The content you create for your business online can make or break you. Once one customer promotes negativity about your business or product it can cause a huge ripple effect. This is especially true in today’s market because the majority of client base conduct their research online before even continuing business with you, or purchasing your product.

It’s unfortunate that the loudest consumer is the one that voices their complaints. Even if their complaints aren’t valid, the internet makes it easy for their reviews to go viral. This is where reputation management must come into play. Though helpful, conducting this strategy incorrectly can come at high cost.

There are illegal ways to maintain a good reputation online. Even though the results are short term, the extended results for your business could be far worse than the negative reviews you tried to remove to begin with.

Here are some negative tactics to avoid.

False SEO

There are certain guidelines you must adhere to when it comes to Search Engine Optimization. One tactic to avoid is  keyword stuffing. This is when you create keywords that are loaded into a web page’s meta tags, visible content, or backlink anchor text so help you gain ranking advantages online. You also want to avoid spamming. Not only does it annoy your current customers, it can minimize sales and can even result in being removed from certain email marketing tools if you get too many hits from individuals who report you as never having subscribed to your lists.

Reviews from made up consumers

Avoid paying individuals to combat negative reviews or even inventing people that don’t exist to boost your product. You will be found out by the U.S., the Federal Trade Commission. If you are in need of reviews, kindly reach out to your consumers and encourage them to post reviews. Happy customers will be more than happy to help.

What can happen if you still decide to go with negative tactics?

The internet has grown drastically over the past decade. Things that certain businesses were able to get away with are being shut down. In the event that you are caught doing things like keyword stuffing, your business could be penalized with either financial repercussions like fines. You will also lose status on search engines, making it even harder for people to find you online.

As mentioned earlier, it is illegal to post fake reviews on your products. These can be followed up by more financial loss and even lawsuits that could damage your business even more than the negative reviews you are trying to remove.

So how do I find the right services to help?

Searching for an organization to help get you out of the negative light can take work. It is definitely worth the work if it means avoiding fines and legal issues. Just keep in mind that doing things the right way take longer.

Here are some things to consider when searching for the right help.

Ask lots of questions.

It is important that you understand the process the company or individual you hire to help adheres to when cleaning up your online reputation. Especially with such a maturing industry, legalities are constantly changing and upgrading. You want to go with someone that stays up to date with these policies.

Ask for references.

Is this company or individual credible? You want to make sure they are not lying to by saying they are using honest methods but are really cutting corners. Of course we understand that all reviews are not credible. This is why you’re hiring a professional to begin with. That is why going with a company or individual that is trusted by an admired associate or organization is who you should go with.

Just be sure as an organization to cross your “t’s” and dot your “i’s”. This is the livelihood of your organization so it’s not wrong to be suspicious and accurate when it comes to your research. After all, you don’t want a quick fix when it could ruin you in the long run.