Why Your Online Reputation Matters and What You Can Do About It

What do people find when they search for your business? Rave reviews? Customer complaints?

Let’s try an experiment. Go to Google and search for your ‘Business Name’. What do you see? Is it good? Now search for ‘Business Name + Complaints’. What do you see now? Is it scary?

Reputation Management

Your online reputation can be the difference between success and failure. It can be the difference between people trying your location or going to the competitor down the street. 97% of consumers research online before making a local purchase and 70% rely on search engines to find reviews. Can you afford to neglect your online reputation for even one more day?

When trying to get a handle on your online reputation management you need to assess your reputation so you can address any issues and build positive content regarding your business. Let’s start with assessing your reputation.

Assessing your reputation is easy. You’re just going to pretend you’re shopping for your service or product. Go to Google or Bing and type in keywords you might use to look for your business. Would a consumer be able to find your business? If not, you might need to step up your online lead generation tactics. Click here to learn more about lead generation.

Your next search should be about your business. Find out what the consumer would find if they were investigating your business. Google your ‘Business Name’, ‘Business Name + Reviews’, and like we tried above, ‘Business Name + Complaints’. In the search results, you want to look for how many reviews are positive vs. negative and get a feel for how old the reviews are.

Next, you’ll want to check popular review sites to see how you’re fairing. Popular review sites include Google+ Local, Yelp, Yahoo! Local, CitySearch, Kudzu, and MerchantCircle. When visiting these sites, you’ll want to claim your listings. Claiming your listings allows you to make sure all information about your location is correct. Be sure that each address is listed exactly the same.

For example, if your location is 123 North Main Street. Be sure that each site has you listed the exact same way. If one location has you listed at 123 N. Main St. and one has you as 123 North Main Street it can affect how consumers find you online. If you find negative reviews, respond to them.

Once you’ve looked at all the review sites, it’s time to move on to social media. Do you have a social media page? Are consumers talking about you online? Find out and be sure to respond to both positive and negative reviews.

Once you’ve spent some time going through the first step of assessing your online reputation, now you need to develop a system of continuous monitoring. Keeping up to date on what consumers are saying about your business is essential. You can start by setting up Google and Yahoo alerts. These alerts will email you anytime they discover new content about your business.

An easy way to keep up with your online reputation is to use a reputation management platform like Qiigo Reputation Management. Qiigo’s platform gathers all mentions of your business across the web and consolidates them into one easy to use location. You will be able to view online testimonials, information from business directories, social media sites and more. Learn more about Qiigo Reputation Management here.

As you monitor your online reputation, it is essential to always respond to negative comments. Addressing negative comments quickly can help to turn a difficult situation into a positive one. If you can resolve a situation, you can often turn an unhappy customer into one of your greatest fans.

While negative reviews can rarely be removed from the internet, you can focus on building up your stack of positive reviews. Ask your happy customers to review your business online. Create blog posts that highlight customer success stories. Post testimonials or customer reviews on line. Investing time and energy into highlighting the successes your business has can only help to bolster your online reputation and drive business to your location.

To learn more about online reputation management, please call Qiigo today at (404) 496-6841.

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