Online Reputation Management: What It Is and Why It Should Be Your Biggest Priority
Owners of small businesses know that building a company is difficult. From building websites and creating content to developing products and connecting with consumers, you pour your heart and soul into your business, so, of course, you don’t want it to go down the drain because of a negative online reputation. Unfortunately, this is exactly what happens to many companies.
Things seem to be going well until, one day, they aren’t. The calls stop coming in, the customers vanish, and business owners wonder what happened to their thriving company. As it stands now, 88% of customers trust online reviews as much as they trust personal recommendations from friends, so if your business’s online reviews aren’t looking so hot, it’s possible that you’re already losing business over it. Luckily, there’s a way out.
With online reputation management, you can be sure that your company continues to get the business it deserves, without the hassle of personally shifting through online review sites and social media. Here’s what you need to know about online reputation management and how it can help you.
What is Online Reputation Management?
Online reputation management, also known as ORM, is a group of services designed to help companies improve or reclaim their good name. This is done by harvesting positive reviews and diluting or altogether removing negative online material. While ORM is commonly used by business owners who have just purchased a company and want to restore its reputation, ORM services can be helpful to any business owner at any stage of growth and development.
Why Does Online Reputation Management Matter?
Today, when consumers want to learn about a company, the first place they go is Google. This means that your online reputation is arguably the single most important first impression you can make, and if it’s riddled with old, negative, or outdated reviews and information, you’re going to miss out on business that your company deserves. Without a great online reputation, other marketing efforts such as search engine optimization (SEO), pay-per-click (PPC) advertising, social media accounts, and even direct mail material are all but obsolete.
In light of this, improving and maintaining your online reputation is one of the most important things your company can do to ensure ongoing business. In addition to helping customers feel confident in their decisions to purchase from your business, a positive online reputation also enhances the likelihood that clients will spread the word about your company to their families and friends.
What Online Reputation Management Can Offer Your Company
While most business owners believe that online reputation management only dilutes any negative reviews that may be present on the Internet, the reality is that these services offer much, much more. Consider the following areas in which ORM can help you strengthen your business:
Some businesses have thirty reviews on Yelp and nothing anywhere else on the internet. While this may seem sufficient, these types of consolidated review presences can make it more difficult for customers to find your company. One of the main perks of ORM is that it can help you diversify your online review presence by harvesting reviews on various third-party sites, as well as social media platforms and your website. This can contribute to making your business more visible and encourage consumer trust in your products, goods, and services.
ORM isn’t about pumping out fabricated reviews to make your company look bright and shiny online. In addition to being unethical, this approach is discouraged in the world of SEO and can result in severe Google penalties and decreased web visibility. Instead, ORM seeks to harvest authentic, positive reviews written by real people. These reviews help make your business more visible and can improve your online standing.
Five-year-old reviews are of little use to anyone, even if they are great reviews. Today’s customers are more likely to choose businesses that feature of positive, recent reviews and ORM services can help you achieve this. When your company succeeds in building a stream of consistent, glowing reviews, it stands out above the competition and becomes more in-demand with consumers.
Again, consumers choose companies based upon their online reviews. While there are dozens of companies online who have no reviews or only a single, five-star review to their name, it’s ultimately the company with the most positive reviews that will win out. Because of this, it’s important to build a track record of quality, reliability, and appreciation in your reviews.
Would-be customers appreciate detailed, accurate reviews that help them make purchasing decisions and ORM can help you garner these. When your company has a demonstrated history of quality, specific online reviews, it will receive an SEO boost and become immediately more visible and in-demand to curious consumers.
The Case for ORM
For any business trying to build a reputation and get found online, ORM is a hugely critical factor. In addition to helping inspire consumer confidence in a company, ORM can also help your business boost other marketing tactics like SEO, PPC, social media, and even email marketing. Since customer reviews feature prominently in each of these marketing tactics, ORM can help you boost the effectiveness of other marketing approaches quickly and easily.
The fact of the matter is that your customers are talking about you and ensuring that what they’re saying is positive and relevant can be a huge factor in building a successful business. While ORM isn’t the complete solution to online visibility and customer trust, it is one of the most critical building blocks for companies of all sizes and specialties.
To learn more about ORM or to find out how online reputation management services can enhance your company’s success, contact Ruby Moon Consulting today!