Online Reputation Management
The better your online reputation, the more customers will come to your business and the higher you’ll rank on Google search. In this guide you’ll learn how you can better manage your online reputation to drive business growth.
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Reputation management is the process of proactively optimizing and managing what consumers learn about your business —usually through Google, or another one of the hundreds of review sites on the Internet.
It’s important to listen to the customers and empower them to become your voice and your advocates. Testimonials from customers can provide a proof of your brand’s excellence to prospects . Here.,s why brand reputation is important
Your brand’s reputation is valuable. Just like your first impression is important when you’re meeting new people, your business’s reputation is important to new customers.
While it’s hard to quantify, our reputation even has monetary value. A good reputation means that your brand is worth more. According to the Economist, 30% of the value of the S&P 500 comes from brand reputation.
Think about a big brand like Nike. When you see the iconic swoosh, you know the brand represents quality athletic footwear. Nike has carefully built this image through decades of advertising and celebrity sponsorships with athletes like Michael Jordan.
Some of the goodwill of a company like Nike not just come from their profits, but also the reputation of the brand. Whenever Nike releases a new shoe, consumers are sure that they can expect the same level of quality that they see with all of Nike’s products.
Of course, reputation management is not the techniques that only giant companies like Nike can use. You don’t need to get Michael Jordan in order to get customers to like your business. Any company can build a solid reputation through the online reputation management.
You don’t need flashy celebrity sponsorships or Superbowl commercials in order to build a strong reputation. What you do need is the authentic voice of your current customers.
Right now, there is a space where customers are checking to determine your business’s reputation: review sites. There are hundreds of review sites on the Internet, from review giants like Google and Facebook to smaller, industry-focused sites like Healthgrades and Avvo. Here, local businesses are rated and reviewed by real customers. This is where your online reputation is created.
Research shows that 92% of customers refer to reviews before making a purchase decision. If your business looks better online, The better your reputation, the more customers will come to your business.
There’s a simple reason why online reviews can make such a big impact on your business: customers trust them.
Customer reviews represent the real opinions of real customers. Any business can claim to be the best business. If you have lots of quality reviews from customers, it shows social proof that businesses actually care about your services.
A study by the Harvard Business Review showed that a 1-star increase in reviews can result in a 5-9% increase in revenue. Here are some factors that can help your business’s online reputation:
- If the reviews are positive
- You have “fresh” recent reviews
- You have lots of reviews
- Your business is highly rated
- Your reviews are authentic
- You respond to both positive and negative reviews promptly with a positive and helpful demeanor
Since customers find reviews important, search engines do too. Online reviews provide fresh, organic content for your business, and are displayed in search engine results. Therefore, they have a massive impact on your search engine ranking (See Search Engine Optimization (SEO) for Small Business).
Search engines are the roadways that help direct targeted traffic to your site. It’s like the signs on the side of a freeway that tell you there’s gas, food, and a place to sleep off a particular exit. If you don’t have your signs up, search engines won’t know that they can send traffic your way.
What is a Strong Online Reputation?
Of course, having a strong online reputation isn’t always as simple as it seems. When asked, most businesses will say that having a high overall star rating makes their business looks great to customers. While this may be partially true, it’s definitely not the entire story. If a business has 5 online reviews with an average rating of 4.5 stars, would you say that this company has a positive online reputation? Most people would say yes.
Now, if this company has a competitor, with 500 reviews and an average rating of 4.5 stars, which company are you more likely to go with? Our money would be on the competitor. Both companies have a positive online reputation, but the competitor has a much stronger online reputation because of how many reviews they have.