Your online reputation is a part of reputation management in general. It is an important part of your marketing strategy. What customers say about your company online can have more impact on your sales than any awesome new product. Some businesses pay reputation management companies thousands of dollars each month just to ensure they are making the best first impression to future clients.
Great news is that even if you don’t have thousands, or even hundreds of dollars to hand to such a management company, there are some easy interventions you can take to improve your online reputation from this moment on.
The first thing you can do is educate yourself about the importance of customer reviews, do some research about it and try it out. While it is not really clear whether ratings have any effect how well your business ranks within Local search algorithms, even to sites ranked towards the bottom of a Local search engine result.
It is important to not ignore reviews, or throw up your hands in defeat, try to learn more about the kinds of things that customers like about your business, you can learn a lot from the reviews from your customers.
There are many companies that want to buy fake reviews to boost their status. This is really not done. In fact, this can do more damage to your brand. New York recently set up a sting netting 19 companies that were fined $350,000.
While it is simple to ask a customer to leave a positive review for you online, it is much more likely to happen if there is something in it for them. This is simply the nature of the beast. You can offer a drawing, which is what many businesses do on the back of their receipts. While incentives are not required, it may help you get honest and positive reviews for your company. Be sure that each employee knows the importance of requesting this reference and review from each and every customer.
Improving your online reputation is not easy, but it’s essential that you make the effort to improve what is being said about your company, if that means changing practices, or simply using more effective methods to generate a positive review.