Improve Your Online Reputation
Whether clicking from your desktop browser or swiping through apps on your smartphone, you’re connected to the web a lot throughout the day. Your customers are too. According to a Pew Research Center survey, 73% of Americans go online daily. 42% log on several times a day and 21% say they’re online almost constantly. Owning a business in the digital age, you know how important your online reputation is. That’s why you must be mindful of the things that do or don’t come up when consumers type the name of your business in the search bar.
Every single like, comment, star and review left online for your business leaves a trail and ultimately leads consumers to their conclusion to either entertain your business or ignore it altogether. It just makes sense. Luckily, there are steps you can take to change the direction of your online reputation. Below are some helpful cues you can take to start tracking the trail and start taking a proactive, engaging approach that will make an enormous difference on your online reputation.
Track the Chatter Online
The best way to improve the way consumers view your business is to engage them where they are: online. 92% of consumers now read online reviews, as opposed to 88% in 2014. That’s a fast and steady increase, which encompasses nearly the entire market. That’s a lot of eyes scrolling through your online reviews and those eyes trust what they see. 63% of customers are more likely to make a purchase from a site which has user reviews. If you don’t know what’s being said about your business on the web, you can’t do much to steer the conversation and improve your reputation. Read the reviews, all of them!
Take time to thank those who took the time to leave positive reviews for your business on your website, social media or the many review sites where your brand may be listed. 88% of consumers trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations. These positive reviews are free advertising for your business—costing as much as delivering great service to your customers every day. Be honest and personal, they’ll appreciate it. Plus, other potential customers browsing your reviews will see the effort too. Being responsive to online reviews will convey that you care, and that goes a long way to improving your online reputation.
Respond to Bad Reviews
When people leave negative comments on your website, social media or your listings hosted by other sites, it’s important to apologize—and mean it, of course. People will see through insincerity and respond accordingly. So, get real. It’s also best to direct the interaction offline. Invite them to call or visit your business, and offer to make things right. Be sure to reply to negative reviews without re-hashing online what may have happened in-store. You don’t want to fall into an unproductive online spat with an angry customer in full public view of every consumer considering doing business with you.
Shift the Search Engine Results
Expand your presence online to make it easier for consumers to find what you want them to when they search for your brand’s name or industry. Take the opportunity to convey your brand’s story as often and in as many places as you can. Create profiles on social media sites and business listing websites. Use Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Angie’s List, Yelp, and whatever the next massive platform to grab your costumers’ attention will be. There is nothing wrong with saturating search engine results with your brand’s content. The more of your brand out there in cyberspace, the better.
Of course, old fashioned customer service will make the most difference when it comes to how customers view your brand. Have a strategy to make your customers happy, so you aren’t scrambling for solutions when that aim falls through. Respond to the needs of your customers, deliver consistent quality and ensure systems are in place to resolve issues when mistakes are made. The truth is that your brand’s reputation has always been shaped by your customers. Whether by word of mouth, status update or online review, everyone who does business with you is sure to share their impression of it with their friends, family and followers too. The difference between mentioning the experience to a friend or family member in-person vs. sharing it on the web is the speed by which it spreads. The virtual world has a real effect. Take responsibility for the impression you leave online, and follow the steps above to finally shape your online reputation.
OMG National is a full-service digital marketing agency providing SEO, paid search, social media management, reputation management, logo design, website design, and more. Do you need someone with experience and knowledge to take the reins and push your business’ online marketing initiatives to the next level? Give us a call at 800-789-4619 or contact us here, and we’ll take care of it!