The days where keeping up a good personal reputation with customers was the only thing you had to worry about are over. Online reputation management (ORM) combines marketing, public relations, and search engine optimization (SEO) to better your online reputation. It is a snapshot of what people will see when they search your business online. Building and keeping an excellent online reputation is vital for keeping your existing customers happy and plays a crucial role in building your online presence for potential new customers.
So Why Should Your Business Care About ORM?
So why is ORM so important to helping your business thrive? Recent studies have shown that 97% of consumers search online to find local businesses. Additionally, 78% of respondents believe it is very important to look up information about a business before interacting with them, and 74% would refuse to interact with them if they found negative information about them. When a potential customer searches your business, they get an idea of your business’s identity and the perception of your business to other consumers.
What Steps Can I Take to Improve My ORM?
Building your online reputation involves a lot of different steps, but here are a few things you can start with to get an excellent online footprint:
Having A Good Google My Business Listing
This includes the name of your business, address, phone number, website link, and your business hours. More advanced features of Google My Business include categories for your business, product and service descriptions, and even Q&A sections. Your Google My Business Listing will also feature Google reviews and posts from your website.
Make Sure You Respond to Your Google Reviews
Responding to google reviews is very important and is one of the easiest ways to keep up your online reputation. It is just as important to respond to the bad reviews as it is to the good reviews to show consumers you care.
Improving upon your SEO rating
This is a much more complicated step, but it can go a long way if you focus on your SEO ratings and rank on google search results. Ensuring consumers see the right pages from your website can be crucial to their first impression of your business.
Why Google My Business Listings Matter
According to BrightLocal, businesses appear over 1,000 times on average in search when using Google My Business. With this amount of exposure, it is important to have all of the information in your listing be correct and up to date. Your Google My Business listing should include:
- Your business name, which you use for your signage
- Your updated business hours as well as holiday hours
- Have a written description of your business
- Establish a category that fits your business and apply any category-specific features
- Add photos to your listing to increase engagement
Responding to Google Reviews
Responding to google reviews is an effortless way to improve your online reputation and outlook among potential customers. Responding to reviews allows a quality discourse between you and your customers and a way to show that you are listening to their needs. It is also crucial to remember to respond to bad reviews and good reviews. Read more about responding to bad reviews with our recent blog post about dealing with bad reviews.
The Importance of SEO and ORM
SEO rankings are another aspect of online reputation management due to the listing of your website. When someone is searching your business, you want them to see links representing your brand in a positive light. Having your main website along with other important pages to your website such as product and about pages listed on the first page of Google can do a lot to help your online reputation. Improving your current SEO ratings prevents people from seeing pages that paint your business in a bad light and elevates any pages you want them to see.
Controlling and dealing with online reputation management can be a hassle, but it is an investment worth making. According to recent studies, consumers are willing to spend 9% more on a company that has a positive reputation.
Keeping up your online reputation takes a lot of time and effort. It may be worth it to take some time to evaluate what your online reputation needs are. Learn more about your online reputation and how to manage it by contacting WKH Solutions today!