How to Improve Your Business’s Online Reputation

Do you need to improve your business’s online reputation?  90% of consumers read online reviews before visiting a business. And 88% of consumers trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations. If your business’s online reputation is less than stellar or non-existent you are likely losing customers and sales.

Your brand’s identity and online reputation is constantly evolving and changing with each social media comment, review, blog post, and customer experience. People make judgments and buying decisions based on online content, now more than ever. Having a positive online reputation will help your business to gain new customers and continue to move forward.

If you need to improve your business’s online reputation, you should start doing so as soon as possible. 86% of people will hesitate to purchase from a business that has negative reviews and 72% of consumers will only act after reading a positive review.

Tips to Help you Improve Your Business’s Online Reputation

Identify and be Aware of Your Business’s Online Presence

It should come as no surprise that being aware of your online presence and reputation is the first step to helping you improve and take control of your online reputation. You should complete a thorough search on search engines, social media, and review websites for your business name. You should also search for related keywords, possible misspellings, and phrases. Make note of any negative reviews.

If you haven’t already, sign up for alerts from search engines. Google Alerts allows you to track search terms by type. The service will send any new mentions of your search term to you on the cadence you select. This will help you to proactively respond to any reviews that your business receives, positive or negative.

Address Issues and Maintain a Conversation

Not everyone is going to be your business’s biggest fan and you will likely receive negative reviews. Negative reviews do not need to be a bad thing if you address them, create the human aspect, and maintain your brand standards. How you handle a negative review can be more telling to customers than the review itself.

Reviews should be conversational. As a business it is not only about collecting reviews and using them to gain new business, it is also about connecting to your consumers and having a conversation with them.

Reviews and ratings are just as important to your business as showing up in the local search listings. If potential customers find you and they can’t easily see what others are saying about your business or they read negative reviews that lack a business response, they will likely shy away. Using business listing management tools to manage your reputation online and to ask for and respond to reviews will help you to control your business’s online reputation.

Continuously Manage Your Online Reputation

Managing your business’s online reputation is not just a one-time job. It is something that you need to manage continuously. You should proactively be producing content to continue to create and maintain your brand’s identity. Having a strong SEO marketing strategy will help you build and improve your business’s online reputation. Search Engine Optimization (SEO) helps your business to be seen, where your customers are looking.

Online reputation management might seem like a full-time job, but that’s not necessarily the case. The key is staying aware of your online reputation and addressing reviews and comments as they come. Get in front of a potential issue, before it is larger than it needs to be and before it goes viral.  

User-generated reviews and ratings have a significant influence on potential buyers, with around 80% of your customer base trusting online reviews as much as recommendations from family and friends. Having an online reputation that is solidified with reviews from other consumers will help you get customers in the door. You should display reviews (good and bad) on your website. This makes it easy for consumers to find them and shows that you are happy to allow your customers to speak for you.

If your business’s online reputation is less than stellar or non-existent you are likely losing customers and sales and you should focus on efforts that will help you improve your business’s online reputation.

At Water Bear Marketing, with one tool, you can manage all of your business listing locations on up to 44 different directories, such as: Google my Business, Facebook, Yelp, and Merchant Circle. Stay in control of your business listings and manage and acquire reviews.

Water Bear Marketing’s Business Listing Management product makes managing your listings very easy and convenient. Contact us today for a free consultation.

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