What exactly does online reputation mean to your small business?
Think about when you first put up your ‘Open’ sign. Potential patients or clients drove by and considered stopping in, and friends and family showed their support by bringing you business to start you off. Your business’ presence in the community was building – but when attracted customers wanted to learn more, they searched the internet and found an old business listed under your address. Or worse – they found one negative review and nothing else. Now your online reputation is working against you and your new presence in the community.
Taking control of your online reputation may seem overwhelming, so we’ve gathered some tips on where you should get started.
1. Run a search on Google and Bing
The best place to start is running a simple search on the main search engines. Search your business name alone, and with other important terms like ‘reviews,’ ‘pricing,’ and ‘customer service.’
Right off the bat you’ll get a pulse for what customers are – or are not – saying about your business. You’ll also be able to see where your company website lands in the search engine results. Hopefully it’s the first!
2. Is the look of your brand consistent?
Your brand’s color palette helps people know they are in the right place. Just like when you order a soda and you are handed a red cup with white lettering – you know right away you’re drinking a Coca-Cola. Make sure you’re seeing consistent colors and logos on your website, social media channels, and business listings. Your brand is a huge support to your online presence, and really acts as the face of your company.
3. Set reputation goals you want to accomplish
A great way to not be overwhelmed with managing your online reputation is by setting some attainable goals. This will also help you measure your success. Maybe you want to increase the amount of positive reviews you get online to three a month. Pick a review site and detail a plan on how you want to accomplish that. Our Choice Plus package is a great tool to help you set goals. The online reputation dashboard gives you a view into your competitors online presence, your business listings on top sites, and all of your customer reviews in one place.
Be sure to include your employees in these goals so everyone knows what the company is trying to achieve, and consider rewarding them when the goal is met. Taking control of your online reputation should be an enlightening and rewarding experience for the whole team!
Stay tuned for part two of this blog for a roadmap on how to implement your online reputation goals.