As business owners, we all know our online reputation directly impacts our business’ success. But how much does our online reputation really impact our business?
Too often marketers will beat this idea to death without backing up there claims, which is funny, because the data is there to support their assertions.
As study done by BIA/Kelsey back in 2013 found that 97% of consumers do research online before using a local business. How do you do research online? That’s right you just type a business’ name right into your favorite search engine.
Why? Because none of us remember a business phone number. Shoot, many of us don’t even know our families phone numbers because they are all saved in our phones.
What Online Reputation Precedes You
When your prospective customer Google’s you what do they see? As you can see from the image below most often 3 of the top 4 results (the one’s above the fold that they don’t have to scroll down to see) are carry an online reputation rating with them.
They don’t even have to click in to any website to quickly decide whether or not they want to do business with you. They have the opinion of literally 100+ people right in front of them. That quickly, they can become a customer of yours for life…or your competition’s. You choose.
It’s no wonder that 91% of consumers read online reviews before using a local business (BrightLocal 2016). It is so easy to ask 100s of people who they like, know, and trust without ever having to have a conversation with a single person.
What might also come as a surprise is that 84% trust online reviews as much as a personal recommendation. So those reviews carry as much weight as a recommendation from a friend or family member — now that is powerful!
Now You Know, Now What
Now that you know, how do you essentially protect the future of your business? It’s imperative that every small business use some form of reputation marketing services. These services are often extremely affordable compared to other online marketing services so don’t let price deter you from taking action to build a strong future for your business.
There are many different types of online reputation management tools, so make sure you chose one that works for your small business and can make it easy for your customers to give you online reviews. Let us know if you need any insight on how to choose one.