor, consumers may very well shop at a neighboring dealership.
Many people have seen posts on the Internet that were outlandish and shocking. These negative posts can give consumers second thoughts about buying from certain dealers. It only takes a few angry consumers to make any dealership look like the devil.
Often, consumers have a choice between two dealers that are 15 miles apart. If one car dealer has glowing reputation scores and one has low scores, reputation can sway their final pick. Of course other factors play a part in that final decision like price, convenience and availability. However, if a company's Internet reputation can be improved, taking remedial action is mandatory to continue to grow Internet sales leads.
Sites like DealerRater.com, Yahoo Local, Insider Pages, Google Maps and Yelp all have review engines that can appear on Google Page One when consumers search your business name. General Managers need to implement a system to regularly request positive review from their customers. This can include new car customers as well as service customers.
Businesses should create a list of all review pages in an email and send these links to satisfied customers. The email should request that they post an honest review of their company. Company's should not attempt to post customer reviews from their own business computers. Many of these sites track IP addresses and they could be banned from the directory for review spamming.
Empowering Your Satisfied Customers
Reputation Management requires both an offensive and defensive strategy. The longer an offensive strategy is in place, the harder it is for negative commentary to drastically affect any business. If a company has been lax at posting positive commentary, then Any negative commentary will look out of proportion.
Business owners can no longer ignore public commentary and commercial review websites. A restaurant owner that has a comment posted on the Internet about a food poisoning episode, without balanced commentary, will be affected for consumers looking to try a new restaurant using Internet based searches. A hotel that has posts about dirty bed linens and mildew will see their online bookings drop. Simply stated, any post with a specific company name needs to be reviewed.
The Pasch Consulting Group has effective methodologies and strategies to assist business owners in implementing a solid reputation management action plan. If you would like additional information, visit http://www.paschconsulting.com
Pasch Consulting Group