Bad Online Reviews: Yikes! What Should I Do?

bad reviewYikes! What Should I Do about a Bad Online Review?

Have you ever gotten a bad review online? You sat there frozen wondering what you should do about it. Panic spreads as you are freaked by this scathing new comment. What will prospects and potential new clients think about your company if they read this?

Here’s my advice on how to handle this stressful predicament and manage your online reputation.

1. Take a deep breath and relax. It’s just one review. You likely have other positive comments from happy customers. If not, I’ll tell you a little more about how to get them at the end of the post.

2. Reread the Review. Look over the comment and see if you can identify who may have written it. Was it a disgruntled employee or someone who was fired recently? Or was it a customer with a legitimate gripe?

3. Have a Company Meeting. Sit down as a company or with management and talk about negative reviews. Set a policy for what type of action to take regarding social media comments. If the complaint was related to a customer service or product issue, take time to assess your process and best practices to avoid similar problems in the future.

4. Set up Google Alerts. Set up google.com/alerts for your company name, company name + review, names of board members, etc. Don’t forget to use quotes when setting up the alert. For example, if I were setting up my own alert, I might use these: “Findability University”, “Heather Lutze Speaker”, and “Findability.com”. You can also set up alerts at Mention.com to notify you about any mentions in social media or on the web.

Here’s a great article from Inc.com about how to use Google Alerts to stay apprised of the buzz about your company online, good or bad. http://www.inc.com/jeff-haden/5-ways-to-go-far-beyond-google-alerts.html

5. Appeal to Google. You can get a Google review assessed and possibly removed if you think it goes against Google’s review policy. First you flag it for review and then wait to hear about their assessment. This only works for reviews that are inaccurate, not fact-based and that disobey Google’s policies.

Read this support piece to learn more. https://support.google.com/business/answer/4596773?hl=en Other review sites like Trip Advisor or Yelp have their own process for handling bad reviews that are not true or inaccurate.

6. Get More Good Reviews! Another option is to increase the number of good reviews you have. Think about your satisfied customers or clients who would write you a testimonial praising your products or services. Connect and ask them to do this for you. You might also set a new policy to request a review whenever a customer expresses how pleased they are. Perfect timing to garner another glowing testimonial!

Don’t take a bad review here and there to heart and remember that people love to complain anonymously on the web. Do make sure to investigate a poor review and see this as an opportunity to improve if needed. Then be sure to focus your energy on getting good reviews and you’ll maintain your strong reputation.

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You may schedule a FREE one hour Findability Audit with Heather by clicking the icon below

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or you may call her directly at 888-588-9326

5 Things Every Business Owner Should Know About Yelp

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1: There’s no such thing as NOT being on Yelp.

Remember back in the early days of social media where you had to create an account to get started?

When it comes to Yelp, things are a little different. In an ideal world, you’ve already created your own account and claimed your business page.

But if you haven’t – someone else might have done this for you. And it’s not always someone with the most flattering things to say about your brand.

You can’t choose not to be on Yelp. If you’re ignoring Yelp, your business is either there already or will be soon.

What happens when you have a Yelp page you’re not proactively managing?

What happens when you have a Yelp page you’re not proactively managing?

  • Your business looks less than professional.
  • You lose the opportunity to connect with people who are looking for the products and services you offer.

You run the risk of having your reputation damaged by what’s being said there – and all the while you’re completely unaware of the damage being done to your hard earned reputation.

2: A stronger Yelp reputation can enhance your SEO efforts.

In mid-2014, Google made one of its regular algorithm changes, this one nicknamed Pigeon.

It completely revolutionized local search results within Google. Specifically, it greatly boosted the how directory sites are ranked in local search results.

Practically speaking, this often results in Yelp listings appearing above a company’s own website in search engine results pages (SERPS). Additionally, Google started including businesses’ Yelp star ratings embedded within search results.

This is a game changer for businesses. And it means that moving up in Google search depends not just on your SEO efforts, but on the effort you place on providing outstanding service to your customers as well.

3: The surprising places your Yelp rating now shows up.

If only your performance on Yelp were only about Yelp. But these days, it’s about so much more.

Let me explain.

I just mentioned that Yelp now impacts your ranking in Google search. But it also shows up in places like Apple Maps, Mercedes-Benz vehicles, and Trulia – just for starters.

