Online reputation is not only about what people are saying on social media posts, review sites, and the comments sections of blogs. For those who are running an online business, it’s the fine line between closing a sale and losing customers to competitors.
As a digital marketer, you are responsible for the online reputation of your client’s business. How you manage their online reputation can either put a strain on their business or provide them a new channel to grow.
How Online Reputation Affects Businesses
A review can turn things around for a business. When people are frequently searching for a brand, negative and positive reviews can come up on search results. Reviews can have a direct impact on your client’s bottom line, as customers relate feedback to the business. If there are too many negative reviews, your client’s target customers are less likely to go down the conversion funnel.
Your client’s presence on local business listings can generate the same effect. Local listings present information to your client’s customer, such as business name, address, phone number, map location, and website link. Target customers are more likely to engage and trust the brand if they see that your client’s business is active on these listings.
Online reputation equates to brand representation. Research from Trustpilot shows that 62% of customers are more likely to transact with a business if they come across a positive review.
Customers are becoming perceptive when doing online queries. Google dubbed this behavior as the “Zero Moment of Truth”. The ZMOT reinforces the idea of how quickly customers can change their mind, not just because of the dominance of mobile search, but also because of the information they digest when they are browsing online. You can just imagine how a review can affect customer decisions if they come across this during the ZMOT phase.
Gauging Your Client’s Online Reputation
Measuring your client’s online reputation involves a comprehensive view of contributing factors—you can’t measure success with a single criterion.
Here are the key metrics you should focus on when it comes to your client’s online reputation:
1. Online Reviews
The first step to know how customers see your client’s business is by exploring review sites, such as Foursquare, Insider Pages, Google My Business, City Search, and Yelp. User-generated content is the online equivalent of word of mouth. By learning what customers are saying about your client’s business, you can make the appropriate adjustments and provide recommendations on which areas of the business need improving. In a sense, closely monitoring this metric can be your trump card.
2. Social Media Activity
The number of likes, tweets, or shares your client is receiving can be a good measure of the number of target customers willing to attach themselves to the brand. Like review sites, social media can be an outlet of expressions from target customers. The great thing about these is they do not only provide a venue for engagement and user-generated content; they also bring business. Apart from leaving comments, people ask questions through social media. Through regular monitoring of your client’s social activity, you can make informed decisions on how your social campaigns will go.
3. SEO Metrics
Your client’s website performance can also be a good touch point to measure online reputation. For example, if your client’s site has a high bounce rate, the site’s content might be lacking in substance or the website itself does not provide any value to the needs of the target audience.
Some of the key areas you need to look at are:
- Unique and returning visitor conversion
- Cost per conversion
- Exit pages
- Bounce rate
By knowing your SEO metrics, you can devise a comprehensive search strategy that will provide leverage to your client’s business and online presence.
A Compelling Strategy for Your Client’s Online Reputation
Poor reputation management can lead to considerable costs, loss in revenue, and more efforts to rebuild your client’s online image. Combine the data from your metrics with your client’s business goals to develop a compelling online reputation management strategy.
Own the SERPs
What appears on the search results can be associated with your client’s business. The first three spots are not enough, though—you need to own at least ten positions on the SERPs. Study reveals that 36% of searchers go over the first page or more when browsing the search results.
Push back the negative feedback that might bring down your client’s online reputation. Optimize the pages with your client’s brand name to establish authority. Do a search results audit regularly to monitor what appears on the SERPs.
Another way to get your client’s brand on the SERPs is through business listings. Think of these as your client’s online business card. Optimize your client’s name on listings or directories—update information regularly, choose the appropriate category for your client’s business, and be consistent with the citations.
Maximize Content Platforms
You can’t just rank your client with their website; you have to use other content platforms to get as much presence online. Don’t just rely on WordPress for your blogging platforms; use social media sites for regular content updates. What you post can drive engagement and prompt a response to your client’s brand.
Review sites are also great venues for your content strategy. While customers generate the content in the form of testimonials or ratings, these play a pivotal role in your overall content strategy. Real stories are more likely to sell and provide valuable insight about the business.
Maximizing your content platforms allows you to publish blogs or other PR materials that can push down negative content. A great content strategy combined with a strong SEO can help your client gain traction on the SERPs.
In today’s digital landscape, what customers say have a powerful hold over brands. You need to streamline your metrics and work your methodologies around your client’s online reputation to use customer perceptions as an opportunity for business success.
Win clients with a strong online reputation solution. Call our toll-free number at 1-800-250-6106 and talk to one of our Project Managers.
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