4 Ways to improve your online reputation
While the term may sound new, you are probably already familiar with the necessity of having an online presence – or better yet – an online reputation.
When people see that other customers are happy with your services, they’re more likely to buy from you too. Reviews help create trust between a company and its potential customers, which in turn helps drive sales. It also gives potential customers an idea of what they should expect when buying from you – so it’s essential not just for generating new leads but also retaining current ones as well!
95% of consumers aged 18-34 read online reviews for local businesses. Having more positive online reviews, you have a better chance of ranking higher in local searches on Google and other sites. This means new potential customers are more likely to find your business when they’re searching.
Your customers might be evaluating you on Google, Yelp or a niche business directory for your industry. As a potential customer evaluates your listing and star ratings, they’re also evaluating your competitors as well. More often than not, they will reach out to the business with the best reputation. The benefit of online reviews is twofold: your reviews are making you rank higher, then they’re getting you more clicks and calls than your competitors.
When managing your online reputation, you’ll want to monitor all of the following:
- Social media
- Online directories with reviews
- Article submission directories
- Collaborative research websites
- User-generated content
- Blogging communities
- Social news and bookmarking sites
- Sites that allow reviews of individuals
Here are a few practices you can include in your reputation management strategy.
1. Respond to reviews and comments
Reputation management involves responding to both positive and negative reviews and comments.
For positive reviews, you thank the customer and express your desire to work with them again. Consider using data you’ve collected while interacting with the consumer to add something personal to the review.
Standard reply: “Thank you! We are so happy to hear from you. Can’t wait to see you again.”
Personalized reply: “Dear Leslie, we are so happy you found the time to leave a review. We hope your dog is enjoying her new leash. Thank you!”
Negative reviews are more complicated, but are just as deserving of a response, if not more so. The key is acknowledging the problem, apologizing professionally, and expressing your willingness to solve the issue.
Ideally, you continue the conversation offline. Once it’s successfully resolved, you can always ask the customer to change or update their review.
Pro tip: When responding to comments or reviews, try to use keywords in your replies when it makes sense.
2. Claim and maintain social media profiles
When a customer looks for a brand, social media profiles often show up in search results. Since social media pages have high domain authority, they’re likely to pop up in top 10 results.
If you still haven’t claimed your social media profiles, now’s the time to do it. Social media profile maintenance is the key to online reputation management. If you don’t monitor them regularly, you could miss the opportunity to address negative feedback. Not only that, but you could lose access to valuable information about your target audience.
3. Use Google Alerts
Knowing when your brand is discussed on the web can be highly useful for your reputation management efforts.
Google Alerts notify you every time your brand is mentioned somewhere online. You can also use this tool to track mentions of your competition for competitor analysis.
4. Put reviews on your website
Once you’ve shared a glowing review with your team via email or Slack, don’t just let it languish. Use the review to your advantage by including it somewhere on your company website (with permission from the reviewer if you use their name or company).
Consumers who interact with reviews are 115% more likely to convert, and the more reviews you have, the higher your conversion rates, according to Power Reviews.
95% of consumers aged 18-34 read online reviews for local businesses.