It used to be the case that if you wanted to get online exposure, you simply built links with other websites, posted on forums and advertised as widely as possible. But with search engine’s constant drive for quality, the game entrepreneurs must play has changed considerably. Google, for instance, released an update last year where it added greater weight to online reviews. In other words, the position your company ranked in web results would depend on the quantity and quality of reviews of your firm on Google’s platform.
What this signaled was a move towards greater company accountability. Google and other search engine providers don’t just want to shuffle their users in the direction of the companies with the best SEO, but rather the businesses that will give them the best service.
So what does this mean for owners? What it means is that managing your online reputation is more important than ever. Having a few negative reviews is okay – Google accepts that having one or two bad experiences with customers is normal – but having multiple negative reviews is a great way for your company to start slipping down the ranks.
According to digital marketing agency E-Web Marketing, the days when businesses could shape reputation through advertising and word of mouth are long gone. It’s time for them to turn their attention to boost their online reputation. Here’s how.
Blitz All Mentions Of Your Business On Google
If you’ve been in business for a while, there’s a good chance that there’s already a lot of information out there about your business. Some of it will be positive, and some will be negative. Seek out the negative reviews and try to respond to each of them individually. Explain what went wrong so that other customers can see how you tried to resolve the problem.
Put Your Business Up On Google
Another reason your business doesn’t have an excellent reputation on Google is that it is not currently listed as a Google business. If you want to be trusted, your business has to fall into the same format as regular local businesses in the search results, appearing in the right-hand sidebar.
Becoming a Google business is easy. All you have to do is go to your Google My Business control panel, have a verification code sent to your address, and then enter that code to confirm your location. When you’ve done that, you can include pictures of your premises and people to help entice more business. Once your listing is complete, you’ll appear on Google Maps, allowing people to search for your services locally.
Get Other People To Say How Great You Are
Customers, especially Millennial customers, no longer accept advertising as evidence for quality. They want proof. As a result, companies need to work hard on improving their public relations, even if they don’t have a public relations problem.
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