Google Makes Reputation Important to Your Business
Reputation matters to global businesses and politicians. The media have always been interested in reporting negative stories about them because of the public craving for something sensational. Smaller businesses have been relatively free of scrutiny because they don’t provide enough public interest for the media to take notice.
BUT – online media such as Trip Advisor have democratized this element of public relations. Now public opinion of any business can impact on the buying decisions of others. Most of us have researched a holiday online. Many of us will have avoided those with a large percentage of negative views and gone for one with more positive views. The comedian Michael McIntyre presents a hilarious take on how this can make our decisions difficult.
NOW - customer reviews have become even more important to reputation. There are more people blogging than ever before, often letting off steam about the services or products they have purchased. As the power of blogging explodes so does the power of the customer. Responses to blog posts become important too because these responses can spread virally across the web in minutes. If you get it wrong it can have devastating consequences.
Most businesses now understand the importance of Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) to their online presence. Well set-up SEO means you will appear higher up online search results. But do a quick search of a hotel or resort and you will start to see a selection of Google reviews come top of the search results. Google are pulling together their own reviews and those from elsewhere on the web, which gives the consumer great power over SEO. If you are growing your business you will want good reviews and as many as possible. But you have to be aware that reviews, good or bad, will increasingly come high up in Google searches.
What does this mean for businesses? Simply, businesses must become responsive to reviews to manage their reputation. Monitoring what people are saying about your business has become more important than ever. I would usually advocate responding as soon as possible to any comment as it shows you care. A careful response to a criticism can often lead to either a retraction of that criticism, or a conversation resulting in the customer leaving satisfied and your reputation boosted.
Are you monitoring what people are saying about your business online? Are you concerned about your business reputation?
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Read my post: Port Douglas Needs Digital Marketing.