5 Ways to Deflect a Bad Review

Everyone knows the power of word-of-mouth advertising, and an online review is word-of-mouth on a colossal scale. Reviews carry more credibility that advertisements because the reviewers are not on the payroll. Good reviews are a boon to your business, but what about bad reviews? What happens when your company is blindsided by a disgruntled customer who leaves a one-star Google review and nasty comments? The best response is:

bad review
  1. Create a review policy
  2. Respond
  3. Show Empathy
  4. Continue Conversation Offline
  5. Bury the Review

1. Create a Review Policy

Every business should create a review policy. One of the elements should be which reviews to respond to. Responding to all of the positive reviews – although time consuming – acknowledges that you read and appreciate the feedback. Here’s an example of a response:

“Thanks for the compliment. We appreciated the opportunity to…”

Sometimes, it’s nice just to let the review stand on its own so there’s a string of positive reviews. Instead of responding to all, you may instead choose to respond to the bad reviews only. These should not be ignored. So, if you respond to one, respond to them all. When you don’t respond, readers may think your company is uncaring or the review is fully accurate and doesn’t require a response.

2. Respond to a Bad Review

Responding to a bad review is important, otherwise the audience might think the review represents how you do business. However, wait a bit before responding. Customers leaving bad reviews often lash out when they’re upset, so wait a couple of days. Then, create a response that is short and objectively acknowledges what happened, then offer to move the conversation offline.

Readers understand that there are two points of view in every scenario. Things aren’t always 100% perfect. Keep your audience in mind when responding, because essentially, you truly are responding to everyone who reads the review, not the reviewer. For this reason, you want to present your business is a good light.
Here’s an example:

“Our mission is to address clients’ needs while delivering value, building trust, and acting with integrity. We pride ourselves on these high standards and I can assure you that (address the bad review).”

3. Show Empathy

A strong comeback will turn people off. Especially if you’re in a service industry, you want to brand yourself as friendly, helpful, and professional. Attacking the reviewer is counter-productive. Instead, take the high road by showing empathy and recognizing the issue without restating it. When you show you care, you show a concern for this particular client, and consequently, all of the others you serve. Offer a way to resolve the issue reported in the review.

4. Continue the Conversation Offline

Close with an offer to the reviewer to continue the conversation offline. Here’s an example: If you’d like to discuss this further, please give me a call.” This cements your reputation for quality customer service. Remember, your response is meant for people reading the review, more than the reviewer.

Learn other digital marketing secrets

5. Bury a Bad Review

Lastly, the bury. Because Google categorizes reviews by date, burying the bad review under good reviews will hide it. Additionally, several 5-star reviews will counteract the 1-star review. Email some of your clients to gather positive reviews. Thank them for their business, ask for a review, and provide a link to your Google account. It’s as simple as that.

Optional: Report a Review to Google

Another option is to report the review to Google (support.google.com) and request its removal. Generally, unless the post violates community standards, represents impersonation, or is a conflict of interest, the likelihood of removal is remote.

Protect Your Good Name

good review

Customers read reviews before purchasing all sorts of products and services. A bad review requires a timely and carefully crafted response. Protect your good name by responding with empathy, objectivity, and a way to resolve the situation. Contact us for additional advice regarding bad reviews or assistance writing a response.

6 Components of Website Hosting


Sometimes we get the question, “What do I get for my hosting fee?” Great question! First and foremost, you get us – a dedicated, reachable team with customer relationship management software for tech support. Second, you get secure, reliable hosting of your website. Hosting refers to a program sitting on a server. A server is a fancy computer with critical backups and multiple locations. The server spins up a response when someone types in a domain name. The domain name is pointed to the server that the website sits on (called A record).

Silver, Gold, Platinum Hosting Plans

Packerland Websites offers three hosting plans: Silver, Gold, and Platinum. The Silver Hosting Plan is the most basic, yet it is still covers the critical elements that keep a website operating smoothly and securely. The Gold and Platinum packages are designed for organizations requiring tighter security and frequent edits. For the Silver Hosting Plan, Packerland Websites offers the following services.

1. SSL Certificate

Purchase, install, and maintain an SSL certificate for increased security and better SEO. With an SSL certificate and HTTPS security, a padlock appears by the website URL. This padlock assures users that they’re interacting with a secure website they can trust. Read our article about SSL and HTTPS.