In fact – over 100,000 developers have registered to use Yelp’s API to integrate ratings data into their products.

This means that your Yelp rating is of critical importance in helping you connect with people looking for great products and services like yours.

4: A bad review can actually help your business.

People-Hate-Us-On-YelpContrary to what you might think, most reasonable people aren’t looking for you to have only 5-star reviews on Yelp.

Most people can accept if you have an occasional bad day. Of course, if every review you have is negative, that’s another issue altogether. (Unless you’re like this restaurant that actually encourages bad reviews – but that’s an exception.)

One or two bad reviews isn’t the end of the world.

In fact – if you know how to respond, in some cases, you can actually get better publicity from a negative review handled correctly than a string of bland positive reviews.

A quick, professional response that seeks to resolve the customer’s issue is the key to turning a negative review into positive sentiment for your business.

5: You can learn how to proactively leverage Yelp to your advantage.

Too many business owners think you have to leave Yelp to chance. They think there’s nothing they can do to deal effectively with negative reviews, attract a regular flow of positive reviews, and actually use Yelp to build their businesses.

But that couldn’t be further from the truth.

Over the past 10+ years, I’ve helped businesses with Yelp. From medium to large businesses, from single locations to multi-site locations across the country, time after time, I’ve experienced that with a systematic approach following proven methods, it’s entirely possible to ensure that a company’s hard earned offline reputation is accurately reflected in their overall Yelp ratings.

Like any other online network, it takes consistency and commitment.

But as my experience helping improve my clients’ online reputations have shown me, learning to proactively manage your online reputation – especially on Yelp – is a worthwhile strategy that yields a healthy, growing business.

Carely BakkerCarley Bakker is a Yelp expert across North America, as well as an online reputation speaker, Yelp help consultant and creator of the Yelp for Business Owners Series. She loves helping businesses of all sizes gain control of what is being said about them on Yelp to drive business growth. Follow her on Twitter at carleybakker. To get tips on how to leverage Yelp to grow your business, visit http://www.ckkinternetmarketing.com and sign up for our newsletter. Carley is a Findability Certified Consultant. 

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You may schedule a FREE one hour Findability Audit with Heather by clicking the icon below

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or you may call her directly at 888-588-9326

Keyword Tools: Get Out Of Your Head and Into Your Business

By Heather Lutze, CEO 
Findability Consulting & Speaking

http://www.Findability.com
888-588-9326

As a trainer in Search Marketing SEO–which I like to call Findability–I work with business leaders and teams that are stuck in their own time honored ways of marketing. This is no new news to me. I conduct half-day and full-day trainings helping businesses align with their online customers and adjust their Findability strategy. We have some great moments of learning, a-ha moments and oh sh*t conversations about the findings.

In an effort to help businesses hone in on their “ideal customers” online, I often facilitate keyword brainstorming sessions and instruct on clients on the keyword tools that work.Enlightenment via brainstorming sessions and use of keyword tools  is KEY to success. All businesses from solo-preneurs to multi-million dollar corporations stand to significantly increase the effectiveness of their online spend and related revenue.

Consider this:

  • As a business owner/ leader you’ve become very comfortable with your own, well-used keyword phrases.
  • You originally sourced your keywords from what you know of your business.
  • You search for these keywords every week or perhaps even every day to make sure you still rank.
  • You gave these keywords to the “geek” who manages your web site and you went back to work, comfortable in believing that you did a good  job to become findable online by new prospects.

But the words and phrases you came up with are not necessarily the unbiased keywords your customers are using. I can tell you that this is a huge problem, because after meeting with hundreds of companies over 13 years of Search Marketing execution, I’ve seen time and time again that the BUSINESS LEADERS GUESS WRONG! (Sorry for the gratuitous use of caps but this is so important.)

Guessing–and using–the wrong keywords can mean leaving hundreds of thousands of dollars on the table!  Why not get some keyword brainstorming help from your own team?

CONDUCT YOUR OWN KEYWORD TOOL BRAINSTORMING SESSION IN-HOUSE! 

