Online Reputation Repair

Online Reputation Repair – 9 Ways to Fix a Ruined Reputation

By: Frank DePino | May 9, 2024

Every business has some unfavorable reviews, but when it becomes excessive, you may need to look into online reputation repair. Negative articles and bad reviews don’t mean the end of your business, but they could damage your brand’s reputation substantially. 

What is Online Reputation Repair?

Online reputation repair refers to the process of managing, monitoring, and improving the online reputation and image of a brand. An effective way to repair your reputation involves identifying and addressing negative comments, reviews, or feedback about your business that can potentially harm your online reputation. With the rise of social media and other online platforms, businesses need to be more vigilant than ever about their online reputation. With several channels for people to broadcast any unpleasantries they experienced with your brand, reputation repair strategies are more sought after than ever.

A PR disaster is never expected, so it can be overwhelming when it does happen. Luckily, there are several things you can do to begin the process of online reputation repair for your brand. Keep reading to learn all of our best reputation repair strategies and how to utilize them.

Why is it important to repair your online reputation?

Consumers are consistently becoming educated buyers, with many doing plenty of research before purchasing now. In fact, according to a study done by Power Reviews, over 99.9% of consumers read reviews when looking at products and online services.

What causes a negative internet reputation?

Occurrences such as negative articles and bad reviews are the main reasons a brand may turn to online reputation repair services. Bad reviews typically highlight things such as bad service, lousy products, and a general lack of quality control.

Cleaning up mishaps like this can be challenging and time-consuming. Depending on the scale of backlash, your brand reputation can be damaged considerably.

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The Roadmap to repairing your online reputation

Now that we’ve gone over the basics of what online reputation repair is and how it can benefit your business, let’s go over how to utilize it.

1. Check the results displayed in the search engine

The first step to internet reputation repair is to find the problem and assess it. Searching your business using several different search engines can help you discover the issue. There may be one major problem causing your brand to receive a bad rap or there may be several problems at hand. Whatever the issue may be, it’s best to address the issue directly. This leads us to our next step in the online reputation repair process.

Marketing strategists are discussing how to repair their client's brand online reputation.

2. Make a list of the most negative things against your business

Being aware of all of the negative things consumers have to say about you can help you directly combat them. Negative and positive reviews alike are both valuable feedback, and tackling the things that people don’t like can greatly improve customer satisfaction and their experience. This list will be extremely helpful in addressing the current complaints and coming up with a strategy to ensure those issues don’t occur again.

3. Understanding the source of the negative reviews

Different channels seem to host different types of complaints. For example, if you check a business’s BBB (Better Business Bureau) page, there will almost certainly always be complaints about the service. Reviews on the BBB tend to be more detailed on everything that went wrong through the entire buyer experience.

Reviews on social media tend to be a bit more informal but still harmful nonetheless. Negative reviews on social media are typically more short form and won’t usually pop up in search engine results. These reviews are more likely to be seen directly on social media, so keep in mind where your audience is.

4. Create massive content trying to cover the bad results

Although letting something blow over and staying silent is a route many brands may take when under fire, creating content through the fire can be beneficial. Keep your content going – in fact, ramp it up! Publishing great new and valuable content will help with suppressing negative search results. Publishing accurate and useful content can help soften the blow of some discredability that comes with bad press.

5. Monitor who mentions you

Setting up Google Alerts for your own business name is a great way to ensure you’re the first one to see any mentions of it. Receiving good and bad callouts as soon as it happens can be a great way to be proactive about situations before they blow up. Staying engaged and aware of your brand is essential to repair online reputation.

6. Answering earnestly the bad reviews

Plenty of brands will maintain their reputation just by responding to reviews – good and bad. Responding to negative reviews gives you the opportunity to correct any mistakes addressed and attempt to repair the relationship with the customer or client.

Oftentimes, fixing the issue or even just an attempt to try to satisfy the customer can result in them updating the review with a higher star rating and even detailing how the business went above and beyond to correct the issue.

Even if the customer isn’t interested in fixing the issue, responding in a way that shows the business is open to criticism and improving upon it looks great. It’s important to avoid being aggressive or blaming the bad review on the customer.

Mediaboom displays its real testimonials on the website.

7. Show your authentic testimonials

Additionally, when it comes to reviews, it’s best to ensure they are all truthful and authentic. To help bolster the appearance of good reviews, some businesses have opted to purchase reviews. On the other hand, businesses have also found ways to filter out reviews that are too negative completely.

However as mentioned before, consumers are savvier than ever and keen to pick up on their being only overly positive reviews. Purchasing reviews and filtering out truthful reviews will create a sense of distrust and turn buyers away. So, it’s important to be tactful in your approach to managing bad reviews.

8. Be active in the most relevant communities of your business

Being active in communities within your relevant industry can help you establish yourself as an active and trusted source. The more you contribute, the more likely people will look to you as a known reference point. Being an active contributor also will prompt people to want to do business with you rather than your competitors, due to you being a more familiar source.

