How to Win Over Customers with Your Online Reputation

Are you looking for some online reputation marketing tips? If so, you’ve come to the right place!

Marketing your business online in a traditional way is on the decline due to the way that people are now using real customer recommendations. Frequently, before they spend any money, they’ll hop over to Google, Facebook, Yelp, Amazon or any other site that gives recommendations to check out what other people are saying. This helps them feel like they can make an informed decision about how and where to spend their money.

To help make the buying decision easier for prospects doing research, businesses must begin to build, grow and protect their online reputation. This includes monitoring online reviews, blog comments, top ten lists, directories and more.

Even if you are actively asking for reviews and responding to negative reviews, you’ll need to take it up a gear to highlight your positive online content via multiple marketing channels. This will result in boosted sales (and a happier owner)!

Get More Clients with Proactive Tactics for Online Reputation Management

You must use online reputation management tactics if you want to show on the first page of Google. It also ensures that your company’s page shows up in online searches for your business name. This activity helps you attract more leads, retain your clients, and saves you money by helping you avoid the cost of fixing a poor public perception.

To help grow your business cost-effectively, you’ll want to use a proactive approach to the following activities:

–   Monitor your company’s online presence

–   Respond to both negative and positive reviews

–   Request new positive reviews from your clients

–   Publish good reviews and useful content online that ranks highly

Monitor Your Company’s Online Presence

Knowing where and when your business is being talked about is a big part of maintaining your online reputation. These conversations will rarely happen within your website, so you need to go find them.

You may ask, “How do I find what people are saying about my company online?”

The answer is very simple. Google your business name and look to see what results come up. Then, use Bing to do the exact same thing. Take note of where your name is being mentioned and bookmark the sites. This will make it easier to monitor them in the future. You can also set up a Google alert for your name or your company’s name. They’ll let you know when a new search result appears that mentions you.

If you find any negative information, take action! Reply to the review, contact the customer or add to the forum…Anything that can move your company into a positive light.

Respond to Negative and Positive Reviews

The first step to good online reviews is to claim your profiles on Google, Yelp, Facebook, etc. so you will have control over the information for your business found there. You should monitor these sites on a daily to weekly basis.

Create a process for your business to respond to all online reviews and make sure that you and your employees follow it every time.

When you receive a positive review, it is easy to write a response. Thank them for their time and review, use their name, talk about your commitment, let them know that their feedback is important and invite them to take another step with your company. For example:

Hi Claire, we at ABC painting wanted to thank you for taking the time to write that great review! We’re committed to working really hard to provide everyone with a first class experience, it’s our #1 goal. Your opinion is valuable to us and helps us shape everything that we do. Please consider us again for any future painting needs and consider joining our mailing list with exclusive promos and discounts.

If you do receive a negative review, comment directly on the review with a polite tone and offer to help resolve this issue offline. This way, potential clients will see that you care about customer satisfaction and that you tried to make it right – allowing you to flip a negative into a positive.

Request New Reviews from Your Clients

Did you know that it is much more effective to email or text your clients to ask for a review than it is to do it in person?

This is due to human biology!

Generally, people like to help people. It releases the “feel good” chemical, oxytocin. So, when you ask someone to leave you a review and they say yes, their body releases oxytocin because they said that they would help you. However, because they have already released the oxytocin, they have less desire to actually go online and leave a review.

When you email or text the request, they have to actually leave you the review before their body releases the oxytocin.

You will also want to make sure that the request makes it as easy for them as possible to leave you a review. Send them the exact link that they need to click on.

Publish Good Reviews and Useful Content Online

When you actively promote positive reviews and comments from your clients, you will attract new business and persuade undecided prospects. As a BONUS, this will demote any negative reviews further down in the search results.

We Promised You Online Reputation Marketing Tips

Now that you know how important it is to actively pursue a positive online reputation, here are a few ways to get started:

1.  Get Active on Social Media

To get the most return on investment, find out what social media channels your ideal customer is on and focus on those. Ensure that you create a positive, professional profile that will attract the clients that you want and will repel the ones that you don’t want.

Social media has the potential to expose your business to millions. It also puts you in complete control of what those people see about you and your brand. Make sure that they see why they should spend money with you by providing quality, consistent posts.

As a bonus, your social media profiles can help boost your organic search engine rankings because they provide social proof.

