05. November 2015 · Comments Off on Online Reputation Management: Earning Positive Reviews · Categories: ORM, SEO, Training Courses · Tags: , ,

earning positive reviewsMountain Woods Media, LLC, a content development firm, has released its latest e-learning course on Udemy.

The course “Online Reputation Management: Earning Positive Reviews” is designed for large and small businesses; professional and medical services, and other firms who need to find and utilize ethical methods in earning positive reviews online.

“Many businesses worry too much about the one negative review in their Yelp profile instead of trying to earn more and better reviews,” says Mountain Woods Media Vice President Steve Phillips.

“In this course, we present some unique methods – many of which your competition won’t know about – in which you can earn more reviews. All of these review tactics are ethical and none of them violate policies set forth by online review websites,” he adds. “The important thing to remember with online reviews is to never ask for an online review.”

“Online Reputation Management: Earning Positive Reviews” covers:

  • How do Online Review Websites Work?
  • How do Customers Use Online Review Websites?
  • How do Businesses Use Online Review Websites?
  • Claiming, Confirming and Optimizing Your Businesses Online Review Profile.
  • The Top 25 Online Review Websites.
  • Techniques and Tactics To Help Your Business Earn More Online Reviews.
  • Worksheets and much more.

Currently, students can preview two (2) course lectures for free, including:

  • Lecture 1: “Course Introduction”
  • Lecture 2: “What Are Online Review Websites and How Do They Work?”

The 90-minute course features 16 lectures and several downloadable documents. Students may participate in online question-and-answer discussions with other students and Phillips. Mountain Woods Media, LLC will announce “office hours” soon in which students can connect live via Skype for more one-on-one training and instruction at no additional charge.

“Online Reputation Management: Earning Positive Reviews” is currently available for $149 and is available at https://www.udemy.com/earning-positive-business-reviews/

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Mountain Woods Media, LLC is a content development firm specializing in Search Engine Optimization; Online Reputation Management and App Search Optimization. Online Reputation is how a business or a person appears online through search results. The process by which one continuously improves their online reputation is called “online reputation management.” Fresh and positive content helps improve your online reputation in overcoming bad publicity; bad business reviews or making a life mistake.

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Udemy is the world’s online learning marketplace, where over 7 million students are taking courses in everything from programming to yoga to photography and much, much more. Each of Udemy’s 30,000+ courses is taught by an expert instructor, so every course is available on-demand, so students can learn at their own pace, on their own time, and on any device. For more information, visit http://udemy.com.

20. October 2015 · Comments Off on Taking Caution With Your Online Reviews · Categories: ORM, SEO · Tags: , ,

use caution with online reviewsMany business owners spend a lot of energy and focus when it comes to earning five-star online reviews with Yelp, Manta, CitySearch and other online review websites.

Perhaps, the aggressive drive to a perfect pattern of reviews and online praise has created a few black eyes in the industry recently, including:

  • Amazon has decided to file more than 1,000 lawsuits against Fivver individual accounts who have offered fake five-star reviews to Amazon vendors and Amazon hosted online retailers. So, the person “selling” the review is in trouble and not the Amazon vendor who is probably breaking Amazon’s terms of service by buying the reviews for products they sell within the Amazon platform?!
  • The New York Attorney General has announced that it has cracked down on bogus customer reviews and has fined 19 companies for posting grand reviews while giving bad reviews to the competition.
  • Some companies have a “gag clause” in their customer agreements. Weight loss marketer Roca Labs was recently shut down by the Federal Trade Commission for false claims and for its “gag clause” which threatened retaliation against any customer who bad-mouthed Roca Labs or its products.

Some businesses choose to ignore the entire online review process. Recently, we talked to a prospective client, who not only wanted hire us to delete a negative Yelp review, but they also wanted their entire Yelp profile removed (we explained that businesses can’t delete Yelp profiles; even if a business is marked as closed, the profile remains within Yelp).