9. Setup a transparent policy about your product or service

A lot of tension between consumers and businesses stems from a lack of transparency. Being straightforward and transparent about your policies and what to expect when using your products or services can help prevent reputation damage before it occurs.

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Repair your online reputation with content removal: 4 steps to follow

Step 1: Contact the author of the bad review

In some industries more than others, it’s not unheard of for businesses to purchase bad reviews for their competitors. This is another reason why it’s important to try to follow up with each review to get more information on what went wrong. Contacting the author of the bad review to fix it can easily help the customer feel better and also weed out fake reviews against you.

Step 2: If it is defamatory, report it to social media/website

If you do believe a bad review is fraudulent and defamatory, you can report it to whichever platform it was made on. For example, you can report any fraudulent reviews to Google directly. However, this can be tricky territory since it can be challenging to prove a review is fake.

The algorithm can sometimes pick up on fake or suspicious reviews and they will be automatically flagged. However, if they aren’t you can still report them to get flagged as suspicious. If you can, make sure there are multiple accounts flagging these reviews so they can get removed faster.

The client is discussing with her attorney whether to take legal action

Step 3: Evaluate legal options

If fake reviews have been a consistent issue for you, you actually can take legal action. It’s illegal for businesses to pay for or write fake testimonials. In most cases, it’s sufficient to report and flag any fake reviews and businesses partaking in this. However, if you believe you are being specifically targeted in a defamation attempt, it may be worth pursuing legal repercussions.

Step 4: Ask for the removal to search engine

Depending on what is receiving negative attention, you can make the webpage or result unindexable. Of course, you can just opt for content removal instead, but making the page not indexable can help if you want to keep the page and just make it not findable through search engines.

However, this only works for your sites. Unfortunately, Google themselves cannot do anything that is on someone else’s page that can be harmful to your reputation. This is another instance where it would make sense to look into legal solutions for this issue.

Additional tips to repair your online reputation

Online reputation repair takes time and several tactics to successfully repair your reputation. So, we’ll go over even more ways to help you cultivate some more positive content for your business.

Tip 1: Ask for a positive press release

Another common tactic is to publish a press release after a PR disaster. The goal of this press release should be to address the issue and give your business the chance to highlight the improvements made and how users can expect a new, better experience. Not to mention, a positive press release is a good starting point for a “fresh start” to mark the change.

Tip 2: Let influential people talk positively about you

Doing partnerships with trusted figures like influencers in your relevant niche can really help spring-jump your new image! One of the biggest benefits of utilizing influencer marketing is you will have someone who has already cultivated an audience that trusts them speaking on your behalf. Considering influencers in your marketing budget can definitely be worthwhile.

Google Search Console shows the results achieved in terms of traffic after SEO optimization of the website

Tip 3: Works on SEO

SEO is a never-ending project, and having a solid SEO strategy can help promote good brand habits. Having a fantastic SEO understanding will also help you continue to improve your brand’s reputation. Understanding the algorithm and how to provide content that will rank well on search engines and provide value to your audience is key.

Tip 4: Boost your social media marketing

Sometimes, the person in charge of social media marketing will turn to content removal from your pages to make a rebrand clear. Ideally, they will definitely be keeping their consumers in the loop on their rebrand.

To keep the momentum going, not only should you be putting out more content, but also buffing up your social media marketing strategies as well. If you’re using reputation repair strategies, it’s important to be thorough and consistent with your work!

Deliver the best service or product possible

In most cases, providing the best services and products are the ideal goal for businesses. Unfortunately, sometimes people miss the mark. Receiving negative reviews and needing to repair your reputation can be frustrating and discouraging. However, it also presents the opportunity to really evaluate what you offer and what your audience wants.

The risk of not repairing the Internet Reputation

As mentioned before, despite the damage that can occur if you do not properly manage online reputation repair when necessary, some businesses will decide to let it all blow over. Sometimes this method does work if the issues are minor enough. However, it’s still a risk that can quickly snowball into something worse. Remember, a bad PR event doesn’t have to mean the end of your business. There are ways to repair your reputation and your business will emerge even better than it was before.

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Seeking to elevate your luxury business? Let Mediaboom guide you. Secure your exclusive, free consultation with our luxury marketing experts today.

Don’t want to risk? Hire now an online reputation repair agency

Remembering all these tips and utilizing all these steps can be challenging. Not to mention, even once you successfully repair your online negative reviews and garner a positive reputation, you still have to maintain it. This is why it’s a great idea to invest in hiring an online reputation repair agency that can help you with all of your current and future needs.

Feel free to contact us for a free consultation to see what solution will be best for you.

By: Frank DePino

Frank DePino is Principal and Founder of Mediaboom. Since 2002, Frank has led Mediaboom’s award-winning staff of creative and technical professionals, building the most effective marketing and advertising solutions for its clients.


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