How to Manage Your Business's Online Reputation
When customers start looking for products or services they need, they turn to the internet first. If your business can easily be found online, then this provides you with a significant advantage. However, it's not enough to just be found online. You need to make sure your brand is being portrayed in a positive, favorable, and accurate way. Bad information and negative reviews can be incredibly hurtful. In fact, those things may be as bad as not being able to be found online at all!
Many things can affect your business's online reputation. Here are some easy ways you can manage it:
Google Your Business and Yourself
If you want to know what information is already out there about you and your business, search Google. Find out exactly what your customers are seeing. When you have a good idea of what kind of information comes up when people search for you online, it'll help you figure out how you can improve your online presence.
You can also search for your business name under Google's Images tab to see what comes up. Pictures included in negative reviews can quickly turn people away, like ones of poor product construction or a hair in your soup. Take a look at some of these ways you can improve and manage your online reputation.
Respond to Reviews
You'll probably end up with a bad review eventually, and your unhappy customers tend to be the loudest. The best way to handle this is to respond to these dissatisfied customers to provide context to the situation. Not only does it help alleviate the fears potential customers might have, but it also shows you're trying to better your business.
Claim Your Business Listings
Oftentimes list providers, like Yelp, will generate a business listing for you, but they can be filled with incorrect information.
You can edit these listings by claiming them as your own. This ensures that potential customers get the right information about your business.
- What is a Google My Business Listing and How Can it Help My Small Business?
- Where to List Your Business Online
Set up Google Alerts
Check out Google Alerts to set custom alerts to instantly notify you when someone mentions your business online.
Your website's metadata provides information to Google, telling visitors what your site is all about. This is why it's crucial to fill your metadata with keywords and phrases related to your business.
Example: I searched for "fishing charter Delacroix, LA," and Google looked through websites that were relevant to my search and pulled up this listing.
Take a moment to notice the words in the listing that are bolded. Those words are from the search we just performed to find this listing.
Plan What You Want Your Listing to Say
More often than not, people will only glance at your listing, so you don't have much time to capture their attention. Carefully plan out what you want your search result to say.
Follow Character Guidelines
It's critical to follow the guidelines on the number of characters you can put into your listing. If you go over, your text will be cut off, but if you don't utilize all of the space, you'll end up wasting it! Try to create a complete picture of your business for your audience with the right amount of characters.
Keywords are words typed into search engines to find your business. Take a moment to think about what people are looking for when searching for your type of business. Incorporate these words and phrases into your metadata. You want to make sure you're optimizing your website for your target audience.
What Are People Saying About Your Business?
Potential customers tend to turn to company reviews before doing business with a new company, so what people are saying about you really does matter!
Bed reviews and incorrect business information can put off potential customers, who will skip over your listing and look at your competitors to fulfill their needs. It's essential to know what people are saying about your business. By monitoring these results, you can help keep the conversation about your business favorable.
Always make sure you are honest and transparent with your customers. Savvy online shoppers almost always recognize phony responses right from the get-go. Just be yourself. Your responses should be positive and include your personality!
Encourage Discussions About Your Business
One of the worst scenarios is your business not even being talked about at all. Get some publicity for your business by joining community boards. Making sure your business can be found everywhere online increases your chances of bringing in new customers. However, it's important not to force it. Boost your presence organically by building it authentically over time.
Ask Customers for Reviews
It's okay to ask your happy customers for reviews, as they likely relied on reviews to find other products. If you've provided these people with excellent service, they'll most likely be happy to leave a glowing review for you. Ensure you give them an easy way to get to the review, such as providing a direct link to your Google business listing.
Respond to Reviews
Try your best to respond to reviews, both good and bad! People that leave positive reviews for your business are taking valuable time out of their day to do it. Write a quick "thank you" message to show them you appreciate their kind words and also that you are present and active in engaging with your customers. It's also just as essential to respond to negative reviews. Everyone is bound to get an unhappy customer every once in a while. Still, if you can respond and provide context to the situation and even work towards a solution, online viewers will take notice of your efforts.
It doesn't have to be hard to boost your business's online presence. By following the tips above, you can easily increase your brand's presence and reputation. If you need help in any of these areas, feel free to reach out to us at AnoLogix!
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