2.  Content is Still King

If your company does not have a blog, create one! Blog entries can help you get a great organic ranking with the search engines because they love informative and original content. When you create your blog entries, see sure to have keywords that you want to rank for in the title and the first two paragraphs. Consistency is important, so pick a blog schedule and stick to it.

Stuck on what to write? Create a list of the ten questions that your prospects or clients ask you the most. Then, answer them. These are your first ten blog posts with original and helpful information for people that are searching for your business.

3.  Great Reviews are Key

Reviews can help influence people researching your company as well as help your ranking on the search engines. Create an easy system to request reviews and make it as easy as possible!

Win New Customers with Your Positive Online Reputation Marketing

Online reputation marketing is a must for any business looking to grow. At IFTS, we have a complete system in place that can automate everything for you! Give us a call at 412-715-6266 to learn more and check out our free trial today.

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Why Should Online Reputation Matter to a Small Business?

Small businesses (especially those with local brick and mortar locations) seem to underestimate the importance of having a positive online reputation.  Without national or international customers, you may ask – “What’s the big deal?”

The big deal is that 82% of searches done online are followed up with an in-store visit!

It is very clear that local consumers are utilizing the internet to research businesses close to them.  The real question is, “What is the internet telling them about you?”

Any business that is not taking this seriously risks losing business…to your neighbors that position themselves online well (even if their product isn’t better than yours)! 

Just How Important Is It to Create a Positive Web Presence?

When looking for great service or a great price, local consumers turn to their phones and tablets.  With just a few clicks, they are able to peruse Google, Bing, social media, other review websites and forums for businesses that have exactly what they are looking for.  

Your company may have an amazing product at an unbeatable price with the world’s best customer service, but if your online presence does not reflect this and you have negative social signals, you will have a very hard time convincing new customers to trust you…and pay for your product.

Many people are using word of mouth on social media, online reviews and company content to make informed buying decisions.  In fact, more than 90% of people trust online reviews as much or more than a recommendation from a friend or colleague!

Two important questions to ask yourself when it comes to your online presence are:

  • When your ideal client searches for your product (or service) near your location, do you show in the search results or the maps results?  
  • If so, does he or she see a professional online face to the world with glowing reviews?  

If you answered “No” to either of the previous questions, the chances are that you just lost a great customer.

What are the Benefits of Online Reputation Management?

You need to have a positive web presence for the survival of your business.  It can help:

  • Establish your credibility with positive testimonials
  • Give you an edge over your competition
  • Build trust with current and future clients

Position your company as the first and best choice for your ideal clients.  When they are researching, you need to be the obvious decision.

A well-positioned online reputation is also your best sales person, working for you 24/7/365, especially to those people in your community searching for your specific offering.

Finally, having good reputation management can help you rank higher organically in search engine results, which will expose your business to more customers.  Good reviews that mention where you are, what you do and your company name will help tell Google a bit more about your offerings.

How Can a Small Business Build a Positive Online Reputation?

Your website, print advertisements and social media posts are not the only things that make up your web presence.  It is a much wider net than most realize.  Your online reputation does include those things, but it also is made up of reviews from various review sites, comments on your website or blog, “complaint forum” threads, “Top 10” lists that your company may have made, photos tagged with you or your business and much more.  Anywhere that you (or your business) is mentioned, tagged, linked to online – that is all part of your online presence.

Managing all of this seems like it could be akin to “herding cats”, but there are a few impactful steps that you can concentrate on to start.  This will help ensure the future success of your company.

Step 1 – Monitor Your Online Reputation

The first step to taking control of your online reputation is to monitor it daily.  You can handle this yourself or you can outsource this activity, but it is very important that someone is watching.

You need to make sure that you know exactly what your ideal client is looking at online about you.  If you find any negative information, be sure to remedy that quickly.  With so many products and services available to today’s consumer, there is no reason for him or her to trust you (or buy from you) if there is negative information readily available about your business.

Step 2 – Acquire Positive Reviews and Mitigate Negative Reviews

Online reviews are one of the major factors when it comes to your online reputation.  Remember, 90%+ of people trust online reviews as much as or more than a friend or colleague.  This is why there are more important than any content that you could create.

How many times have you seen a company with multiple one-star reviews and decide to buy from them anyway?  I would bet on a very small amount.

Be sure to create an automated system for monitoring, soliciting and responding to reviews that you receive.