Others, however, are purely interested in earning as many positive reviews as possible, but need to take heed and avoid these temptations:

  • Never ask customers, relatives or friends for reviews. It’s “OK” to let them know you’re on Yelp or you’re trying to improve your online review profiles, but avoid asking for good reviews.
  • Never buy reviews. Online review websites frown upon such practices and may hide your purchased reviews on your profile page (especially when the reviewer’s IP address is from Jacksonville, FL and the review claims your auto repair shop in Denver is the best in town). Yelp will place a consumer warning on your profile letting customers know they suspect many of your reviews were purchased which will quickly cast a cloud of doubt over all of your reviews.
  • Never offer discounts or trade services or products for reviews. This leads to poor business practices and things can quickly go sour if someone feels they aren’t getting a fair shake in exchange for the review.

Approach the review process just like you should your business: be honest and ethical. If you receive a negative review, be polite, professional and apologize. Show you care about your business and your customers.

15. October 2015 · Comments Off on Online Reputation: A Basic Glossary · Categories: ORM · Tags: , ,

Every person, place or thing has an online reputation. However, the term “reputation” can mean different things depending on the situation.

Here’s a glossary of various meanings when it comes to “online reputation.”

Online Reputation

Your online reputation (speaking of you personally and/or your business; healthcare ORM A Basic Glossary of Termspractice, etc.), is determined by what ranks high in search engine results. Do the results reveal positive or negative information? This includes online reviews; media coverage; legal matters; blogs and more.

For example, a positive online reputation can include:

  • Consistently earning 4- and 5-star reviews.
  • Local media articles and videos that share good things about you and your company.
  • Flattering photographs in Flickr, Google Images, etc.
  • A steady stream of company-produced and published videos in YouTube and Vimeo.
  • An updated blog with a minimum of one or two helpful blog posts per week.
  • Active social media accounts and participating in online conversations in Twitter, Facebook, etc.

These all add up to creating a maintaining a positive online reputation for both individuals and companies.

Of course, a negative online reputation is quite the opposite:

  • Negative reviews left by customers with little to no attempt by the business owner or manager to communicate with unhappy customers in trying to solve a problem.
  • Media coverage that may reflect your business in a negative way to current and future customers (complaints about your company; lawsuits; investigations and other legal matters, etc.).
  • Employee complaints on GlassDoor and other employment review websites.
  • Stale and outdated information on your company website or blog (if you have a blog).
  • Lack of activity and active conversations in social media accounts.

Emergency Online Reputation

While a negative online reputation can be corrected with the right strategy – and time – an instance could arise with any business or professional which may require immediate attention.

If something more severe occurs, such as a legal matter; product recall; several negative reviews, etc., your online reputation will most likely change as well. When this happens, you may need to take quick steps to prevent your reputation from going down the drain in a matter of days.

This action is referred to as “emergency online reputation.”

Typically, websites that contain large amounts of content usually earn higher rankings in Google and other search engines. These include digital newspapers, television and radio outlets; online review sites; courts and other legal websites (including arrest reports and mugshots). Therefore, if your “bad” news falls into one or more of these categories, it could quickly move to the Top 10 in search results almost overnight.

This means you’ll need to do everything you should have been doing all along, but you’ll need to pick up the pace; generate positive content; get it published online and increase your social networking activity.

Emergency online reputation can turn things around, but it can take up to three months (or more) to bury the negative posts appearing in search results. It all depends on the severity of your negative reputation.

On an individual level, emergency steps are required when an arrest report and mugshot photos appear in the Top 10 positions in search results, as well as lawsuits; ugly divorce proceedings; bankruptcy and other legal matters. White collar crimes such as embezzlement, fraud and insider trading troubles typically will also earn high rankings in Google. These kinds of problems make future employment difficult.

Online Reputation Management

Online reputation management is the process by which you are constantly creating a positive online presence to improve and solidify your company’s reputation or your reputation as an individual.

It’s like going to the bank and getting a loan: the best time to get a loan is when you don’t need one. The best time to shop for a new car is when you don’t need one.

Online reputation management is the same thing.

By consistently writing and publishing good content about your company; its products, services and its employees, you’ll easily fight off any minor negative burp that appears on the radar.

Individuals – including high school and college students – need to always be improving their online reputation as scholarship reviews and employment opportunities are on the horizon. Clean up your Facebook, Instagram and other social media accounts. Remove unsavory photos and personal tags. Foul language in Twitter and blog posts also creates a bad online reputation for individuals.

