Just how much does your online reputation really matter? Some people and companies do not think much about their online rep, and they do not even realize that it could be affecting their business. Whether you have an online presence or not does not matter. The web is where the majority of people, including your customers, are doing their research. Approximately 97% of people who are looking for businesses locally will start their search online, and most of them will use search engines to find out more. This is true even when they’ve received a recommendation for the company from a family member or a friend.
Now, you have to ask yourself just what these potential customers will find when they look up your name or company’s name. Many are looking at reviews to learn more about your business. If you have negative reviews that pop up on the first couple of pages in Google and other search engines, those are what your customer is seeing. Often, the negative reviews will hold more weight with them than the positive ones will, as they see the sour reviews as “not holding back”. They do not always stop to wonder whether the negativity has any merit.
A few negative reviews could really start to hurt your reputation, and they could be turning some people away from your business. You need to take control of your online reputation sooner rather than later. Even though you might not like reading the negative reviews, you need to do so, and you need to do it with an objective eye. What do they say? Do they have any merit? If they do, then what can you do to improve?
For example, if you have a restaurant that receives a couple of negative reviews because of the décor or lighting, even though the food is good, consider redecorating. You could even contact those customers and offer a free meal in your newly decorated space.
The point is to address the problem and make improvements. This will stop similar negativity from being posted. Additionally, you will want to take back control of your search engine results. This means creating more content about your company, including blog posts. You can also request that your customers leave reviews on various sites. It is important to encourage honest feedback and reviews from the customers though.