George Eliot once said, "People are almost always better than their neighbors think they are." Considering that Eliot was a novelist who lived during the 19th century, it's pretty clear that good reputation has always been important.
Now, two centuries later, online reputation is just as equally important for people who want to be taken seriously. And in an enormous place like the Internet, establishing it is much more difficult than it is in a small place like a neighborhood.
Today we are going to take a look at the reasons why your online reputation is important and three tips on how to improve it.
But Why Does Your Online Reputation Matter?
Consumers by default tend to trust other humans' opinions when they are thinking about working with a business. Usually, there is one medium they use in order to figure it out: Social networks.
Communities like Foursquare, Yelp, Google Reviews, and Facebook Reviews have grown because people want to know if a company deserves their attention. If you have more positive reviews than negative ones, then you can expect more clients. If it's the other way around, you have a big problem.
Your online reputation matters because it forms a public image.
Besides making sure your attraction is in top condition, here are three tips to make your business look and feel more trustworthy:
Tip #1: Form Relationships With Potential Buyers
Everybody who wants to purchase a product in 2018 does some online research before they actually buy it. Whether it is a service or a product, online reviews are everybody's main guidelines to determine whether a business is good or not.
Unfortunately, just a few negative reviews can ruin your whole online identity but there is no need to worry. There is a solution.
Except for taking criticism into consideration (because let's face it, you might have done something wrong that left your customers unhappy) you also need to learn from it.
If there are clients who are not satisfied with you today, most likely, there are going to be more tomorrow. To avoid that, offer a sample of your product or service before they actually move on to the purchase.
Do you sell items? Use a promo code that provides an extreme discount that will help them test your products at a low price.
Do you sell software or services? A trial version is always a great idea.
Even if they don't find what you offer a good fit for their needs, they will always have this feeling of happiness associated with getting free stuff. Their reviews might not be mind-blowing but they will be honest and polite.
Tip #2: Use Negative Reviews to Your Advantage
Negative reviews are always going to be there. Unfortunately, you cannot remove them but you can use them to make your business look more professional.
When you see a negative review on your social media pages or on your website act professional and ask for more details. Be polite, apologize if you have to, and do not defend yourself.
Defending yourself will instantly make a bad review seem more accurate.
Something like: "We are sorry to hear that. Please check your inbox." is enough to initiate a private conversation with your client and figure out what left them unhappy.
A professional local marketing agency might be a better idea if you are already dealing with too many negative reviews. Professionals have handled so many similar cases that they will fix your reputation in an instant.
Tip #3: Google is Your Friend
If negative reviews keep coming in, Google will associate your brand with them. So, most likely, when someone searches your company, they will come across them.
What you need to do is to keep feeding the beast and generate content that will actually push negative results down.
For each negative review, create two to three blog posts, pages, or anything that promotes your business name. This will create an extra layer of security so that when people search your business, they don't get bombarded with bad reviews.
Keep monitoring Google search results to see what people say about you. A smart way to do so is by setting up a Google Alerts account. When someone posts something about you, you will get both a notification and a heads-up.
Is It Too Much?
Yes, online reputation does matter, but sometimes it can be a real struggle.
If you need help with any aspect of your online reputation, then contact us today!