More than ever, what people say about your business matters hence what people read about your business on the Internet matters greatly. They matter because they can actually impact your bottom line.
When consumers need information to help inform their next big purchase, they are bound to use search engines like Google to find it. What they read about your brand on Google could make or break your business; certainly, it could impact that consumer’s decision about whether to give you their hard-earned money.
Why Online Reputation Matters in 2019
The answer is simple; The consumer journey! It is more than ever crucial that you are optimized for all stages of consumer journey and not just for a keyword that just brings consumers into your website. Referring and returning customers are the main source of revenue for the majority of businesses especially small business and startups, and we have seen how important it was in 2018 to optimizing a brand for all steps of consumer journey and in 2019, that will be even more important.
In today’s digital age, consumers are connected to the internet all the time. Either via their smartphones, smartwatches, tablets or their computers. They’ll research businesses before they conduct business with them, especially small business.
To understand why online reputation matters, consider this example. A consumer wants to find information about your company, so she does a Google search. She sees that you have five-star ratings for all your online reviews. She sees that your business has an active blog and a helpful Facebook account. She sees plenty of good, solid information about your brand and what it stands for.
Now consider this example: A consumer looks for information about your brand, but all Google shows him is a few negative headlines, some consumer complaints, a bad BBB listing, and some lousy, two-star reviews.
Which of these consumers is most likely to give you their business? And which is most likely to look elsewhere, perhaps going to your competition instead? Both answers are obvious—and that’s why online reputation matters. It can directly impact online traffic, conversions, and ultimately sales, to say nothing of prestige and consumer trust.
Managing Your Online Reputation for 2019
Your online reputation is too important to leave it to chance. You’ve got to take control of your online presence. That’s what the field of online reputation management is all about.
But how does online reputation management work?
The goal of it is to ensure that, when people search your brand, they see good, positive, helpful results —information that helps them and enhances your brand. As such, online reputation management includes a variety of directives:
- Create high quality branded content on an ongoing basis so the search engine results pages (SERPs) so when someone searches your brand, that content shows in the search results prominently. That can blog, resource pages, news, and press releases, videos and other form content etc.
- Optimize the content mentioned so that it outranks another type of content that you control, when searching for your brand, and thereby suppresses, any negative listings that are out there.
- Ensure that your brand has plenty of positive reviews on review sites such as Yelp, Google, Facebook, BBB, and other sources where consumers are more likely to leave a review.
- Encourage your satisfied customers to leave you a review of the channels mentioned above especially on Google, Yelp and Facebook as they correlate directly with your online rankings.
- If there are any negative reviews, reply to them and connect with customers and do your very best to resolve the situation. Negative reviews may happen from time to time, and while they are not good to have, but not doing about them is far worse!
- Utilize social media and email to constantly feel how consumers feel about your services. Ask them frequently how you can improve things. Many times, if they are unhappy, they may blow up steam replying to one of these posts or emails as opposed to leaving you a negative review permanently.
- Optimize for voice search as voice search usage continues to rise, and when it comes to voice search, only one results matter.
- Optimized for position 0. Voice search heavily relies on position 0. source
Online reputation management requires the uses of various tools from the digital marketing toolbox, including everything from SEO to content marketing. It’s also something that calls for ongoing monitoring and management; it’s not something you can simply do and then be done with.
Get Help with Online Reputation Management
For all of these reasons, it is prudent to enlist the expertise of a seasoned online reputation management firm. Digital Advertiser has ample experience in this field, and we’d love to help enhance your brand’s standing on the Web. Learn more by our team here at Sefati & Co.