2. WordPress updates

Update your website when WordPress updates. Your website is built in WordPress, a platform that is user-friendly and easy to customize. WordPress routinely issues updates that sometimes conflict with a website’s content and functionality. Occasionally, themes and plugins require updating to match the latest update. Our team regularly scans for updates and handles issues that pop up. Read our article about why we trust WordPress as our platform.

3. Back-up to Dropbox

Back up your website regularly to Dropbox to ensure its continuity. If a website is compromised by a malicious attack or goes off-line for another reason, Packerland Websites has a back-up available. We know it’s important for a website to work for you 24/7/365.

4. Content Management

Provide 90 minutes of content management per year. (Gold and Platinum hosting plans have monthly management.) Our team can help add a photo gallery, change a few paragraphs of text, etc. Content management requests are completed within four business days, although many issues are resolved much sooner. Send a support ticket, and our team will respond.

5. Security Enhancements

Make miscellaneous code updates and security enhancements behind the scenes. Packerland Websites recently implemented these cybersecurity measures:

  • Required stronger passwords (foreign characters are not allowed)
  • Hid the login page, since hackers often target login pages
  • Reduced the number of wrong login attempts
  • Added script blocking code to protect names, which stops hackers from determining the users on a website

In addition to the security of Silver, Gold and Platinum hosting plans, we offer cybersecurity services à la carte. Our daily scanner and auto virus removal has been popular at $9/month, because it comes with a virus removal warranty.

6. Blogging Platform

Offer a content management system (CMS) for blogging and page edits/updates. Showcase your brand by easily maintaining your own the website. We give you the tools and training you need, with printed, digital, and online tutorials and one-on-one training. View the tutorials.

Contact Us About Hosting

So, what do you get for hosting? Quite a bit. Most importantly, you get us, one of the best website building teams around. Contact us. We’ll put your website to work for you.

Packerland Websites – 10 Years of Techy Tenacity

Packerland Websites celebrates its 10-year anniversary this month! What started as a single owner/operator in the basement of our home grew exponentially since 2011. Today, Packerland Websites is a thriving website building and digital marketing company with five employees and an office in Green Bay.

Getting Hooked on Website Building

Believe it or not, fishing introduced me to website building. As a pro walleye angler, I built my first website in 1999, and I was ‘hooked’! The “Fishing with Bill” website put me on the cutting edge of technology and proved to be an innovative aspect of my marketing plan. My sponsors loved the exposure I gave them on the internet. I learned to build websites on a whim. I walked through Best Buy in 1999 and picked up a How to Build a Website in Minutes box. The package included everything I needed to get started. Although it took more than a few minutes to build a website, I was up to the challenge.

Specializing in WordPress Websites

packerland websites staff

In March 2007, I started building websites for others. I officially opened Packerland Websites in 2011 and hired my first employee, a WordPress website developer, in January 2016. Fast forward to today. Now I work with a team of four WordPress experts specializing in website design, digital marketing, and search engine optimization (SEO). My wife, Joan, the “Wonder Writer” at Writer to the Rescue, manages the content writing division of Packerland Websites.

Understanding Today’s Business Climate

Packerland Websites owner Bill Koehne with Chevy Volt

As for me, I like to think of myself as a high-tech people-person. My brain is wired for numbers, marketing, and optimism. I’m a techie, but I’m also a business owner. Before transitioning into digital marketing and website development, I spent 23 year owning and managing a manufacturing and construction company with 19 employees. I earned a business administration degree at the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay and understand the joys and trials of owning and operating a business.

Reaching Digital Marketing Success

Packerland Websites owner Bill Koehne

I named the company Packerland Websites because of the Green Bay Packers’ dominant influence in the state. Packerland Websites’ first motto was “Building Winning Websites,” which referenced the Packers’ winning tradition. Today, our motto is “Your success is our success.” Our goal is to provide a solid return on investment and successful web results for our business, municipal and nonprofit partners.

Thanking Packerland Websites’ Supporters

Pacckerland Websites billboard

Growing a business takes time, patience, and dedication. It also takes the right people and the right opportunities. I’ve had an abundance of all of these! I am so grateful to the great people, businesses, and nonprofits who put their trust in Packerland Websites. They made Packerland Websites what it is today. Thank you! Here’s to another 10 years!

