Ways to Take Control of Your Business’s On-line Reputation

online reputation

Where do you go to discover new brands?

If you answered “the internet, ” you’re in the majority. Search engines are the most popular approach to brand discovery among consumers ages 16-64. More than a quarter of consumers also use brand name websites, social media, and electronic ads to find brands.

This means the online trustworthiness of a business is critical to the ability to attract and preserve customers.

But brands are not alone in building said reputation. The web has created active audiences. Customers contribute to the way a brand is definitely perceived online through testimonials, social media, and more. A brand’s press coverage is shared faster and more widely than in the past. Industry “best-of” lists plus expert reviews are available in just one click.

Brands simply cannot control every single issue that’s published about their particular brand online. But they may implement strategies to control the larger narrative, and that’s exactly what we’re going to cover in this article. In the following sections, you will see more about why the online trustworthiness of a business is so important, in addition 9 actionable strategies you may use to control yours.

Quick Takeaways

  • More than 90% of consumers say they are more likely to select a company with positive reviews and that just one bad review can change their mind about a business.

  • Conducting a brand audit is the best way to get a grasp in your company’s current online status.

  • It’s critical to control the very first page of Google results for your branded search terms — 98% of users in no way go past page one.

  • Consumers trust online reviews as much as word-of-mouth recommendations.

  • Responding well to bad reviews can actually build trust plus improve the online reputation of your business.

Why is the online reputation of a business so important?

The online reputation of a business is the new storefront. It’s what people see first, and it’s what makes them decide if they want to know more.

It only takes a few minutes with regard to consumers to get a sense of your current online reputation. A fast Google search or scroll through product reviews are enough for them to make a decision about whether they wish to go further.

The clearest way to discover why a brand’s online status is so important, however , is by the numbers. Consider the subsequent:

  • 91% of customers are more likely to choose a brand with many positive reviews
  • 84% of shoppers trust online reviews just as much as word-of-mouth recommendations
  • 94% of customer said just one bad review convinced all of them not to use a business
  • 71% of U. H. workers said they would not really apply to a company experiencing adverse press

To boot, research has found that it takes the average online consumer 50 milliseconds to form an opinion about a brand. Your first impact seriously matters. If you don’t control what people see first if they encounter your brand on the internet, you risk losing business.

How to manage your business’s online popularity

Perform a brand audit

The first step to taking control of the internet reputation of your business is to know where it stands. You can do this by conducting a brand review. A brand audit may be the process of evaluating how your brand is currently positioned on the market and perceived by the community. It’s a good idea to do all of them often — many manufacturers make it a part of their quarterly review process.

This five step framework can help you get started on conducting yours:

The 5-step process for conducting a brand audit.

Image Resource: NetBaseQuid

Here’s a quick summary from the 5 steps:

  • Benchmarking past and present efforts – Assessing whether or not your past and present marketing efforts fulfilled their goals.

  • Competitor evaluation and monitoring – Calculating your efforts against those of your competition.

  • Identifying trends – Searching for what’s trending with your potential audience and considering how your own marketing efforts align.

  • Sentiment analysis – Looking at evaluations and other user content to determine how consumers feel about your brand name.

  • Understanding news vs . consumer perceptions – Looking to find out if what the press says about your brands and what people are saying lines up.

Create a popularity management strategy

Once you’ve completed your brand audit, you have the data you need to create an online status management strategy. Your popularity management strategy will contain two main components:

  • Addressing issues that exist with your current on the internet reputation
  • Developing a plan for monitoring your online popularity going forward

While the idea of creating this tactic may seem daunting, you can start with some simple steps that make a big influence:

Set objectives

What are the most significant things you want to achieve through online reputation management? Are there specific issues you need to deal with right away? Are there gaps (ex: no online reviews) that you would like to fill? What new tactics do you want to implement? Be sure to take time to set clear goals that set your technique in the right direction.

Know your assets

What human resources do you have internally to devote to online reputation management? How much time can your own team spend on it? Are you experiencing technology tools that can help? What other resources exist for you to influence?

Make a concern list

What are the most important things to address 1st? Make a list of priorities for the strategy and address all of them by order of emergency and potential impact.

Create an delivery plan

The well-defined plan keeps your strategy focused and your team accountable for follow-through. Set deadlines for tasks where it seems sensible, identify who is responsible for each initiative, and identify how you’ll keep track of progress (example: a shared work plan in Google Sheets).

Control your first page of Google results

One initiative that should be on top of your priority list is definitely taking control of the first web page of Google results for your company’s branded search terms. Keep in mind that search engines are the number one method people use for brand discovery. Now consider this: a whopping 98% of people will never scroll past the first page associated with Google results.

You need to control what customers find on that very first page. But how do you do it? The answer is with a strong SEO marketing strategy — a comprehensive method of improving search rankings and managing which content ranks best.

As it relates to managing your online reputation, your own SEO marketing strategy should focus on ranking controllable web pages (like those from your own website plus blog) for brand-related inquiries. When you do, you push harmful content down in the search positions (where barely anyone views it) and move good content to the first page.

