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Reputation Management

What customers see when they search for your business online is often the first impression they get of your business and first impressions usually last. One of the best investments you can make as a business owner in Kalamazoo is taking the time to build your online reputation. The key to protecting your brand in today’s online market place is to be proactive, optimize your content appropriately, monitor your search results regularly, and be ready to take action if something negative shows up.

When people search for your company online, it’s crucial for them to find positive information that encourages them to use your products and services. Unfortunately, all it takes is one unhappy customer to impact your online reputation. The internet makes it incredibly easy for customers to share their experiences with the world. When a potential customer searches for a business or a product using the internet, they are bound to click on links that will showcase reviews of your business and your brand reputation. You need to do everything possible to make sure that what they find is positive and engaging.

If you’re still not sure why reputation management should be at the top of your to-do list, consider the following statistics from a recent Pew Research Center survey:

  • 82% of U.S. adults say they sometimes read online customer ratings or reviews before making a purchasing decision, including 40% who say they always or almost always check online reviews.
  • Reading online reviews is common across a wide range of demographic groups, but those under 50 are especially likely to use online reviews before making a buying decision. 53% of 18- to 29-year-olds and 47% of 30- to 49-year-olds reported they always or almost always read online reviews when buying something for the first time.
  • In addition to reading online reviews, many Americans watch online videos to help them with their purchasing decisions: 55% of U.S. adults say they have watched product review videos online.
  • 54% of Americans who read online reviews indicate that they pay more attention to negative reviews when trying to make decisions, while 43% pay more attention to extremely positive ones.

It’s pretty clear that online reviews can significantly impact your reputation and future business opportunities. 

What Exactly is Online Reputation Management?

Simply put, online reputation management is the process of taking control over what someone sees when they Google your name or business. Many people don’t realize that it’s possible to influence what information shows up about you on the internet. You can’t remove negative reviews but you can influence whether or not they dominate. It’s possible to move positive information to the top of the Google page and to move negative information down.

Most people make their buying decisions based on the top two or three Google results. Simply getting negative information off the first page can dramatically improve your online reputation.

Not surprisingly, social media plays a big role in online reputation management. When today’s customers use social media to connect and communicate with a business, they expect a quick response.

According to Brandwatch.com, 53% of customers on Twitter expect to receive a response to a question within one hour. If their comment is a complaint, 72% expect a response within one hour. Only about 11% of retail brands met that one hour expectation in Brandwatch.com’s survey. With customer expectations of quick responses, it’s easy to understand why every business owner needs to become proactive with their online reputation.

Steps Every Business Owner Should Take:

Establish your online presence

If you own a business, then you need to have a strong online presence to attract internet savvy customers. Establishing a strong social media presence using Google, Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn can help you to create a positive online reputation.

Have active social media accounts

Making your presence felt on social media is not just about creating accounts and then being a passive user. In order to create engaged followers and customers through social media you have to post new content on a regular basis.

React to posts quickly and politely

Social media is all about engagement and community building. Your presence on social media sites can help you interact with your potential or existing customers giving you a clearer picture of what they want from you. When addressing feedback, it’s easy to acknowledge the positive. Negative feedback requires more effort. You need to be prepared to address negative feedback politely, acknowledge the user, and assure them you will address their concern. How you handle negative posts speaks volumes about you and your business. It is important to build trust with your customers and let them know that you care about what they have to say, whether negative or positive.

Blog about your business on a regular basis

Blogging is a great way to build your online reputation. Make sure you have a blog section on your website homepage. Blog contents can be related to the products and services you offer as well as content that your ideal customer would find interesting. Blogs with strong keywords enhance your social media and internet presence and help you rank higher in search results.

Create a system to drive positive reviews 

Google now places significant value on reviews that are written directly on your website. It’s also important to make it easy for people to write reviews about your business on the right review sites. For the majority of businesses, the places that are going to help you show up most prominently will be Google followed by Yelp and Facebook. Industry specific sites are also important. For example, Tripadvisor is an important review site for hotels, restaurants, and tourist attractions. A proactive approach to your online reputation management means putting in place a process for facilitating the positive reviews of your business and monitoring your public reputation on a regular basis. Paying attention to online reviews and responding quickly to both positive and negative reviews are important aspects of doing business today.

Kalamazoo SEO for Growth Offers a Complete Reputation Marketing Program

We work with business owners to:

  • Design and implement a review system to stimulate positive reviews
  • Create an online reputation monitoring system
  • Coach you on how to increase your reviews and review quality
  • Get your business listed in the right places on the web to enhance your reputation

Ready to Begin?

If you’re ready to take charge of your online reputation, contact Kalamazoo SEO for Growth today. We look forward to working with you to develop a reputation management strategy that works for your business.

 

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