Online reputation management — yes, it matters, and it’s vital to your business
We’re living in a digital world. More than 5 billion people carry a mobile device, and there are more than 4 billion internet users worldwide. As a business owner, your digital presence represents a vast opportunity to make your brand visible. The goal is to have everyone talking about you online, but that comes with some responsibility.
Managing your online reputation can be overwhelming, but it’s imperative for the survival of your business. People are constantly making and viewing recommendations online about the best and worst businesses they interact with. In an ideal world, all the reviews would be positive and constructive, but the truth is people can be harsh.
The way you react to a review can either attract or deter potential customers. It’s best to tackle the criticism — both positive and negative — as soon as possible because word of mouth travels fast and is trusted.
The first step in keeping track of your online reputation is to become aware of all the places your business is being talked about. Make sure to claim and update your company’s information on platforms like Google my Business and Yelp. These listings are usually the first to appear in a Google search because potential customers are searching for simple business information like hours of operation, phone number, and address.
It’s crucial to manage your reputation as actively as possible. Negative reviews can live on the first page of a Google search for a long time, so make it a priority to be responsive. Businesses risk losing 22 percent of their customers when one negative article appears on the first page of search results. Three negative articles can cause that number to jump to 59.2 percent, according to Forbes.
Being responsive shows you’re in tune with consumers and making a deeper connection with them, according to ReviewPush. It’s natural to feel defensive while responding to a negative review, but apologizing and taking responsibility shows you take pride in your business and have set a high standard. Plus, when you respond, Google recognizes your page is active and provides a subtle SEO boost.
Don’t forget about social media! Actively monitor different social media channels like Instagram and Facebook. Check the comments on your posts and photos, review the engagement, and examine your analytics. Any feedback can help you determine your target market and build your audience wisely.
All that said, we know managing your online reputation can take a lot of your time. If you need help, reach out to us at 239-690-9840.