Online reputation is the sum of what people think and say about your brand on the internet. It can make or break your business, especially in today’s digital world where consumers rely on reviews, ratings, and social media to make purchasing decisions.
According to a survey by BrightLocal, 87% of consumers read online reviews for local businesses in 2020, up from 81% in 2019. Moreover, 73% of consumers only pay attention to reviews written in the last month, and 48% of consumers need at least a four-star rating before they choose to use a business.
These statistics show that if you want to know how to build a strong online reputation and manage your online reviews, you need to pay attention to what your customers are saying about you online. But how do you do that?
In this blog post, we’ll share with you seven easy steps to improve your online reputation and get more positive reviews from your customers. Whether you’re a small business owner, a marketer, or a service provider, these tips will help you boost your credibility, visibility, and trustworthiness online.
Step 1: Claim and optimize your online profiles
The first step to building a strong online reputation is to claim and optimize your online profiles on various platforms, such as Google My Business (GMB), Yelp, TripAdvisor, Facebook, and other niche or industry-specific sites.
Claiming your profiles allows you to control the information that appears about your business online, such as your name, address, phone number, website, hours of operation, photos, and more. It also enables you to respond to reviews, update your customers on news and offers, and monitor your performance.
Optimizing your profiles means providing accurate, complete, and consistent information across all platforms, using relevant keywords and categories, adding high-quality images and videos, and encouraging customer feedback. This will help you rank higher in search results, attract more traffic, and increase conversions.
Step 2: Monitor your online reputation regularly
The second step to building a strong online reputation is to monitor what people are saying about your brand online. You can use tools like Google Alerts, Brand24, or Sprout Social to track mentions of your business name, products, services, competitors, and industry trends across the web.
Monitoring your online reputation helps you understand how your customers perceive your brand, what they like and dislike about your offerings, what their pain points and expectations are, and how you can improve your customer experience. It also helps you identify and address any negative feedback or complaints before they escalate into a crisis.
Step 3: Respond to every review promptly and professionally
The third step to building a strong online reputation is to respond to every review you receive online promptly and professionally. Whether the review is positive or negative, you should always acknowledge it and thank the customer for their feedback. This shows that you care about their opinion and value their loyalty.
If the review is positive, you can express your gratitude, highlight the benefits of your product or service, invite the customer to try something else or refer a friend, or offer a discount or incentive for their next purchase. This will help you build rapport with your customers, increase retention rates, and generate word-of-mouth referrals.
If the review is negative, you should apologize for any inconvenience or dissatisfaction caused by your product or service, empathize with the customer’s situation, and explain what went wrong and how you’re going to fix it or prevent it from happening again. You should also offer a solution or compensation that matches the severity of the issue. This will help you resolve the problem quickly and effectively, restore trust with the customer, and demonstrate your commitment to quality and service.
Step 4: Ask for more reviews from happy customers
The fourth step to building a strong online reputation is to ask for more reviews from happy customers. Reviews are one of the most powerful forms of social proof that can influence consumer behavior. According to BrightLocal, 79% of consumers trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations from friends or family.
However, most customers won’t leave a review unless they’re asked to do so. That’s why you need to proactively request feedback from your satisfied customers at different touchpoints of their journey with your brand. You can use various methods to ask for reviews, such as email campaigns, SMS messages, QR codes, pop-ups, social media posts, or incentives.
When asking for reviews, make sure you:
- Ask at the right time: Ideally when the customer has just completed a purchase or received a service from you.
- Ask politely: Use friendly and courteous language that expresses appreciation for their business.
- Ask specifically: Tell them what kind of feedback you’re looking for and how it will help you improve your offerings.
- Ask simply: Make it easy for them to leave a review by providing a direct link to your profile or a rating scale.
- Ask ethically: Don’t offer any rewards or incentives that could influence the honesty or quality of their review.
Step 5: Showcase your positive reviews on your website and social media
The fifth step to building a strong online reputation is to showcase your positive reviews on your website and social media. This will help you leverage the power of social proof to attract more visitors, leads, and customers to your business.
You can use tools like Trustpilot, Yotpo, or Bazaarvoice to collect and display reviews on your website. You can also embed reviews from platforms like Google, Facebook, or Yelp on your site using widgets or plugins. You can also create testimonials, case studies, or success stories from your best reviews and feature them on your homepage, landing pages, or blog posts.
You can also share your positive reviews on your social media channels, such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or LinkedIn. You can use tools like Buffer, Hootsuite, or Sprout Social to schedule and post your reviews. You can also create graphics, videos, or stories from your reviews and tag the customers who wrote them. This will help you increase your reach, engagement, and conversions on social media.
