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The Importance of Online Reviews and Reputation

Establishing and maintaining a positive brand online is built upon three pillars: Reach, Reputation and Reviews. Expanding your reach ensures more of the people you want to find you will. Once consumers have been made aware of your products and services, having a positive online reputation ensures you are positioned to be the top choice for the consumer. And customer feedback in the form of star ratings and reviews are a quick visual and word-of-mouth representation of your business as customers now rely more heavily on cues such as online reputation and the real customer experiences to make informed buying decisions.

If you aren’t managing your business listings while monitoring and managing what is being said about your brand online, you are at great risk of suffering the negative effects of a bad online reputation. Lack of exposure, negative reviews, and conflicting or old business name, address and phone number (NAP) information online are factors hurting your business. Take control of your online reputation and grow your business by actively managing your reach, reputation and reviews.

The 3 Pillars of Establishing and Maintaining a Positive Online Reputation

REACH

An industry leader, Yext specializes in streamlining the tedious management of the business listings needed for better local SEO and builds citations with a consistent NAP to optimize your business for local search with big names like Yelp, MapQuest and Yahoo. This allows you to maintain consistent citations with little hands-on effort while you enjoy the competitive edge of ranking higher for local keywords. This works because once search engines start to recognize your NAP as a consistent presence across multiple sites they boost your local rankings and start displaying you higher in local search results.

 

REPUTATION

As we move further into the internet of things businesses have less and less, if any, contact points with the customer before a buying decision is made. When 82% of online searchers follow up via an in-store visit it is clear that consumer are using the internet to vet local businesses before making purchasing decisions.  A company lacking an enticing web presence is at risk of losing business to well positioned competitors who manage their online reputations.

Building a positive online reputation may sound like a lot of work, but every business should look at concentrating on just a few impactful activities to start.

  • Claim and manage your business listings, as well as profiles on review sites and social media
  • Create a positive and multi-layered web presence and monitor your online reputation
  • Collect positive reviews, get them posted to high traffic sites and monitor customer feedback
  • Build and maintain a mobile optimized website

Reputation management and review marketing services like Reputation Loop enable you to automate the crucial customer reviews factor by automatically collecting your customers’ feedback, and intelligently routing positive reviews to review sites or negative reviews back to the business for handling. Additionally you get the features like social sharing, company branded feedback pages and feedback streaming which helps you build that multi-layered online presence you need to promote a positive online reputation.

REVIEWS

Today’s tech-savvy consumers are spending more and more time researching online before making spending decisions and overwhelmingly they are relying on the word of real-life customers in the form of online reviews, testimonials and social media commentary to form an opinion about your business.

The need for positive reviews has become a business must-have and companies must now manage how they are perceived online if they want to stay competitive. According to Cone Inc., 87% of consumers said a favorable review has confirmed their decision to go through with a purchase. When dealing with your entire customer base, trying to gather positive reviews can seem time consuming if not flat out overwhelming, but you just need to find ways to automate the feedback and review process as much as possible. Using a service like Reputation Loop makes this process easy, giving you an almost hands-free tool that gathers the reviews, gets them posted online, and promotes them on your social media accounts.

According to a 2014 survey from BrightLocal, 85% of consumers read up to 10 reviews, which is down from 92% the previous year, but that is because of an increase in the number of people who read 20+ reviews, which is 7% and up from 2% the previous year. When a majority of consumers are relying on online reviews, a business must monitor their digital presence and learn to manage their reviews and reputation to beat out competitors.

Jeff Schwerdt is a Co-Founder of Reputation Loop, which is a Reputation Marketing platform designed for local businesses to help them grow their 5-Star reputation and get feedback from their existing customers. Their platform is a safe and simple way to build a 5 star reputation on autopilot, without ever having to worry about negative reviews being posted online. You are also able to monitor other review site from around the web in one convenient online dashboard. Reputation Loop is headquartered in Phoenix.