The importance of online reputation management for your local business.

Online reputation management and your business.

As you market your business on the internet, developing a positive web presence for your company is of paramount importance.

Though it takes a great deal of effort to construct and
maintain your company’s online reputation, the benefits of developing a solid and reputable
brand on the web are virtually endless. Similar to the day to day environment we live in, a
company’s reputation is all it has. To let that reputation fall into question can mean extinction for
even the largest companies in the world.

The question we are all asking is what makes up a company’s online reputation and what is the
concept of reputation management?

Reputation management can be seen as, “the practice of monitoring the reputation of an
individual or brand, addressing contents which are damaging to it, and using customer feedback
to get feedback or early warning signals to reputation problems.” – Wikipedia.

For marketing purposes we utilize reputation management to help bridge the gap between how
a company perceives itself and how others, or more importantly, consumers view it as. Online,
the opinions of few can effectively cripple consumer confidence in a brand and have long term
residual effects on the growth and success of a business.

Today with mobile capabilities exponentially expanding and the internet at the fingertips of
virtually every consumer, search engines like Google, Yahoo & Bing have evolved to become
the consumers one stop spot for all their needs. Whether their needs are transactional or their
online inquiries are informational in their nature, the consumer’s perception is being influenced
by the results provided to them by these search engines.

A positive online reputation is mission critical to the long term success of every company in every industry.

The opinions of bloggers and reviewers alone can truly enhance the perception
of your business on the web putting you on a different playing field above your immediate

A fairly recent survey conducted with approximately 300 consumers by the Society of New
Communications Research found that 74% of consumers in the market choose companies or
brands based on the previous experiences of other customers and the opinions those consumers
shared online. This indicates that there is a 74% chance your local consumers are formulating
opinions on your brand or business not by the deals you offer, or exceptional service you
provide, but rather by 3rd party opinions they have read online.

On search engines, defamatory content can climb to the top of the search results and ruin a
consumer’s opinion on your business before you ever got a chance to speak with them and
perhaps before they even landed on your website. Since search engines determine rankings by
relevancy over what is or isn’t quality and truthful information. Lies can be spread just as easily
as the truth.

Proper management of your online reputation starts with obtaining control of what your
potential customers see on the web. Search Engine Optimization (SEO) plays an integral role
in controlling what local consumers find on the web. If positive information is out ranking the
negative, then the odds of the consumer looking for negative info beyond the first page of search
results are significantly slimmer. Engaging consumers using social media, showcasing positive
reviews on your website and posting real customer video reviews on YouTube, are just some ways you can create a positive buzz that will outweigh the negative reviews that may be sparsely
spread throughout the web.

With online reputation management, it is all about providing a wider range of alternate
viewpoints that are positive in nature and optimizing them to out rank the negative posts that
even the best of companies will always have. This alternative viewpoint on your business plays
a pivotal role in the development and progression of your company’s image. With an online
reputation management strategy in place, a business will possess a shield against 3 rd party
defamation, enjoy marketing stability, and be able to show the consumer who they actually are
rather than the opinions of a few, dictating who they are. Safeguard your company’s reputation
with online reputation management.

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