*** Course Updated Wednesday, December 23, 2015 ***
As a local business owner, manager or professional, you may have already faced the unpleasant feeling when a customer or client leaves a bad review for you on Yelp, Google, CitySearch or on another website.
It feels like an attack and your emotions vary from anger to embarrassment and, perhaps, even depression.
Negative reviews are going to happen.
A customer might be having a bad day. Maybe, a staff member said the wrong thing. Perhaps, a mistake caused an order delay.
One negative review isn't going to shut down your business. But the way you handle negative reviews will set the stage in moving forward and improving your company's customer service and online reputation.
In this course, we'll cover:
Negative reviews aren't fun, but this course tells you how you'll be able to avoid bad reviews; earn and increase positive reviews; build an online reputation management strategy, which will all help to increase sales and gain more happy customers.
Downloads include cheat sheets and guides to help you confirm and claim your online business profiles in review listing and mapping websites as well as other step-by-step directions for creating social media accounts for your company.
About the Instructor, Steve Phillips
With over 15 years of search engine optimization (SEO) and Online Reputation Management (ORM) experience, Steve Phillips has created this course based on customer experiences in receiving and handling negative reviews on Yelp and other review websites.
Clients he counseled across a wide variety of businesses include heating and cooling; law firms; accountants; dentists manufacturing; florists; photographers; mental health service providers, and many others.
Online Reputation Management (also known as "ORM") is vital for all businesses and professional services in developing and maintaining a positive appearance for companies; business owners; professionals; staff; products and services. A business owner or their marketing staff must consistently be on top of their ORM before a PR crisis occurs.
Everything we do and everything that happens is online. Now. We Tweet. We Facebook. We take pictures and videos and we publish and share them instantly. Individuals can post tornado videos and other news events faster than local media outlets. Therefore, it should come as no surprise when an unhappy customer can instantly whip out their cell phone and Tweet about your company or post a negative review about their experience. Customers who are unhappy have no problem telling the entire world (literally) of their dissatisfaction with your business.
This lecture explains the details of "online reputation" and "online reputation management" and helps lay the groundwork for handling negative reviews and protecting your business online. Every business and every individual has an online reputation, whether they know it exists or not! Daily, consumers ask for advice on what to buy; where to eat, etc. We ask and share recommendations all the time. What is shared online - good and bad - becomes part of your online reputation. This can not only include business reviews, but newspaper articles; radio and television stories; photographs; building permits; real estate transfers; blogs; lawsuits; divorce proceedings; arrest reports and more.
Online Reputation Management (also known as "ORM"), is the process of improving and monitoring your online reputation. Every individual; business; restaurant; doctor; dentist; lawyer; school (and more) has an online reputation. In this lecture, we'll cover the basics of online reputation management and take the beginning steps on how to determine one's online reputation and how to begin to create an online reputation management program.
In this lecture, we'll explore what it takes to monitor and protect your online reputation for your business. By using free, online software tools, you'll be able to catch not only the bad reviews that might appear, but you'll also be alerted to any other negative content that's appearing online. This will not only help you be more aware of any online negative content, but you'll be able to respond in a more timely and efficient manner and take steps to continue to protect and improve your online reputation.
Having a plan and executing it on a regular basis, is the key to creating and publishing more positive content online and working to continuously improve your business' online reputation. In this lecture, we'll introduce steps on how to create and improve your reputation online including writing blogs and press releases; photography, videos and more. All of this will help you not only develop a positive online reputation, but it will also help protect your firm from a negative review or any other unsavory content that might arise.
There are dozens of online review websites encouraging individuals to leave reviews and "stars" for businesses based on value, service, etc. Which review sites are hot? Which ones should you spend your time on in order to rank well with search engines? In this lecture, we'll cover some of the best review websites for both consumers and for businesses. We'll also include a detailed list of the "Top 25" review and mapping websites.
As a business owner, we want to make our customers happy and keep them coming back. However, you're not going to make everyone happy and, at some point, your business is likely going to receive a negative review from a customer. In this lecture, learn how to take the "sting" out of receiving a negative review and then follow five simple steps on how to respond when a negative review notice arrives in your e-mail Inbox. Hint: Take a deep breath and proceed in a positive, professional manner.
When your business receives a negative review, your first reaction will probably include contacting the review website and asking them to remove the review. Guess what? In most cases, review websites (including Yelp and Google Places) are going to ignore your "take down" request. After all, wouldn't every business want all negative reviews removed? However, you do have some options. In this lecture, we'll cover the three instances in which a negative review might be removed by the review website and the steps you'll need to take in order to make that happen.
Someone left you a negative review and you're mad! In this lecture, we'll show you the best way to get a negative review removed or, better yet, how to change a negative review into a positive one for your business. Here, business owners can follow six simple steps - without getting angry - and turn around a bad experience for a customer into a positive experience for everyone. Follow the blueprint here and you'll never have to worry about a negative review again.
