You know your reputation matters. You provide a high quality product or service. Your team works hard to keep customers satisfied. Unfortunately, all it takes is one unhappy customer using the internet to impact your reputation. The internet makes it really easy for customers to share their experiences with the world – the good, the amazing, the mediocre, and downright horrific.
Bad customer experiences have a way of going viral in today’s online world. The reality is that people are more likely to share their negative experiences rather than their positive ones. Bad reviews will hurt your reputation and ultimately sales.
A lack of reviews can also create a negative impression – either you don’t have any customers or they aren’t happy with your services. If you don’t know what your customers are saying about you online, you need to find out, fast. In today’s online market, business owners must take an active role in managing their online reputation or leave their reputation to chance.
Every business needs to set up and implement a process for keeping track of what’s being said about them online. Your online reputation is social proof that your company is worth it’s weight in gold. If you’re still not sure why reputation management should be at the top of your to-do list, consider the following statistics from a recent Pew Research Center survey:
For any business owner, it’s scary to discover that online reviews can so significantly impact their reputation and future business opportunities.
Simply put, online reputation management is the process of taking control over what someone sees when they Google your name or business. Many people don’t realize that it’s possible to influence what information shows up about you on the internet. You can’t remove negative reviews but you can influence whether or not they dominate. It’s possible to move positive information to the top of the Google page and to move negative information down.
Most people make their buying decisions based on the top two or three Google results. Simply getting negative information off the first page can dramatically improve your online reputation.
Not surprisingly, social media plays a big role in online reputation management. When today’s customers use social media to connect and communicate with a business, they expect a quick response.
According to Brandwatch.com, 53% of customers on Twitter expect to receive a response to a question within one hour. If their comment is a complaint, 72% expect a response within one hour. Only about 11% of retail brands met that one hour expectation in Brandwatch.com’s survey. With customer expectations of quick responses, it’s easy to understand why every business owner needs to become proactive with their online reputation.
Tucker, Perry, and Singleton (2017) recommend the following steps:
Find out what people are posting about you and your business – Google yourself. Search your business name, your own name and any other nicknames you might go by. If you have a common name, you might be easily confused for someone else online. As you find mentions of your name and business, sort them into four categories: positive, neutral, negative, and not me.
Analyze the results of your search. Take an honest look at your online reputation and decide which category you fall into:
Regardless of which category you and your business fall in, there are steps you can take to elevate your online reputation. Colorado Springs SEO for Growth can help you develop a plan to improve your online reputation – regardless of your current rankings and reviews.
Google now places importance on reviews that are written directly on your website. It’s also important to make it easy for people to write reviews about your business on the right review sites. For the majority of businesses, the places that are going to help you show up most prominently will be Google followed by Yelp and Facebook. Industry specific sites are also important. For example, Tripadvisor is an important review site for hotels, restaurants, and tourist attractions.
A proactive approach to your online reputation management means putting in place a process for facilitating the positive reviews of your business and monitoring your public reputation on a regular basis. Paying attention to online reviews and responding quickly to both positive and negative reviews are important aspects of doing business today. If this sounds complicated and time consuming, Colorado Springs SEO for Growth can help you with all aspect of the process. We will work with you to develop and implement a reputation management system designed to show your potential customers you are the solution they have been searching for.
If you’re ready to take charge of your online reputation, contact Colorado Springs SEO for Growth today. We look forward to collaborating with you.