The Benefits of Online Reputation Management For Businesses
Small businesses, morseo than ever, can benefit from online reputation management.
If you are a small business owner, you understand the significance of platforms like Yelp, Google, Trustpilot, Avvo, and even Glassdoor. Not only do these highly authoritative websites rank high on Google, but it is also easy for a customer or ex-employee to leave both positive and negative reviews.
Without a proactive online review management strategy, negative comments can overwhelm you quickly. Learn why SEO services and reputation management should be a top priority for small businesses.
Table of Contents [ show hide ]
- What Happened to My Business’s Online Reputation?
- Digital Content Marketing Mismanagement
- Unclaimed Company Listings
- Negative Reviews and Social Media Posts
- How Can I Restore My Online Reputation?
- Review Removals
- Online Reputation Management Strategy
- Get Started Today With Our Online Reputation Management Service
What Happened to My Business’s Online Reputation?
You’ve worked hard to build your company and your brand. As a business owner, you know how easy it can be for someone to go online and tarnish your hard-earned positive reputation.
Poor web design, negative content on your blog, inaccurate contact information, a glitchy chatbot, or unflattering press releases can damage your status and drive customers away. Disgruntled former employees or angry clients have the power to do real harm to your business by saying negative things about you and your company’s products and services.
If your business struggles with negative information on the web, the loss of revenue and clients can be devastating. Here are three common mistakes that many business owners make while maintaining their company’s online presence.
Digital Content Marketing Mismanagement
At some point, most entrepreneurs accept that they cannot do everything alone and begin to hire employees. While this is almost always an essential and lucrative step toward growing a small business, this can be where many owners make a critical mistake.
Let’s say that you hired an administrative assistant to answer phones and keep your office organized, and so far, he or she is absolutely hitting it out of the park. So, you do what every other smart manager does: You give your assistant more duties and more leeway to make judgment calls. And, like the superstar that your employee is, he or she handled the first few online and email marketing tasks better than you feel you could have done yourself. You breathe a sigh of relief, believing that your website and social media pages are in the capable hands of a tech-savvy millennial with a good heart, a quick mind, and no foundational experience with your brand and what it stands for.
Unfortunately, you realize that your assistant has been uploading thought-provoking blogs that are also off-message and devoid of an SEO strategy. Plus, you may wonder why your online conversion rate is falling, your in-store foot traffic is down, and you’re receiving more customer complaints and negative online customer reviews than ever before. Your assistant may be brilliant; however, actual content marketing and search engine optimization experience are crucial qualifications for competent digital management personnel. Very few entry-level assistants also understand the subtle nuances of your business, your brand, and your style of handling your customers’ expectations.
BusinessWire.com reports that almost 85% of consumers in America research companies online before deciding whether to use the products or services offered. An irrelevant blog on your website or a misleading Facebook advertisement might be all it takes to turn individuals away, no matter that your business may be offering exactly the services that they want.
In a short time, these mistakes can undo what may have been years of hard work on your end, perfecting your brand message and your reputation for spectacular customer service. It is all too easy for a solidly built online image to become tarnished when handled by one internal employee who is unqualified for the job. Unhappy clients will flock to your social media business pages to vent. If you’ve delegated the task of monitoring and managing your online marketing strategy, the damage could reach profound levels before you’re even aware that it is happening.
Unclaimed Company Listings or Business Citations
Did you know that online search tools like Google or Yelp generate automatic local business listings? Furthermore, are you aware that if you don’t claim your company’s online business citations, you run the risk of potential customers receiving incorrect information? Or, in a worst-case scenario, a disgruntled patron or former employee could claim the listing and use it to do tremendous damage to your online reputation.
While the latter is, more often than not, an extreme case, the more likely situation is that you are missing an excellent opportunity to reach your audience. Think about the last time you wanted to double-check that a restaurant was open before you made the drive. Did your Google search give you a quick, accurate, and appealing result? This is exactly the type of listing that your customers will see when they need a quick reference for your company’s basic details, such as locations, hours of operation, and contact information. Depending on which platform they’re using, that listing may also show your average business rating and the most recent reviews, flattering or not.
There are also more nuanced reasons for claiming your company’s listings on search engines and review platforms:
- Once you’ve claimed and verified the listing, you have control over the information that clients can see and the overall appearance of the listing. Having a polished brand image that is represented consistently across your entire online reputation improves the perception of legitimacy and makes your company seem well-established, even if you’re just getting off the ground.
