Did you know? That 88% of online shoppers consider reviews when making a buying decision. Reviews are the deciding factor for consumers choosing between you and your competitor.
Negative reviews can do serious harm if left unchecked. While positive reviews can lead to a healthy increase in your bottom line.
In both cases it is important to actively respond and manage all reviews to build the trust of your customers and keep them coming back.
A good online reputation also considers how accurately your contact information is displayed, and what people are saying about your business outside of reviews. But it does not stop there, search engines like Google take your reputation into account when ranking your business on search results. So the better your online reputation, the better your chances are of getting found ahead of your competition. Take control of your online reputation and start bringing in more customers today.
What is online reputation management?
Online reputation management is an ongoing task that serves to create, cultivate, and maintain your business, or brand, and its good standing online. This means that you need to build a digital public image, one online review at a time, so that anyone searching for your business finds 5-star reviews and positive customer experiences that paint your business in the best possible light.
Traditionally a business' reputation was based on the image they projected in their advertising and what was spread by word-of-mouth. Now with online reputation, review sites, social media, forums and other channels are allowing consumers to provide real-time feedback about their experiences. Basically every online source that a consumer can say something about a business is a channel that should be managed for a business' reputation.
Why your business’s online reputation matters
Reviews and ratings by consumers are what affirms an online reputation. Without reviews it would appear as if no one ever visited the business.
Likewise, unmanaged negative responses can be inferred as bigger problems in the business and generally bad word-of-mouth testimony spreads like wildfire. In fact one only one negative post on a highly ranked site can be what shows up near the top of a search results page when a consumer searches for that business’s name.
Businesses can no longer simply broadcast the message they want people to see. Online business and consumers have an equal voice in a shared space. Customers can let everyone know about their terrible experience, or absolutely rave about how awesome a business is.
Reputation drives conversion
Over 80% of consumers trust online reviews as much as a personal recommendation. This trust in reviews translates to dollars, as customers put their money where their trust is. Online reputation management is essential for your business to get customers to choose your business rather than the competition.
Components of a online reputation
There are a number of factors that contribute to an online reputation. The most obvious, but overlooked, is that you need to have online listings. When potential customers are looking at a reference site, not being found is just as bad as a negative review. It is important for both customers and search engines for your business to have a consistent online presence and positive reviews.
Some of the most important components of the online reputation include:
- quantity of business listings
- quality (consistency) of business listing information (name, address, telephone)
- frequency, or current pace, of new reviews
- overall amount of reviews
- overall sentiment in reviews
- social activity and engagement (especially with reviewers)
Like traditional word of mouth, social recommendations and reviews are seen as more authentic. Customers expect reviews to depict the actual experience that they would receive themselves.
Why your business should want more reviews on review sites
Customer reviews help potential customers make buying decisions, because of this search engines are making reviews more prominent in search results — making what is being said about your business online more visible.
Your business' online reputation is shaped by business reviews and social posts
One of the biggest mistakes your business can make is not participating in helping to shape the conversation about your business online. Ignoring your online reviews and social posts sends the wrong message, regardless if the reviews are positive or negative.
Your business can get valuable feedback from reviews
Negative comments can be disheartening, but it is important to remember that reviews can be used as constructive feedback. Reviews can help you gauge your business’ performance, see areas that excel and areas that need improvement. Negative reviews can highlight where extra training is needed, or show where more staff are needed for specific shifts. Positive reviews can show you which products or services you should be boosting, or departments and employees that need a pat on the back for an excellent job. Pretty much all reviews are valuable feedback!
Your business reviews are appearing in search results
Search engines are recognizing the importance of reviews to their users and are displaying them prominently in search results. When someone searches for your business, reviews from review websites are be displayed on the search engine results pages. For example, Google will find display star ratings along with the review summaries from online business reviews and consumer ratings. Just like the old saying “your reputation precedes you”, especially so when searchers see your business’ review rating before they get to your website.
Respond to all reviews from one place
With our reputation management tool you can bring all of the factors that contribute to your business’ online presence in one place, so you can take control of your online reputation.
Use templates to speed up responses
With our response templates you can respond to Google and Facebook reviews in just two clicks using default templates, or customize your own templates.
Use competitive benchmarking to see how a business stacks up to the competition on search engines, in regards to review ratings, total reviews, and perform social comparisons.
Automated reports and alerts
Executive reports break down how your business is faring in online conversations and helps you understand what to do. Alerts are also sent every time new information is found.
Your customers are online, your business needs to be too