Dealing with Negative Comments on your Blog or Website

In today’s world where people turn to the Internet for information, purchases and entertainment, your website or blog is the lifeblood of your business. I am sure you do it, I do it, and probably most of the Western world rely on finding products online. It has become part of everyday life for so many.

You might spend hours each week or month making sure that your visitors have the best possible customer experience, so if you start getting negative comments on your blog or website, it can feel like a personal assault. It can make you feel worthless and put doubts in your mind about continuing in what at all other times is a successful business.

Most people comment on blogs to share their views or to get attention focused on a legitimate concern, but there are those lowly Internet trolls spreading their venom too. Take these following steps to put you in a place of power when dealing with all types of negative comments on your website or blog.

To Enable Comments or Not?

It’s up to you whether to enable the comments function on your site. You may be tempted to avoid criticism by not offering people the option of commenting, but try to avoid this. Most marketing experts suggest that doing this blocks you from engaging with your target market, and engaging customers should be a big part of your marketing policy.

For example, if someone is unable to comment directly to you on your site, they may take their issue to social media, which is much more difficult for you to control. By enabling customers to leave comments you look as if you care and interested in what your visitors have to say.

Spam filter

One of the first things you should do once you get your site up is to add a spam filter on it. These easy-to-install plugins work in the background, scanning all comments to ensure you only have to deal with the genuine ones. One of the most popular spam filters is Askimet, though there are many other free ones to choose from.

Moderate comments

Most website platforms let the administrator moderate comments. This feature gives you the power to manually choose which comments are displayed on your site. Regardless of how great your spam filter is, you will have some spam that gets through, so this is a way to catch them before they go live on your site.

Taking this precaution also gives you a preview of the comments before the public set eyes on them. This gives you time to decide if negative comments are rational and genuine and to determine how you want to address them.  If you don’t have built-in comment moderation features on your site, there are plugins that you can add.

Allowing users to comment on your site goes a long way to showing clients that you are taking their custom seriously, and that you value them. But be sensible and don’t open yourself up to unnecessary work filtering out spam messages. Giving clients this option can show you are responsible and not hiding any potential issues with your services.

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