If, in 2019, you’re not yet convinced about the need to work on your online reputation, consider this statistic found in BrightLocal’s Local Consumer Review Survey: 57% of consumers will only use a business if it has 4 or more stars. Yep, you read that correctly! Over HALF of consumers won’t patronize your business if it has under 4 stars.
Think you’re safe because you have at least 4 stars? While you might be better off than many others, here are a couple more stats from the same survey to consider:
- Consumers read an average of 10 online reviews before feeling able to trust a local business
- 40% of consumers only take into account reviews written within the past 2 weeks – up from 18% last year
From those stats, it’s clear that consumers are looking for not only great reviews, but they need to also be both recent and plentiful. If you don’t have recent and plentiful great reviews, your online reputation most likely needs repair.
Follow These 5 Steps to Repair Your Online Reputation
Whether you have bad reviews or just not enough, your reputation can be repaired! Let’s get to work.
Have an Online Presence Everywhere
It might seem counterintuitive, but in order to fix the negative aspects of your reputation, you need to make sure you have a presence on all of your top review sites. That way, if someone does leave you a less-than-ideal review somewhere, you’re more likely to see it and be able to deal with it quickly.
- First, do a little research to make sure you know what the top sites are for your industry. If you’re a home services business, for instance, your top review sites might include Angie’s List, Home Advisor, and Houzz. Of course, no matter what your business is, your Google listing is also a top priority.
- Most review sites these days allow you to build out a profile, and that’s what you should work on next. You can add details like contact information, hours, and even pictures. Spend time making sure each profile is built out – these are like online storefronts for your business and should look as good as possible!
Respond to Reviews
Odds are you have some reviews hanging around out there that could really use a public response from your business. You can benefit from replying to both your negative and positive reviews! Here’s why: 89% of consumers read businesses’ responses to reviews. That’s a huge number of potential consumers who want to see what you have to say in response to your reviews!
Respond to positive reviews with thanks and appreciation. Say things like “we appreciate your business” and “thanks for choosing us” often. Make sure your responses are genuine and upbeat.
Responding to negative reviews is a bit more complicated. In general, you should use restraint, maintain professionalism, address the problem, and apologize when appropriate. You can find some great advice on responding to negative reviews on Forbes, BrightLocal, and HubSpot.
Get More Positive Reviews
This is ultimately the best way to improve your reputation. That number of stars won’t improve unless you get more positive reviews! Great reviews need to outnumber the negative ones by a large margin in order for your reputation to bring in more leads or customers. Not only do you need a 4+ star rating, but you want anyone scrolling through your reviews to see a bunch of (recent) good ones.
Start out by implementing a plan to obtain new reviews from satisfied customers/clients. This could be with an email drip campaign, asking them face-to-face, or even handing out a business card with details about how to leave a review.
Keep Your Eyes Peeled
It’s really detrimental to your reputation to let negative reviews (or even middle-of-the-road reviews) hang out there for an extended period of time without responding to them. To make sure this doesn’t happen, you’ll want to monitor the web for any new reviews.
There are a couple ways to keep an eye out for mentions of your business. If you don’t yet have Google Alerts set up, that’s a great place to start. It’ll monitor the web for mentions of your business name, or any phrase you tell it to look for. However, it doesn’t often pick up on reviews.
To make sure you see all new reviews coming in, it’s best to use a specific review monitoring system like Rize Reviews. Using review monitoring will make sure you’re being notified every time someone leaves a new review of your business.
Go ahead, brag!
When you get a great review, there’s nothing wrong with bragging about it. If someone says something awesome about your business, use it to your advantage by mentioning it/sharing it on your social media, putting it on your website, or even sending it out in one of your email marketing newsletters.
Sharing and bragging about your reviews gives them more power. They can help draw in new customers or clients, with minimal effort from you!
Final Thoughts on Repairing your Online Reputation
Repairing your online reputation takes time, but it’s just not an option to let it remain unchecked. Having a negative (or even nonexistent) reputation can be a larger detriment to your business than you might think! So, it’s important to take these five important steps to repair it:
- Have a presence everywhere!
- Respond to your reviews.
- Get more positive reviews.
- Keep your eyes peeled for any new reviews.
- Brag about your great reviews – use them for marketing purposes!