"It takes 20 years to build a reputation and five minutes to ruin it. If you think about that, you'll do things differently." – Warren Buffet
In a competitive market, owning your company’s online reputation can be challenging and time-consuming. Between Facebook, X, Glassdoor, Indeed, Google, Yelp, and many other online sites, it's easy for a few unhappy customers (and motivated competitors) to ruin your reputation with a couple of well-placed, well-worded negative reviews. Why should you care?
97% of people start their search for local businesses online.
More than half of those people will only use a business if the local review average is 4-stars or higher.
You have one chance online to earn trust and secure customers. Business listings with few or negative reviews or incorrect and incomplete information get skipped over. Don't let that happen to you.
Brands that build a positive online reputation get rewarded with more Search Engine visibility and more calls from qualified customers.
Start Building Your Online Reputation by Creating a Google Business Profile
The Good News:Creating a Google Business Profile is free, quick, and easy. Google has autogenerated one for many local businesses based on business information posted on other directory sites. All you need to do is claim it and update it. A fully optimized Google Business Profile is essential to building reviews, earning Google Maps placement, and reaching the top of search results.
The Bad News: The bad news only happens if your business listing has negative reviews posted to it or if your business was claimed by someone other than you. Either way, you have some work to do. It's not usually hard, just time-consuming. It's more important than ever to take control of your online presence and have a plan for reputation management.
Customers research what they need before deciding on a business – this means they will likely look at your business’s reviews and online reputation. Considering that 92% of people hesitate to do business with companies with less than four out of five stars, your reviews are worth your attention. 74% of consumers credit positive reviews with making them trust a local business more. 84% of consumers trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations. Even if you offer a top-notch product or service, your business may suffer if your brand has a negative online reputation.
Google rewards the most popular and prominent companies within their market areas. Your business should be among the most talked about, patronized, and recommended on the internet to get the highly coveted page one placement. If you are ranking in the three map listings on the homepage of Google and you have 20 five-star reviews while the other businesses have two four-star reviews, you can bet that your business will be getting the call. Alternatively, Google may banish your website into the abyss if you maintain a negative online reputation.
Managing your reputation with positive feedback and a solid SEO campaign has a higher chance of getting a page-one placement. One of the reasons many business owners hire professional marketers is the need to address customer reviews. Managing ratings and reviews proactively and answering the negative and positive reviews is imperative to rank in search results.
A Solid Foundation
Focusing on your customers and getting positive reviews creates the solid foundation your business needs to absorb the impact of the few negative reviews all businesses are bound to receive. It takes roughly five to seven 5-star reviews to undo the damage of a one-star review. Having a cushion of four and five-star reviews and responding to all reviews will earn you more trust and help keep your reputation intact.
How to fix an imperfect online reputation
Now that you know how important online reputation is for your business, what can you do about it? Here are two simple ways to stay ahead of your online reputation:
Set up a Google Alert:Get notifications sent to your email whenever your business name is mentioned online. Google alerts take only minutes to set up.
Monitor Social Media: Be sure to monitor your social media accounts continuously as well as review sites.
Respond to Reviews (Negative and Positive):As the admin for your Google Business Profile, you'll get notifications sent to your email whenever someone leaves a review. Be sure to respond professionally and promptly to both positive and negative reviews.
High Level Marketing Makes it Easy to Manage Your Online Reputation!
Service providers that partner with High Level Marketing for website design and SEO rest easy with one-click access to their online reputation, page rankings, lead generation, and campaign results with our easy to useFootprintTM Performance Dashboard. We connect to multiple top sources like GA4 and Google Business Profile for a complete snapshot of your online performance.
About High Level Marketing
At High Level Marketing, the primary goal behind everything we do is educating and empowering small business owners like you to understand your options in an effort to make the best marketing decisions that will help grow your business. We develop effective digital marketing campaigns that drive traffic and convert leads. Stop losing leads to your competitors.