Step 6: Create and share valuable content with your audience
The sixth step to building a strong online reputation is to create and share valuable content with your audience. Content is the fuel that drives your online reputation. It helps you establish your authority, credibility, and trustworthiness in your industry. It also helps you educate, inform, entertain, and inspire your potential and existing customers.
You can create various types of content for your online reputation, such as blog posts, ebooks, white papers, infographics, videos, podcasts, webinars, or newsletters. You can also curate content from other sources that are relevant and useful for your audience.
When creating and sharing content for your online reputation, make sure you:
- Focus on quality over quantity: Produce high-quality content that is original, engaging, and informative.
- Optimize for SEO: Use keywords, titles, headings, meta tags, and links that will help you rank higher in search results.
- Align with your brand voice: Use a consistent tone, style, and personality that reflects your brand identity and values.
- Provide value: Solve a problem, answer a question, or offer a benefit for your audience.
- Include a call to action: Encourage your audience to take the next step in their journey with your brand.
Step 7: Engage with your community online
The seventh and final step to building a strong online reputation is to engage with your community online. Engagement is the key to building relationships with your customers and prospects. It also helps you increase brand awareness, loyalty, and advocacy.
You can engage with your community online in various ways, such as:
- Joining relevant groups or forums where your target audience hangs out
- Participating in discussions or debates related to your industry or niche
- Answering questions or providing advice on platforms like Quora or Reddit
- Hosting or joining live events like Q&A sessions, AMA sessions, or interviews
- Creating or joining challenges, contests, or giveaways
- Sharing user-generated content or customer stories
- Responding to comments or messages on your website or social media
- Asking for feedback or suggestions from your customers
When engaging with your community online, make sure you:
- Be authentic: Be yourself and show your personality
- Be respectful: Be polite and courteous to everyone
- Be helpful: Be generous and supportive to others
- Be transparent: Be honest and open about your brand
- Be consistent: Be active and regular in your interactions
Building a strong online reputation and managing your online reviews is not a one-time thing. It’s an ongoing process that requires constant attention and effort. But it’s worth it.
By following these seven steps, you’ll be able to improve your online reputation and get more positive reviews from your customers. This will help you grow your business and achieve success in the long run.
If you need help with building a strong online reputation and managing your online reviews, Jordan Digitals is here for you. We are a digital marketing growth partner that offers tailored marketing services for small businesses. Our services include website and mobile app design, PPC ad management, SEO, lead generation, email marketing, and more.
We can help you create and optimize your online profiles, monitor and respond to reviews, generate more feedback from happy customers, showcase your positive reviews on your website and social media, create and share valuable content with your audience, and engage with your community online.
We have the experience, expertise, and tools to help you build a strong online reputation and manage your online reviews effectively. We’ll work with you to understand your goals, challenges, and opportunities, and create a customized strategy that suits your needs and budget.
Contact us today for a free consultation and quote. We’ll be happy to help you grow your business online.
Q: What is online reputation?
A: Online reputation is the sum of what people think and say about your brand on the internet. It can be influenced by various factors, such as reviews, ratings, social media, blogs, news, forums, and more.
Q: Why is online reputation important?
A: Online reputation is important because it affects how consumers perceive your brand, how they trust your products or services, and how they choose to do business with you. A positive online reputation can help you attract more customers, increase sales, and grow your business. A negative online reputation can harm your brand image, damage your credibility, and lose you customers.
Q: How can I improve my online reputation?
A: You can improve your online reputation by following these seven steps:
- Claim and optimize your online profiles
- Monitor your online reputation regularly
- Respond to every review promptly and professionally
- Ask for more reviews from happy customers
- Showcase your positive reviews on your website and social media
- Create and share valuable content with your audience
- Engage with your community online
Q: How can I get more positive reviews from my customers?
A: You can get more positive reviews from your customers by:
- Providing excellent products or services that meet or exceed their expectations
- Asking for feedback at the right time, politely, specifically, simply, and ethically
- Making it easy for them to leave a review by providing a direct link or a rating scale
- Offering incentives or rewards for leaving a review (optional)
- Thanking them for their feedback and showing appreciation
Q: How can I deal with negative reviews from my customers?
A: You can deal with negative reviews from your customers by:
- Apologizing for any inconvenience or dissatisfaction caused by your product or service
- Empathizing with their situation and acknowledging their feelings
- Explaining what went wrong and how you’re going to fix it or prevent it from happening again
- Offering a solution or compensation that matches the severity of the issue
- Following up with them until the issue is resolved