3 Things You Might Not Know About Your Online Reputation

A business or individual’s online reputation isn’t just who they are on the internet. Two out of three people make decisions on who they trust and what they buy based on what they see online. It’s no longer just a virtual reputation, but a real one.

Why are online reputations so important?

How do businesses know if they need an online makeover?

What’s involved in reputation management?

You Might Underestimate How Much Your Online Reputation Matters

Do you ever wish you could get inside your customer’s head and see what they really think about you?

You could fill in missing information and correct false assumptions so they understood what your business is really like. If all they see is the logo, they don’t realize the years of diligence and hard work that went in to creating your product or service or the heart you pour into it every single day.

Your online reputation is how people see you when they look online. Reputation management lets you take control and shape their perceptions so they get a valid impression of what you truly represent.

Online reviews appear almost every time customers search for a business. When a business has only a few reviews or none at all, that might indicate not many people use their services. Claim your Google My Business or Bing Places Business page to enable reviews from those sources.

When consumers read reviews, they usually read the top ones first. If your first few reviews are negative, it can scare users away for good. Here’s how online reviews impact your reputation and your bottom line.

  • 59 percent of users seek reviews from more than one site before they choose where to spend.
  • 87 percent said they only consider businesses that have a review rating between three and five stars.
  • 84 percent say they trust online reviews as much as a personal recommendation.

Two out of three people make decisions on who they trust and what they buy based on what they see online

Transparency Is Worth the Risk

It’s frightening to open your business to public feedback when it might have a negative effect. Companies worry they won’t be able to deal with complaints and criticism or keep up with social media feedback. It sometimes seems like it would be nice to go back to the days before everyone could post their opinions so easily.

Even mistakes can be turned into marketing opportunities. Respond to negative feedback to express your genuine concern. Use problems to drive change and establish yourself as a force that cares about your community.

Two-way communication allows you to offer consistent messages about your brand. Show customers you handle complaints promptly and respectfully to turn a negative into a positive.

Online Reputation Is Permanent

People are talking about your business online whether you’re aware of it or not. No matter how low-tech your business, there’s information about you online. Customers tweet when they use your products, post to Facebook when they use your services, and share their customer experience through online reviews.

Once something is posted, in most cases it’s there forever. Here’s how reputation management can help.

  • Proactive SEO – When customers search for your business, they’ll skim through the highest-ranking web sources that mention you. An online reputation management company can create a search engine optimization (SEO) strategy that puts positive information on top.
  • Review deletion – If users make false claims or use offensive language, a quick response can allow business owners to remove the review.
  • Cyber investigation – Sometimes it’s difficult to tell where brand image attacks originate. Reputation management experts can use email tracing and cross-indexing to find the source, so you can make corrections.

To manage their online reputation, businesses should seek to become well respected, offer transparency, respond quickly to negative input, and use mistakes as a learning experience. Professionals can help shape the brand image that truly reflects your business.

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