Why is Online Reputation Management Important?
Online Reputation Management is important because it helps businesses gain trust, increase rankings, understand their customers needs, and increase revenues.
Your online reputation, from your social media pages and blog posts to your Google reviews, is how people perceive your business before they decide to contact you. Paying close attention to these digital platforms has become vitally important in 2020, and will only continue to gain traction in the customer decision-making process.
Businesses that lack a sense of urgency or professionalism online, particularly on social media, can get a bad reputation quickly. The same goes for companies that do not pay attention to their online reviews. Google reviews are some of the most important items you can focus on when it comes to your online presence. When potential customers are searching for a local business, they read multiple reviews from multiple companies before they decide who they are going to call. This occurs almost every time.
If your business has a low star rating, a low review count, or is not responding to positive and negative reviews online, then you are ruining your online reputation.
Here are 7 reasons you should give your online reputation the attention it needs.
1. Higher Revenues & Increased Sales
A positive online presence increases sales and makes your company more profitable. People choose companies they trust. Pairing trust with a high ranking on Google will lead to more money coming into your company.
The initial research that a user does is based on the information they find when they first land on the Google search results. They will see the companies that appear (who are ranking), notice their star rating, and click through their reviews.
By proving you are a business people feel they can trust, potential customers are more likely to choose your business for their needs, ultimately leading to more revenue for your company. A simple way to build trust is by having plenty of positive reviews that you respond to.
2. You’ll Have Better Rankings Locally
Paying attention to your online reputation also means higher rankings on Google. How? The Google Maps Snack Pack takes into account your Google My Business review count, star rating, and reviews to determine how relevant they are to a searcher’s search term. Relevancy is one of the three ways Google Maps determines how to rank businesses.
By continuously getting fresh reviews on your Google My Business listing, you should see at least a small boost within your rankings. Of course, this also depends on how well your competition is performing when it comes to their Google Reviews.
3. You Will Stand Out From Your Competitors
Speaking of your competitors, it’s important to give them a run for their money. You should want to be the highest Google Review-rated company in your industry, in your location. We wouldn’t want to see you with a 3.7-star rating and 8 reviews when one of your competitors is at a 4.7 and 95 reviews.
Who do you think a potential customer would choose based on that?
Keep working for more reviews. Sometimes, it can take a while to build up enough of them to make a noticeable difference between you and your competitors. It’s hard work but we promise when it starts paying off, it will be worth it.
4. Build Trust & Credibility
Credibility can come in a variety of shapes and sizes when it comes to your online reputation. We’ve already talked about how people feel about online reviews and why those are a must. There are also a handful of things you need to pay attention to that could lead to quick judgment from potential customers.
Your Business’s Website
Your website is like your digital lobby. Picture someone walking into your real lobby, you want to give them a great first impression, right? Your website does the same thing. Is it mobile and easy to navigate? Make sure your content is not too small on a mobile device, make sure it loads, and make sure people can easily contact you from it. For a quick test, you can use the Google mobile-friendly tool. It will give you a few pointers on how you might be able to improve your current website.
Your Business’s Social Media Accounts
Social media has become a place where people feel comfortable posting whatever they like, regardless of how others may view that content. When it comes to your business’s social media accounts, make sure you keep everything you post professional, neutral, and engaging. When someone reaches out to your business with a question on a social profile, respond quickly. You don’t want the rest of the world thinking you just blew that person off and never commented back, do you? Be engaged, be helpful.
5. It’s An Opportunity to Show Off Impressive Information When People Google Your Business Name
When potential customers remember you by name, it is extremely important to have your SERP (Search Engine Results Page) show off all of your best attributes.
When people google your business, they are immediately taken to everything the internet knows about you; reviews, contact information, website pages, social media pages, any sort of publicity or articles that might have been written about you, and more.
This is your online presence all on one page, wrapped up into one small action.
Look at the right side, that’s your Google My Business section. You want to make sure your Google My Business page is claimed, optimized, presents the correct information, and of course, has positive reviews. And on the left, you want to make sure your website is available, your directory information is correct, you have positive review stars showing when available, and your social media pages are claimed and optimized.
6. You Can Analyze Your Customers’ Wants & Needs
Paying attention to your online reputation means that you are paying attention to your customers. It is not uncommon for people to reach out online, either through social media, your website, or chat. It is also probable that potential customers are telling you their wants and needs either about your company directly or within your industry online. Keep an eye out for mentions like this! It can give you insight on ways to improve your business and stay relevant to what the customer or client is currently needing.
7. It Shows Off a Professional Image
We mentioned this a little bit earlier but thought we should go a little bit more in-depth. How your business reacts to negative comments, mentions, or reviews plays a huge part in how other potential customers view your company.
We understand when exaggerated negative reviews come in, or a rude comment gets posted on your Facebook Page, it can be hard not to react. As a business owner, your business means everything to you, which is exactly why you should not retaliate before thinking about the situation and planning on how you should respond.
Below are a few examples of where our clients have been criticized online, and tips on how to make sure you respond the right way.
- Negative reviews can come in at any time on your social media pages. We have found that an upset customer, or even an upset employee, can come in and drop a negative review bomb. What we mean by this is a review that is so negative it immediately makes you angry. Maybe they exaggerated the situation, maybe what they said was true, or maybe it was completely false. Regardless, it’s always best to respond in a positive light. Make sure your response shows that you care about correcting the issue and are very concerned with why this person feels so negatively.
- Comments are similar when it comes to your online reputation. If an angry customer posts on your business page, do not get into an argument through comments. Again, we understand negative critiques towards your business can be aggravating, but your reputation and how you interact with others online is much more important than trying to prove a point where everyone can see it.
What You Post (on Your Business page and Your Personal Page)
- Last, but not least, when it comes to your social media pages, we understand that everyone has their own opinions, views, and beliefs, but do not let your opinions of certain issues drive away potential customers because they may not agree with you. Keep your business professional online.
- Just like with Facebook reviews, the way you respond to Google reviews is exactly the same. Plus, Google reviews are more front and center, and many more people have the ability to see them. Respond in a timely manner to all reviews that come in. Thank people for positive reviews and try to professionally correct what may come in as a negative review. When potential customers see you responding directly to how others are posting about your company, they’ll gain a sense of comfort knowing that you really care about the customer service your business provides.
- The same goes for other directories when it comes to reviews. Directories to pay attention to would include YellowPages, Yelp, Superpages, Manta, and the BBB. Respond professionally and thank those who are happy with your services.
Types of Businesses that Benefit From Online Reputation Management
Simply put, all businesses benefit from ORM services. Here’s a list of businesses and industries that have benefitted greatly from our online reputation management services:
- Animal Clinics
- Apartment Complexes
- Auto Body Shops
- Chiropractic Clinics
- Construction Companies
- Event Rental Companies
- Financial Advisors
- Furniture Stores & Retail
- Hail Repair
- Home Builders
- Home Flippers
- HVAC Contractors
- Industrial Suppliers
- Jewelry Stores
- Land Sellers
- Landscaping Companies
- Land Surveyors
- Law Firms
- Medical Clinics
- Medical Spas
- Paving Contractors
- Pet Groomers
- Pool Companies
- Portable Sanitation Companies
- Primary Doctors
- Real Estate Agencies
- Remodeling Contractors
- Solar Companies
- Specialty Doctors
- Stone Suppliers
- Urgent Care Clinics
- & More!