The Pillars of Online Reputation
In the last article, we spoke about online reviews which are just one pillar of building your online reputation. The diagram above mentions several other pillars which are used by your audience to make judgements about your business. They will not apply to every business but they could. For instance, there is nothing stopping any business from issuing Press Releases but few do so.
The main purpose of Online Reviews is to encourage other people to become customers. Having a strong online reputation is a very good way to achieve that as it has a wider reach than “word of mouth” recommendations.
It is, therefore, a good idea to draw attention to any reviews that exist, especially good ones. This can be done by placing some of them on your website but they carry much more credibility if they are on trusted 3rd party sites.
Some Review Sites have “widgets” that enable their reviews to be displayed on a website. There are also review aggregators, which can display reviews from multiple sources on a website in a variety of formats. These provide a steady stream of reviews as they are published and do not require you to amend your website content.
Some best practices:
- Have a system in place to obtain customer feedback and use the system on all customers if you can.
- Train your staff so that there is consistency in the process, use a checklist if necessary.
- Use the feedback to ask for Online Reviews on your preferred review sites, especially when the feedback is positive. Please note that “review gating” is against some review site’s terms.
- Respond to Online Reviews, positive or negative, as this is seen as social engagement by the search engines. It can also turn a negative experience into a positive for your business
- Ensure that reviews are spread across multiple Review Sites rather than concentrated on just one or two, as this carries more weight with the search engines. Your process should make this easy for the customers.
- Post the best reviews on social media or your website. This should be done as an image of a review to comply with the terms of most Review Sites.
The above tips concern online reviews but what about some of the other ways mentioned in the diagram? One of the common tools used by businesses is content marketing via their blog. Try to find customers who are happy to be quoted or even to be the subject of a short video interview, and use that in your blog articles.
It should already be common practice to amplify your blog articles using social media. A common technique is to publish a blog on your website and then use several “snippets” of information from the blog as social media posts. These can then be scheduled to go out to various social profiles and encourage people to click through to your website to read the whole article.
Some companies will take their best reviews or blogs containing reviews and issue a Press Release (PR). PRs are one of the best ways to get high authority backlinks to your website which increases the traffic to your site. Increases in traffic help to spread the word which helps to build your online reputation.
Online Reputation Automated System
If there are concerns about Online Reviews, there are ways to take control. It is possible to have an automated system that
- Requests feedback by email or SMS.
- Follows up with reminders.
- Filters responses based on the quality of the feedback.
- Displays all positive feedback and/or public reviews on your website.
- Posts images of reviews to social media.
- Enables reviews to individual employees or departments.
- Provides comprehensive reports to management.
If you would like to try such a system or find out more about it, get in touch.
We work with your website designer to improve your ability to be found in Google and other search engines. Also, to look good wherever you may appear online. We specialise in local SEO and most of our work is off-site. But there may need to be some on-site work undertaken by your webmaster to complement what we do. If you would be interested in finding out more, please use the Contact Form on our website.