As consumers increasingly rely on public opinion before committing to a purchase—from choosing where they dine to selecting their next travel destination—it’s no wonder companies are scrambling to integrate online reputation management into their operations. However, the core concepts behind the duties of an online reputation manager are still confusing to many.
It’s easy to assume that monitoring a company’s social media presence is sufficient in terms of internet reputation management. However, several additional factors need to be considered in order to preserve an online reputation.
To help lift the shroud on online reputation management, we will answer the following questions:
- What is online reputation management
- How it can impact your company’s bottom line?
What is Online Reputation Management?
The aspects of online reputation management include a mixture of marketing, consumer relations, compliance regulations, and search engine optimization (SEO). When handling a business’s digital reputation management, planning and executing sound strategies become tantamount to safeguarding its brand.
An enterprise’s online reputation is the total sum of how its brand is perceived in the public eye. When your potential audience pulls up a search query concerning any of your products, services, or the company as a whole, they’ll be presented with information about every engagement your business has had and the results that followed. This search will dictate whether your company is viewed positively or whether it requires reputation control to overhaul its image.
The Importance of Online Reputation Management
While it’s easy to believe that reputation management online isn’t that impactful, in our modern age, it’s exceedingly rare that anyone makes a decision without first looking up the options on the Internet.
An increasing number of people are leaning more heavily on the words of reviewers and influencers as a source of factual information. According to a 2020 survey by BrightLocal, nearly 93% of consumers used search engines to find a local store or restaurant, and 87% relied on reviews to help make a decision.
A business’s reputation online becomes more dependent on positive public engagement every year. A negative review can have lasting ramifications, and without vigilant web reputation management, you may not even be aware of what’s causing the downturn in your operations.
What Influences Online Reputation
Every article, review, social media post, and image uploaded about your company has an impact on its online reputation. Unfortunately, a company’s reputation isn’t based on an even sum of the total engagement. Negative reviews and comments are weighted heavily. This is why the need for online reputation management is critical. Here are the most common factors that affect a company’s online reputation.
Google’s search engine algorithm listens to consumers and promotes relevant searches with positive reviews ahead of the competition.
A Review’s Age
Search engines will also weigh the relevancy of a review based on how old it is; this means newer negative reviews will dismiss a series of older positive reviews.
A Review’s Length
The longer and more detailed a review is, the more credibility is given to its authenticity.
It’s becoming increasingly more common for consumers to bypass a product or service that has under four stars. The star rating will also affect how high a search engine places you on its search engine results page (SERP).
How to Improve Your Online Reputation
The first step to improving your online reputation is to maximize current traditional SEO strategies. By ensuring search engines correctly view your webpages, you can focus on developing your brand’s reputation. For instance, if you haven’t secured your local online listing and have received zero reviews, you run the risk of being invisible to potential customers. Once you’ve established a web presence, here are some steps to increase your online reputation.
Incorporate Online Reputation Management
The squeaky wheel gets the grease, and if you’re not listening, you don’t have control over the outcome. By integrating online reputation management into your operations, you keep an active view of how your brand is perceived.
Formulate an Online Review Strategy
A company needs to establish a protocol for managing online reviews. One of the easiest tactics to implement is to ask your customers to leave a review. It’s exceptionally rare for most consumers to leave a review, positive or negative. To increase your online reputation, you can start by asking every client to leave a review if they were satisfied with the service.
Connect with Influencers
Social media influencers have slowly become everyone’s second best friends. Their words can make or break a new company, and building a relationship with one can drastically increase your online reputation.
Stay True to Your Word
If it’s on the Internet, it’s there forever. If you’ve responded to a review and made a promise, don’t be surprised if it comes up again years down the road. By staying true to your word, future customers can see that your company has integrity and will be more likely to initiate a business relationship.
Online reputation management has become a vital component of any business’s operations. Every time you interact with a customer or engage with your brand, it is an opportunity to affect your online reputation. If their experience is marred by empty promises or a flawed checkout process, you can expect to read about it online.
This article was written by our friends at Revel Systems.