Thursday, March 12, 2015

The Importance of Online Reputation Management (Part 1 of 3)

Online Reputation Management 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 Outdated reviews can make it look like you haven’t been “good” for a long time, which is probably not the case…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 when social media came about. This made everyone, whether they are a business owner or a consumer, 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.

Why Should I Manage My Reputation?
Managing your business’ online reputation is very important for two reasons:
  1. 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.
  2. 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 even 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, which will cause him to turn to your competitor. These competitors already took care of all of their bad reviews, so 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. Since you helped their friend, 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.



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