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With most people searching for products and services online through channels such as Google and Facebook, it’s vital that businesses manage their online reputation correctly. Our post breaks down why reputation is important followed by the best practice for Google, Facebook and review management.

Contents:

Understanding online reputation:

 Google Best Practice:

Facebook Business:

Reputation Management:

What is Online Reputation?

From how potential customers view your brand online to understanding how your existing customers value your brand, online reputation is key to any business in a digital world.

How existing customers review your brand.
Identifying where your customers talk about your brand.
How potential customers view your brand online.
Managing reviews (Good and Bad).
Social channel activity and responses.
Trust signal for customers.
Becoming an authority within a market place.

Why is Online Reputation Important?

Online reviews are often permanent reflections of your brand, therefore it’s vital that businesses are pro-active and aware of their online reputation.

Shows that your customers are engaged with your brand.
Increases customer trust & confidence in your brand.
Online reviews leave a permanent mark on your brands image.
Google’s first page is your online business card.
Improve CTR (click through rates) from Google over a competitor.
Increase leads using social proof concept.
Assures reliability, credibility and trustworthiness for new customers.

What is Online Authority?

Increased authority improves your chances of ranking and being found within search and social results, this is dictated by audience sizes and your ‘page rank’ with Google or any other search engine.

Content relevance and optimisation.
Social audience size and engagement.
Visibility in Google’s search results.
Localised search listings – Google My Business.
Domain authority – links, citation & social shares.
Established tone of voice and content (Social).
Accurate & complete business information online
.
Cross-device usability, including mobile devices.

Why is Authority Important?

Building authority on your website and digital channels will add value to your business by driving increased traffic from organic sources (SEO).

Rank for new or emerging terms.
Improved visibility in SERPs.
Better CTR from search results.
ROI’s from online channels is usually strong.
Capture new customers shopping online.
Adds value & Future proofs your business.
Additional traffic, leads and sales.

Understanding Trust Signals.

We can use ‘Trust Signals’ throughout our online channels to maximise the confidence that potential customers have with our brand. Trust signals include social activity, customer reviews, industry recognition and case studies.

A trust signal is content placed on your website designed to improve conversion


Understanding Social Proof.

The best converting lead is almost always a referral from an existing customer, friend or family members. A recommendation from a trusted source usually breaks down any initial barriers, social proof aims to replicate this but online.

Feeling confident that someone you respect or admire has bought the product or service.


Google Best Practice

After looking at the importance of having an awareness of your online reputation, we’ll now look at some best practices to implement to give your business the best chance of performing effectively.

Google’s Knowledge Graph & Local Search.

Maximise your Google presences by ensuring your business has the ‘knowledge’ graph for your business name or business name and location.

“Google’s Knowledge Graph is used both behind-the-scenes to help Google improve its search relevancy and also to present Knowledge Graph boxes, at times, within its search results that provide direct answers.”


Google My Business.

Google My Business is a free tool that lists your business on Google search, maps and Google plus. This tool from Google also allows you to optimise the search results and knowledge graph for a branded search term.

Take charge of what people see when they do a local search for your business. Google My Business gives you the tools to update your listing and engage with your customers from your phone, tablet and computer. All for free


Schema Markup & Enhanced Listings.

Schema markup is a search engine friendly way of adding additional information about your products and services to your website. This will allows Google to understand your sites content more clearly and potentially improve your search position.

Schema markup is code (semantic vocabulary) that you put on your website to help the search engines return more informative results for users.

Citations, NAP Listings & Alignment

A citation is a reference to the name, address and phone number of your business (NAP) on the world wide web. The more accurate references your business has, the more authority your site will gain. The key sites are shown in the Local Ecosystem graphic from Moz below.

90% of local experts say accurate citations are Critical or Very Important to local search ranking.


Facebook Business.

Facebook has become one of the largest channels for online marketing over the last few years. It’s vital that your business has a presence that is maintained regularly, with accurate company information on it. Customers often review a business’s social channels prior to purchasing a product or making an enquiry online.

Why Facebook?

Facebook is one of the most authoritative citations NAP references (mentioned earlier). If you don’t have one – set one up. People will look for your services on Facebook and verify your page if possible to help it’s positioning in searches.

  • 2 billion searches per day (2016) – Users looking for businesses & people.
  • 65 million business pages are currently live.
  • In Europe, over 307 million people are on Facebook
  • Facebook accounts for one in every six minutes spent online and one in every five minutes spent on mobile.
  • Facebook users rack up 100 million hours of daily video watch time.

Reputation Management

As discussed earlier reputation management is extremely important when marketing any business, online customers are conditioned to look for negative reviews and reasons not to buy. By managing your reputation proactively you have a better chance of beating your competition.

Managing Reviews

Managing reviews means everything from responding professionally with a clear call to action to flagging fake reviews to website administrators. It only takes one bad review to put a customer off from buying a product from your business.

Always respond to reviews, good and bad.
Respond to positive reviews and strive for perfection.
Respond to poor reviews professionally and quickly.
Provide contact details for the unhappy customers to get in touch.
Always take the review offline, don’t enter an argument publicly.
Request / flag to administrator that the review is false.
If the review is false, declare publicly that you have no record of their account.
Make sure reviews are collected on the correct location.

3rd Party Review Platforms

Third party review platforms can take some of the burdens away from you or your team. Review software can monitor and publish reviews on several major sites, meaning you can have visibility of your online presence under one roof.

Some of the benefits include:

  • Collect verified, authentic reviews and gain Google Stars, proven to boost your click-through rates by up to 17% and grow on-page conversions up to 28%.
  • Increase confidence in your brand and assure reliability, credibility and trustworthiness for new customers.
  • Collect, respond and publish reviews to multiple platforms
  • Approved by Google as an unbiased, ethical and independent review collection platform.


Keep It Manual To Start With.

Make asking your happy customers to leave a positive review on either Google or Facebook part of your customer service process.

  • Getting a review on Google My Business will improve your chances of appearing above your competitors in the map pack.
  • The more reviews you have the more you can use them as part of your marketing strategy to build confidence and social proof with new customers.
  • Create a simple review request document to either be attached or emails to your customers illustrating how to leave a review on your profiles.

Enhance Your Search Listings.

Finally, enhance your Google search listing by implementing schema markup to aggregate your reviews and show the star ratings in result pages.

Search listing example:


Get ASSISTED.

Thanks for reading – If you need some assistance in managing your reviews and reputation online, please feel free to contact ASSISTED for more information.