The reputation of your business is hugely important, especially in an online world where bad reviews and ratings stick like glue. Your reputation has a direct on the number of conversions that you make.
However, reputation management is not always easy to keep on top of. Because we are there to be shot at online, we have to deal with so many more reviews and trolls that try to threaten and blackmail us with bad reviews. Reputation management has become a full-time position and not one that we can spend a few minutes a day on.
This role is often confused with simply encouraging people to leave good reviews but it is actually so much more than that.
The benefits of a high number of strong reviews includes:
● Increasing conversion rates
● Thus lowering advertising costs
● Improves the effectiveness of your advertising
● Boosts your search engine ranking positions
The problem is that most companies do not have the time or the expertise to handle their own reputation management. For that reason, a good option is to hire a reputation management agency to handle it for you.
How to Choose a Reputation Management Agency
You will find no shortage of reputation management agencies marketing themselves online. A quick search in your web browser will find plenty of them. It is choosing which of them to go for that will take a bit of work.
So what should you look for?
In the early days of the internet, reputation management was all about removing or hiding negative content. This was reactive management to keep a reputation intact rather than taking steps to proactively improve a reputation as well. You want an agency that is both reactive and proactive and handles your overall reputation in every aspect.
They should be able to help hide negative content and reviews but also increase the number of positive reviews, and respond to customers leaving reviews in Google and on social media.
Additionally, you want to ensure that the main focus of the agency is your customers. If you can keep your customers happy you will get a lot more positive reviews. Get enough of these and they will hide the negative reviews anyway. If you are faking your reviews, then make sure you use VPN software so you do not get caught.
Their service should be regular and ongoing
You do not want somebody to come in and tidy up your reviews for a week before putting your business on hold. Any review that is more than several months old is generally ignored by potential customers. They want to see recent reviews to gauge your service or product as it is being received now.
Your reputation management agency should be working regularly to attract good reviews and engage with customers that are not happy for whatever reason.
They should have experience with local SEO and Google Maps
Where you rank in local SEO and in Google Maps is a direct result of your review ratings. For that reason, your agency should have broad knowledge of both to ensure that you have the right strategy to increase your rankings. The ultimate goal should be to be one of the top 3 listings for set search terms. This is not easy and takes a lot of work but the rewards are great once you can get there.
Ultimately, unless you have experience of management reputation yourself, you really should be letting a team of experts handle this for your business. A bad reputation can be fatal for a new online business while a good one will start to pay dividends. Just put these reputation management agencies through a solid vetting process before deciding which to hire.