An online reputation management (also called “ORM”) plan can be created within a day but the process of implementing a plan never ends. Always be on the lookout for positive content, photograph and video opportunities in improving and solidifying your reputation.

12. October 2015 · Comments Off on Yes, You Can Also Review Jails and Prisons in Yelp · Categories: Mountain Woods Media, ORM, SEO, Training Courses · Tags: , , ,

reviewing jails on YelpRestaurants; beauty salons; chiropractors and many others can all receive good and bad reviews via customers on Yelp.com.

And so can prisons.

Lawyers, inmates and visitors have left reviews for prisons worldwide rating everything from the quality of food; power-hungry prison guards; lack of personal grooming supplies (i.e., toilet paper) to dress code policies for family members during visitation days.

Yelp allows anything or anyone to be reviewed as long as it has a physical address and the reviewer followed the site’s terms of service.

While you would almost expect every prison and most reviews to be negative, there are a few jails that regularly receive good reviews (see our video on YouTube at: https://youtu.be/byPwKWgOfOE). For example:

  • The West Hollywood Jail has three reviews (as of this blog post) with an average of 4.5 stars (out of five). Reviewer Jim A. “highly recommended this place,” while D.W. says “the exclusive West Hollywood Jail provides far better accommodations than what you might expect.”
  • The jail in Santa Monica has one five-star review as the reviewer says he spent “one relaxing night there last month.”
  • The Atlanta City Detention Center has earned 3.5 stars from three reviews. Unfortunately, the reviewer offering five stars gave a simple explanation unsuitable for printing here.

Most prisons and jail profiles on Yelp have been properly claimed and include directions; public transportation opportunities; visiting hours. Some have added a few photos.

Yelp doesn’t offer any statistics about correctional facilities in terms of how many profiles exist or how many total reviews are currently published (Yelp is currently available in 13 countries), however the “review-a-prison” idea is gaining a little bit of steam.

Prisons aside, if you want to learn more about your business and Yelp, check out our Udemy course “Promote Your Business and Earn More Sales By Mastering Yelp” at http://www.udemy.com/mastering-yelp.

07. October 2015 · Comments Off on Online Reputation Lab: Protecting Your Business Image · Categories: ORM, Training Courses · Tags: ,

online reputation labWhether you realize it or not, your business (and you as an individual) has an online reputation.

Hopefully, it’s a positive one backed up by good customer reviews; positive news and media stories; blog posts; articles; photographs; videos and more.

However, for some, bad or impulsive decisions can almost immediately equate into a negative online reputation which may take months or years to repair.

At the same time, every individual has an online reputation, which can also be formed by social media; legal troubles; unsavory photographs, etc.

This is why we have created – and released – a new Udemy course “Online Reputation Lab: Protecting Your Business Image.”

In this 12-lecture, 90-minute course, we’ll cover:

  • Understanding the basics of online reputation for a business.
  • Understanding the basics of online reputation for an individual.
  • How to recognize online reputation problems.
  • How to strategize and create opportunities to improve a negative online reputation.
  • Creating a strong and positive online reputation management program for a business or an individual.

“In this course, we take an in-depth look at five case studies of businesses and individuals suffering through a negative online reputation problem,” says Steve Phillips, Vice President at Mountain Woods Media, LLC.

“We review a worldwide corporation; a college and three individuals. In every case, we review the problems and then we try to offer some solutions on how they can start the road to repairing their reputation,” he adds.

Currently, students can preview two course lectures for free.

The full course and more information is available at https://www.udemy.com/online-reputation-lab and retails for $99.

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Mountain Woods Media, LLC is an Internet consulting and content development firm specializing in training and consulting; Search Engine Optimization (SEO); Online Reputation Management (ORM) and App Search Optimization (ASO).

 

25. September 2015 · Comments Off on Steps to Take in Repairing a Negative Online Reputation · Categories: ORM, Training Courses · Tags: , ,

Bad newReputation Repairs travels fast and, unfortunately, it can usually earn high rankings in Google. This means customers can quickly see:

  • Consumer complaints about your company (Better Business Bureau, etc.).
  • Business layoffs and news that hurts your firm’s image.
  • Negative reviews.
  • Lawsuits and other legal matters.

