Online Reputation Management: Understanding how it impacts your business
Understand how Online Reputation Management impacts your business and why you should start managing this critical business component today.
Visibility- The highly sought after presence of being found online by general consumers. This is what all businesses are vying for on the web and in search results. Being visible on search engine results is so critical to being discovered that even landing on page 2,3 and 4 can make you virtually invisible to potential customers. The positive: if you have negative reviews they are less likely to be seen. The Negative: As a business, you absolutely need to be seen to reach customers and grow. So what if you have negative reviews but you still want to be found? Don’t worry, you’ll learn that answer below.
You’re Being Talked About
So why Online Reputation Management? And why do I need to know this stuff? Chances are if you are an entrepreneur or have a business your customers are talking about you. Even a small company has the potential to have a customer tweeting, blogging, or reviewing you right now. By managing your online reputation correctly, you will be improving your reputation and reach which can directly affect your rankings on search engines.
Perception Is Reality
In the world of the web, perception really is reality. How your reputation is perceived online will directly influence potential customers. Making your online reputation management plan a reality is an investment in your business that takes time and effort.These days you cannot simply have a basic static website with no social media touch if you plan to grow your reach. Customers expect interactions and a level of transparency when they are making decisions to buy. And people buy from people they trust.
Understanding How Online Reputation Management Helps You
- Reviews: If you’ve ever searched for a plumber on Google or looked for a restaurant recommendation on Yelp you may have noticed rave reviews with five stars, or less than stellar stories from unsatisfied customers- and chances are these reviews influenced your decisions. These online reviews affect how search engines present your business to online searchers. To answer the question from the first paragraph, this is where a well designed reputation management plan can begin to repair the damage done from a negative review. Staying engaged and working with the reviewer to resolve their issue could potentially persuade them to revise their negative comments. Taking precautions to ensure reviews are checked and filtered before making their way to your website can deter any damage done and give an opportunity to fully assess the review before it reaches the public.
- Transparency: Being transparent can be a risky concept for a lot of businesses. By being open to feedback you leave room for negative comments and reviews. On the other hand you give your customers a voice and better understanding of who you are as a company which leads to trust. Social Media is one of the first ways in which a company can increase their transparency by giving customers a direct channel to reach them and share their opinions. Failing to invest the time into communicating with your customers and addressing criticism head on is not worth the risk.
- Proactive Approach: One of the big keys of managing your online reputation is not just responding to criticism and negative reviews, but about knowing when and what to respond to. Taking a proactive approach to your reputation management can mean the difference of a negative review an unhappy customer leaves being quickly addressed and resolved, and an unhappy customer being ignored and feeling like they are unheard. Having a professional monitor your social media accounts and search engines is one of the easiest ways to proactively guard your online reputation. Simply put, you want to satisfy the flames before they turn into a fire.
- First Impressions Count: It’s been said that first impressions are so powerful that they can override facts. The first information that is presented to the consumer of you or your company will generally define opinions they form regarding your reputation and trustworthiness. This is where an SEO strategy is imperative for getting your search results showing positive content and reviews, which will ultimately help you rise toward your goal of page one results. An SEO strategy is even more important if you have negative reviews and bad publicity that has negatively affected your search engine rankings. This is where a professional can step in and address the reviews as well as creating an SEO strategy to repair the damage that will help your numbers climb back up in the results. Don’t think that by ignoring the problems that time will make them disappear. By not taking the steps to resolve your online reputation, you take on the risk of your website falling behind, reducing any traffic or even being permanently banned.
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