If you’ve got a small business, you should be aware that at some point, you WILL get
attacked. The internet is a massive bulletin board for any disgruntled customer, angry ex-
employee or sneaky competitor that wants to drag your name through the dirt. This is why
you need to think about SERM – “Search Engine Reputation Management.” As soon as
possible, create a plan to deal with attacks whenever they arise.
Everything everybody does online is public. It’s there for the whole world to see, 24 hours
a day and 7 days a week. Worst of all, it doesn’t go away. Here are some tips on making
the perfect plan for your business.
Act Fast But Not Hastily. When somebody attacks you online, it’s important to act quickly,
but you don’t want to do anything rash. When you see yourself bad-mouthed on a forum,
it’s tempting to reply and set the person straight. But this can make your company look
even worse, and it also raises the thread in Google by adding more content to it. Act
quickly, but be cool and calm.
Consider Everything. There are lots of places people can attack you online, so be
prepared for every situation. For example – a blog post that portrays your company
negatively; a forum member sounding off about your services; a review site user that gives
you a bad rating. Develop a plan for each of these situations.
Do Your Own Monitoring. Set aside a little bit of time each day to monitor what’s being said
about you online. You can make this easier by using Google Alerts or other services that
let you know by email when you’re mentioned.
Put Yourself In Your Customers’ Shoes. Whenever something happens, always put
yourself in their shoes first. This will give you a good idea on what’s the appropriate way to
Be Proactive In Projecting A Good Image. Give your customers quality service and seek
out good testimonials, reviews and comments.
These are just a few ideas for creating your SERM plan. If you’re really worried about
your online reputation, you can always hire a company that specializes in reputation
management. Doing that takes it all out of your hands so you can do more important