FAQs About Your Online Presence and Reputation

What is My Online Reputation?

Simplified, your online reputation is a combination of what you say about yourself and what others say about you.  And, it is heavily influenced by the strength of your online presence.

What is My Online Presence—is it SEO?

Your online presence is a part of your SEO.  While it's not directly related to the content of your website, social media and social networking, online presence does influence the search engines.

Your online presence is largely determined by

  • the amount of information that exists about your business online, as well as
  • how current, accurate and consistent it is.

Where you are found online is another important factor in your online presence.

A big part of your ranking in search engines (what determines where you show up in a search) is influenced by your online presence.  Search engines don't like to see conflicting information about a business, so if you've moved, changed the name of your business, or called it something different online in the past, it will affect your search engine results.

Your ranking in a search determines where you show up—at the top of the list, or somewhere down the line.  Research shows that people rarely look beyond the second page of a search, and they often stay on the first page.  And, what they find in that search very often includes reviews.  Statistics show two key factors that influence a searcher's decision to do business with you:

  • online reviews; and
  • their online experience of your business.

Your mobile presence is rapidly gaining importance in your online presence and reputation.  Statistics show us that 60% of online searches are generated on mobile devices.  And, they also show us that 61% of mobile searchers will leave a site and NOT return if their mobile experience is less than optimum.  One more statistic that's important to your business:  70% of mobile searches result in action within one hour.  (Action = a visit and/or purchase.)

It's a big picture that starts with getting found, progresses to what is found, and ultimately can depend on the experience they have while they're looking.  That's why marketing today is so complex for business owners.  We try to simplify it for you with services that complement each other and make your job easier.

Why is Online Presence So Important for My Local Business?

We often refer to our services as LSO (Local Search Optimization), because for a local business, there's nothing more important than getting found during a local search.

That only happens if you are registered with the directories, registries, and social networking sites that are most commonly used in your area and that pertain to your industry.  Here's an example:  If you're a doctor, you don't need to be found on Zagat (an editorial site focused on restaurants and night spots), but you sure want to be found where patients are looking for you!

How is My Online Reputation Built?

Everything that is posted on the internet is permanent.  It's sometimes called "cyber real estate" because once it's posted, it never goes away.  And, like real property, it can be prime real estate—or a swamp.  The goal, of course, is that your cyber real estate will be an asset, but when it's inaccurate, inconsistent, outdated or negative, it can be a huge liability instead.

Your cyber real estate is made up of

What you create

  • domain name(s)
  • website(s)
  • social media accounts
  • your posts
  • your blogs
  • press releases
  • videos

What others create

  • registries
  • directories
  • review sites
  • articles
  • posts

What others say about you

  • reviews
  • mentions
  • posts
  • shares
  • replies

What shows up in a search, or in essence

  • all of the above
Why is Your Online Reputation So Important?

Your Online Reputation is, in a nutshell, the perception of your business that prospects and customers form after viewing  your cyber real estate.

And, it often determines whether or not you'll get their business—even when they've already been a customer of yours!

How Can I Control What People Say?

You can't control what people say about you.  But, you can make certain that the information about your business is accurate, consistent and current, and that influences your reputation—a lot!  It looks pretty flaky if there are two different addresses and outdated hours found in a search, and that's going to influence people's opinion of your business.

You can also act responsibly toward what people are saying.  That means addressing issues that customers have posted (just as you would if they communicated them to you personally while visiting your business), and by publicly responding to both positive and negative reviews.

Why respond to positive reviews?
  • It shows appreciation for your customers and their time,
  • It builds your relationship with customers,
  • It demonstrates hands-on, responsive management, AND
  • It creates cyber real estate for your business!
Why respond to negative reviews?

Well, the answers are the same—with the added benefit of  building your reputation as a responsible, invested owner or manager.

Let's face it, there are going to be some customers turned reviewers that you'll never please, and you just have to accept that.  But, when you respond (just once), in a caring manner, it makes a difference to the reviewer, as well as the readers of that review.  And it speaks volumes.

When is a Negative Review a Positive Thing for My Business?

Negative reviews are invaluable from a management perspective.  Let's remove  the obviously chronic negative reviewers from the mix, and concentrate on  the sincere reviews that aren't so glowing.  These reviews are a powerful management tool.  One bad review about an employee could be chalked up to a bad day (for the customer OR the employee), but consistent bad reviews about service or a product give you valuable insight into what needs to be addressed internally.

Conversely, positive reviews reflect what's working from a customer's perspective.  And, let's face it.  The customer's perspective will ultimately dictate the success of your business.

If you're not monitoring your reviews, you'll never gain the insight that could drive your management decisions and ultimately improve your customer acquisition and retention.

What Can I Do to Improve My Reputation?

One of the easiest ways to build your online reputation is to ask your customers for reviews, and to provide a simple way for them to do that.  For that to be effective, you must first build your presence there by claiming your business and building your profile.  This will build your presence, and pave the way to building your online reputation.

Statistics show that when you request a review of a customer, it will usually be a positive one.  So, making that an easy process is a good move for your business.

All of our mobile sites and apps include one-touch connections to the top review sites for the client's industry and location.  As with all features in our mobile sites and apps, the connections to review sites can be updated at any time, as trends in your industry and location change.  Another way to encourage reviews is to provide QR Codes to your pages on those sites within your establishment.

Building your presence is another important aspect of your reputation, that goes hand-in-hand with requesting reviews.  The sooner you get started, the faster you'll build your reputation.  We offer many levels of service, to fit any budget.  There's no better time to start than now!

Get a complimentary report of your current status today!  Click HERE to request it.