“Reputation management” and your business

Every so often, we get a call from a client (most of the time a restaurant) asking “can’t we do anything about bad reviews on ( insert site name here)”  and the answer is sure, but, you have to worry about it all the time, not just when it suits you.

The first and best solution is to be proactive. Make sure you ask if your customers are satisfied several times. In fact, we often recommend that you print directly on your guest check “If you aren’t satisfied, don’t pay until you’ve talked to a manager”

An ounce of prevention is worth ten tons of headaches after they leave and trash your place. The sad thing is, it doesn’t even have to be true- and people will believe it. A client, a local pizza shop had someone say “the chicken wasn’t cooked- still raw” which is impossible, since all his chicken is pre-cooked. Another restaurant got a bad review by a guy who wrote in a reasonable tip on his charge, then came back in demanding a refund for his $5 beer with a $1.34 tip which he claimed was a $1 more than it should have been, and wanted $10 back in cash. The part he left out- he also called the cops to try to settle his dispute. And these are “reviewers”?

One restaurant in San Francisco decided to ask its customers to write 1 star bad reviews on Yelp- and even gave a discount to people who panned them. This article includes some of the reviews:

Botto Bistro is encouraging all of its customers to leave one-star Yelp reviews; it is even offering deals for anyone who pens a crummy review: 25% off any pizza and a chance to win a cooking class. (Hat-tip to Richmond Standard.)

Chefs and co-owners Davide Cerretini and Michele Massimo are veterans of the local dining scene, and say that their food is excellent and they run a busy restaurant. According to Cerretini, they simply grew tired of the constant advertising inquiries from Yelp and what he dubs “blackmailing” and review manipulation. (Sidenote: A judge recently ruled that Yelp has the power to manipulate reviews.)

Source: Richmond restaurant encourages bad Yelp reviews – Inside Scoop SF

Yelp doesn’t just review restaurants, so you might want to check what people have said about your business there.

Other sites you may be getting reviewed on: Facebook, Trip Advisor, Foursquare, Zomato (formerly UrbanSpoon) and Google. Google has a mechanism to ask for reviews to be reviewed- but it’s a little tricky to find your way there, so here’s a video guide.

Again, the best way to avoid bad reviews- excellent customer service. And, if people seem really happy, ask them to write an amazing review for you.

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Add HTTPS to your site now for Google love

SSL will keep your site's users' information safe.

SSL will keep your site’s users’ information safe. [Dramatic Reenactment]

In April of 2015 Google announced that they would give search rank preference to sites that were mobile friendly (responsive, you can use Googles test page to check your site) and that had a secure certificate. Secure certificates create a “Secure Sockets Layer” or SSL- the lock or green bar, or HTTPS you see in the browser address bar.

Installing SSL’s can be a pain, and it’s another product domain registrars and hosting companies and the certificate issuers can charge you more for. Our solution at Next Wave Hosting is to become a partner with CloudFlare– that provides a workaround that provides SSL without a certificate and without additional cost to our clients.

But- if you want to learn the reasoning behind Google’s move- you can watch this 45 minute video where two of their engineers explain it pretty convincingly without getting too geeky.

They want your site to be Secure By Default.

Their three main reasons for HTTPS:?

  1. People can’t listen in on conversations between your visitors and your site,
  2. They can’t tamper with the data
  3. They can’t impersonate the destination.

They also provide tips on installing secure certs and where to get them, and most importantly- how to fix your existing site so that your content and links all display properly.

We found the Search and Replace plugin for WordPress very handy. We had to look for hard coded internal links to

http://oursite.tld/test/index.php

and turn those into relative links (within a site a link doesn’t need the full domain),

test/index.php

The lack of a leading slash means “Inside the current directory is a sub-directory named test, and inside that directory is a file named index.php“.

All of our video content- such as youtube.com links and the newer shorter ones youtu.be both had to be found that were http, and changed to https to properly display.

While all this may seem like a lot of work for you, in the end, you’ll be rewarded with higher search rank, peace of mind, and your customers will be more confident about their experience on your site.

If you need help moving over to HTTPS feel free to contact us.

 

 

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Automattic turns 10. WordPress powers 25% of the web

WordPress is an open source software solution to publishing on the web. We’ve been teaching our Websitetology seminar since Nov 4, 2005, which means we’re almost 10 just like Automattic- the people who bring you WordPress.

Now WordPress powers almost a quarter of everything on the Internet- for good reason.

Look at their little video- showcasing the story- and some of the companies that are “powered by WordPress”- you’ll be surprised.

And if you want to see a list of a lot of the sites shown in the video- here’s a link: http://winningwp.com/examples-of-big-name-brands-and-businesses-using-wordpress/

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