What is Your Online Reputation?
Simply put, your online reputation is everything on the internet that mentions your company or employees––former and present.
The core elements of most business’ online reputation include:
- Directory listings
Of these three elements, your website is the most important. We offer recommendations for how to develop an effective website. However, we recommend hiring a professional if you want your website to be a quality inbound lead machine!
The close-second and most crucial element of an online reputation is your online reviews, especially in the wake of a pandemic. They serve as a new form of word-of-mouth marketing. More than seven in ten consumers trust an online review as much as they would a personal recommendation.
Remember: people make purchase decisions based on what others have already experienced!
If you don’t have at least 30 reviews across at least two platforms, people searching online will think that your mom and her friends just wrote some nice thoughts to help you out. Online reviews are considered to make up about 10% of how Google and other search engines rank search results. So it’s essential to prioritize reviews as a strategy for building your online reputation.
How Can You Take Control of Your Online Reputation?
1. If You Haven’t Already, Create a Google My Business Account
Google My Business has the most influence in terms of reviews since this is where 90.1% of searches online start. They should be priority #1. Once you have an account here, you can build other social and review profiles, such as Facebook and Yelp.
2. Provide Consistent and Concise Information About Your Business Across Profiles
You can leverage a vast network of listings––where people leave reviews––to create a more significant online presence. When you consistently describe your business across platforms, this is proven to improve your local SEO ranking, especially on Google Maps.
Your listings act like a spider web connecting the dots for Google and searchers. The larger you build the web, the more flies––ahem, customers––you will catch.
Want to see what your reputation looks like to Google? Get a free report on how you stack up against your competition.
3. Get More Positive Reviews
Good reviews will boost your ranking and get you noticed. The best way to get authentic positive reviews? Ask! You won’t magically get tons of new reviews by asking just once. You need a system to follow up with your customers after you serve them.
Make asking to leave a review a part of the process, post-purchase when your customer is riding high on their experience. Automating this process is ideal. Then you can rely on the system to follow up with those customers who forgot to leave a review after the first time you asked.
Learn more about how to build a review management strategy here.
4. Get Reviews Across Multiple Platforms
Having reviews on Google My Business is essential, but it’s not enough on its own to carry your online reputation. People take countless clicking and typing journeys to find the same business. Some people prefer Yelp, Facebook, or check multiple site reviews to verify that your business is legit.
Benefits of Gaining Reviews for SEO
Customer Feedback = More Keywords
The more people talk online about your business and what it provides, the more relevant it becomes to those searching for you.
Have the Edge on Your Competitors
If you’re a small or new business, reviews can level the playing field against bigger competitors. You can make your company the clear choice for online searchers who are ready to buy what you’re selling. Remember: if they are looking at reviews, they aren’t looking for which product or service to choose––they’re looking at which company will provide it to them.
Impacts You Locally
Reviews and SEO are closely related. Search engines want to connect users to the right product, service, or information as quickly as possible and reviews help consumers sort through the good and the bad to find the best local business to meet their needs. They’re like crowd-sourced recommendations. A review of four or five stars indicates to a search engine that a business can be displayed in a premium and highly viewed location.
Bottom Line: Adapt or Dig Your Own Grave on Google Page 2
Reviews have a considerable influence on the way people interact with your website and review listings. They do impact your SEO efforts. So if you don’t make an effort to collect reviews, you make yourself vulnerable to disappearing from the first page of search rankings.
Having a review management system in place will help you effectively grow your online reputation, leading to more business. The Green Hills Group offers review management services for those interested in growing their business online.
Contact us to get started with review management!