A business’s local reputation is one of the most critical factors contributing to its success in a competitive market. A recent Birdeye survey showed that:
- 68% of consumers check reviews before they engage with a local business.
- 78% of consumers would not buy from a business with a negative reputation.
- 87% of consumers did not choose a business if they had a negative review in the last twelve months.
A solid local online reputation management strategy can help you show up in local search queries, build trust with potential customers, and improve conversion rates significantly.
This blog post covers everything you need for local reputation management and brings you seven best strategies to grow your local business.
Table of contents
What is local reputation management?
Local reputation management is the process of monitoring, improving, and managing the reputation of a business in a target local market. This helps customers within a locality get a good impression of the business when they search for it online.
This process involves generating reviews, responding to online reviews, monitoring customer feedback through reviews, taking appropriate actions based on the insights gained, and building a solid presence across forums, social media platforms, and Google.
A local reputation management strategy is about creating a positive image for your business, monitoring your online reputation, and taking steps to combat any negative feedback your business might face.
Local reputation marketing
Local reputation marketing is a strategy that helps businesses maintain their local reputation by boosting positive reviews, testimonials, and positive customer feedback on marketing channels. This process aims to build a strong positive reputation in the local community by showcasing the positive things existing customers have to say about the business.
Benefits of local reputation management
Investing in local reputation management can help businesses boost trust in the local community, generate high-intent local leads, and scale their business faster in their target market.
Let us take a look at some of the benefits of local reputation management for your business:
1. Businesses can generate a higher volume of local leads
You attract more local leads when you boost your online reputation in a specific local community. State store locations, service areas, and target locations in all your Google Business Profiles (for multi-location businesses), listing websites, and social media platforms.
Focusing on your online presence at a local level helps you strengthen your connection with the local community. It also signals Google that you are the top choice for customers in that area.
2. Local reputation management enhances brand awareness
By effectively managing your local reputation, you can boost your visibility in crucial local business searches, social media queries, and listing websites. This strategy not only ensures that customers in your target locality notice your business but also helps you build a strong brand awareness within your community.
3. Businesses see a higher conversion rate with a positive reputation
In addition to lead generation, focusing on local reputation management also results in improving conversion rates. While a customer engages with your business and becomes a lead, it requires significant persuasion to transform them into a paying customer.
Positive reviews, an active business listing responding to reviews, and a more substantial online presence convince customers to choose you over your inactive competitors.
4. Businesses can build trust in the brand with local reputation management
An enhanced brand awareness, an extensive online presence across Google, social media platforms, and an active business presence by responding to reviews show that you are a trustworthy business.
Customers would be happy to work with you if they know you are here to stay and will support them if they have concerns.
7 best local reputation management strategies
Businesses can employ online and offline reputation management strategies to enhance their reputation in a specific geographical area. Here are some of the popular strategies for local businesses’ reputation management:
- Create a solid and consistent presence on local listing directories
- Use the power of reviews to create a positive online reputation
- Focus on ranking higher in local map pack with local SEO techniques
- Strengthen local social media with hyperlocal content
- Participate in community events
- Monitor your customer opinions with social listening and feedback management
- Use local reputation management tools
Let us explore these strategies in detail.
1. Create a solid and consistent presence on local listing directories
You can build a robust reputation by showcasing reviews and allowing customers to know what it’s like to do business with you. Seeing reviews, testimonials, and project updates during the discovery phase can help a potential customer form a good impression faster.
But how would you showcase reviews without a presence on local listing directories like Angi, Yellow pages, Houzz, Google, Facebook, and so on?
With 67% of reviews existing on Google, having a Google Business Profile is essential for establishing a strong online reputation.
Regarding local listing directories, accuracy in information is critical. Inaccuracies put off customers and make you lose authority for Google search results. Studies show that 80% of consumers say they lose trust in a business if they find inconsistencies in business listings online.
To build a solid reputation with local listing directories:
- Ensure you have an active profile on all niche-specific websites
- Create or claim your Google Business Profile
- Use an accuracy-checking tool like Birdeye’s scan tool to find and fix inaccuracies
Birdeye takes care of our keywords, listings, and we can control everything from there, including Google My Business and Facebook. I mean, everything that we need to do to tell the message from the very beginning is here with Birdeye. - Nicole Woody, Owner- Orange Fish
2. Use the power of reviews to create a positive online reputation
Review management and reputation management are two sides of the same coin. Businesses that invest in review management techniques build long-lasting reputations online and offline.
We can break down review management into three essential components:
- Review generation
- Review responses and monitoring
- Review sharing or marketing
All three components play a close role in building a solid local reputation for your business. Let us see how you can leverage them.
Implement a review generation strategy
To build a strong reputation with reviews, local businesses must focus on volume rather than just securing 3-5 highly positive reviews. Customers don’t consider this an accurate measure of your business, so the more reviews you get, the merrier.
Therefore, use tools like Birdeye Reviews to send automated review requests to every customer you engage with. You can also send reminders if they don’t respond and train employees to secure reviews whenever a customer calls or makes a transaction.
“We've been using Birdeye for about two years and now have over 900 reviews. Our overall rating is between 4.5 and 4.9. That's just been a game changer for us, and we believe that Birdeye helps us bring those key ingredients together that lead to successful reviews and an online reputation.” - Steven Greer, COO, Genesis Counseling
Respond and monitor all local customer reviews
Getting customers to write reviews is just one step. How you manage those reviews is equally important in growing your business reputation. Here are a few review management tips from Birdeye experts:
- Respond to each customer review that comes in. This applies to both positive and negative reviews.