Before you know it, negative news and reviews can definitely have an impact on your business and bottom line.

So, how can your business recover in terms of reputation repair?

Let’s assume your business is facing such a scenario and doesn’t have an online reputation management program in place. Note: Developing a digital crisis program in advance will help prevent a panic rush to repair a negative online reputation.

Unfortunately, it can easily take three-to-six months (or longer) to fully repair and recover from negative search results. Here’s a simple outline you can follow in order to get started:

  • Repair negative reviews in Yelp, Manta and other online review websites first. This is the only “easy” task you will have. The best approach here is to reply to the complaint directly within the review site. Be polite and professional in your response. Apologize and offer to fix the problem. This will go a long way in showing your efforts to make the customer happy. In most cases, satisfied customers will remove the negative review or edit it so that the review is a positive one for your company.
  • Create positive news. The best way to do this is to create a blog on your website (if you don’t have one) and begin to write and publish daily blog posts about your company; your staff and your products and services.
  • Get active on social media with positive posts in Facebook (1-2 per day), Twitter (5 Tweets per day) and LinkedIn (1 per day).
  • Take photographs and post them daily in social media; Instagram; your website; review websites and blogs.
  • Record and publish 1-2 videos weekly in YouTube and Vimeo. Publish links to your videos in your blog and in social media.

It’s not going to be an easy uphill climb, but you can recover.

For more information on recovering from a negative online reputation and bad reviews for your business, visit our Udemy course “Online Reputation Management: Handling Negative Reviews” https://www.udemy.com/online-reputation-management-negative-business-reviews

 

16. September 2015 · Comments Off on What Happens When You Can’t Repair A Negative Review ? · Categories: Mountain Woods Media, ORM, Training Courses · Tags: , , ,

negative reviewsOver the lifetime of your business, you’ll find that not all customers and clients are going to be happy and your firm will be the recipient of a negative review.

It’s not the end of the world. Most negative reviews can be repaired and problems can be resolved. In fact, many unhappy customers will eventually update the review or remove it, once the problem has been corrected.

Still, there might be a stubborn customer who will never update or remove his negative review no matter what you do to fix the damage. This stubborn individual is all about revenge and tries his best to ruin your business’ online reputation.

Don’t worry. Here are some steps you can take to overcome the professional negative reviewer.

  • Always try to solve the negative review by communicating within your profile’s review area. This will show current and future customers that you are reaching out and trying to fix the review. It will later become apparent the negative reviewer has no interest in solving the problem and he will eventually appear to be the “bad” guy in this dispute.
  • Remember to remove your emotions when replying to a negative review. Be polite and professional.
  • Even if you feel you’re right, apologizing usually diffuses a negative reviewer. Most reviewers want to be happy and work out the dispute.
  • Don’t get into a back-and-forth argument with the reviewer. The more you argue online, the worse it will be for your business. Arguing shows current and future customers that you’re not willing to work with your customers on a matter and may shy them away from becoming future customers.

Recently, we helped a medical practice in California deal with a negative reviewer. By researching the reviewer’s profile, we quickly found out that he was a serial negative reviewer in Yelp and would regularly leave one or two negative reviews for businesses each week. Unfortunately, most businesses would ignore him and never respond or offer to repair the problem, which makes the negative review more valid.

For more information, be sure to purchase our Udemy course “Online Reputation Management: Handling Negative Reviews” at https://udemy.com/online-reputation-management-negative-business-reviews.

 

24. August 2015 · Comments Off on How To Improve Online Reviews For Your Business · Categories: ORM, Training Courses · Tags: , , , ,

improve online reviews and business reputationMany business owners – especially those who own and operate restaurants and hotels – may actually rely on the reviews left online by their customers.

Customers don’t want a bad experience or poor service. They really don’t. However, if they leave with a bad experience, they usually turn to Yelp or another online review website to share their opinions with the world.

