Every piece of information about your business, including the really subtle yet pertinent information, and even the way it is presented can have a substantial effect on the company’s future. No matter what it is, it’s used by humans, which are susceptible to the psychological effects of their perception. That means your social media results, your search engine results, what people are saying about you online and offline…all of it has an impact. The numbers back it up. According to Research by BrightLocal in 2015, 73% of consumers form an opinion about a company by reading 1-6 reviews on it. Furthermore, 87% of consumers won’t consider a local business with low ratings, and 49% of consumers need at least a four-star rating before they choose your business. Having less than a four-star rating will close you off from 50% of your prospects.
Here’s the statistic that is most worrying: in the last year, 79% of consumers have read a fake review and a staggering 84% can’t always spot them: Bright Local, 2017
The serious impact on your business
Suppose you are the CEO or a member of the team that has invested your time in building up the company’s reputation. You paid for it and worked for it and in less than six reviews, half of your customer base can be turned away. If you are not in control of your online reputation this could happen. Are you willing to make that gamble with your business? It doesn’t stop at sales figures, according to CR Magazine in 2013, 69% of job seekers turn down an offer from a company that has a bad or even a weak online reputation, even if they were unemployed. That means that in a few visible bad reviews about your company, the quality of new hires, that 31 % that are still willing to work for you, will suffer.
Take control of your online reputation
93% of all website traffic is driven by search engines. Do a quick Google search on yourself right now. What do you see? Are all the links positive messages about your company? Are there negative messages like bad reviews? If there are, the first thing you should do is hire a top online reputation management specialist to do suppression work on the negative message in question. They will focus on promoting the positive messages so that the negative one falls further and further down the search result rankings and is no longer visible. You may never be able to completely get rid of a negative message, partly because doing so is possible prohibitively expensive, but you can effectively get rid of it by sending that result to the third page of the search results. Only 7% of searchers will ever see the third page of search results.
Proactive, not reactive
This is crucial: having a system in place to promote you and to monitor the web against negative messages while they are in their infancy will save you a lot of time and effort in the long run. Not to mention it will be much more effective. ORM agencies offer monitoring services as well as suppression and your business should take advantage of it. These facts and figures are why internet reputation management is as important to your business today as is it is the marketing department.
Online reputation management (ORM) services are a growing industry since an increasing amount of stakeholders are turning to search engines to find information. Gone are the days where people would go through countless pages in their yellow pages to look for a certain product or services. There is increasing importance for companies to appear as high as possible under important keywords on the search engine results page. There are many strategies out there for that ORM experts have adopted. Given the fact that nowadays companies and people want to appear in high rankings with certain keywords, they want their online reputation to be intact form negative articles and reviews. The severity of the negative content can affect a company to the point that they may consider closing their shop or re-branding their company altogether.
How To Fight Negative Results
It seems as though no one is really immune from negative content since there can even be a story that has been leaked on the latest working conditions of the world’s biggest clothing company. The story can break out but there are countless news sites and posts out there talking about this news report. That is why it is important to
have an active online presence with a strong website. If you have all of the standard social media sites such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn, you are taking up great space when it comes to search engines. The more space you occupy and have control over, the better it is for your image. Therefore, if ever there is a brand attack of any sort, you will be protected in the long run whether or not it is true. For smaller businesses, which have a more personal relationship with their customers, it is easier for them to have that one-on-one bond with those that post reviews. The best course of action would be to initiate transparency as much as possible regarding the situation whiles letting the public know that you have taken action and such a mistake will not occur going forward.
Content, Content And More Content
For those of you who know how search engine optimization and ORM works, it is producing as much content such as articles, tweets, pictures, captions, and blogs as much as possible. Creativity would also help to break through the clutter in order to get the most number of interactions and shares as possible.