Preparation is the key to ensuring that negative actions outside of a company's control don't directly affect fan base and revenue. It's important to stay on top of what's being said about a company, as a negative review or false updates about a business listing can cause its local search results to plummet.
Search Engine Land recommends counteracting potential pitfalls by having a response strategy in place. This involves creating a comprehensive list of all online business listings - URLs, login information, confirmation emails - in case anything goes awry.
Template responses are also handy, and can be used if a company receives a complaint or negative response in both online or real world settings. These can range from media inquiries to online forums, blog comments and social media updates.
Should a competitor in a similar genre start a campaign and attempt to take control of keywords, the business should have a response campaign ready, with additional funds set aside to pay for keywords if necessary.
Business2Community suggests addressing a user complaint immediately, as this will reinforce a customer loyalty strategy. Also, site owners should avoid starting an argument, address the root cause of the issue and offer a discount, refund or complimentary complementary product to quell potential problems.