There are many moving parts involved. The graphic below sums them up well:

7 steps to a strong SEO marketing strategy.

Image Source: Mangools. com

Let’s quickly think about each in further details:

Keyword analysis

Find the concerns your customers are performing associated with your brand. You can do this making use of Google autocomplete (type within your brand name and see what shows up after it) or Search engines Analytics Queries report. You may also enter your brand name into SEMRush’s easy-to-use Keyword Miracle Tool to get a list of best queries related to your brand name.

Identify subjects

Choose topic clusters that determine which usually high-level topics you’ll cover in your SEO strategy as well as the keywords you’ll target to rank on page one of the Google results pages.

Publish great content

This one’s the main element. Create thought leadership content and publish it regularly to increase your brand expert in important areas. Also create valuable content around customer reviews (highlight all of them on your website, create a devoted testimonials page, etc . ). Finally, claim and improve third-party sites that typically rank on Google’s first page (like Yelp and Google My Business).

Optimize on-page SEO

Execute established on-page SEO tactics such as keyword usage, metadata, pictures, and other technical SEO parts to optimize rankings for every individual web page on your web site.

Get quality backlinks

Backlinks from highly reputable websites increase your brand authority and make you appear trustworthy to online audiences. Link building is a bit of a long game — you have to create high value articles over time in order to earn inbound links. Once you start, however , your own link building strategy will create momentum and your backlinks can make a clear impact.

Track your progress

How will you measure your success? Two of the most essential metrics to use for your SEARCH ENGINE OPTIMIZATION strategy are rankings and organic traffic. Both are usually clear indicators of regardless of whether your content efforts are profitable. Managing the online reputation of your business requires you to go a bit beyond those numbers, as well, and pay attention to the story being taught about your brand.

It’s a good idea to set aside regular, dedicated time to measure the progress of your SEO strategy and make adjustments as needed.

Up-date regularly

Your own SEO strategy is a continual effort. Don’t let your content get outdated. Doing so can cause your online reputation to suffer. Update your content regularly to be certain that brand and item information is accurate. Format your efforts with current styles in your industry and in the particular marketing world. Know how Google’s ranking elements change (they often do) and adapt accordingly. Refresh your best content to keep it relevant and high-performing.

Updating your own strategy and your content is among the simplest parts of your SEARCH ENGINE OPTIMIZATION strategy and makes a large impact on its success.

Market like a PR firm

Thinking with a public relations mindset can help you control your online reputation beyond the content you create yourself. Advertising like a PR firm generally means generating positive press and user-created content that contributes to your reputation. It also means responding to poor evaluations to minimize their impact.

Generate positive press

Some methods to build positive press for your brand include:

  • Guest posting on quality websites
  • Publishing press releases about important events and announcements
  • Co-marketing with reliable brands
  • Producing company leaders visible by means of interviews, event appearances, podcasting appearances and the like
  • Making a positive social influence through charitable partnerships
  • Quickly and truly addressing mistakes

Optimize user-created content material

There are 2 main ways to encourage user-generated content that contributes to the internet reputation of your business:

  • Customer reviews plus testimonials
  • Creating shareable content

Reviews are 2nd only to actual product high quality when it comes to reasons consumers trust your brand.

Reviews are one of the top builders of brand trust, second only to product quality.

Image Source: MartketingCharts. com

Should you be not already encouraging your customers to review your brand, it’s time to start. You can provide incentives to motivate all of them (like a discount or free giveaway). Make reviews that are positive visible by linking all of them on your website or putting them directly on product pages.

Second, associated with content you create highly shareable to build brand advocacy. People love to share content online. When you get your involved audience to share yours, you’re not only impacting your online status but boosting your brand visibility. Make your content a lot more shareable with easy steps such as including social media buttons on your own blog and sharing blog posts on your social media pages.

Respond to bad evaluations

It’s easy to understand a bad review or undesirable press and want to ignore it, hoping it will lose its impact as time passes. But it’s also a bad idea. To be honest, every business experiences a minimum of the occasional bad review. Prospective customers actually look for your worst reviews to decide if they bring about a change of direction or even if they’re forgivable accidents.

Always react to bad reviews as quickly as possible, and do it in a genuine, solution-oriented way. What I mean is: don’t just say I’m apologies and call it good enough. Listen to the feedback, thank your own reviewer (when it makes sense), and offer a solution that can actually rectify their issue and turn into their negative customer experience into a positive one.

When customers note that you do, it builds their trust and boosts the on the web reputation of your business.

Over to You

Taking charge of your brand’s on the internet reputation requires publishing regular, consistent, high-value content. The team of writers and SEO experts can provide you optimized, ready-to-publish content every week so that you can focus on managing the larger story.

Check out our SEO Blog Writing Services or timetable a quick consultation with me to learn more.

The post How to Take Control of Your Business’s Online Reputation appeared first on Marketing Insider Group .

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