Reviews and Online Reputation: 4 Ways to Stay On Top

If you’re worried about your online reputation, we’ve got 4 ways to help you stay on top so your ranking doesn’t suffer, and neither will you!


Reviews and Online Reputation: 4 Ways to Stay On Top


  1. Understand the Power of First Impressions
  2. Build Trust, Credibility, and Authority
  3. Play the Social Media Game
  4. Keep Watch & Have a Plan





In this age of technology and connectivity, online reputation has become critical for every small business owner to consider. In today’s fast-paced world, potential customers often turn to the internet to learn more about a company before making a purchase. We seek every bit of information we can so that we make the best local decision available.

Understanding the impact of online reputation on your business is crucial for establishing trust, attracting new customers, and maintaining a positive image in the digital realm.


Ready Small Business REBELS? Let’s get to it…

1. Understand the Power of First Impressions

Imagine you’re in need of a plumber. You hop onto your favorite search engine and find two highly recommended local plumbers. One has glowing reviews, while the other has a couple of negative comments. Which one would you choose? Most likely, the one with positive feedback. First impressions matter, and your online reputation is often the first interaction potential customers have with your business. A negative review or a lackluster presence online can deter potential customers and push them toward your competitors. We all know that’s the last thing we want!

So, let’s discuss some ways to control our first impression and ensure that our business is the one chosen by our ever-informed and savvy customers.

  • Attention to Detail & Cleanliness

I don’t know about you, but I’ve been known to drive out of my way to find a clean and inoffensive restroom so that I don’t have to worry about what I’m sitting in. If this is true, then how much further am I willing to drive for a clean and comfortable place to eat? Listen, even the smallest things matter; those seemingly insignificant details you don’t think about regularly because there are so many other things to think about.

There’s a reason a hostess at a restaurant chain will often be seen wiping off menus at their station. Menus get dirty fast, and if you’ve ever had trouble peeling back a menu page because it’s got a mystery sauce keeping it sticky, you will understand how that can sully an experience.

So, pay attention to every little detail and work the solution into your employees’ and managers’ daily routines. Make sure they know how to get things done properly and understand how to do it without inconveniencing your customers. You’ll feel that last statement if you’ve ever had a broom suddenly shoved under the table you’re occupying.

Clean matters! From the time your customers walk through your door to the time they walk out, every detail will be taken into account, especially if it’s less than positive.

  • Be Available and Willing to Help

Nothing is worse than not being able to find help when needed. So, pay attention to the micro hints your customers may be dropping and willing to jump in a help when necessary. They will drop hints of displeasure or discomfort. Understanding these cues and having the solution at the ready will go a long way toward earning repeat business.

  • A Well Trained Team

Enroll that team of yours! Train them well for the daily tasks that need to be done and train them for the inevitable ‘cranky Karens’ they’ll need to contend with. This is especially important for service-type businesses that hire teens and young adults. Many times, they lack the experience to deal well with different situations, so it’s important to give them the attention and time they need. The better your team communicates and handles things THROUGHOUT the customer’s journey, the higher your online ranking will climb.


Are you taking advantage of all the local marketing tools you could be using? Learn more about the tools that can make a big difference for your online authority —- > 10 Local Marketing Tools You Should Start Using



2. Build Trust, Credibility, and Authority

Trust is the foundation of any successful business, and your online reputation is a powerful tool for building and maintaining that trust. Positive reviews, testimonials, and high ratings go a long way in establishing your credibility and reliability. Conversely, a poor online reputation can cast doubt on your business’s authenticity and competence.

Trust and credibility are earned over time. You earn them by caring for your store, employees, associates, and customers. Your customers will only feel as welcomed and taken care of as your employees do, so make sure you are aware of company culture and morale. Just like there are petty and unreasonable customers out there, you will eventually get a bad egg here or there in the form of an employee.

However, the overall culture will prevail, so keep that in mind and pay attention to the little things that make a big difference.

Take charge of your online presence by actively engaging with customers, encouraging positive reviews, and promptly addressing any negative feedback.

The best thing is to try never to get a bad review, but since that’s impossible…

Here are 7 steps to take when you’ve received a negative review online:

  • Respond Directly by Addressing the Reviewer
  • Thank Them for Taking the Time to Provide Feedback
  • Sincerely Apologize & Tap Into Empathy
  • Take Ownership
  • Correct the Problem
  • Offer the Opportunity to Speak to Them Personally
  • Ask for Another Chance to Serve

We’ve elaborated on each of the above steps in our blog —- > How To Respond to a Bad Review: 7 Best Practices. Read it now to learn more.




3. Play the Social Media Game

Social media platforms have revolutionized the way businesses interact with customers. From Facebook to Instagram, these platforms provide an opportunity to showcase your brand, engage with your audience, and shape your online reputation.

Consistently posting high-quality content, promptly responding to messages and comments, and fostering a sense of community can help bolster your small business’s reputation in the virtual world.

Engage with your customers. Make it fun, relevant, and relatable. Keep them coming back by asking them to participate in games or special offers. We’ve all seen those contests that get your social media friends to post on their stories… they work wonders at getting word of your business and brand out there. I’ve learned about many businesses this way, and I wouldn’t be surprised if you had to!


4. Keep Watch & Have a Plan

Keeping an eye on and having a plan to address what people are saying about your business online is vital. Can you imagine if someone were spreading false information or harmful rumors about your products or services without your knowledge? By actively monitoring your online reputation, you can promptly address any negative comments, rectify misconceptions, and ensure your brand’s integrity remains intact. Online monitoring tools and professional reputation management services can assist in this process, providing you with real-time insights.

Not everyone will be fair to you or your business. That’s just life. Unfair. But your responses will absolutely determine your success. How you respond will send a message to readers, and they are generally capable of discerning what went down and what you mean in your response. They are usually pretty forgiving of a business owner who is willing to take responsibility.

I’ve found the best way to keep an eye out, among the long list of things you must do regularly, is to keep it to a schedule and set notifications to ON. In addition, having a plan to address a bad review will keep you sane while you struggle to handle the emotion of being publicly shamed. Let’s be real… that’s what it feels like when we read a terrible review. A very public SHAMING! So, protect your sanity, time, and reputation by having a plan in place and at the ready.


Your online reputation holds immense power when it comes to attracting customers, maintaining trust, and ultimately flourishing as a small business owner. Understanding the impact of online reputation and actively managing it is the key to staying ahead in today’s digital realm. Embrace the opportunities provided by social media, engage with your customers, and invest in online monitoring to foster a positive online presence that supports your business’s growth and success.



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