Supplies You Need:

  • Large Flip Chart Sheets with the Post-It Sticky Backing
  • A pad of sticky notes for each participant
  • 8.5 x 11 sheets with the following phrases at top of sheet in 24 point Font
    • Competitors
    • Bitches, Moans & Complaints By Customers
    • Position/Titles You Sell To Primarily (Identify the difference between the researchers and the check signers)
    • Things You Do Not Do or Offer
    • Industries Served That Make You The Most Money
    • Keyword Modifiers i.e. Affordable, Luxury and Best

Now that you have your room set up, invite:

Anyone who touches the customer directly: Receptionist, Sales People, Web Person, PR Person, Key Executives and Marketing Executives. Explain the project. You’ll have different kinds of learners in the room, so follow these steps to get them all engaged:

IMG_0872 * Write down some keyword ideas in front of group, you can illustrate this on the white-board first.

* Give them all a minute to jot down their ideas in each of the Trigger Categories

* Then give them the post-it notes and markers, turn on your favorite ITunes playlist and get to work. Keep the music loud and encourage them to not think too hard, just get as many potential key phrases written down as possible.

* Give your team about 10-15 minutes to complete the exercise. Think of questions customers ask the search engine, kike, “How do I find…?”, “What is…?”.

* Have a volunteer to collect each of the sheets, remove duplicate ideas and match up similar post-it notes. Have the same person read off the findings–then talk about them as a team.

* You will be AMAZED at the different perspectives on how customers might be searching for you that will come to light?

 Now take these keywords, organize them by category in an Excel spreadsheet and use a keyword tool like Google Keyword ToolWordStream.com or KeywordDiscovery.com to see how frequently each of those phrases get searched each month.

NOTE: The Google Keyword Tool is changing to the Keyword Planner in the coming months and you will have to have an Google AdWords Account to see the search info. I highly suggest you set one up, so you can have access to this tool.

IMG_0868

This was one of my most startling recent keyword breakthroughs:

 Train The Trainer= 60,500 US Searches Per Month
 Training The Trainer = 1,220,000 US Searches Per Month

Holy Mackerel! This company was using the standard reference as their keyword phrase, rather than determining what phrase is being searched most. Only three little letters of difference, and yet huge revenue is hidden between these words.

Please email me questions and comments about how to conduct this type of keyword brainstorming session. Remember, whether you’re a solopreneur or part of a large company, get your and your team’s heads into the game and connect with your “new” targeted customer online. Your bank account will thank you.

 

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Becky Pluth, CEO and the marketing team at The Bob Pike Group. Thank you for a great day of brainstorming and Findability. We had a blast.

Razor Thin Findability: How to Do Keyword Research Right!

Working with Vistage Team on Keyword Nuances.
Working with Vistage Team on Keyword Nuances.

By Heather Lutze, CEO
Findability Consulting & Speaking

Often when I go out for an internal-team training or a keynote presentation, I get complaints from attendees along the lines of, “SEO people are snake oil salesman,” “I’ve spent so much on SEO with no results!” and “My marketing team cannot agree with my IT Team—therefore we just are stalled on SEO.”

Any of these scenarios sound familiar?

I hear your frustration; I’ve heard it time and time again. The line between being “lost” and “found” on the internet is razor thin. If you want to make SEO work you have to evolve as a leader in your organization.

Remember when you didn’t have a cell phone? I even remember the “brick” telephones with the battery backpacks. Ok, now I’m dating myself. But we are, in most cases, “digital immigrants.” We didn’t grow up in today’s technological world, cell phone in our hands. We didn’t learn to text at a young age, and we certainly didn’t grow up with Social Media. But we absolutely need to master these things now, or risk becoming as extinct as the dodo.

So the key to making SEO work for your organization lies in understanding the components of SEO—what I call “Findability.” Keyword domination online is based solely on increased traffic!

“Ok great,” you say, “and how do I get that, again?”

 

Simply follow this roadmap, to take you from lost to found:

1) LOST: You realize you are lost on the internet – No Findability. Your mom can’t even find your website. Sigh . . .

2) DISCOVERY: Do your customer discovery or keyword phrase discovery online. What keywords do my target searchers use? How are they looking for my type of business?

3) OPTIMIZE: Rewrite or add to your website’s content, page titles, descriptions, meta-descriptions, etc., optimizing for those key search phrases.

4) FOUND: Google easily and efficiently matches your site with searchers using those keyword phrases and you start being found online. Hallelujah!

5) CONVERT: You start converting search traffic into action on your site and $$ in your bank account. Double hallelujah!

6) DOMINATE: Finally, you now dominate search results under a small number of specific and vital keyword phrases. Everyone can find you . . . raise a glass of bubbly!

