Small Business Benefits Of Online Reputation Repair
Have you considered how your small business’ image appears to the worldwide web? Read on to consider the benefits of online reputation repair.
Creating a website for your small business is one of the best marketing strategies you can take on.
But, you can’t just hire a web designer and expect a website to do all the work on its own.
You need to constantly update and optimize your landing pages for the best results. This means creating new content, using keyword and link strategies, and making sure your load times are up to speed.
It also means investing in online reputation repair.
Your online reputation starts with your website, but also includes social media and other outlets.
It’s the first impression many digital users will have of you.
Here’s a closer look at the ins and outs of online reputation repair and why your small business needs to invest in it now.
How Online Reputation Repair Works
Do you know what consumers are thinking when your brand comes to mind?
You hope it’s good things. You assume you’ve made every effort – from digital marketing to product offerings to customer service – to ensure it’s good things.
But, the only way to know for sure is to hire reputation management services.
This is a group of professionals who will deep-dive into your online presence.
They will search through customer feedback forms and forum conversations. They will read industry blogs and social media posts where your brand comes up.
Such research will create a better understanding of where you really stand with customers, and how you can improve.
The following are some common strategies used in online reputation repair.
Monitoring Digital Conversations
Digital conversations are the first clue reputation management teams use to get a strong comprehension of what online users are thinking.
Conversations are anything where your business’s name gets brought up.
Your reputation shows in your internal feedback forms and on social media reviews. It is on third-party services (like Yelp, TripAdvisor, etc) and mentioned in various blog posts.
You may not think you get brought up much as a small business.
But, you’d be surprised – and hopefully pleasantly surprised.
If the results are negative, there is much work to do to turn things around.
Luckily, online reputation repair services often have tools to track the name of your business.
Every time you get mentioned somewhere online, your reputation team is notified and ready to act.
Responding to Reviews
One way to act on a review is to directly respond.
This gives you instant access to mend a bad experience.
It could be offering a coupon or free meal to someone who wrote a negative review about your restaurant. Another response could be asking for direct contact information to set up a call or send a replacement product, depending on your industry.
Responses aren’t only for bad reviews, though!
It’s in your best interest to thank the good reviews as well.
This helps maintain a positive customer experience with the person who took the time to write about how much they love your small business. It also is a sign of good faith for other customers who will later see this interaction.
Building Strong Relationships
At the end of the day, online reputation repair is all about the relationship you want to have with the customers of your small business.
It helps establish you as a company of authority and high quality.
The better your reputation, the more new and existing customers will trust you.
The top reputation repair teams know this. They go above and beyond to generate more positive reviews, drive traffic, and increase the overall online customer experience your small business offers.
Such efforts go beyond fixing a bad review.
Below are all the benefits online reputation repair can offer your small business.
1. Strengthen Your Brand
A brand is everything a person thinks of when they hear your business name.
It is part tangible – like the food you serve or products you sell or service you provide.
It is also part emotional – as in the feelings associated with your small business. The emotional describes you as “fun”, “romantic”, “hipster”, or maybe just, “so-so.”
As such, your brand goes hand in hand with your online reputation.
Branding is also dependant on your logo, your print advertising, your customer service quality, and other business aspects.
But, all of these come together to create a consumer perception. In a digital age, many users will take to the internet to share what they think.
If it’s good, great.
If it’s not so good, you need online reputation repair to nip such experiences in the bud. When you make the effort to fix negative experiences, you create an opportunity to regain the trust that has been lost with a customer.
More so, you keep this negativity from spreading.
This helps maintain a strong brand image with your audience as a whole.
2. Expand Your Reach
The better your brand, the further you’ll go.
To clarify, branding isn’t everything when it comes to digital marketing.
It does play a big role, though.
When you have a strong reputation with users, they are bought in. They love your brand and want to keep interacting with you.
Those who are particularly loyal will share your brand with others.
They will tag friends and family in your social media posts. They will mention and share your brand on their own social media posts. They will tell people to sign up for your emails and newsletters.
Some users will even go as far to bring more of their connections into your small business. This takes the power of online reputation repair from numbers on the screen to people in your establishment.
It’s a powerful result you need to take advantage of.
3. Improve Online Search Performance
As great as it is to boost the excitement of current users, you should focus on connecting with potential consumers, too.
Thankfully, there are ways to use online reputation repair as an SEO strategy.
This means you can build your brand image and small business search rank at the same time!
How does this work?
With strategies such as:
Local Search Opportunities
Local SEO is all about reaching the consumers closest to you.
It relies on things like NAP information, mobile responsiveness, and targeted keywords. But, what some small business owners don’t realize, is these tools affect your reputation, too.
NAP stands for name, address, and phone number.
If you don’t have consistent contact information, your reputation could suffer. You’re making it confusing for users to reach you and making it easier for competitors to gain leverage.
Mobile responsiveness is a focus on creating a seamless digital experience from a desktop to a smartphone or tablet. Users want to be able to navigate your website well from any device. In local search, much of this has to do with loading time.
If your website is taking too long to load, you could be driving users away. This is another negative hit on your online reputation.
Lastly, use the right keywords!
Include copy like “near me” and “nearby” in your web strategy. Talk about the city boroughs or small town you’re located in as well.
Don’t kill these keywords, though. If you write for bots instead of humans, you will have yet another online reputation issue on your hands.
A Testimonials Page
There’s local SEO, then there’s traditional SEO.
Once you’ve gotten the close-by search strategies taken care of, work on your online reputation as a whole.
A testimonials page can help.
This is where you can show off the best parts of your reputation. Testimonials are real-life experiences customers have had in your small business. They are written from the eyes of the consumer, for consumers.
But, they boost your search strategy, too.
A testimonials page is yet another opportunity to incorporate keywords into your web strategy.
It’s a place to put high-resolution, well-named images. It is also a chance to use link building as a way to lead users to other areas of your website.
Blogging and News Updates
Speaking of link building, don’t forget to drop a link if your small business is mentioned in a blog.
Also, make sure a link is used in any news stories a local station or magazine does on your small business.
Blog mentions and press are a sign you’re doing something right.
This means you’ve gotten people’s attention, so much so that they want to share you with others on a large platform. These help your online reputation significantly.
If you haven’t been featured in anything yet, see if you can write a guest blog somewhere.
Guest blogging allows you to share your expertise with a new audience.
It’s a way to introduce your small business and build trust. From there, a link can lead users back to your website for them to create their own perception of your reputation.
4. Boost Traffic and Sales Numbers
Whether you’re responding to reviews, creating new landing pages, or sending out an email update, your online reputation is on the line.
When you do all of these tactics well, your reputation benefits.
A small business with a strong online reputation usually also has a high-performing search strategy. This search strategy increases your traffic. The higher your traffic, the more likely you are to make conversions.
It all works together to create a powerful customer experience.
More Small Business Branding Opportunities
Looking for other ways to get more people in the door of your small business?
Once you’ve got your online reputation and search strategies under control, try your hand at grassroots marketing. This can further improve your brand image and much more.
Click here for five budget-friendly grassroots strategies to consider using.