February 17, 2019 by Internet Marketing Webmaster Why is Online Reputation Management Important for Your Brand? Gone are the days when internet commerce was a passive industry with passive internet businesses and passive customers. Those days when businesses provide goods/services and customers, in their own risk, bought from them. Today, that risk on the part of the customers is almost completely gone and has given way for Online Reputation Management (ORM). What is Online Reputation Management? Online Reputation Management is the practice of taking control and managing the reputation of a company, brand or individual on the internet. This is the way Wikipedia puts it: Reputation management refers to the influencing and controlling of an individual’s or group’s reputation. Originally a public relations term, the growth of the internet and social media, along with reputation management companies, have made search results a core part of an individual’s or group’s reputation. Wikipedia.com In the beginning of this article, we mentioned passiveness on the part of buyers and sellers on the internet. Thanks to the invention rating systems (most popular of which is the 5-star rating system), and reviews on sites like Yelp, eCommerce is no longer passive. Now buyers can take less risk when doing business online. Even offline businesses can’t escape this. The 5-star rating system (you want your customers to always leave you a 5-star rating). The number of people who search for a business online and read reviews before doing business with them has increased over the year. You absolutely cannot afford to take your Business’s Online Reputation for granted. We will tell you why. 5 Reasons Why You Need to Take Online Reputation Management More Seriously 1. People Check You Out Online Before Walking Through Your Doors Did you know that current 2019 statistics show that 91% of customers read online reviews before visiting a business? That means that 9 out of every 10 customers who walk in through your doors have already learned about the quality of your services or products online. That is almost every customer. You have no excuse not to be aware of what people are saying about you online. 2. Good Reviews Attract More Customers The stories of businesses that hit a big break after someone influential on the internet praised them on twitter or some other social media site is almost everyday’s headlines. Your business can be one of those headlines. If you consistently provide excellent services and provide great quality products, don’t keep quiet about it. Ask your customers to give you good reviews online. Sites where customers go to read about your business range from Yelp, Facebook and very importantly, Google Maps. Having good reviews will have you welcoming more new customers everyday. You will get used to hearing, “I read a review about you guys online, I hear you make great pizza here” or something else you do. 3. Bad Reviews will Hurt You If good reviews pull in more customers, bad reviews chase them away. Really, they do. How many people will walk into a coffee shop with a 1-star rating? Yet, some businesses don’t bother about what is said about them online. Bad reviews will actually hurt your business Remember that 9 out of 10 of your customers check you online before walking in. That means if you have a bad rating, 9 out of the 10 customers you should have had if your rating was good, will not walk into your business place. That means 90% less business, 90% less profit. It’s only a matter of days before you sell your business or shut down for good. 4. Rank Better in SEO SEO is Search Engine Optimization. This refers to how likely search engines will recommend content from your website to people who search for things in your industry. This directly influences the traffic on your site and in turn, your sales conversion online. If other people have expressed displeasure with your business, you will notice that search engines will suppress your content and push your website way down to the list so customers are very very unlikely to find you. But with better reviews, you shoot to the top. You cannot continue to ignore ORM. 5. Get More Referrals Whether it is by word of mouth or recommendations by AI, good reviews bring you more business through others referring to you people who need you. How can AI bring your more referrals? We talked about how Voice Search can bring you more business here. Think about how many times people use Siri, Alexa or Google Assistant to find “a nice restaurant nearby” for instance. Who do you think Siri is most likely to recommend to the potential customer? A business with 4.5-star rating or one with 3-star rating? By now you get it. So if you need your Online Reputation managed properly in the best way possible, if you want the best reviews of your business made obvious online and the bad ones suppressed to oblivion, talk to the masters of Internet Marketing, Cyber Controller. If you already have bad reviews about your business online, and its stopping you from getting new customers, learn how we can help you turn that around.