In some circles, you will hear it said that reputation, or a good name for that matter, is everything. In the world of SEO marketing, that is more or less the cold fact of life.
One way to have a good reputation is to ensure that your customers leave behind positive feedback about your business.
The other way to build a good reputation is to ensure that your target audience is not exposed to a barrage of negative reviews about your business. Failing that, you have to at least make an effort to cancel out the effects of negative online reviews by responding to them appropriately.
But Why are Online Reviews Important in Reputation Management?
1. Most Business Owners Think It Is
Let’s begin with what research says. Are you aware that 97% of business people believe that online reputation matters? And they are not wrong. Online reviews carry a lot of weight to customers trying to see whether your business is worth their time and money. That is because you can do little to control the way people talk about your business online, and that makes these reviews very trustworthy.
So, regardless of how far a business is willing to go by get positive reviews, if it is not up to the mark as far as its clients are concerned, it should not expect to get very far if too many negative reviews keep popping up over the web.
2. Reputation is Key to Getting New Customers
Once a customer has done business with you and is happy with the way things turned out, they couldn’t care less what a complaint says about your operation – they have stronger first-hand evidence telling them that you are as good as expected.
But what about new customers?
This category of clients care the most about online reviews because it is practically one of the few reliable tools at their disposal that can help them tell good and bad businesses apart. So, unless you already have enough repeat customers and have no hopes or plans of getting new clients, online reviews will always be a huge part of your business’ reputation management efforts. An average potential customer will trust a 5-star rated business more than a 3-star rated rival any day. Needless to say, more trust means more business. And the vice versa couldn’t be truer.
3. Positive Search Engine Visibility
Google, and practically any other search engine out there, knows that customers care about reviews. That is why reviews about products, businesses, or their services rank so highly on search engine results.
So, ensuring that the first thing a potential or existing customer reads about your business has a positive spin to it should be very important to you. Even existing customers might second-guess their intention to continue working with you when they see negative things about your business wherever they turn.
To Sum Up
Online reviews tell your potential and existing customers how trustworthy you are as a business. As a growing business, therefore, these reviews are of ultimate importance. So, make sure that you give web-based reviews their due importance in your business’ reputation management efforts, there is no way around it.