Sounds easy, doesn’t it!

Well, it’s a bit more complicated than that. As the leader in your organization, you must figure out the roadmap for success, but leave the tactical implementation to your SEO firm or your internal teams.

This can be challenging when you’re still a “digital immigrant,” not yet a full-fledged citizen in the world of geeks, techno talk and SEO tactics. How can you assess the use of money, time and resources for a topic you know nothing about? Well, read on . . .

After a recent meeting in LA, I spoke with a great CEO group, comprised of some of the best in their respective industries—florists, uniforms, health food and many others.  In talking with them, I came across an excellent example of razor thin Findability.

Now, those of you who know me know that my “crack” is the Google Keyword tool (and other keyword tools that help companies go from “lost” to “found” on the internet). But it’s not just about Findability, it’s about the right kind of Findability, targeted to customers who are ready buy when they get to your site.

A large, international floral business within this CEO group called themselves wholesale florists—that was their main keyword phrase.

When I looked deeper into how they see their company and what they do, it was very clear to me that they were missing a large part of their searching audience by calling themselves only “wholesale florists.”

Let me explain; it will be even more helpful if you follow along.

  • Go to Google.com and type “keyword tool” into the search box.
  • Click on the first organic listing that shows up (see below)

Screen Shot 2013-04-23 at 11.44.04 AM

 

 

 

 

  • This takes you to the Adwords Keyword Tool which is often used for Pay Per Click Advertising, but I recommend it for “customer connection” research, via keywords.

(With the floral company, I actually conducted a keyword brainstorming session. You can find out how to do this same brainstorming in Chapter 6 of my book the Findability Formula.)

Take a look at some of the keywords that came up from our session:

Screen Shot 2013-04-23 at 11.59.26 AM

 

 

 

Look at the difference between the keyword wholesale florist, with 60,500 searches per month and the term wholesale flowers, which gets much more—110,000 searches per month. This customer already dominated under wholesale florist, that’s what got them to where they are today. But they rank nowhere on the search results page for wholesale flowers, which is an even bigger search term—and they are a wholesale flower company at heart!

As a company, it’s all too easy to flatline in your site’s traffic. To grow their business, this client needs to optimize for Findability using the keywords “wholesale flowers.” I’d recommend that they also incorporate the phrase “bulk flowers” (with 27,100 searches a month) as well. Why not?

What important search terms is your website missing out on?

Heather Lutze

Author, Internet Marketing Speaker, Trainer and Consultant

 

Search Marketing Denver- Findability Group Photo Shoot

Eric Weber visits search marketing Denver Company the Findability Group
Wednesday June 23rd, prestige photographer Eric Weber paid a visit to the search marketing Denver Company the Findability Group. Eric Weber is a brilliant photographer with over 30 years of experience. He un-packed his car full of photography equipment, and was set for an amazing day with the Findability Group. As he proceeded to set up lighting in the main entrance of the office building, social media members bombarded Eric with questions about proper lighting techniques and equipment. Once the photo shoot began, Eric would capture the spirit of each Findability Group team member. The overall ease and quality of his work was proven by his experience. After creating an astonishing photo album for the Findability Group, he was interviewed about personal experiences in the photography field. We also asked about his current search marketing strategy. He was excited about the opportunities search marketing could bring to his business, but he noted his search marketing strategy in Denver just started. To find out more Eric Weber, go to his website listed below.
Eric Weber Studios- http://www.eweber.com/

Eric weber

Wednesday June 23rd, prestige photographer Eric Weber paid a visit to the search marketing Denver Company the Findability Group. Eric Weber is a brilliant photographer with over 30 years of experience. He un-packed his car full of photography equipment, and was set for an amazing day with the Findability Group. As he proceeded to set up lighting in the main entrance of the office building, social media members bombarded Eric with questions about proper lighting techniques and equipment. Once the photo shoot began, Eric would capture the spirit of each Findability Group team member. The overall ease and quality of his work was proven by his experience. After creating an astonishing photo album for the Findability Group, he was interviewed about personal experiences in the photography field. We also asked about his current search marketing strategy. He was excited about the opportunities search marketing could bring to his business, but he noted his search marketing strategy in Denver just started. To find out more about Eric Weber, go to his website listed below.

Eric Weber Studios- http://www.eweber.com/