How consumers see your brand online makes a big difference in terms of where they will shop and what they will buy. It doesn’t take much for a company to get their name stained, and as a result, lose traffic, leads and sales.
The impact can come in different forms. Even if there wasn’t a conviction, a news article about legal troubles will continue to show up on search. Maybe it is a series of bad reviews online, even if they were all created by one person. Maybe the owner of the establishment was involved in a past transaction that didn’t go well, yet the story stays with him/her on search.
In order to get better control in terms of how the public views your brand online, reputation management has become a huge product in the digital universe.
To begin with, what is showing up on search that you don’t like? Do you know you can petition Google to have them remove certain results? In Europe, the courts have ruled in favor of the individual through the “right to be forgotten.” You can also go directly to the source—there are many ways to convince a publication that it is in their best interest to remove an old story.
Next, switch your focus from what the public is seeing to what they should be seeing. Is it just the bad results that are appearing? What about the things that you want the user to see, like your website, numbers and your products?
Last, understand it is an ongoing effort. Five minutes ago someone could have posted a false review on one of your local listings. Three minutes ago someone could have created a fake listing for your business. Be diligent and constantly update your digital presence to protect yourself.