If you happen to receive a negative review, it is imperative that you respond to it quickly and with a level head.  Remember, your response is for your future clients and not the person that left the bad review.  Be sure to apologize that they had a negative experience and offer to talk about their issue offline.  This way, people can learn something positive about your company (that you care about your customers) from a negative review.

Step 3 – Get on Social Media

Where do your clients hang out online?  Are they on Facebook? Twitter? Instagram? LinkedIn?

Do a little research and find out where they are most likely to be active.  Then, concentrate on those social networks and build your profile to be attractive to your ideal client.  Be sure to completely fill in the profile and include photos and videos to keep it engaging.

By keeping your social media simple, it will help you avoid overwhelm and really concentrate on activities that will give you the best ROI.  Create a schedule for posting regularly and use a tool that helps you automate the process.  This allows you to use social media for your business, but cut the time that it takes in half.

Leveraging Your Online Reputation

You’ve worked hard on your business over the years to build up your name!  Don’t jeopardize that fact by neglecting to build and monitor a positive online presence.

Overwhelmed or unsure where to start?  Contact IFTS to learn more about our online reputation management program and steps you can take to better position your business.

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How to Respond to Online Reviews

Did you know that when it comes to choosing a local business, 91% of people will read online reviews?*  In fact, 84% of people trust online reviews as much as a personal recommendation from a friend or colleague.**

Having online reviews is VERY important for your business.  However, there is a second step that is often forgotten. You need to respond to these reviews as well.

Responding to reviews can benefit your company in many ways:
  • It shows that you care about your clients and that you are appreciative of their time
  • Google looks favorably upon companies that take the time to respond to reviews
  • Businesses that respond to reviews actually earn up to 49% more than businesses that do not according to a recent study by Womply***

If you are not responding to your online reviews, you should definitely start!

When it comes to receiving online reviews, there are 3 distinct outcomes

  1. You receive a positive review
  2. You receive a negative review
  3. You receive a fake review

This article will go over what to do in all three cases.

Case 1 – How to respond when your business receives a positive online review.

If you receive a 4 or 5 star online review, thank the person that left it.  It’s that easy!

A few rules for these positive responses:

  • Don’t use the same “Thank you” wording every time
  • Make sure to respond within one week
  • Try to include their name or their company’s name within your response
  • BONUS POINTS: If they mention something specific about your business that they like, mention that in your response.  As an example, if they say “I really enjoyed working with ABC moving company. They packed everything up and had it in my new house in under a day!”  Your reply could be “Thank you, [person’s name]. We pride ourselves on our quick turnaround guarantee”.

Here’s a list of sample replies that are short, sweet and work great. Feel free to use them for your own responses:

  • Thank you, [name].  We always try to be available to our clients!
  • [Name], we really appreciate you taking the time to review [business name].  Thank you for the review.
  • We really enjoyed working with you, [name].  Thank you for the review!
  • We appreciate the review, thank you!  [Company name] enjoys working with you on your [business type] needs, [name].
  • Thank you for taking the time to leave us a review, we really appreciate it.  We strive to provide excellent [service] to all of our customers!
  • [Name], thank you for the review.
  • We really appreciate feedback from all of our clients.  Thank you, [name], for taking the time to review our [agency/company/business].
  • Hi [Name], thank you for taking the time to leave a review!  We like making working with us as easy as possible.

Case 2 – How to respond when your business receives a negative online review.

When you receive a negative review, a normal response is to get angry or defensive.  However, don’t let those feelings be reflected in your response. You do not want to seem overly emotional.  In fact, sometimes it is a good idea to have someone else help you craft a response or to sleep on it for a day.  You do want to be sure to respond within one week so it does not appear like you are ignoring the bad review.

When writing back, don’t be emotional and stick to the facts.  Apologize for the situation, but don’t take the blame. You can say “I’m sorry for the experience that you had” or “I apologize that you feel that way”.  Then, offer to discuss that matter offline – either in person or via phone. Sometimes, this conversation can turn that one star into five.

Make sure to keep the response succinct and to the point.  Remember, you are responding not only for the person that left the review, but you are showing prospects that you care about the client experience.

Don’t freak out about one or two bad reviews.  Most consumers don’t expect to see a perfect score.

