If there is one thing that can be said about the internet, it would be that it is a double-edged sword. Any business owner can tell you that. Online reviews are akin to that coveted word of mouth advertising of days gone by. However, your reach is much farther because you have the potential to reach a global audience.
One bad review can bring your carefully built house of cards tumbling down and that is exactly what you want to avoid. Unfortunately, there are times when it’s almost impossible to avoid malicious or fake reviews and the only thing you can do is take steps to repair any damage that was done. It might sound like a monumental task, but with the right tools, you can handle even the most grievous of malicious reviews.
Don’t Waste Your Time
One of the most frustrating aspects of a fake, malicious review is that you may never know who posted it. Anyone who is going to go to that much trouble will almost assuredly create a fake online persona. It could be a competitor seeking to take over your market and it could be a personal attack from someone in your life wishing to do you harm. What better way than to hide in the cover of cyberspace? Then, there are some people who like nothing better than to troll the internet looking for ways to cause trouble.
If you have been the victim of a fake or malicious attack against you, or your business, the best advice you can be given is to not waste any amount of invaluable time trying to find out who did it or why they would want to do it in the first place. Not only will you probably be spinning your wheels but the longer you wait to begin repairing any damage that was done, it may be literally out of control. Put the who and why on the backburner while you develop a systematic approach to counteracting any negative press you may have received.
What Would Google Do?
Herein lies the real problem you are up against. While it is vital to build a loyal customer base, those customers are not likely to go searching for a company in your field because you’ve already won them over. You have developed strategies to make them loyal followers and all is well in that respect. The damage you are working to repair comes into play when you are trying to expand your market. It is a well-established fact that most people find new brands to deal with through an internet search.
Unfortunately, it seems to be part of the human condition to seek out bad news. One malicious bad review can go viral almost overnight if it is a well thought out campaign to smear your name or brand in the mud. It will often be copied and pasted, spread in social media and within a matter of hours on single review can be climbing up a search engine’s rankings. Before you know it, that fake malicious review has made it to the top of the first page in the SERPs (Search Engine Results Pages). Potential customers will see that negative press and are unlikely to click through to your site. The one most important thing Google would advise you to do is begin immediately to push that ranking further and further down the SERPs.
How Is It Done?
Now that you know how Google would advise you to begin repairing all that damage, it’s time to look at how it’s done. Here is where it’s time to call in the pros. The easiest way to explain what needs to be done is to say that you need to wage an all-out counter attack in an effort to win back rankings in the search engines. This is done with the strategic use of competitive keywords. These are the words most people use when searching for products or services you offer.
Keywords can be a single term, or a combination of words, most likely to be entered in the search bar. These terms are not always what you would think they might be either and this why it is so important to contract an experienced marketing firm. A marketing pro has the tools to do the research and statistical analysis to find those words most likely to be used when searching for your brand. In short, the only way to rid yourself of those malicious and fake reviews is to literally push them out of the way and down into the basement of the SERPs where they belong.
A Few Key Takeaways
Probably one of the most important things you can take away from all this is that you may never know who worked so hard to attack your name or your company. Fortunately, that doesn’t really matter when you understand what needs to be done to counteract any damage caused by that fake or malicious review. When working to repair that damage, time is of the essence. While it might be driving you crazy trying to figure out who would want to do this to you, it will do you no good to try to win a battle. That will only keep that negative review at the top of the SERPs and you don’t want that at all!
What you want is a strategic marketing plan to wipe that malicious content out of the Search Engine Review Pages altogether and this is only going to work if you have an expert on the job. Sometimes referred to as Reputation Management or Reputation Repair, it takes a special strategy to mitigate any damage already done. On a positive note, a highly experienced marketing team can not only repair that damage but can give you a better image than you had before. Remember, your loyal customers aren’t going anywhere. It’s those potential customers you want to capture and that’s why you always want to call in the pros.