Local listing and mapping websites such as Yelp and Google Places create a huge marketing opportunity for your business: they help customers find you! In this lecture, you'll gain a better understanding of local business listings and mapping websites and why they are important for both businesses and customers.
In this lecture, you'll learn how to claim your local business profile and how to confirm your account credentials. This step shouldn't be taken lightly. In fact, the process of setting up your local listings is so important that two cheat sheets are included with this lecture to help you collect and organize your business information and keep track of account usernames and passwords. Again, this is a critical step in properly claiming and confirming your business profiles and improving your company's online reputation and local search engine optimization rankings.
By claiming and completing your local business profiles in review and mapping websites, you'll also be helping your business earn higher rankings in Google and other search engines. In this lecture, you'll earn how review websites (such as Yelp, Manta, CitySearch, etc.) and mapping websites (i.e. Google Places) plays a significant role in local search engine optimization; higher rankings in search engine results, and more traffic to your company's website and more sales!
No luck in getting that negative review removed or converted into a positive review for your company? Never fear! In this lecture, we'll begin to take other steps necessary in order to beat the negative review. This time, however, we're going to bury the negative review (or set of negative reviews if your business has them) in search engine results. Studies show that 62% of those who use a search engine don't go past the first page of search results. Those who are on a cell phone might not even look past the first 2 or 3 search results on their phone screen, so chances are good some customers won't even see the negative review(s).
The best tools you can utilize in pushing down negative reviews are the website domains and social media network accounts that you currently own. In this lecture, we'll take inventory of what you "own;' begin taking steps in improving your website content and breathing new life into your social media efforts.
Armed with a small inventory that includes one website domain and a handful of social media accounts, we're ready to get started making improvements in order to bury negative reviews and help your business' overall online reputation. In this lecture, we'll share the steps you'll need to take in order to improve your website content (including some new ideas) as well as taking your social media to the next level .
If your website is missing a blog, then this lecture is definitely for you. Creating a blog is very easy and every website needs to have one. This can be as simple as a new page in your business' website or, perhaps, your domain hosting service may already have blogging tools and services available to you as part of your hosting fee. In addition, this lecture also shares four other free blogging opportunities that tend to rank high in Google and other search engines.
Social media accounts - as long as they are active and updated frequently with fresh content - can also be an excellent online reputation tool in pushing down negative reviews in Google search results. In this lecture, we'll share with you a detailed list of the best social media networks you'll need for better online reputation for your company as well as a sub-set of not-well-known (but good) social media networks that you'll want to grab right now!
Everything is content. Most of the time, we tend to think "content" is only words, blogs and articles. Not true! In this lecture, we'll show you some of the easiest, fastest and best ways to create great content your customers (and Google) will love as you continue to improve your business' online reputation and squash negative reviews in search results.
Yes, receiving a bad review for your business isn't a pleasant event. However, it's going to happen at some time or another. You're not going to make every customer happy with their experience. It could come down to personality differences or someone is just having a bad day and decided to take it out on your business. In this lecture, you'll learn how to overcome the emotional stress that comes with receiving a bad review and we'll share a great story on how a business in Chicago is able to earn 5-star reviews all the time!
Always be working on earning better reviews. Good customer service comes first and then the good reviews will follow. In this lecture, you'll learn some of the best ways to earn more reviews and better reviews for your business. We'll also share three good - and easy - ideas on how to get your best customers to give you a great review!
You've claimed your business profiles; updated your website and you now are a regular contributor in social media. In this lecture, we'll share with you the four things you should always remember in order to continue to improve your company's online reputation (and how you'll sleep better at night).
A single bad review won't bury your business. However, the way you respond to it will set your company apart from the competition. This lecture will remind you of the important parts of the review process; how to protect your business (and yourself) online and how to win the online reputation game with fresh content. This is a journey that never ends, but you now have the tools and the know-how to handle any negative reviews handed to you along the way.
Business owners continue to fail - and get themselves into more trouble - by starting huge online arguments with customers based on a negative business review.
There are now more opportunities for small business owners to build more positive reviews thanks to Facebook.
In our latest lecture update to this course, we take a look at the Facebook Editor.
Here, you can make suggestions or edits for improvements for businesses and place pages within the Facebook garden.
I have over 15 years of online reputation management and search engine optimization experience working with a variety of local, national and international businesses in helping them improve their online reputation; earn better customer reviews and obtain higher rankings in Google and other search engines.
Previously, I worked as a self-employed, software consultant and trainer helping law firms and lawyers understand new technology and upgrade their network systems and software programs.
My background also includes 13 years as a newspaper sports writer and news reporter.
I am currently the Vice President of Mountain Woods Media, LLC.