Website Tutorial Video – Easily Manage Your Website

Businesses and nonprofits are in a constant state of flux. They add services, introduce new products, change personnel, and open new locations. Having a website that accurately reflects today’s business, not yesterday’s, is easier than ever. This week, Packerland Websites introduced a step-by-step WordPress Website Tutorial video. The video explains 30 of the most common changes that website administrators make.

Master WordPress Techniques

Even if you’re not techy, this video empowers you to master techniques to create the look you want for your website. Tom Norman, Packerland Websites’ developer, created the WordPress Website Tutorial as a guide for anyone learning the ropes or needing a refresher. The WordPress Website Tutorial is published on YouTube and is embedded on the Packerland Websites tutorial page on our website.

Evaluate Visitor Behavior

The tutorial begins with a look at the Dashboard screen of a sample website. You “drive” the website from the Dashboard, where you access Posts, Media, Pages, and the Envira Gallery (for groups of images). The Dashboard also shows website analytics. This data explains visitor behavior and provides insights into improving the user experience.

Manage Website Content

The remainder of the video explains how to manage website content:

  • Add content
  • Format (font, color, size, etc.)
  • Move
  • Preview
  • Schedule for publishing
  • Publish

Looking to Build or Refresh Your Website?

Click Here to contact Bill and learn about the talented team at Packerland Websites

Add & Edit Pages

The video also explains how to add and edit these features on pages and posts:

  • Images & media
  • Photo galleries
  • Columns
  • Links
  • Text, including headings
  • Categories
  • Lists
  • Tags

Jump to Topics of Interest

When you want to focus on a specific topic, the clickable chapter links get you there quickly. Save time with these three steps:

  1. Click on the words SHOW MORE under the video comments to view the clickable links.
  2. Click on the time stamp of the topic that interests you.
  3. Automatically jump to that topic in the video.

Choose the Website Tutorial Video or…

The WordPress Website Tutorial is just one of several tutorials that our team developed. Our video tutorial complements our printed tutorial available at our office and our digital tutorial
published on our website.

Contact Us for a One-on-One Screen-Share Walk-Through

Participate in a Training Session

Additionally, Packerland Websites reinforces these tutorials with one-on-one training. We empower clients to tweak their websites to their liking. The WordPress Website Tutorial is the latest example of the support we offer clients. With this guide, we empower you to manage the most effective, attractive, and up-to-date website possible. Contact us for more information.

Domain Name Scams: How to Recognize & Avoid Them

Recently, several businesses called to ask about the urgent domain notification emails they received. A typical subject line was: “This is your final notice for domain listing.” At first glance, these emails sound official. However, when I looked closer, I wasn’t fooled. These are fake emails cleverly disguised as legitimate requests for domain name renewal or transfer. Scammers try to trick individuals into switching domain registration or paying a fraudulent registration fee. In this article, I write about domain names, how to recognize domain name scams, and how to avoid these scams. But first, I’ll explain what a domain name is.

Domain Name Registration

A domain name is your Internet deed to your online real estate. The domain name is the group of letters that “point” users to your website on the internet. For example, our company domain name is PackerlandWebsites.com. Every website owner needs a domain name and needs to renew it at least annually. On a side note, Packerland Websites helps clients choose and secure a domain name that works best for them.

Check out the options for affordable domain names.

Domain Name Scams

Next, I’ll describe some telltale signs indicating you are the target of domain name scams.

  • Emails with errors. Scammers, especially those operating outside the U.S., send emails with spelling and grammatical mistakes.
  • Emails without account numbers. A legitimate domain name expiration notice will include your domain name registry account number.
  • Emails from unusual senders. Even reputable domain registrars like GoDaddy get spoofed by cybercriminals. Look closely at the sender’s address. Is it legitimate?
  • Emails with peculiar links. NEVER click on a link you don’t recognize and trust. For example, Packerland Websites received a domain name renewal email with a link to a hair salon, not a reputable domain name registrar. That tipped us off!
Domain Name Scams
Here’s a sample letter from a client. Looks official, but don’t take the bait. Watch for the words like “transfer” and “This notice is not a bill.”

