The overall success of your website may completely depend on whether or not people berate you with bad reviews and comments. Although the average business doesn’t have thousands of bad Yelp reviews, we’ve seen far too many times how not responding properly to feedback can cause problems for your future reputation.
Overall, the internet is no place to be shy about how great your business is. Otherwise, the folks that do get disgruntled about your business will be louder than you.
It’s not easy to build a great reputation, but with a little work, you can do it. And we’ll show you how to get started today.
1. Reply to All Reviews/Comments About Your Brand
Users make comments about your website, brand, and company all over the internet. Ignoring those comments and reviews only makes it look like you’re not interested in feedback.
As of today, the best places to look for mentions of your brand include:
- Google Alerts (searching for articles and reviews all over the internet)
- Twitter (searching all of Twitter and looking at comments on your own page)
- Facebook (mainly for comments on your own page)
- Yelp (This is extremely important if you run a local business)
Blog reviews can go either way, but having an affiliate or referral program (see below) can improve your odds of getting good written reviews. However, ratings and reviews on places like Google and Yelp happen more often when people are mad.
If you see a ticked-off comment on your blog or a scathing review on Yelp, respond every time with this formula:
- Apologize for the inconvenience
- Thank them for their concern
- Make the problem right (with coupons or freebies)
This method shows everyone in the future that you’re a reasonable company. Chances are the reviewer will be seen as the nut.
2. Make It Extremely Easy for Good Customers to Write Reviews/Comments
Incentives and proper messaging funnels come in huge here. The same goes for timing. For example, maybe you’re a real estate agent and you’d like your past clients to write good reviews on your Google Business page.
It’s essential to send an email just a few days after you’ve completed the job. This way they won’t forget about it. There should be a link to the review page, making it impossible to mess up. Also, it’s nice to include instructions and a personalized letter so they feel compelled to write a review.
Incentives also come in handy as long as you’re not telling them that they must write a good review.
One easy way to ensure you never forget to follow up with customers is with a plugin. If you install an e-commerce extension such as WooCommerce Reminder Emails or EDD Follow-up Emails you can easily automate your review reminders to customers to rack up those 5-stars!
3. Make Yourself an Authority Within the Community, Both Online and Off
You may be saying, “It takes awhile to establish an authority blog or forum voice online.”
However, simply getting to a trade show, passing out cards, and showing that you would like to be an active part of the community is something you can do in a weekend.
Therefore, complete a quick Google search to locate industry functions in your area. If one is coming up, print out some business cards and go! If not, find an online forum that relates, introduce yourself and start answering and asking questions.
4. Show Off Past Clients/Customers and Why They Love You
From testimonials to third-party logos from past clients, establishing that you’ve worked with other companies (potentially well-known clients) is a huge boost for any online business.
Depending on the WordPress theme you’re using adding a client showcase could be as easy and inserting a new module. With the Total theme you can choose from image grids, carousels and sliders which can all be easily inserted and customized on any page layout (there’s even a pretty neat Press page on the Boost demo using icon boxes).
5. Present Accolades, No Matter How Small
Awards are huge for all businesses. Even many movies and Broadway shows live and die by the awards they receive. What’s cool about awards is that they’re all made up by someone. You can argue that some are more credible than others, but customers and clients like seeing that you’re at least being recognized for something.
Take the J.D. Power and Associates Initial Quality Award for the automobile industry. The organization gives out the award after measuring problems within the first 90 days of ownership. Many people see this as kind of a joke (since 90 days is such a short amount of time to own a car). However, every winner of the award touts the win like crazy. As they should, since it’s bound to improve their reputation.
6. Offer Every Possible Contact Method
Let your customers call, chat, email, or send a carrier pigeon if possible. It’s understandable when some online businesses can’t handle phone calls. But you should at least consider a chat panel for quick interactions.
Again, plugins are a great way to add extra functionality to your website. We like Contact Form 7 and WPForms for build a custom contact form. Or you could try one of these recommended live chat plugins to be able to interact with your clientele in real time.
7. Allow Easy Access to the Fine Print
This depends on the type of business you’re running. If you have an eCommerce site, this point is particularly important considering the number of pages you’ll have dedicated to fine print.
For example, you may have to write up a terms of service and a return policy. Both are skipped by most customers, but some will only make purchases once they see you have both. Therefore, include clear links in your footer for easy access.
8. When Linking, Turn to Landing Pages
Are you selling products or services through Google Ads? Do you have a Facebook page where you link to certain new items on your website?
Whether you’re running a blog with a webinar or a full eCommerce store with new products every season, landing pages are known to make customers feel better and purchase from you more often. Best Buy has built a solid reputation on landing pages, showing customers directly to the right products when they click on Google Ads.
Not sure where to start? Checkout our full guide on how to build landing pages with WordPress. We cover three ways you can build your landing page using themes, plugins or custom code.
9. Make Security a Constant Priority
If users don’t see an SSL certificate on an eCommerce site, they have strong reason to leave without coming back. The same goes for tons of spam comments on your blog. That just makes it look like you don’t care who comes to your site.
From spam to updating plugins, themes and WordPress, security plays big roles in how people view your online reputation. Although you only have a few WordPress trust signals to choose from to show that your site is secure (like McAfee Secure), it’s your job to cover everything on the front and backend.
10. Writing Your Site’s Purpose on the Wall and Sticking to It
Does your brand have a mission statement? Have you established a set of rules that make you unique? If not, it’s time to put pen to paper. Why? Because at some point people are going to see your company as having a purpose. But if the purpose is not consistent, no one will trust you in the future.
For example, Zappos has made a name for itself by providing fast shipping and the occasional surprise overnight shipping for some customers. However, if some customers received average or slow shipping, they’d think, “Huh, I thought that was the whole point of shopping through Zappos,” and never shop there again.
In short, announce your uniqueness and stick to the promises you make.
11. Allow People to Explore More About Your Company Through Social Media Links
It’s one thing to create social media accounts, but it’s another to present these links on your website.
Why? Because social media accounts allow for further exploration of a company.
Social accounts deliver a more personable look into your brand. Customers can see people working, fun activities and events, social efforts and much more. We have guides on WPExplorer that cover Instagram for eCommerce, SnapChat & WordPress, Increasing Social Followers and more. Have a look and start building your following.
12. Think About Referral Rewards and Affiliates
One thing’s for sure. If others are more likely to get rewarded for speaking nicely about your company, the more referrals you’ll get. What’s interesting about an affiliate or referral program is that both only take a few moments to configure with the right WordPress plugin. There are plenty of awesome affiliate WordPress plugins but one of our favorites is AffiliateWP.
After that, you can start dishing out commissions to people who review or recommend your company. It’s not a guarantee you’ll get good reviews, but it certainly improves your chances.
Any More Site Reputation Tips?
Some of the best ways to improve your site’s reputation right now can be done within the next hour or so. If you have any questions or suggestions about your own site reputation tips, let us know in the comments below.