How’s Your Street Cred? Why Your Online Reputation is Important

Do you know what your customers are saying about you online? Or what comes up on search engine result pages, or SERPs, when a prospect searches for your business? These are two key factors in determining your business’s online reputation.

Owning your company’s online reputation can be quite 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 not just to manage what consumers can see about your business online; rather, you should aim to develop a positive online presence and reputation.

Here are two reasons why your business’s online reputation is important and what you can do about it:

Consumers Buy from Companies with a Positive Reputation

With the internet at our fingertips, your customers are likely to research what they need before deciding on a business. And, in their research phase, they will likely look at a business’s reviews and online reputation. Did you know that 74% of consumers credit positive reviews with making them trust a local business more? And, 84% of consumers trust online reviews as much as a personal recommendation. So, what consumers see about your business in regards to your online reputation is important.

Gaining trust often goes hand in hand with gaining customer loyalty and maintaining clients. If you have established a trustworthy online brand, your business will likely appear positively on SERPs, which may also give you an advantage over your competitors.

Consumers Search for a Positive Experience

Most people seek businesses that provide a good customer service experience. So, if they’re searching for your business and see a review or comment that makes it seem like your business isn’t providing that, they may not want to work with you. Instead of ignoring negative reviews or comments your business might receive, you should address them calmly and quickly.

And, remember that a great online reputation starts with a great customer service experience. Read our blog post, The Real Value of Customer Service, to learn more.

So, What Can You Do About Your Online Reputation?

Now that you know how important online reputation is for your business, what can you do about it? Here are three ways to help you stay ahead of or manage negative reviews:

  • Use Live Chat: Putting live chat on your website gives customers 24/7 access to a representative to answer their questions. This can prevent confusion on the customer’s side which can save you from having an angry complaint on Facebook or Twitter down the road.
  • Reputation 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 phone number, address, and store hours.

If your brand is not represented in good light online, your business may suffer even if you offer a top notch product or service. Learn more about the importance of a great online reputation in our infographic, Why Your Online Reputation Matters: 10 Online Review Stats.

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Louisa Karam

Louisa was born and raised in Dallas, Texas. She is entering her junior year at Creighton University in Omaha, Nebraska, and is pursuing her Bachelor's Degree in Business Analytics. At Creighton, she is a member of the Women's Rowing Team and is passionate about community service. Excited to learn, Louisa is an intern within the marketing department. She is looking forward to working with the ReachLocal team and meeting new people.

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