Congratulations: you made it to 2018. As we approach the middle of the first month of this new year, many are putting the final touches on their marketing strategies for 2018. Thanks to the internet, anyone on any given day can type in a slew of words together in a Google search and bam: there’s your business. Not only can you be found more easily than ever before, reviews of your business are likely floating around various corners of Google, too. With that being said, you want to ensure that your business is being displayed in the most pristine way possible.
With dozens of review sites popping up and filling web browsers all across the globe, it’s easy to get lost in the maham of it all. From positive to negative reviews and everything in between, it’s widely known as best practice to respond to a plethora of reviews; especially the negative ones. However, because there are so many review platforms, the task of managing your business’s online reputation can easily seem like a daunting one.
Benefits of Online Reputation Management (ORM)
People trust a brand or business with a good online reputation, hence emphasizing the importance of monitoring yours. Consumers often seek out the opinions of others online prior to making any serious investment. As of last year, 97% of consumers read online reviews regarding local businesses. This means that no matter the size of your business, you’re likely being sought out online. The thing is, if people are searching for you or businesses like yours, they’re already invested in whatever it is you have to offer. With 73% of consumers putting full trust into positive online reviews, you’ll want to ensure that you’re online reputation is a force to be reckoned with.
Plain and simple: a better online reputation attracts more business to your company. When people are searching for businesses such as yours and they come across your competitor which ranks higher on various review platforms, they’re likely going to get that consumer’s business; not you. This concept goes hand-in-hand with trust. With a greater visibility of positive reviews, you’ll attract your target market with ease, thus driving up conversion rates and increasing your business’s profitability.
A major benefit to managing your business’s online reputation is having the ability to respond to negative reviews or vital feedback in real-time. With platforms such as ReviewPush, you’ll get notified whenever a review is left in regards to your company on a plethora of review platforms across the web. As best practice goes, you’ll want to respond to these comments as soon as possible to put out any fires that may have arisen without your initial knowledge. When you respond to a negative review, you’re partaking in conflict resolution; something that’s admirable in the eyes of consumers. This shows that you have set standards of how your business operates and that you take them, and the consumer, seriously.
How a solid reputation helps
A solid reputation has several direct and indirect benefits for a business.
- A strong and well-managed online reputation ensures that businesses have a great first impression on their prospects. It focuses on building a positive brand image by identifying the key customer touchpoints and using them to build positive first impressions.
- A comprehensive online reputation management (ORM) strategy not only highlights the strengths of a business, but also effectively counters any negative propaganda by its competitors.
- A strong online reputation that increases trust means that there’s a higher chance of cold visitors turning into prospects and customers.
- A good online reputation helps businesses establish themselves as thought leaders and the go-to source for all industry-related problems. This helps businesses earn free media coverage and elevates them above the competition.
Online Reputation Management Using Positive Long Term SEO Techniques
Online reputation management done well is designed to establish a long term positive online presence for a business or individual. Creating engaging social profiles, a positive review presence, and multiple points of positive, high quality content will ensure that you can maintain a positive online reputation that lasts.
While the majority of SEO techniques are responsible and will result in positive search engine results. There are some black hat SEO techniques that are avoided in online reputation management. Practices like keyword stuffing, cloaking, spam blogs, or hidden content are frowned upon by Google and other search engines. They can spell serious trouble for your search engine rankings and online reputation, as your website may be removed from Google completely if you’re caught engaging in black hat SEO tactics.
Online reputation management avoids using black hat SEO techniques, as these tactics can ultimately damage your reputation by making it difficult to maintain a positive long term presence on search engine results. Ethical online reputation management will also avoid harmful tactics like buying reviews.
Rather, online reputation management uses white hat SEO techniques such as writing high quality content, making HTML helpful and clear, and quality inbound links. This is of course in addition to other online reputation management tactics including public relations, social media building, and review maintenance.
Cultivate the Right Social Profiles in the Right Ways
A big mistake many in the reputation management field make is to register social profiles at dozens or hundreds of sites and point links to as many as possible, hoping that some will take over those top rankings. This actually dilutes the effectiveness of the strategy, as those links could be consolidated across a few powerful profiles instead, often with much greater effect. The general sites I recommend include (in order of profile effectiveness):* Twitter