If you do receive a bad review, respond accordingly.  Then, to offset it, contact 3 clients personally that you know will give you a good review.  Once they leave their reviews, your average will be back up again because:

1 star + 5 stars + 5 stars + 5 stars = 16 stars / 4 reviews = 4.0 average rating

Case 3 – How to respond when your business receives a false online review.

If your company receives a false online review, whether it is accidental or malicious, there are a few things that you can do.

If you have definitive proof that the review is false, you can report the review to the site that it was left on.  Here are the links for how to report a false review:

Google – https://support.google.com/business/answer/4596773?hl=en

Yelp – https://www.yelp-support.com/article/Will-Yelp-remove-a-false-or-defamatory-review?l=en_US

Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/help/439579999521224/

However, this reporting process is not always timely or smooth.  The review sites tend to side with the reviewer, so your proof must be indisputable.

To combat the review immediately, you will (again) want to contact multiple clients that you know will provide good, truthful reviews of your company.  These will effectively “bury” that bad review.

 

Want to put your review system on autopilot?  Check out IFTS + ReviewLead! We take over all of the difficulty of getting reviews and act as your negative review triage specialists.  Sign up for one month free and see how we can help you! https://reviewleads.iftsdesign.com/

 

Sources

*https://www.brightlocal.com/learn/local-consumer-review-survey/

**https://www.brightlocal.com/learn/local-consumer-review-survey/

*** https://www.womply.com/impact-of-online-reviews-on-small-business-revenue/#impactofreviews-section2–

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Why Google Reviews Are Important For Legal Firms

What is the first step for consumers who are looking for an attorney to represent their legal matters? Not many want to ask for personal referrals, especially when dealing with some embarrassing law subjects. Thankfully, the internet is a great source of information for any business inquiry consumers may have. 

When consumers are looking for an attorney in Pennsylvania to represent them, they turn online to Google in search of answers. They can read recommendations and experiences left by past clients to know if you may be a good fit. The more positive reviews you have, the higher your chances are of being chosen over your competition. Google reviews are an essential part of your digital marketing strategy that helps showcase your law firm’s ability to represent clients.

Reviews Improve Your Firm’s Online Reputation

Positive reviews are an essential part of your online reputation. It helps improve your credibility to prospects and convince them of your legal capability.

 In a recent survey by marketing firm iLawyerMarketing, 84% of the respondents said they would only consider hiring a PA Attorney or legal firm that has a review score over 4 stars and higher. This implies they won’t even consider a firm with no reviews. So if you don’t have good Google reviews, or any at all, your clients may be going to your competitors.

If you are looking for an easy, yet effective way to increase your business’s online reputation head to our Reviewlead + IFTS   site to learn more and begin your FREE trial!

Reviews Can Increase Your Visibility

Google loves reviews. It’s one of the major factors the algorithm considers for ranking. Google reviews increase your SEO and make you more visible to your prospects.

More and more people are typing ‘legal firm in Pennsylvania’ into Google’s search box, and having many reviews will push your firm to the top of those searches. 

Studies from Pew Research Centre show that about 65% of people who read reviews online read at least five different reviews before making a purchase decision.

Reviews Improve The Traffic To Your Website

Who wouldn’t love free traffic? That’s what getting reviews can offer your firm. Every smart business appreciates the importance of organic search engine traffic. People searching for PA attorneys in Pennsylvania are part of your local target market that is willing to pay for the services. 

They have no specific choice in mind but won’t just pick any firm without seeing what others are saying about them. Your Google reviews will show up next to your business name, anyone searching will be drawn to click to your website. 

Reviews Help You Attract Customers

Positive reviews give your legal firm a better standing in the Pennsylvania online community. According to 2017 research, over 75% of consumers seek legal help search online. The study further stated that over 97% of those people consider online reviews when choosing the ideal legal firm.

You Can Receive Feedback To Improve Your Services

There is an atom of truth in every criticism. Reviews act as valuable feedback. You can use customer’s suggestions or criticism received through Google reviews to improve your legal service.

Positive online reviews can give your law firm a higher standing as they reveal what past clients have to say about their experience with your firm. Positive reviews can put your firm at the top of the list for prospecting clients needing an attorney to handle their legal affairs.

When asking for reviews, there is always a chance of negative ones being left among all of the positive reviews. Although negative reviews can lower your overall Google rating, they can also provide you with opportunities to see where your business needs improvement.

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