The importance of your online reputation
Review websites and social media have changed the way people make decisions. 85% of customers use the Internet to research before making a purchase. While most people trust peer recommendations more than advertisements, it has become very important to take care of a company’s online image and reviews which are left by the customers. Especially when they have serious revenue implications.
“It takes 20 years to build a reputation and five minutes to ruin it” – Warren Buffet
What is online reputation management?
Online reputation is your brand’s image on the Internet, based on the information that can be found about your business online. It’s your biggest asset. The purpose of online reputation management is to control the users’ perception of your brand in online media, increase the visibility, generate positive content and diminish negative opinion. Online reputation management helps build trust and gain new customers.
What impact is there on service-based businesses?
Restaurant business research has shown that a one-star increase in rating leads to up to a 9% increase in revenue. The same effect is observed in the hotel industry; according to the study, a rating increase of one star results in 25% higher demand and 9% higher prices.
What are the most important factors influencing online reputation?
The consumers’ buying process became more complicated as they make more informed choices. Whether or not your business appears on search engines, review websites and social media can be a real deal-breaker. Online reviews are important too. TripAdvisor says that 54% of the people surveyed will not book a hotel that doesn’t have any online reviews.
Recent research conducted by Local SEO Guide showed that online reviews are the most prominent factor which drives your ranking in local search. The study looked at 200+ factors over 100,000 local businesses in order to find similarities between businesses that are ranking well in Google’s local pack. Among the factors that were taken into consideration were the number of Google reviews, photos, keyword density, average review rating, etc.
Online reviews are hard to spam and abuse, and considered by Google as a trusted factor to rank businesses. It’s not only the number of reviews on Google My Business page that has a positive correlation with pack performance, but especially what is said in those reviews. It was found that businesses with reviews that mention a keyword and/or the name of a city have higher rankings in Google’s local pack.
Another important finding of the study is that if a business ranks well in organic search, it also has a good ranking in Google’s local pack. So, in order to achieve good pack performance, which has a big impact on your online reputation, we suggest two measures:
- Make sure that you have an optimized website with a high-quality link profile and a high ranking in organic search.
- Leverage your online reviews and work on getting keywords and cities in reviews. Responding to online reviews is highly beneficial too.
Online reputation management is crucial for businesses in today’s competitive marketplace. Implement the measures mentioned above in your reputation management strategy to achieve success.