Home Entrepreneurship Why You Need a Strong Online Reputation & How to Get It

Why You Need a Strong Online Reputation & How to Get It

by Olufisayo
Online Reputation

In today’s business climate, the importance of a company’s reputation cannot be overstated. This is especially true of a company’s online reputation. With dozens of other businesses competing for your customers and a wealth of online resources available to them, you simply can’t afford harmful press, negative reviews, or even a lack of online presence.

Let’s take a better look at the importance of reputation in business, the benefits of having a good reputation, how to audit and clean up your online reputation, and how you can use online reputation management tools to help both now and moving forward.

Online Reputation

Why Is Online Reputation Important?

The overwhelming majority of travel business owners are concerned about their online presence, 97% saying that online reputation management is important to their business, 98% saying the same about online reviews, and 92% in agreement about their social presence. While you may not be in the travel industry, the same could be said of just about any business owner across the board.

Why is online reputation important? Because 93% of customers say it is.

What Are the Benefits of a Good Reputation?

The benefits of a good reputation are many. They include:

  • Being readily found at the top of the search results list
  • Boosted brand familiarity
  • A positive impact on consumer purchase decisions
  • Higher likelihood of consumer engagement
  • Consumer assurance that they are getting value and a good experience
  • A willingness for consumers to pay more
  • More positive and informative reviews from consumers to each other

How Do I Audit My Online Reputation?

Auditing your online reputation is easy. Simply search your business name in Google and see what comes up. Other places you’ll want to check for reviews are Yelp, Angie’s List, and BBB. In addition to online review sites, read what people are saying about you on social media platforms (Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, etc.). Read every blog post that mentions you as well.

While that research will give you a good idea how the general public views your company, it’s wise to know how your web metrics are performing. Take a look at your total number of website visitors, social shares, YouTube views, etc.

How Do I Clean Up My Online Reputation?

After you’ve done an audit of your online reputation, it’s time to clean up any discrepancies, misunderstandings, and negligences.

Here are a few ways you can clean up and protect your online reputation:

  • Be active on social media and optimize your presence by engaging with your customers.
  • Ask your customers to write your business a review. Then, respond gratefully.
  • Delete unfavorable reviews. This isn’t recommended, however, as it can make it seem that you have something to hide or are manipulating your image. It’s best to try to resolve the issue directly with the reviewer instead, who may update their negative review with a better one.
  • Flag inappropriate or inaccurate content using the proper reporting methods. Or, get legal help if the content breaks copyright or libel laws.
  • Frequently publish high-value content. This bumps unfavorable content out of the top search results and replaces it with more desirable results.
  • Google holds great power, so it’s important to do everything you can to optimize search results using high-quality links and strong keywords in your content.
  • Register your business under multiple domains to ensure you aren’t competing with other similar websites for Google rankings.

Remember, even if you do all of this, your reputation really comes down to these two things:

  1. Delivering a great product
  2. Providing exceptional customer service

How Do I Manage My Online Business Reputation Moving Forward?

Regularly monitor online feedback regarding your business to gain invaluable insight into what your customers like and dislike about your company and its products and services. This also gives you a chance to reply and respond timely and appropriately, turning one-time buyers into loyal repeat customers.

This task is much easier said than done. That is, unless you use online reputation management tools to help out. Google Alerts is a great starting point, as you’ll get an email every time content is published with the name of your business or other chosen keywords.

However, if you want a complete overlook of everything regarding your business online, including real-time analytics and information about what’s being said regarding your competitors, you may want a more comprehensive online reputation management tool.

When researching your options, look for these six features:

  1. A clean and organized dashboard
  2. A way to gather and review feedback
  3. The ability to collect and view data
  4. A way to collect and filter authentic reviews from as many channels as possible
  5. Sentiment analysis for identifying a reviewer’s emotion or attitude toward your product or service
  6. A unified inbox that allows you to see all your messages from every channel on one platform

In addition, reading both customer and expert reviews can give you some guidance. And of course, what is the proof? Look for real-world evidence that backs up any claim.

Remember, when it comes to your reputation, it’s not only customers you have on the line. If a business reputation crisis hits, your investors, shareholders, stakeholders, banks, suppliers, potential employees, and local community may all have a change of heart about you.

Prepare ahead of time so if (or, more likely, when) a bad review hits, you’ll have the knowledge and tools in place to mitigate it and keep it from turning into a crisis.

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