Online reputation management is a crucial component of digital marketing. This post describes how your business can benefit from it.
Just in case you weren’t aware of online reputation management’s importance, here are some eye-opening statistics:
- For every additional star a company receives on Yelp reviews, revenues rise by between 5 and 9 percent
- Reviews with just one or two stars fail to convert over 86 percent of customers
- Nearly half of customers – 49 percent – need at least a four-star rating before they buy a service
- 90 percent of customers read ten reviews or fewer before judging whether they can trust a company
Reputation management, therefore, should form a critical part of your digital marketing strategy. It is central to your ability to convert customers and make sales.
Unfortunately, the vast majority of businesses aren’t engaged in active reputation management. And even if they are, they’re trying to do it in-house without the necessary skills to improve online reviews across multiple platforms.
What Goes Into Online Reputation Management?
Getting high-scoring Google reviews is one part of online reputation management, but it isn’t the sole consideration – far from it. The practice involves multiple factors, each of which helps to inform public perceptions of your company.
Take social media, for instance. Companies need professionals who can manage how they interface with audiences on these platforms in a way that is sensitive to their needs and the broader cultural context. Similarly, they need people who have the skills to defuse potential PR disasters and can measure overall sentiment towards the brand.
Reputation management also means monitoring review sites to monitor trends and check that reviews are legitimate. It is one thing to get reviews – it is quite another ensuring that they accurately reflect your services’ quality.
Other areas that form part of online reputation management include monitoring and contributing to forums popular among your audience, publishing press releases, and keeping tabs on competitor websites. The overarching goal is to use all the digital tools at your disposal to improve overall opinions of your brand and keep your image healthy.
Why Is Online Reputation Management So Important?
Fundamentally, online reputation management is vital because it is a tool that allows you to differentiate yourself from your competitors. The better the overall sentiment towards your brand, the more sales you’re likely to make.
The benefits of online reviews are quite extraordinary. According to Moz’s research, review scores contribute more than 10 percent to the ranking of pages online, which is considerable when you think about how many factors determine the position in SERPs.
Reviews also increase customer trust and credibility. Remember, if you’re a small business, most people won’t have heard about you yet. Thus, their only barometer of quality is whether their peers benefited from your services. Gathering four and five-star reviews can help achieve that.
Finally, online reputation management offers high ROI because it increases revenues over time. As Harvard Business School discovered, every additional star on Yelp reviews improved incomes between 5 and 9 percent.
Smart companies, therefore, take reputation management very seriously indeed, with most hiring external experts to monitor and influence how their audience receives their brand. Invariably, the cost is worth it.
Roe Graphics offers a solution to help you generate online reviews as well as monitor and respond to them. For more information, see our Online Reputation Management section.