Domain Name Protection

Lastly, I’ll explain how to protect yourself from falling victim to these scams. Essentially, domain name scams rely on people being unfamiliar with their domain name registration. Therefore, knowledge is power. The best way to protect yourself from domain name scams is to answer two questions:

  1. Where is my domain name registered?
  2. When does my domain name expire?

If you don’t know the answer to these questions, visit the website whois.net and type in your domain name. You will find the registrar and expiration date. Otherwise, contact the Packerland Team, and we’ll check.

Final Tips to Avoid Scams

If you receive a questionable email, read the entire message for clues indicating it’s legitimate. Although the email may contain technical terms that sound official, don’t be fooled. If you have doubts, contact us and ask. The Packerland Websites team is happy to help.

Website Hacking: Update Your Cybersecurity


One night I received a string of email alerts notifying me of a hacking attempt against a client’s website. Again and again, a hacker tried to break through our protective cybersecurity measures – but was foiled! Score one for the Good Guys. Unfortunately, cyberattacks like these are happening more often. Even with strong cybersecurity measures, malicious attacks occur.

Data Breaches

A hacked website:

  • Puts sensitive customer information and business information at risk
  • Turns away visitors because the website isn’t displaying or functioning properly
  • Blocks administrators from accessing the website
  • Leads to downtime due to a lack of online marketing
  • Requires time and talent to fix
  • Costs money, both in lost revenue and repair expenses

Login Pages

Because website login pages are so common, hackers often target login pages for a cyberattack. In response, Packerland Websites implemented these cybersecurity measures on the login pages of the 400+ websites it manages:

  • Hid the login page (Note: If you can’t login, send a support ticket or call us, 920-393-1132.)
  • Reduced the number of wrong login attempts
  • Required a stronger password
  • Filtered out non-English characters from the query string

Of course, it took some time to make these cybersecurity updates, but that’s what Good Guys do! We want legitimate web traffic to interact with your website, not hackers.


Cybersecurity Measures

For cybersecurity assurance, websites built by Packerland Websites are:

Hosted on a secure, HTTPS server

Backed up websites off-site every week

Blocked from malicious user attacks

Protected by other cybersecurity measures

Daily Scanning and Virus Removal

In today’s connected world, everyone benefits from cyber security. Unfortunately, cybercriminals are becoming more innovative in accessing, altering, and destroying sensitive information. In response, Packerland Websites recommends daily scanning and virus removal to protect data and keep websites working properly. Contact us to get started. You’ll rest better, knowing your guard is up.’

Read more about cybersecurity: Who’s responsible for a data breach?

Why build an ecommerce website?

ecommerce sale on phone

My first Christmas present of the year arrived on my front porch today. I’m Bill Koehne, owner of Packerland Websites. This Christmas, I am joining millions of Americans who shop online. Ecommerce is booming! In the United States, 15 cents of every retail dollar is spent at an online store. Total retail ecommerce sales for the second quarter of 2020 were $211.5 billion, a 44.5% increase over the second quarter of 2019. (Source)

Make Money Year-Round

Why not cash in on the dominance of online shopping, not just for the Christmas holidays but year-round? It’s not just Christmas shopping occurring online. The Covid-19 pandemic shifted demand from brick and mortar stores to ecommerce websites. Shoppers love the convenience of ordering online and having packages delivered right to their doorstep.

Trust in Bank-Level Security for Online Sales

The beauty of an ecommerce website is its third-party payment system. Sales transactions are super-secure and fully integrated into an ecommerce website. The third party collects, processes, and safeguards all sensitive information against cyberattacks and data breaches. Ecwid, the ecommerce platform used by Packerland Websites, offers the same level of security that is used by banks.

Manage an Ecommerce Website with Ease

If you already have a website, we can easily add an ecommerce store. If you’re building a new website, we can include the store in the initial design. Before the online store opens, we train store owners to successfully manage inventory, sales, and shipping. Ecommerce store owners have the ability to:

ecommerce shipping
  • Customize their storefront
  • Manage their store with ease from one control panel
  • Accept credit card payments
  • Track orders and inventory
  • Automatically calculate sales tax and shipping costs
  • Offer gift cards and discount coupons
  • Organize their products for sale (Packerland Websites uploads the first 3 products at no cost and additional products for a small fee. The store owner must provide product information.)

