You recognize that your business’s reputation plays a critical role in its bottom line, but you may not appreciate how closely your company’s online reputation correlates with its overall reputation – even for small, local businesses. You build your brand on the products and services you supply, but how well your business is received online sets the stage for how well your products and services move. When it comes to growing your business, skilled reputation management can pay off in spades and should never be an afterthought.
The Significance of Online Reviews
There are a lot of online reviews out there, and consumers find them highly persuasive. While generating more reviews is a worthy pursuit, your online reputation is far more than just a numbers game. Factors like the following also play a role:
- How current your online reviews are
- How diverse your online reviews are
- How positive your online reviews are overall
- How specific your online reviews are
Cultivating positive reviews that aren’t carbon copies of one another not only helps you rank with Google but is also far more likely to grab the attention of potential customers.
When your business has a more fiercely loyal online following – as represented by your catalog of reviews – than your closest competitors do, you’re far more likely to edge them out by garnering the attention of all those searchers who are in the market for what it is you offer. Positioning yourself in this sweet spot takes focused effort, and The Web Guys are standing by to help with savvy guidance in the reputation management arena.
Why Numbers Matter
While you shouldn’t focus solely on the number of reviews you rack up, organically generating reviews is important to reputation management. Although Google would like you to believe they are all-knowing, their knowledge is predicated on numbers. The more relevant reviews your business inspires, the more cachet you’ll have with Google.
It’s important to remember, however, that not all reviews are created equally. Consider the following key factors in relation to Google review relevance:
- Review length
- Degree of specificity
Google has found that reviews containing at least 200 characters are more likely to incorporate the level of detail that most consumers find useful, including information about the business’s location, hours of operation, best-selling products and services, and beyond. Finally, the more recent the review, the more relevant.
Your goal is ranking higher on Google – which translates to connecting with consumers more readily – and as such, you’re going for more, rather than fewer, reviews.
The more recent the review, the more weight Google assigns to it and the more attention customers on the hunt are likely to pay. Seasoned consumers seek fresh information about the enterprises they’re interested in doing business with, and Google gets that. In other words, resting on your laurels when it comes to reviews will not serve you well. Having an online reputation strategy in place is a much better way to go.
Focus Across Platforms
Reviews are important to your online reputation, but you don’t want them to pile up in one location. Google rewards diversity of platforms. It’s important to extend your reach beyond the reviews you generate on Google My Business, which means paying attention to social media channels and other third-party platforms like Yelp, Trustpilot, and Customer Lobby.
The more specific your business’s reviews are, the more nuanced and authentic they’re likely to be – and the more useful they are to consumers. Anyone can write a vaguely positive or vaguely negative review, but when a reviewer gets down to specifics, there is little doubt that they mean what they say. Specificity speaks to Google and to those potential customers out there who are looking to connect.
Connect with Keywords
Consumers tend to use many of the same words and word phrases in their online searches, and remaining sensitive to this fact is well advised. When it comes to your online reputation, being keyword savvy can pack quite a punch. Artfully weaving oft-sought keywords into your copy can help elevate your game and your position in the search queue. Google prioritizes reviews that include the keywords searchers are most likely to use. Because search visibility is key, keywords matter.
When reviewers include photos, it helps to seal the deal. A picture says a thousand words, and that’s a thousand words that searchers don’t need to bother reading. Pictures help bring your business to life, which is vital to its online reputation. When reviewers include photos, they help flesh out your business for online searchers in a way that’s difficult to duplicate with words alone, and this can play a primary role in the conversion process.
The Good with the Bad
Google doesn’t shy away from posting negative reviews. If the review is recent, specific, detailed, includes the right keywords, is supported by photos, or is otherwise relevant, you can expect it to make the cut.
When the negative review makes a valid point, it’s important to respond in a timely and respectful manner – letting the reviewer know how you plan on remedying the situation. If you believe the negative review in question is meant to harm your business rather than to share legitimate information about it, having the review removed may be a possibility.
Whether the customer review is glowing or harsh, it’s always a good idea to address it head-on. Customers appreciate being heard, and your authentic responses help bolster your online reputation.
The Web Guys Offer Insightful Reputation Management Services
Your online reputation is integral to your business, and the digital marketing pros at The Web Guys have the savvy and resources to help you crack the Google code. Your business’s reputation and bottom line go hand in hand, which makes right now the right time to focus on reputation management services. We serve areas across Arizona, Indiana, Michigan, and Florida including Sarasota, Grand Rapids, Indianapolis, Fort Wayne, Phoenix, Scottsdale, and beyond. For more information about how we can help, contact us at (317) 805-4933 today.