Why is your online reputation important? The advent of the internet age has made it extremely easy to find almost any information at the push of a button. A whole industry has been built on providing consumers with access to detailed reviews and ratings of everything from restaurants to physicians which has dramatically changed the dynamic between consumer and business. That’s why it’s no overstatement to say that your online reputation is one of the most single most important aspects of your business.
Consumers Do Business With Companies They Trust
Why is your online reputation important? It’s no secret that consumers do business with companies or individuals which they trust to provide reliable services and products. In the past, word of mouth and personal recommendations were a major factor in influencing consumers. In essence this hasn’t changed except that now consumers are going online to access more opinions than they were ever able to before. Just look at these incredible statistics:
- According to a survey by Nielsen, 82% of consumers go to internet sites which offer reviews because they are ready to make a purchase with 89% saying that they are planning to purchase within a week or less. 10% were planning on making a purchase that same day.
- Market Land states that 90% of the consumers they polled stated that positive reviews influenced their purchase decision. And 84% said they considered positive feedback as reliable as a personal recommendation.
- A whopping 97% of consumers said they read reviews about local businesses when surveyed by BIA Kelsey.
Obviously, people are going online to learn about you and your business and they are using the information they find to make their purchasing decisions. But this data doesn’t have to be directly sought out, just performing a simple web search for a product, restaurant or company will include online ratings and reviews.
Safeguard Your Online Reputation
There are ways to ensure that you maintain a positive reputation online and they aren’t difficult or expensive. Being proactive is extremely important because it’s much easier to cultivate a positive reputation than repairing a damaged one.
Here a just a few simple steps you can start implementing right now:
- Scour the internet for any mention of your company. You want to know what has been said about you and where you’re being talked about. Hopefully it’s all good, but even if it’s not, you can reach out to the reviewer and respond to their complaint. This shows that you are concerned about your service and are willing to make things right.
- Set up a Google alert. This is a simple way to track when and where your business is mentioned. Go to google.com/alerts in your internet browser and enter your business name. Set up additional alerts for any products or services you may offer as well. Choose “Show Options” and you can even narrow the alert to a particular region or language. The alerts will go straight to your email.
- Use a reputation management service to systematize the collection of testimonials, the monitoring of review sites, and to respond to any reviews as they are generated.
Why Is Your Online Reputation Important
Today it’s possible to find out virtually anything about a company online and consumers are using this knowledge to inform their buying decisions. By understanding and protecting your online reputation, you can ensure that the information available about you will bring you more customers.