Exponentially Expand Your Sales Territory

Compared with brick-and-mortar stores, ecommerce stores offer greater flexibility, affordability, and widespread visibility. For the consumer, ecommerce websites are a quick, convenient way to shop. With a click of a button, customers from around the country can purchase your goods.

Contact Packerland Websites Today

Packerland Websites creates attractive, trustworthy, and user-friendly ecommerce websites that encourage people to buy from you. Contact us today for your ecommerce website. Cyber-Monday is just weeks away.

Packerland Websites Hits 400-Website Milestone

400 website milestone

Packerland Websites hit a new milestone in October– 400 website clients! Bill Koehne and his team appreciate working with each and every one of these fantastic business partners.

Every Website is Built with Purpose

Just as no two clients are alike, no two websites are the same. Our team consults with individual clients to understand their vision and goals. As a result, we develop a website as a marketing tool to achieve these goals. Our team of four website developers make website building easy.  Our content writer takes the worry out of writing website pages to engage and inform your target audience.

Every Client Has an Effective Marketing Tool

Packerland’s websites are secure, user-friendly, and mobile responsive. Above all, they are effective – they work 24/7 for our 400 website clients. Partner with Packerland Websites for:

marketing plan
  • Hosting at an affordable price
  • SSL certificates with HTTTPS security
  • Regularly scheduled backups
  • Updates to themes and plugins
  • Minor code edits
  • Regular review for connectivity
  • 90 minutes of content management’
  • Free tutorials; users update their websites

Every Business Needs a Website

Every business needs a website, but many business owners are afraid they’ll waste money on a website that doesn’t drive sales. Packerland Websites creates websites that convert leads into sales, so businesses prosper. Packerland Websites, Green Bay, surpassed the 400-website milestone and is shooting for 400 more. Contact Bill Koehne today, 920-826-5901, and start crushing your marketing goals with a website that works for you.

Kickstart your Marketing with a Business Quiz

business quiz question and answer

People love taking quizzes. We want to know how we score on all sorts of topics, like How strong is your marriage? What new car is right for you? Do you have enough saved for retirement? A quiz narrows our focus and shows us if we rank high (Yes! We’re doing great), low (Yikes! Time for a change!) or in between (Whew! Dodged that bullet). Every quiz ends with interpretation and insight from an expert.

Here’s a Marketing Strategy Customized to You

A quiz is a fun way to draw attention to your business. Because of the popularity of quizzes, Packerland Websites is now creating quizzes customized to our clients’ industry and strengths. As a strategic marketing tool, we develop original, attention-grabbing, 10-question quizzes specifically for your business. Additionally, we upload the quiz to your website. As an example, we have a quiz for you to test run.

Take the Packerland Websites’ quiz: How Well Does Your Website Score with Clients?

Learn whether your website achieves your marketing goals.

Here’s What a Business Quiz Does for You

A business quiz has many advantages. A quiz:

  • Brings new users to your website
  • Emphasizes your selling points
  • Requires simple, one-click answers
  • Tabulates scores automatically
  • Refers low scorers to your contact page
  • Provides engaging content to share on social media

Here’s a Sample Business Quiz

This quiz for a Green Bay bookkeeper reached over 1,000 people and generated nearly 50 link clicks in four days when shared on Facebook. A quiz like this can be used multiple times during the year and amplified in various ways.

Here’s How to Promote a Quiz to Your Target Market

A business quiz is a multi-faceted marketing tool. To get the best results:

  • Share the business quiz on LinkedIn and Facebook
  • Pass out the quiz at networking events and conferences
  • Add a quiz link to your email signature
  • Incorporate the quiz into brochures, marketing materials, and business cards
Get started with a business quiz

Here’s the Quiz Development Process

Businesses are always on the lookout for innovative marketing strategies that get results. Partnering with Packerland Websites to develop a business quiz is worth the investment.

The Packerland Websites’ team will:

  • Gather information about your industry, target audience & selling points
  • Write 10 questions that highlight your strengths
  • Assign and tabulate scores
  • Use the results to create a Call to Action message with a link to your Contact page
  • Upload the quiz to your WordPress website and provide you with the link

Here’s How to Order Your Customized Quiz

Ready to try a new marketing strategy? Order your business quiz today. Contact Bill Koehne at Packerland Websites, 920-826-5901 or Bill@PackerlandWebsites.com.