Learn why in this guest post by SEO expert Geoffrey Purkis…
Shoppers today check the Internet before they buy. Your online reviews create a reputation which plays a crucial role in your ability to successfully market your business on the Internet. Reputation management requires an investment, both in time and money.
Most small, local businesses are either ignoring proactive reputation management or they are doing it themselves, on a shoestring, and on an as-needed and as-they-have-time-to-do-it basis.
In the past two years Google has greatly increased the ranking power of customer reviews. They often are the most visually prominent part of the search engine results pages, putting them front and center in the carousel and showing snippets of reviews on search engine results pages. Getting your online reputation to pop out pop of the page with a high star rating and numerous reviews to support it in search engine results helps click-through rates…and you can only imagine how much Google loves more clicks and more user engagement.
Many of our top performers on Yelp and Google use Reputation Igniter. Chris Lolini’s Reputation Igniter (ignite.reviews) reputation management service enables small businesses to easily follow up with their customers, gives you an opportunity to address customer concerns by offering prompt customer support, which in turn helps prevent negative reviews from getting online.
Why is Reputation Management Important for Small Businesses SEO?
More reviews and positive ratings will improve a business’s local ranking. Your position in web results is also a factor, so SEO best practices also apply to local search optimization. Local reviews have a direct impact on local search rankings, so you’ll want to spend some time acquiring them.
A survey done in June 2012 showed that 86 percent of respondents claimed to have consulted online review sites before deciding on a company to do business with.
Now consider the star rating system. Anyone who has visited the Yelp site knows that its reviewers rate their level of satisfaction from one to five, based on the star system. Other sites like Google are also following this pattern.
Studies show that the gain or loss of just one star will result in a five to nine percent increase or decrease in revenue. (Source: Harvard University, September 2011)
What are they saying behind your back?
It’s crucial to see what others are saying about your business, because if you don’t know that you’ve left a poor impression, you won’t be able to take any steps to correct it. Many business owners have difficulty finding the time to do this.
Some businesses have actually lost as much as 20 percent in sales following a negative review. Stop losing sales due to negative reviews posted against your company.
- A recent BrightLocal survey found that 88% of consumers trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations.
- In the same survey, 72% of respondents reported that positive reviews made them trust a business more.
That means if one of your customers reads negative reviews posted online against your company, without the use of online reputation management services, you stand a good chance of losing future purchases from that customer.
No company that wants to stay healthy can leave itself vulnerable to the unpredictability of the reviews being written about it online. It’s absolutely vital for your business to build and defend your online name through proactive online reputation management.
Proactive online reputation management is important.
A business that wants to thrive and survive must take proactive steps to protect its good name through positive online reputation management. That’s why it is vital to stack your profile(s) with positive reviews before you get a negative review, as well as deal with negative reviews in a timely fashion. People remember the bad far longer than they do the good.
Your business reputation plays a starring role in your prospects decision to do business with you or not. When you are “Googled” what Business Reputation do they see?