Reputation Management: Taking Control of Your Online Reputation
It has taken many years of blood, sweat and tears to build up your business, only for a handful of people to potentially jeopardise all of your efforts. Every company can have an off day, but the problem is that people are much quicker to turn to the internet to leave a negative review than they would a positive.
A recent study carried out by the Professor of Business Administration at Harvard University has concluded that 89% of people now turn to review sites before a decision is made to make a purchase. As many as four out of five people said they had reversed a decision to purchase based on what the review sites were saying.
Take a second to consider this:
We carried out a very quick search on Trip Advisor for ‘Italian Restaurants in London’ and this is a small sample of the results which appeared in front of us.
When you bear in mind that Trip Advisor now has over 40 Million users per month, it quickly becomes apparent how much damage these reviews are potentially causing, not to mention across the numerous other review sites such as ‘Google Places’, ‘Yelp’ and ‘Bing Local’. So ask yourself, which restaurant would you choose to eat in?
What is interesting is the small number of reviews each have received, but the powerful picture that is painted in the minds of people being exposed to these results. I’m sure Spiazzo and Bertorelli have many happy customers but where are they and what are these two restaurants doing to protect and improve their online reputation?
It simply isn’t good enough to be a late adopter in the world of Internet Marketing. A company must know what their customers are saying, where they are saying it and why!
Reviews and SEO
If we consider that linking is one of the main factors the Search Engines consider when deciding where a website should rank, then it becomes quite apparent that achieving high rankings in the Local listings is going to work in a similar way.
It is not only important to have a high star rating, but the number of reviews a company is attracting is important also. Therefore a company with the minimum of 5 ‘five star’ reviews is going to appear below a company with fifty. Ultimately Google’s job is to return the best results to a users search queery, so why would they recommend a company with a low number of reviews or poor reviews in general?
It is important to note that there are a number of other factors which also determin position in the local results, such as media rich content and optimised keywords and phrases within local page listings.
Enter a search for ‘Restaurants in London’ and this is what appears on the front page of Google:
It is also important to understand that a search carried out for a brand name can also appear on the front page of the Search Engine Results page too. How terrible does this look for Garfunkel’s!
Pretty bad when you consider that this is what you are presented with when you click through to read their reviews…
Note: Have a look at the bottom of the results. Google also provide links to other review sites across the web, where there are many more interesting comments to read.
National Reviews Pro
Our in-house research and development team have solved some of the most common concerns felt by business owners with an innovative new programme called Positive Reviews Pro. This unique service gives business owners a platform to gather, review, manage and syndicate customer reviews across the platforms which are most important to that business. You can read more about our online reputation management services by clicking on the link.
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