Your business’s reputation online is something you cannot undervalue. Simply put, a good reputation means higher conversions, while a tainted one drives potential money away. In an era where consumers’ interests can be very fickle, you have to employ measures to maintain your business’s positive image. So for starters, here are some of the commonly held notions about online reputation, which may do your business more harm than good if you adhere to it:
- Your company name does not appear on Google so you’re doing fine.
Just because it’s not in the search results doesn’t necessarily mean it doesn’t exist. Unless you take time to learn more about reputation management, you won’t see where those reviews could possibly be. In fact, many businesses discover numerous complaints about their business online too late, blaming sales decline only on factors that they are aware of.
- Bad reviews only affect businesses which operate on international level.
Most consumers nowadays key in local search terms when researching about products and services. That’s why many online reputation management experts emphasize the importance of looking clean especially in locally-based, highly-influential sites like Yelp. According to a Forbes.com article, 83% of consumers admit they’re influenced by reviews and 1-star difference in Yelp results to 5%-9% gain or lost.
- The competitors do it so it’s okay to publish fake reviews.
Fake reviews can seriously ruin your business. Not only will it affect your confidence in your business (knowing you’re being a fraud), you may also be found out on your deception. Consumers can sense whether a feedback is genuine or invented; even sites like Yelp and Amazon will filter reviews they deem fake. The solution is simple: satisfy your customer by enhancing your products and services—that’s when you get real, heartfelt reviews.
- Only the big names can affect online reputation.
It’s not called World Wide Web for no reason. Today, anybody can take the floor and even create a revolution of ideas even if he’s in some remote island in the Pacific, provided he has Internet connection. An individual can exert influence to a small group of people who will then spread that information like a massive California wildfire!
- It’s takes a lot of effort and I really don’t have the time.
Yes, it does, but you can entrust it to firms offering comprehensive online reputation management services, like Reputation Local. They will be the one to ensure that your business listing is well-optimized in major sites, check for reviews daily, scout the digital world for mentions of your business brands, respond effectively to negative feedbacks, pose social media updates to keep your customers engaged and analyze your performance vis-à-vis competition.
(Source: How Reputation Management Drives Small Business, Forbes.com)