The Importance of Online Reputation Management

It takes 20 years to build a reputation and five minutes to ruin it. If you think about that, you'll do things differently.
– Warren Buffet

Owning your company’s online reputation can be difficult. With news articles, employee and customer review sites, and social media, it’s very easy to have a negative presence online without even realizing it. It’s important to manage what consumers see about your business. So you should aim to develop a positive and consistent online presence.

Your brand is online whether you like it or not

Even in 2018, offline businesses come online for the first time and have no idea what potential disasters lurk in the shadows of the internet. Companies who don’t understand the importance of reputation management usually ask this dangerous question, "What the heck is an online reputation?" Negligence of your online reputation puts your company at risk and jeopardizes your credibility.

Thinking that your brand won't be online simply because you don't want to be, is a big mistake. The truth is that Google and other companies are indexing businesses and brands of all sizes, whether they like it or not. Without an online presence or management system, your reputation can spiral. With sites like Yelp, TripAdvisor, and PissedConsumer growing in reach every day, what are you losing by not watching your own brand reviews? If your customers are searching for you and you aren't online, they are going to find false and incorrect information about your company – or worse, your competitors!

The power of a positive reputation

Customers research what they need before deciding on a business – which means they will likely look at your business’s reviews and online reputation. Considering that 92% of people hesitate to do business with companies with less than four out of five stars, your reviews are certainly worth your attention. 74% of consumers credit positive reviews with making them trust a local business more. 84% of consumers trust online reviews as much as a personal recommendation. Even if you offer a top-notch product or service, if your brand has a negative online reputation, your business may suffer. So what consumers see about your business in regards to your online reputation is extremely important.

Your rep affects your rank

Google rewards the most popular and prominent companies within their market areas. Which means your business should be among the most talked about, patronized and recommended on the internet to get the highly coveted page one placement. If you are ranking in the three map listings on the homepage of Google and you have 20 five-star reviews, while the other businesses have two four-star reviews, you can bet that your business will be getting the call. Alternatively, Google may banish your website into the abyss if you maintain a negative online reputation.

Managing your reputation with positive feedback along with a solid SEO campaign has a higher chance of getting a page one placement. One of the reasons why many business owners hire professional marketers is because of the need to address customer reviews. Managing ratings and reviews proactively, and answering and managing the negative and positive reviews is imperative to rank in search results.

Fixing your online reputation

Now that you know how important online reputation is for your business, what can you do about it? Here are two simple ways to stay ahead of your online reputation:

  • Review Management: Be sure to continuously monitor all of your social media accounts and review sites and respond to reviews as they come in.

  • Manage Your Local Listings: Make sure your business information is accurate across local listings and review sites like Google and Yelp to give prospects access to the correct name, address, and phone number (NAP). Claim and verify your business with Google to build your business’s credibility and help potential customers find out more about you online.

Enter FootprintTM Core70 Citation Technology

HLM’s FootprintTM Core70 citation technology maintains the quality and consistency of your local business listings by continually monitoring your data on the top tier local directories. Our technology creates new citations, builds industry contextual citations, provides data cleansing, prevents online listing hijacking, and a whole lot more. HLM’s Core70 increases and maintains your business’ credibility with search engines and expands your citation network while ensuring that your local listings are voice search optimized.

HLM Core70 management checklist:

  • Claims and manages critical listings belonging to your organization.
  • Audits your locations’ listings across search, maps and business directories for accuracy.
  • Identifies discrepancies and missing data, and corrects all mistakes.
  • Pushes correct location data to search engines and social platforms.
  • Prevents fly-by-night competitors from hijacking your listings.
  • Gets you voice search eligible for Amazon’s Alexa.

Your online reputation is a dynamic part of your business, subject to change at any time. As long as you are monitoring your online reputation, you can use the power of the web to your business’ benefit. Take action today before your reputation is out of your hands!

Want to know more about Online Reputation Management (ORM)? Contact HLM today!

About High Level Marketing

At High Level Marketing, the primary goal behind everything we do is educating and empowering small business owners like you to understand your options in an effort to make the best marketing decisions that will help grow your business. We develop effective digital marketing campaigns that drive traffic and convert leads. Stop losing leads to your competitors…

Let's Talk About Your Business!