- Handle negative reviews tactfully and focus on solving the problem. This shows that your business takes accountability and values feedback.
- Monitor reviews across all review sites to identify negative reviews, spam, and fake reviews. Report them instantly to safeguard your online reputation.
Share positive reviews on online forums and marketing channels
If the reviews just live on Google, Facebook, and other review sites, they are not living up to their potential. Get the most out of the positive reviews by periodically sharing them on your social media profiles, email newsletters, and other marketing materials.
You can use the best reviews on billboards, and storefront designs and leverage Google reviews and star ratings in search engine marketing initiatives like paid ads, local service ads, etc.
14 best review sites for local reputation management
The best review sites that every business must be on to boost their local reputation are:
- Better Business Bureau
- Yellow Pages
Additionally, find the best review sites for your niche by running a Google search and finding sites that appear in the first ten search engine results.
3. Focus on ranking higher in local map pack with local SEO techniques
A Birdeye study shows that 65% of customers use search engines to find a local business. So, most of your leads are from searches like “contractor near me” or “dentist near me” on Google.
Customers consider the businesses that rank higher in search results to be trustworthy and reputable.
So, if you want your business to be one of those, it is essential to focus on local SEO techniques to help you feature in the top three results.
Learn how Woodards Real Estate Carlton managed to rank higher in local search results with Birdeye tools.
Some local SEO reputation management tips are:
- Optimize your Google Business Profile with products, services, and keywords you want to rank for. For example, if you are a car service business, you must include keywords like oil repair, engine repair, car wash, etc.
- Maintain consistency across all listing sites, your business website, and Google Business Profile. This helps Google trust you.
- Add photos, project updates, and local-intent content to your listings and business website.
- Create location-specific pages that Google can scan to know you are a prominent local business.
“Top four local ranking factors for Google are – accuracy in business information, data visibility, availability of local-intent content, and Google Business Profile optimization.” - Steve Wiideman, Wiideman Consulting
4. Strengthen local social media presence with hyperlocal content
With 40% of consumers using social media to find local businesses, It’s essential to maintain a consistent presence across social media platforms with content tailored to your local community.
When customers look up your business on social media, they should see reviews, video testimonials, project updates, and an active profile to build trust in your business.
Local businesses can use social media to demonstrate their authority in the domain by posting:
- Community-focused educational content. For example, if there is a holiday coming up in the community, a dental business can talk about dental hygiene practices to follow and foods to avoid.
- Specific discount codes for social media followers from a particular locality. For example, home service businesses can offer maintenance checks ahead of the monsoon or winter season.
- Reviews and testimonials from customers that belong to your target market.
- Collaboration content with local influencers to reach their audience as well.
5. Participate in community events and initiatives
Recent studies have shown that customers care about how much businesses donate and their involvement in community initiatives. Investing back in the community shows customers that you are building a non-transactional relationship with them.
This can translate into developing goodwill and a positive local reputation for your business.
To do this, local businesses can:
- Sponsor soccer teams.
- Participate in donation drives for healthcare, homeless shelters, and other similar causes.
- Host events to spread awareness on local issues such as infrastructure maintenance, healthcare, personal hygiene, etc.
Stay sincere and champion local causes to build a solid positive reputation for your local business.
6. Monitor your customer’s opinions with social listening and feedback management
The most crucial step in local reputation management is anticipating concerns before they become reputation problems. Local businesses must constantly look for direct and indirect feedback to address issues and improve customer experience instantly.
Some of the ways to do this are:
- Via social listening. You can set up Google alerts or use social listening tools like Birdeye that monitor brand mentions and flag off any negative sentiment towards your business.
- Via customer surveys. Send a personalized survey to all customers to evaluate their experience, identify concerns, and provide resolutions to avoid customers writing negative reviews in the first place.
- By monitoring reviews for specific keywords. Ensure that every negative review becomes an internal ticket you can investigate, track, and resolve immediately.
Customer feedback management can help businesses build and maintain a solid local reputation, just like it did for South Georgia Dental, which used Birdeye Surveys and Birdeye Reviews together to improve their online reputation.
7. Use local reputation management tools
Local reputation management has many pillars; you must closely monitor all significant channels. This becomes challenging when you monitor 50+ listings and 4+ social media accounts.
Birdeye has helped over 150,000 businesses boost their local reputation and has seen that using a reputation management tool significantly improves the success rate.
With a tool like Birdeye, you can manage reviews, listings, social media accounts, customer surveys, webchat, and appointments from a single dashboard. It streamlines the process and ensures you never miss a review or feedback.
Birdeye also helps businesses use AI in reputation management processes with auto-generated review responses, review translation, and review response templates.
FAQs on local reputation management
You can choose the best reputation management company by evaluating their services. Look for the ability to monitor and manage reviews, brand mentions, listings, competitor activity, and social media.
The four components of reputation management are local listing, review, customer feedback, and social media management.
You can manage a brand reputation online by using a reputation management company like Birdeye to monitor and manage reviews, brand mentions, and customer feedback.
Birdeye – the top-rated local brand reputation management tool
Local reputation management is essential to business development, especially in a competitive and digital-first business environment. Businesses must ensure that every mention, review, and user-generated content is always on their radar.
This can become complex as your business scales and you start serving a higher volume of customers.
That is why over 150,000 businesses have chosen Birdeye to help them manage their reputation and grow rapidly in their target markets. We are a top-rated reputation and customer experience platform for local businesses.
Birdeye has everything a local business needs to establish dominance in its target local communities.
Check out our pricing today!