Traditionally, public relations professionals would be responsible for building a company’s brand image. It wasn’t until recently that digital marketing professionals began to take over this role.
In recent years, online review management has become an essential part of a local business’s content marketing, paid search, and SEO strategy. With shoppers increasingly turning to the internet for in-store experiences, cultivating positive customer sentiment online is more important than ever.
As a business owner, you might ask yourself how to improve your business and make it as successful. If you’ve ever thought about how to do this or have just started a new business and want to know the best practices, you will need an online review management system.
While online review management is not a new concept, it has become increasingly important in today’s connected world. Online reviews management is creating, developing, and maintaining your brand’s name and reputation online to improve your company’s credibility and influence decision-making by potential customers.
Online reviews management entails implementing strategies to improve and respond to online reviews customers leave about your business. You will focus on popular review sites like ours or Google My Business, Yelp, TripAdvisor, etc.
Online review management includes the use of several tools and applications. Review markup is made up of code that can be added to your website to help search engines find and display your reviews on search engine results pages. Businesses can also ask their customers to leave reviews of their products or services by being proactive about asking them to do so. If a customer gives positive feedback, you should thank them for their great feedback. If they provide negative feedback, you should professionally address their concern. You can also promote positive reviews through multiple owned or paid channels such as sharing on social media, paid ads, etc.
In the past, a customer with a negative experience would likely share that information only among their immediate family and friends. However, in this age of the internet, a word can spread much farther and faster. Online reviews have become a significant influencer in consumer purchasing decisions; now, most consumers trust online reviews as much as direct recommendations when making big-ticket purchases.
Reviews are throughout, and they impact a ranking. Consumers trust online reviews more than almost anything else online. This trust has led to many review sites appearing, giving consumers even more places to write reviews. Reviews are also becoming more prominent in many other areas online, including Google Local results and AdWords paid search ads.
Online reviews and recommendations are popular ways for consumers to share their opinions about companies. Facebook, now the second most popular platform for reviews, makes it easy for people to share their views without you even asking them to do so.
As a business, you need to take online reviews seriously because they will be displayed online, and people rely on the experiences of both friends and strangers when making buying decisions.
Reviews improve CTR. When it comes to local businesses, positive reviews make all the difference. Online reviews influence 87% of consumers, and when they see a company with an average 3-5 star rating, they’re more likely to click through to the website or call for more information. If you have two or fewer stars, you need to take action.
Reviews are a social testimony. Social media is a mighty tool for businesses to reach their customers and prospects. Many business pages rank highly in search engines, so it’s easy for shoppers to find your business on Facebook and learn more about what you do. Reviews and other recommendations on social media offer the same social proof as traditional online platforms and search engines.
Almost a half of US social media users use Facebook as a source for their most recent purchases. Social media can strongly impact purchases made by people who have seen posts about your business on Facebook. Positive reviews and recommendations can also positively impact your small business benefits.
Reviews increase conversions. Your reputation is a crucial component of your business’s value and can make you or break you. It’s essential to make sure potential customers have all the information they need to decide if your company is right for them, and a great way to do that is through reviews.
Online reviews are a primary, easy way for potential customers to determine if your business or product is right for them. A survey found that consumers read more than 11 reviews before they felt comfortable purchasing a product from a company. So having 5-star reviews available on your website can help you turn visitors into paying customers.
Studies showed that the number of reviews responded to (and not replied to) impacted local pack positions. However, this is not the only reason you should have a monitoring and response process. Unaddressed negative reviews can be hugely harmful to your online reputation.
To regulate your online reputation, you can use third-party reputation management software that will alert you when a review is received on one of your monitored platforms and allow you to respond quickly.
Google Alerts are free services provided by the search engine provider to help you monitor what people are saying about your brand online. Conduct a brand search across Google, Facebook, and other social media networks to discover new mentions of your company. You can use apps to schedule social posts, monitor mentions of your company across various social media platforms, and even track competitor activity.
It’s common for businesses in many industries to maintain their review sites, such as Airbnb for the rent industry, Angi for certified pros, and Foursquare for restaurants. Many of these sites send automatic notifications when a new review has been left, but some don’t. It’s often much easier, quicker, and more effective to use an online reputation management tool to monitor performance and find new reviews.
As the popularity of online reviews grows, new research has identified the psychological motivations behind consumers who leave reviews. Research shows that there are five categories of people who will leave an online review:
When you’re managing a business’s reputation online, it is crucial to understand that different types of reviewers will react differently to your response. Suppose a customer had only left reviews in the past when the experience was either particularly good or terrible. They are unlikely to be receptive to any attempts at amends by your company. The same applies if they have left many reviews and responded negatively to previous attempts by your business to resolve the issue. Before posting a reply to any online review, do your research and identify the reviewer you are dealing with.
Fake online reviews have increased in number as online reviews have grown in importance. Unscrupulous businesses pay for fake reviews to be posted about rival firms. At the same time, some consumers may also take it upon themselves to leave fake reviews to damage or promote a business unfairly. Many companies are also guilty of giving in to temptation and artificially purchasing fake 5-star reviews to enhance their online reputation artificially.
More and more customers choose to make purchasing decisions based on online reviews. Unethical businesses can use fake reviews to promote their products or services, but most companies avoid this evil practice.
It’s difficult for customers to spot a fake review. 75% of consumers believe they read at least one fake review last year. 25% of consumers say they’ve seen multiple counterfeit reviews over the previous 12 months. 85% say they can’t always pick out a fake review from a genuine one.
Identifying and removing dishonest online reviews is an essential part of reputation management. Many review platforms will allow you to report a complaint or flag up reviews you believe are fake.
Keep in mind that Google wants reviews to reflect your business experience accurately. However, at the moment, most of the work to identify fake reviews rests in the hands of businesses themselves. An online reputation management tool can make this process easier by quickly spotting fake reviews, requesting their removal, and helping you keep tabs on your reputation over time.
As local businesses compete in a national and international market, their online reviews and feedback are becoming more prominent in search and other areas. That is why ReadSomeReviews provides reputation management software to businesses seeking to enhance their online presence.
Reputation Manager’s fair-priced software is feature-rich and easy to use. The software creates a space for the business to cultivate reviews, monitor feedback, and showcase positive comments that have been left about their products or services.