Know the difference and get to work improving your online image
Maintaining a positive online image for your company is critical for success. How consumers perceive your brand on the internet determines whether they will be your customers. A positive online image also cultivates mutually beneficial relationships with other companies.
Many people use the terms online reputation and online reviews interchangeably. The two terms actually differ in many ways. Find out if it’s your company’s online reputation or online reviews that are stifling your business growth.
Online reputation management
Your online reputation is basically what people see when they perform an online search for your company. When you have a reputation management issue, there are domains or websites – outside your company’s control – that contain negative content about your company. This negative content appears on the first pages of a Google search, sometimes outranking your company’s website and your company’s owned content. This isn’t the first impression you want the public to see about your business or brand. It’s generally difficult and sometimes impossible to change the content on the other sites; therefore, you need to push the negative content down with positive and neutral content about your company using a reputation management campaign.
In addition to the negative content people post on the internet, issues such as legal action against your company or one of its executives, a PR crisis or other negative news can damage your company’s online reputation. In these cases, it’s critical to restore and manage your online reputation using a well-defined strategy.
Online customer reviews
Online reviews are ratings and comments that individuals leave about your company on review websites such as Google+, Yelp, TripAdvisor and countless others. In this digital era, online reviews are important to a thriving business. If your company’s online reviews are negative, it will discourage potential customers.
Today, consumers seeking a product or service go directly to review sites to obtain information. They will evaluate your business and your competition and base their decisions solely on the reviews they read. In fact, 88 percent of people read online reviews to determine the quality of a business according to Search Engine Land.
Garnering more positive reviews and properly responding to all your reviews will go far to improve an online review problem. Because consumers are more likely to write about a negative experience than a positive one, encouraging satisfied customers to leave reviews is a great way to gain more positive reviews for your business. However, this process takes a great deal of time. Using online review software like ReviewMaxer can provide tremendous assistance. In addition to monitoring review websites for comments about your company, the application sends emails and text messages to current and past customers requesting they provide a review of your company. Because the process is simple and hassle-free, people are more likely to offer a review.
How to get help improving your online image
Determining if you have an online reputation management issue or an online reviews issue can be confusing. The PR experts at Axia Public Relations are here to ensure your company thrives with earned media coverage to enhance your online reputation and ReviewMaxer software to manage your online reviews.
If you’re concerned about your company’s online reputation, download Axia’s e-book today. It’s an easy guide to restoring your company’s positive reputation and boosting your brand. If your company suffers from negative online reviews or you need help increasing the amount of reviews you currently have, sign up for a 15-minute ReviewMaxer demo now.
Marjorie Comer is an award-winning PR professional. She graduated from Rockhurst University with a Bachelor of Arts in communication and loves to cheer for her hometown Kansas City Royals. Marjorie has worked for Axia Public Relations since October 2011. Follow her on Twitter @Marjorie_Comer. Learn more about Marjorie Comer.
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