As a business owner, you can learn from negative reviews, improve your online reviews and take steps to ensure better reviews and better communication with customers. Here’s how:

  • Make sure you’ve claimed and confirmed your business profile with online review websites; business listing websites and mapping sites. These would include services such as Yelp, Google+ Local, Bing Local, Manta and others.
  • Optimize your business profile with complete and accurate information. This includes correct address; telephone numbers; services and products offered; business hours; payment types accepted (including credit cards); photographs and videos. The more information you complete, the better your business will be ranked within the review website.
  • Keep your profile updated. Add new pictures and videos on a regular basis.
  • Respond to customers who leave reviews. Correspond with all customers through the review website. This shows other customers that you are grateful for good reviews and that you’re eager to solve any problems or poor customer experiences with your business. This goes a long way with potential new customers.
  • It’s perfectly fine to ask regular customers; family or friends for a review. Tell them you’re trying to improve your business’ reviews and, if they are willing to leave your business a review, you would appreciate it.
  • Never offer discounts or free services or food in exchange for good reviews.

For more information on earning better reviews, check out our course “Online Reputation Management: Handling Negative Reviews” on Udemy.com.

13. August 2015 · Comments Off on Course Preview, Free Lectures Now Available on Udemy · Categories: ORM, Training Courses · Tags: ,

Mountain Woods Media, LLC is now offering a free preview and two lectures to its latest course on Udemy titled “Online Reputation Management: Negative Business Reviews.”

The course, which is currently available for $49, is designed for business owners who have experienced negative reviews on Yelp and other online review websites and want to improve their business’ online reputation management. Currently, over 200 students have signed up for the course.

The three videos include:

  • Overall Course Preview (approximately 2 minutes) offers viewers a sneak peek into what they will learn by taking this course.
  • “Everything’s Online As It Happens” – Section 1, Lecture 1 (approximately 7 minutes)
    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.
  • “What is Online Reputation Management – Section 1, Lecture 2 (approximately 12 minutes)
    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.

The course previews and free lectures are available for a limited time at:

https://www.udemy.com/online-reputation-management-negative-business-reviews/

 

10. August 2015 · Comments Off on Mountain Woods Media, LLC Releases First Udemy Course · Categories: Mountain Woods Media, ORM · Tags: , , ,

Mountain Woods Media, LLC releases first ORM Udemy CourseMountain Woods Media, LLC, a content development firm, has released its first training course on Udemy.

The course “Online Reputation Management: Handling Negative Reviews” is designed for large and small businesses; professional and medical services, and other firms who need to manage and improve their online business reviews.

“Unfortunately, some businesses and professionals receive negative reviews in Yelp, Google Places or on other online review websites,” says Mountain Woods Media Vice President Steve Phillips.

“This course is an easy-to-follow guide on how to respond to negative reviews and turn them into positive reviews for your company,” he adds.

This “Online Reputation Management: Handling Negative Reviews” Udemy course covers:

  • Understanding how Online Reputation works for businesses and individuals.
  • How to take proper steps in handling online negative business reviews, including how to respond to them.
  • How to turn a negative review into a positive review.
  • How to claim and optimize online business profiles and map listing websites.
  • How to manage your business’ online reputation.
  • How to create easy content and optimize it for better rankings in Google and other search engines.

Currently, students can preview two (2) course lectures for free, including:

  • Lecture 1: “Everything’s Online As It Happens”
  • Lecture 2: “Understanding Online Reputation Management”

The three-hour course features 22 lectures and several downloadable documents. Students may participate in online question-and-answer discussions with other students and Phillips. Mountain Woods Media, LLC will announce “office hours” soon in which students can connect live via Skype for more one-on-one training and instruction at no additional charge.

“Online Reputation Management: Handling Negative Reviews” is currently available for $49 and is available at https://www.udemy.com/online-reputation-management-negative-business-reviews/

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Mountain Woods Media, LLC is a content development firm specializing in Search Engine Optimization; Online Reputation Management and App Search Optimization. Online Reputation is how a business or a person appears online through search results. The process by which one continuously improves their online reputation is called “online reputation management.” Fresh and positive content helps improve your online reputation in overcoming bad publicity; bad business reviews or making a life mistake.

* * *

Udemy is the world’s online learning marketplace, where over 7 million students are taking courses in everything from programming to yoga to photography and much, much more. Each of Udemy’s 30,000+ courses is taught by an expert instructor, so every course is available on-demand, and students can learn at their own pace, on their own time, and on any device. For more information, visit http://udemy.com

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