The Basics of Online Reputation Management
What Is online reputation management?
This is probably the first question you are asking yourself as you open and read this report. So let’s go ahead and actually define for you what online reputation management really is…
It is the practice of staying on top of your business’ “word-of-mouth” and making sure that all of your negative reviews are handled in a proper way. But also, you need to make sure that your customers realize that you appreciate them as well, so you must also stay up to date with the good reviews!
Basically reputation management is making your business “look good” and stand out from your competitors. Let’s face it, if your prospective customer sees one bad review about your business, we can both agree that this could cause that customer to turn to your competition to do business with them instead!
So from a business stand point, we want to stay on top of our reputation to make sure that customers gravitate towards our business by seeing that we are good to their peers!
To accomplish this task, it is all about playing around with the search engine results. Our goal is to make sure that the bad reviews are off of the first page at the very least, if not gone completely… And make sure that our good reviews are right at the top of the search results so that is what prospects will see right from the jump!
But we need to make sure that we have constant interaction with our business online as well. Outdated reviews can make it look like you haven’t been “good” for a long time, which is probably not the case…
Online reputation management became a necessity ever since social media came about. This made everyone, whether they are a business owner or a consumer to protect their reputation in two worlds rather than one.
Employers, and probably your business as well, will monitor people’s online profiles before making a decision in the hiring process. That’s just another place where reputation management comes into play.
So hopefully now you have a better understand of what reputation management is, so now we can go into more of the specifics, and the fun stuff!
Why Do I Need To Manage My Reputation?
Managing your business’ online reputation is very important for two reasons:
- By maximizing your good reviews in the search engines, you will be attracting new customers that are looking for you, which will directly increase your bottom line.
- If you have bad reviews sticking out like a sore thumb, then you are leaving money on the table, because customers are getting turned off from your business each and every day!
About 75% of all consumers research a business before they even think about doing business with them. And usually this research process takes a bit of time, which means that they are searching for different things about your business. Sometimes they are directly searching for reviews about your business!
If a potential customer decides to pick apart the internet to find out about your business, then he is most likely going to be confronted with some bad reviews that are going to turn him away very quickly…
This will cause him to turn to your competitor who already took care of all of their bad reviews, therefore they are in the clear when it comes to their online reputation!
What you want to do is find an online reputation management company that will stand behind your company as if it was their own! They will protect your business and make sure that all of your good reviews are in the spotlight, and that your bad reviews are either hidden or gotten rid of for good. But most importantly, they will also encourage your current clients to leave you good reviews and therefore strengthen your business over time!
The main reason that you want to have online reputation management is because it puts YOU in the driver’s seat to choose how your prospective customers are going to see your business! You can build trust with your customers before even having them come into your establishment, and this is because you helped their friend, therefore they will trust you!
See how that works? It is a pretty simple concept, but not something you hear about all of the time. But that’s because your competition doesn’t want you to know about it… Let’s get into some of the staggering statistics, shall we?
Reputation Management Statistics
These statistics will hopefully help you understand why you need online reputation management regardless of your current online status whether it be good or bad…
The biggest one is definitely the fact that 75% of consumers look online for reviews before doing business with a certain company. These consumers trust what their peers have to say, therefore when they see a review, whether it be good or bad… It will influence their purchasing decision in some way!
This means that you want to make sure that all of your happy customers are leaving you reviews on a constant basis. You want to incentivize these reviews if you have to by either giving away a discount or even a free t-shirt in return for the customer leaving you a review. Trust me, these reviews can potentially be worth a lot more than a t-shirt is!
Now, over the last year, traffic to the major review sites has increased by over 100%! This means that people are turning to these review sites more than ever, and that percentage is only ever going to be on the rise! You want to make sure that you take care of things now before it is too late!
The Wall Street Journal even said that 92% of consumers have more confidence in information that they found online than hearing it from a salesperson or any other source of information!
Even More Statistics
–97% of people who made a purchase based off of a review that they saw found the review to be correct! This makes people trust review sites even more. (ComScore)
–50% of consumers use the internet before they even take a trip to the establishment. (Verdict Research)
–61% of people rely on their peer’s reviews for information on products or brands that they are interested in before making their final buying decision. (RazorFish)
–75% of people do not believe what companies have to say in their advertisements! (Yankelovich)
As you can see, these statistics speak for themselves. You need to make sure that your reputation is up to par, as this is the “norm” of the 21st century. If you don’t stay on top of things you could be digging your own business’ grave without even knowing!
How To Control Your Online Reputation
Now, it is a very straight forward concept to go about monitoring your online reputation, but sometimes when you have let it go for a while… It can be very hard to fix! That is where we come into play, and we also provide ongoing service so that you don’t have to waste your precious time with it!
You just want to act like the customer that is digging deep to find reviews about your business. Most of them will be in plain sight, and you don’t have to worry about anything that is tucked away in the search engines…
So you want to go ahead and search for reviews on your business and just take note of any of the negative reviews that you got. You want to make sure, no matter how old they are, that you try to interact with that customer and make them happy again. You just want to try to change their outlook on your company. But you want to at LEAST show that you care about your reputation by trying to fix things!
Once all of your negative reviews have been taken care of, you want to maximize the amount of positive reviews you get. So like I said before, giving the customer something in return is going to be the easiest and fastest way to getting tons of great reviews!
Customers are always asking, “Well, what do I get out of it?” This cuts that question right out of it, so they are almost forced to do something for you, since you went out of your way for them! Plus, even if you are paying up to $10 per review… You are still going to attract PLENTY of other customers to more than make up for that cost!
There’s always those business owners that ask me, “Well, can’t I just go online and make up my own reviews?” Well, YES you COULD, but… DON’T EVER DO IT! This is very unethical and it only takes one slip up to get caught in the act. These review sites track your IP address to make sure things like this don’t happen and if they catch you, they will ban your business from their network for good!
Plus, everything you write usually looks about the same whether you think about it or not… So it would end up looking very suspicious even if you got these reviews to stick. We never recommend doing anything like this, instead you should just focus on getting your current customers to give you a good review!
As you can see, monitoring your reputation is a crucial aspect to your business’ success, and could potentially cause your business to fail if not done properly. So why would you let your business’ integrity be in the hands of a customer that you probably didn’t even get the pleasure of speaking with? I know I wouldn’t! But let’s wrap things up…
I am hoping that this report has at least opened your eyes as to why online reputation management is an essential for any business. It is not something that you want to turn a blind eye to, because if you do, you could be just asking for your business to fail!
Trust me, this one thing has the potential of making or breaking your business, so why let this stay on the back burner? Take care of it today!