How Much Do Online Reviews Matter for My Business?
A 2015 survey of internet users found that 92% of consumers use online reviews as a deciding factor for choosing local businesses, demonstrating a 4% increase over 2014. If your business has a rating of three stars or higher on review sites, you are likely to attract at least 87% of consumers who want your product and services. Search engines take review quality into account when deciding to return your business in search results as well, so positive or negative reviews should both be considered with regard to your SEO strategy. Some of the qualities of your business that are communicated through online reviews are reliability, expertise, value and professionalism.
Many businesses have suffered a bad review. Web reviews are forever but there is a way that a business can keep them from doing too much damage. Don’t get overwhelmed and ignore online reviews and follow the steps below to restore confidence in your business online.
Online Reputation Management
Online reviews have become a critical part of consumer engagement in a technology-laden world. You can spend an enormous amount of time refining your search rankings through search engine optimization and pay-per-click advertising, but it only takes a few negative online reviews to turn customers away from your business as well as potential business partners and employees. Maintaining your business’s online reputation takes an investment of time too but it is an investment that pays off.
Tips to manage your online reputation
- Search for your company name on Google and other top search engines, including the results that are shown beyond the first SERP so you are aware of your brand’s internet presence.
- Read multiple online review websites, including social media.
- Engage and respond appropriately to customer reviews of your business in a timely and positive manner.
- Properly address a negative review in a manner that promotes trust amongst consumers.
- Do NOT offer prizes or discounts for leaving reviews, that is against google and Facebook guidelines.
- Monitor reviews, comments, and messages for your business online daily.
Repairing a Bad Online Reputation
One of the most detrimental practices that many small businesses use to counteract the effects of negative online reviews is to write “fake” positive reviews of their companies. Consumers, though, are very perceptive and can easily notice small details that make them question the validity of the review. The practice is simply a band-aid fix and can damage a business’s reputation far more than the negative review; it can get your business banned from trusted websites and search results. By following a few easy tips, you can repair a negative online reputation without going to unscrupulous lengths.
- Set up accounts with your business name on as many sites as possible, including LinkedIn, Google, Yelp and Foursquare.
- Encourage your customers to leave reviews or feedback on your website and other sites where consumers look for online reviews. You can place a banner, link or button on your site’s most visited page that links to your customer testimonials page or an external review site, such as Google.
- When you receive positive emails and reviews from your customers, post them on social media sites, such as Twitter and Facebook.
- Ask your satisfied customers if they would be willing to do a short video about your business, then post those videos on YouTube. Optimize the keywords so that new customers will find the video reviews.
- When you email invoices to your customers, include a link at the bottom where they can leave an online review.
- If you have a brick-and-mortar business, post displays that encourage your customers to leave reviews at the various online websites.
- Have your web developer implement a way to take reviews from customers through your website. Mark these reviews up with review schema in order to make the gold stars appear on your listing in search results.
By taking steps to improve your online reputation every day, you will soon have a positive online reputation that attracts new customers to your business.
If you want expert help on repairing a business’ online reputation call Epidemic Marketing today to talk about what we can do for your business. 303-586-6728