Welcome or welcome back to our blog series all about Reputation Management.
Back in November, we discussed briefly what reputation management is and why it’s important to your website’s SEO. In that blog, we discussed the three “wheels”, as we like to put it, that make up reputation management: listings, review sites, and social media. As we discussed before, each of these wheels work alongside each other to create a powerful engine that can impact your SEO (for better or for worse).
We’ve already taken a closer look at business listings, so today, we’ll be diving deeper into wheel #2: Review Sites.
Before we get started, let me ask you this: have you ever been looking for a contractor, plumber or even moving company to help you out with a project? Most of the time when we’re researching which company will be the right fit, where is the first place you look to find that out?
That’s right, the reviews!
Reviews are crucial for building trust between brand and customer. Review sites and reviews are one of the most valuable and trusted resources that potential customers can use to determine whether they want to do business with you or not. They help improve, not only your social appearance but your authority as a business as a whole – both in the eyes of potential customers and Google.
I won’t give away all my secrets just yet, so let’s get started.
What Review Sites Should You Be On?
There are dozens of review platforms out on the internet and it’s understandable to be overwhelmed with which ones your business should have a profile on. But not all review sites are made equal, and some are more important than others depending on your business.
Some of review sites that carry a lot of weight are:
- Google Reviews
- Facebook Reviews
- Amazon Reviews
- Yellow pages
A good driving factor for which sites to be on, is where you think your target audience will be looking. Amazon is very popular when it comes to product-based businesses, but if you own a moving company, your target audience is not going to be on Amazon looking to find information on your moving company. Similarly, if you sell consumer-based products, Tripadvisor shouldn’t be the site you put the most energy into.
All of these review sites are incredibly important to find out what your customers are saying, but what about your employees?
Glassdoor and Indeed offers users the option to leave reviews of companies they have worked for. A good indicator if a certain company is the right choice for you, is if it was also an enjoyable place to work. Reading your Glassdoor and Indeed reviews will give you insight on how you’re running your company and if you need to make certain adjustments for the health of its workplace happiness.
It’s important to note that whichever review platforms your business has a profile and listing on, it’s crucial that all of your information is consistent and accurate. This includes your business name, address, phone number, operating hours and more. Inconsistency on these listings can negatively affect your site’s SEO as well as create a confusing and potentially negative experience for customers as well.
Interact with your Customers & Respond To Reviews
Too many times we notice businesses overlooking the importance of interacting with and responding to their reviews.
If someone leaves a positive review thanking you for your hospitality, raving about your company’s work, praising you endlessly for your efforts…thank them! Yes, you did a great job and serviced them, but they took that extra step, put in that extra effort, to make it known how their experience was.
92% of consumers hesitate to make a purchase if there are no customer reviews– someone leaving your business a review IS a big deal, and you should see it that way too.
The Infamous Negative Review
So you’ve established your business on all of the right platforms, you’ve ensured all of your business information is accurate and consistent across all of your profiles, you’re checking them regularly to respond back to reviews, until…you receive a nasty, negative, 1-star review.
Before you spiral into a panic, let us help you. Negative reviews can actually be beneficial.
Yes, I said it. Beneficial.
“But how Torchlight, how?!”
See, you can use negative reviews to your advantage in a few different ways:
- Feedback for Improvement: Negative reviews provide valuable feedback to your business. They can highlight areas that need improvement from the root of the problem, and you can use this information to make changes that lead to better customer experiences in the future.
- Credibility: A business that only has positive reviews may appear to be biased or have fake reviews. Negative reviews can actually increase a business’s credibility and authenticity because it shows that the reviews are genuine and that the business is not trying to hide negative feedback.
- Opportunity to Respond: Negative reviews give your business the opportunity to respond to the customer’s concerns and address the issue. This shows that you care about your customers and are willing to make things right.
- Competitive Advantage: Businesses that are transparent and open to criticism may have a competitive advantage over those that try to hide negative feedback. By addressing negative reviews publicly, you can show that your business is proactive and responsive to customer feedback.
- Learning Opportunity: Negative reviews can provide a learning opportunity for employees. By analyzing negative reviews, you can identify training or coaching needs for employees to improve customer service skills.
At the end of the day, a customer who leaves a negative review wants to be heard. They want to know that their concerns are being listened to and that their experience matters. If you make it right, a reviewer can go back in and edit their review– although this shouldn’t be your only reason for trying to make things right.
Ah, yes, keyword mining.
Similar to actual mining, reviews can help find your business’s “diamonds in the rough”, or keywords.
For example, you may own a plumbing business and use keywords such as [blank]. However, if your customers in your reviews are referring to your company as [blank], then you’ll know that these are keywords that you should be implementing on your site and advertising campaigns additionally.
Mining keywords from customer reviews is a great way for your business to understand the language and phrases your customers use to describe your products or services. This helps your business break its “curse of knowledge”.
The “curse of knowledge” occurs when a company or business talks about their products or services in a way that’s too technical for their average customer to understand. It’s like a Physics Professor talking about Dalton’s Law of Partial Pressures to a group of students that are taking a 5th-grade level physical science class.
Typically, this happens subconsciously, as businesses get very well-versed in their industry and forget they have a valuable amount of information on their topic (one that their average customer may not have).
Reading your reviews can help you understand the verbiage that your customers use and allow you to implement that across your site to ensure a better customer and user experience as a whole.
To sum up, reputation management is crucial for building trust between businesses and customers, and review sites are one of the most valuable resources potential customers can use to determine whether they want to do business with a company.
Whether your business is focusing on Google Reviews, Facebook Reviews, or the many other review sites, it’s important to interact with reviews, both positive and negative, to improve customer experiences, increase credibility, and address concerns.
We still have one more deep dive to get through, so stay tuned for our final installment of our reputation management blog series all about social media.
If you’re hungry for more, be sure to check out our deep dives in our SEO series, where we examine the depths of website structure, content, backlinks and technology!
To learn even more about our services give us a call at (805) 481-0118.