When it comes to your online reputation there are 3 elements, Manage, Build and Market. Most companies and service providers only deal with the first and possibly second elements but the most important is marketing your 5 Star Reputation.
When people want to find something on the web they generally ‘Google it’. Having the ability to show recent 5 Star reviews on Google can make your firm stand out from the crowd. According to a recent BrightLocal survey 76% of people trust reviews as much as personal recommendations. In fact, 92% of buyers are more likely to purchase after reading a review.
After finding you from a Google search the next part of their journey is to probably visit your website, and then your social sites, usually Facebook first. Also, remember they will most likely be doing this on their mobile device where the average attention span is down to 1.7 seconds – the time it takes to scroll.
So, considering how customers find you online, why should they choose you, and why should they trust you. Why worry about an online reputation at all? Well, consumers have tipped the balance of power and are more empowered than ever to get information about a business and get it fast. Consumers have access to endless information at their fingertips, including information that will help them make their decision about businesses. Therefore, businesses that actively manage their online reputation will be the ones who thrive!
Helping customers find and select your business requires two main considerations, correct business listings, and online reviews.
If prospective customers cannot find the business online, they will go to your competition. And if a customer finds the business online, but you have a low star rating from too many negative reviews, they will go somewhere else with a higher rating. So many businesses spend money on advertising without first considering the fact that they have poor online ratings, so, in fact, wasting much of their advertising budget. Remember, 91% of people trust reviews as much as personal recommendations.
When doing a search, Google uses a complex algorithm to show the best matches. Google takes into consideration a business’s reputation, such as online reviews and listings to rank them. Meaning, businesses that have a complete Google listing and positive reviews, are more likely to show up in the top search results!
66% of your ability to show up in local search and outrank your competitors is directly linked to managing your listings and reputation.
What does that mean for your business, though? Your reputation affects your ability to even be found by customers through a Google search. Customers will find you on Google only if your listings are accurate and you have positive and recent reviews.
Firstly, listings. Ensuring the business has a complete Google My Business profile will increase your chances of being ranked highly on Google and thus, outrank a competitor. Google looks favourably on businesses that have complete and accurate information because they’re easier to match search terms with. Remember the ways customers search for a business—by location, top rating, or attribute—if your business matches those terms, you will show up! Optimising your Google listing with basic information increases your chances of fitting someone’s search requirements on Google.
And reviews play a crucial part in how you rank on Google. Google only wants to recommend the best quality businesses in a search result, so Google considers the number of reviews, ratings, if reviews have received a response, and relevance to search keywords.
This makes having abundant, recent, and highly rated reviews crucial to being spotted by your prospective customers. Even if your business matches all the searcher’s terms, low ratings or having zero online reviews could mean you lose your spot to a competitor.
Now suppose after the customer performs their initial search, they’ve got to consider the businesses they’ve found. What makes a customer choose one business over another? It comes down to these crucial questions. Is the information correct? Are they reviewed positively? What do other people have to say about the business online?
Would you ever eat at a restaurant that had only a 2-star rating? No—you’d keep looking. Almost everyone reads online reviews and even 94% of people have said a negative review has convinced them to avoid a business. So, now that the customer has found your business online, you’ve got to ensure your reviews are doing more good than harm.
When they arrive at your website, given the short attention span wouldn’t it be a good idea to reinforce your 5 Star Reputation by streaming your Google reviews directly to the home page of your website? And why not take it a stage further. When they click through to read the review they are presented with a call to action. After all, isn’t that the purpose of the website – you want a visitor to take some form of action as the next step to becoming a client.
Adodo’s ‘Authority Pops’ provides a way for you to do just that. See the video below to see how.
Online reviews are not the only place customers are talking about your business.