“Successful people do what unsuccessful people are not willing to do. Don’t wish it were easier; wish you were better.”Jim Rohn
Your Online Appearance, and Why it Matters
Have you ever wondered just what your business or organization looks like to someone who is new to what you do? Let’s take a look into how to restore your business’s online appearance:
Go to an ‘In Private‘ or ‘Incognito Mode‘ on your browser and Google Search for you or your business.
You might be surprised what you find! You may see that you have
- Bad Google/Yelp reviews
- Outdated site links with information that needs updating
- Old social media accounts
- The incorrect information on Google Maps
- Websites that created a free listing for you, with no ways to fix the false info & more.
Fixing all of this is very important if you want to attract customers from the web. Trust is everything these days.
So How Can You Fix Your Online Appearance?
Knowing that this process takes weeks to get fixed, you might hire someone to handle it for you. However, if you’re on a budget and have the time, here is how to fix your image online:
Bad Google/Yelp Reviews:
Working with bad reviews is one of the toughest parts of trying to fix your image. Because services like Yelp want people to leave honest reviews, good or bad, sometimes the business can suffer. One of the bigger problems is dishonest reviews. It can be a real hassle, because you are at the mercy of the dishonest reviewer, or the service they used.
You have to
- Prove to the service that the review is untrue.
- Prove that the person wrongfully left the review.
- Prove that they were a disgruntled ex-employee.
- Figure out who the person is and make it right with them so that they can take the bad review down.
Normally, this results in little help, and regular and inconvenient phone calls from Yelp or Google. They want you to run ads on their services. But, in certain situations, the review might get updated.
Another way to tackle bad reviews is to drown the bad ones out. Have customers who love your products or business? It’s not impolite to ask for a review, most are happy to help! You can also respond to teach one of your reviews (good or bad). This lets the public know your side of things in the most professional way. On negative reviews, offer to make it right if they come back. Once you make it right, they might be inclined to remove the bad review. Make sure to respond to your good reviews also!
The problem with outdated links is that, often you forget passwords, or that you ever created accounts for this business in the first place! You have to go in, recover the information, and try to work with the site in order to update your profile, or delete it entirely. Many times you will fix this, but the website itself doesn’t update because of its hosting, or search engines haven’t crawled the site to show the updated information. This entire process is not a quick fix!
Websites That Created a “Free Listing” for You
This can be the most frustrating and overwhelming part of the process. Sometimes, if your information is randomly hosted on some website that you have never heard of, it’s often a service that makes their money on listings. They create a “free listing” as if they’re informing the community about you, and then keep that information until it goes stale. You stumble upon it, and need it removed. But not so easy! They make it as difficult as humanly possible, sometimes even trying to up-charge business owners to sign up for an ad account before they update it or remove the false information.
They take their time updating the information, because it puts pressure on you to pay them to handle the matter. Is it legal? technically yes, but definitely unethical. The ones who suffer most (without knowing) are the customers. They’re left with only confusion on what information is true and normally go elsewhere. This hurts your bottom line. The process of correcting this typically takes weeks.
Old Social Media Accounts
With Facebook being around for over a decade, most people have kept up with their accounts. But, old Instagram accounts, LinkedIn profiles, Twitter accounts, and more need to be deleted, because even though you don’t use them, people still see them (Even MySpace accounts)!
As previously mentioned, this whole process takes a long time to resolve. From poorly hosted sites that falsely link to you, to Google updating after scanning the sites to update their search results, it typically takes a few weeks to a couple months to correct. But with some time and effort, it is doable. You might not fix every single post or link. Over time, if you focus on the good and drown out the bad, your online appearance should improve.
If you are in a situation where you need help, please let me know. I’m happy to assist you!