Small business owners are in a difficult spot, especially since there are more established businesses taking a larger share of the market. However, it doesn’t mean that small businesses couldn’t compete. It’s still possible to win over potential customers with the right marketing strategies. Online marketing is one of the best equalizers for businesses. It’s mostly a free platform for businesses to advertise. Small business owners can compete with advertising online. One of the aspects to consider is small business reputation management. It’s easier to craft a more positive view of the company with the right strategies. These are the reasons why there should be enough attention given to reputation management.
7 Reasons Small Businesses Need Reputation Management
Increase search engine rankings
The goal of SEO marketing is to rank higher in search engines. It’s about optimizing the right keywords. Google’s algorithms are unique and have ways of ranking the websites when users searched for a particular keyword. Reaching the top can be challenging, especially for small business owners. It’s even more difficult if bigger brands also optimize the same set of keywords. Having a positive reputation helps in gradually moving up the rankings. It tells Google that the company is one of the best recommendations to suit what they’re looking for. It’s only one factor that could help the website rank higher, but it’s better than having a negative reputation.
Drive more traffic
When the company has a positive reputation, it makes people more curious. They want to know why people are raving about the brand. It makes them want to know more about it and potentially buy the products offered. High traffic doesn’t necessarily mean an increase in conversion rate, but it’s a good start. It’s better than having low traffic. Even if the conversion rate is only 2%, it’s good enough if the traffic rate is too high. When people know that the business has a bad reputation, they will automatically take that option out of the page. Even if they decide to come and check the page, there’s no way that they buy anything.
Encourage more positive reviews
Reviews are like dominos. If there’s one good review, it will inspire more positive reviews. It confirms people’s experiences. It can also go the other way. If the negative reviews are overwhelming, more people will come out to say that they also felt the same. Therefore, it’s better to have positive reviews to encourage more people to do the same.
Increase potential profits
It’s natural for people to trust brands with a positive reputation. When there’s money involved, most people are cautious. They won’t take the risk and buy products from a brand they couldn’t trust. Conversely, if the company keeps getting negative reviews, even those who are already loyal to the brand might have second thoughts. Also, it’s not only about the quality of the products sold. Customer service, delivery time, and website quality are among the other factors that may affect how people view the company. Maintaining these elements is critical to the potential increase in profits.
Competitors might choose a negative approach
Another reason to focus on reputation management is that the competitors might try to play dirty. They will bring the company down by creating fake accounts to leave negative reviews across different sites. If not, they will leave terrible comments on social media. Nothing can stop them from taking such an approach. The only thing that the company can do is to create a counter-narrative. There should be an immediate response to set the story straight. The good thing is that agencies dealing with reputation management have tools to speed up the identification of sites where people left negative reviews about the company. It’s easier to determine if the reviews are accurate.
The problem is that people believe what they read on the internet right away. Others don’t even validate the information or care about looking at other reviews. They will immediately believe in negative information. The only way to prevent the company’s reputation from getting tarnished is by setting the record straight.
People read reviews
90% of buyers read reviews first before they make up their minds. They must receive the right information. Some people are already certain that they’re going to buy a product. They can also afford the cost. They’re just uncertain which brand. The reviews might be the final detail that they’re waiting for before making up their minds. Hence, it’s important to receive positive reviews to finally convince these people to purchase the products and services.
Responding to reviews shows that the business cares. Even if there are plenty of negative reviews and they seem credible, some people will still change their minds with the right response. If the complaints are accurate, the best thing to do is to apologize and promise that it won’t happen again. It doesn’t matter if the person who left the review was happy with the response. It’s more important that others who read the thread will see the company in a better light because of the professional response. The tone should remain diplomatic even if the conversation becomes tense. Further discussion can happen privately if the customer wants to settle some concerns. Not everyone should be in public view.
It’s difficult to recover from rumours without small business reputation management agencies
Some negative information might stick. Once it starts to spread, it will be difficult to contain. The business couldn’t stop the negative information from moving around. It’s better to stop it while it’s early with the aid of the right agency.
Small businesses can be competitive with the right strategies. There’s a huge market out there, and large businesses aren’t the only ones who can dominate the industry. However, with the lack of a small business reputation management strategy, it would be challenging to move up. It doesn’t matter if the products and services are of top quality. People will still believe whatever information is out there and probably look for other options. It will hurt the chances of earning more.