- If your unclaimed business listings display incorrect information, such as a disconnected telephone number or an empty website landing page, you could lose more than just an opportunity for a sale. Consumers are quick to abandon your company for your competitors if they are more immediately accessible. An unclaimed listing that cannot generate conversions gives your competition the chance to win and retain the loyalty of the customers that should have been yours.
- An unclaimed listing for your business might be full of terrible reviews, despite being earned or not. Unless you have verified your ownership of the company and the listing, you cannot respond to online reviews, addressing legitimate concerns or removing unfounded complaints. The consumers that are researching your company online are also paying attention to and put great weight on what your current and former patrons think about you.
If you are still in the first stages of operation, it is vital that you find and claim not only your online business listings but also reserve social media profile names. Even if you don’t have time or the budget to create extravagant web features for your company, you can at least make sure that the information given is correct and reduce the risk of someone else claiming your listing. Moreover, when you start expanding your marketing strategy into a positive online social media presence, you can rest assured that your preferred Twitter or Instagram handle is already under your control.
Negative Reviews and Social Media Posts
Nowadays, consumers have plenty of vehicles for airing their admiration or frustration with a company or its product, but the majority of those avenues are merging from private phone calls and emails onto public online platforms. The upside is the chance to showcase your glowing reviews. The downside is the visibility of your customers’ negative experiences.
Every business owner has seen those monstrous comments scattered around the internet by trolls, insisting that a public pool is “the most disgusting place ever” or that a cashier was “super rude! Zero stars! Never going back!” While you can rest assured that most savvy consumers generally disregard those people as never happy with anything, if your web presence doesn’t have many positive posts to balance the scales, then the negative reviews start to gain credibility.
More importantly, nearly every consumer who reads a business’s reviews while researching also cares about how the company addresses complaints. Customers may place much more weight on your response to a negative review and your efforts to resolve a problem or replace a defective product than they would on an angry rant. On the other hand, your failure to respond to negative reviews could also present a red flag for patrons who are unwilling to risk an unsatisfactory experience with your company.
Online social platforms, such as Facebook and Twitter, are also rapidly becoming the primary customer sounding boards for problems surrounding a business’s service or products, especially among millennials. Unfortunately, many business owners with online company profiles outlets often forget that social media is, well, social. And that means communication via these platforms is a two-way street.
Effective social media management is your chance to cultivate a long-term relationship with your patrons, interact with them on a personal or local level, and use those interactions to build brand loyalty. A huge part of this symbiotic relationship is your attentiveness to their needs and how you handle their issues with your company. Like your responses to online reviews, addressing concerns and following through to resolution on a public stage can do much for your reputation as a credible, customer-satisfaction oriented business. However, the failure to do so may drive as many as one-third of your customers away.
How Can I Restore My Online Reputation?
Is there something that you can do? Let’s get into how you can improve your public relations as a small business.
If you receive a falsified or slanderous review, you may have a case to have the review removed. Each platform differs, but this should a top consideration. We highly recommend this particular tactic if you are dealing with a handful of unwanted reviews. Otherwise, proactive strategies are ideal. This differs from content removals which is focused on removing online articles.
You can utilize your brand to your advantage in small business reputation management.
Google favors brands in search results. This is partially why pages like Yelp and Glassdoor rank in searches for your business name on Google. You can use this to your advantage by utilizing free online resources where you can create a branded listing. The key is to make your brand name the title of the page and adding your vital business information, such as company and owner name, address, and phone number, somewhere on the profile.
These resources include:
- Niche Directories
- Local Directories
- Business Social Media
- ‘Best Of’ Citation Websites
- A Google Business Website
- Web 2.0s
Contact us for a full list.
Online Reputation Management Strategy
Our reputation management company experts have many years of experience in this challenging and highly specialized field. We are digital marketing professionals with the tools and the industry best practices to build your brand, suppress malicious web content, and attract new customers to your business.
We use a combination of proven real-time strategies to help restore your company’s reputation, pushing down negative search results, and helping to show you in a positive light. As the best reputation management company in the business, we can replace the negative information with relevant, well-written, and positive content creation, showcasing the positive aspects of your business online.
Our process begins with careful analysis of your company’s search engine placement and the negative information posted about you online. Next, our experts formulate a strategy that improves your search engine rankings. Your business will be flourishing again, bringing in new clients and seeing increased revenue in no time.
Get Started Today With Our Online Reputation Management Service
The best online reputation management services for small businesses aren’t only used to fight negative information. Many smaller companies have used our expert full service and support to build brands. With the help and expertise of our digital marketing agency, you can attract new customers, create impactful, positive web content, and see increased revenue. Call Universal Business Reputation today at (714) 451-2043 or contact us online today to receive a free best reputation management analysis.