I just got back from a private consultation with a retirement community with locations throughout Ohio.

We spent a lot of time working on their online reputation – why it matters, how to improve it, and how to keep it positive. I created a video to give you some actionable steps for your business!

You can watch the video, “How’s your online reputation?” here:

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Here are some best practices from my consultation for your business:

1) Prioritize Where You Show Up: Do a Google search that your potential customers might do for you. In the case of the retirement community, it would be something like “retirement home” or “retirement community” plus the city and state. You’ll likely get results such as Google Local Business Pages, Yelp, or Bing. Based on this keyword search, figure out which top directories show up on Google, and that’s how you can start to prioritize what you pay attention to.

2) Claim Those Listings: If the listings are on sites like Google Local, Yelp, or Bing, they’ll give you steps to prove you’re the legitimate owner of the business. Once you’ve done that, you can start updating the listing with photos, videos, and so on. This gives you a nice looking profile in the top directories!

3) Respond To Reviews: Be very proactive about getting reviews and responding to them. You may have some good and some not-so-good, and if you have those, now you have the opportunity to address those concerns. Don’t be defensive – take the emotion out of it. Try to help the unhappy client or customer and see if you can turn a critic into a champion! Ask them to go back and respond to their review sharing how you were able to help them. If it’s a positive review, it’s a great opportunity to respond and thank them for that review.

4) Ask For Reviews: When you have a happy customer, encourage them and tell them what to do to review you. People are motivated more when they’re unhappy versus happy, so when you have a champion customer and they’re raving about your business, it’s your job to ask them to go out and write you a positive review at any of these directories. Even if you don’t have a physical location, ask for recommendations on LinkedIn or Facebook. Anytime you can get champions talking about you online, it’s a good thing!