Online Reputation Management

The better your online reputation, the more customers will come to your business and the higher you’ll rank on Google search. In this guide you’ll learn how you can better manage your online reputation to drive business growth.

Online Reputation Management

What is reputation management?

Reputation management is the act of proactively managing what consumers learn about your business —usually through Google, social media channels like Facebook, or another one of the hundreds of review sites on the Internet.

It’s important to listen to your customers and empower them to become your voice and your advocates. Testimonials from existing customers provides proof of your brand’s excellence to prospects . Let’s take a second to talk about why your brand’s reputation matters.

Brand Reputation Management

Your brand’s reputation is valuable. Just like your first impression is important when you’re meeting new people, your business’s reputation is important to new customers.

While it’s hard to quantify, our reputation even has monetary value. A good reputation means that your brand is worth more. According to the Economist, 30% of the value of the S&P 500 comes from brand reputation.

Think about a big brand like Nike. When you see the iconic swoosh, you know the brand represents quality athletic footwear. Nike has carefully built this image through decades of advertising and celebrity sponsorships with athletes like Michael Jordan.

Some of the value of a company like Nike comes not just from their profits, but also the reputation of their brand. Whenever Nike puts out a new shoe, consumers know that they can expect the same level of quality that they see with all of Nike’s products.

Of course, reputation management isn’t just a game that only giant companies like Nike can play. You don’t need to get Michael Jordan in order to get customers to trust your business. Every company can build a solid reputation through the online reputation management.

Digital Reputation Management

You don’t need flashy celebrity sponsorships or Superbowl commercials in order to build a strong reputation. What you do need is the authentic voice of your current customers.

Right now, there is a space where customers are checking to determine your business’s reputation: review sites. There are hundreds of review sites on the Internet, from review giants like Google and Facebook to smaller, industry-focused sites like Healthgrades and Avvo. Here, local businesses are rated and reviewed by real customers. This is where your online reputation is created.

Studies show that 92% of customers consult reviews before making a purchase decision. So it’s simple, the better your business looks on review sites, the better your reputation. The better your reputation, the more customers will come to your business.

Customers Consult Online Reviews

Why Customers Trust Online Reviews

There’s a simple reason why online reviews can make such a big impact on your business: customers trust them.

Customer reviews represent the real opinions of real customers. Any business can claim to be the best business. If you have lots of quality reviews from customers, it shows social proof that businesses actually care about your services.

Get More Online Reviews

A study by the Harvard Business Review showed that a 1-star increase in reviews can result in a 5-9% increase in revenue. Here are some factors that can help your business’s online reputation:

  • If the reviews are positive
  • You have "fresh" recent reviews
  • You have lots of reviews
  • Your business is highly rated
  • Your reviews are authentic
  • You respond to both positive and negative reviews promptly with a positive and helpful demeanor

How online reviews help your business get discovered

Since customers find reviews important, search engines do too. Online reviews provide fresh, organic content for your business, and are displayed in search engine results. Therefore, they have a massive impact on your search engine ranking (See Search Engine Optimization (SEO) for Small Business).

Search engines are the roadways that help direct targeted traffic to your site. It’s like the signs on the side of a freeway that tell you there’s gas, food, and a place to sleep off a particular exit. If you don’t have your signs up, search engines won’t know that they can send traffic your way.

Strong Online Reputation

So your “signals” also need to be accurate for your business to be discovered online- such as Name, Address, Phone Number (NAP), and its consistency across every platform wherever your business appears.

The Ten Commandments of Online Reputation

So now that you know why your business’s reputation is so important, let’s talk about what you do to get started. We’ve put together these ten commandments that businesses across all industries can follow.

1. Aim to Provide Quality Services.

You can’t dress up a bad product. The most important thing to remember is that the easiest way to get more customers is by providing great services.

Of course, that doesn’t mean that a great business will always have a great online reputation. Even if you’re the best business in the world, it’s going to be tough for customers to discover you if you don’t have any online reviews and nobody’s talking about you on social media. That’s why it’s important to be proactive and make sure that you’re taking the steps necessary to get your business discovered by new customers.

2. Be on The First Page of Google.

75% of users never go past the first page of Google. While it might sound harsh, the second page of Google search results are where customers go to die.

By taking the steps necessary to be visible to both your current and potential customers, your business will stand ahead of the competition. That means getting more reviews and making sure that customers find your business listings online. It’s estimated that reviews and listings together account for more than 25% of ranking factors.

Be On First Page Of Google

3. Keep Track of Everything Customers Are Saying on Review Sites.

There are hundreds of review sites all across the Internet. Customers are constantly making the decision whether or not they want to buy from your business. It’s important to stay on top of customer opinion so that you can take a proactive role in managing your reputation.

A bad review on one site can lead to customers turning away from your business and going to a competitor. Make sure that you’re keeping track of every review site that you appear on to prevent damage to your reputation.

Keep Track Of Customers On Review Sites

4. Send Review Requests to All of Your Customers.

The more reviews you have, the better your business looks. A business with 500 reviews looks a lot better than a business with 5. Luckily, there’s an easy trick to getting more reviews: just asking.

But don’t just ask for reviews from a select group of customers. Once you start picking and choosing customers that you want reviews from, chances are that you’re missing out on asking other happy customers for their feedback.

5. Engage With Your Customers.

On review sites, you’re bound to get both positive and negative reviews. Remember, potential customers are looking at all of these reviews to determine what kind of service your business provides. By engaging with all of your reviews, you show that you are dedicated to making sure that every customer is as happy as possible.

While responding to customer reviews is often overlooked, it’s something that make a big impact. It’s a great way to show every single customer that you care about their experience.

6. Treat Negative Feedback as an Opportunity to Get Better.

Every business gets negative reviews. But don’t take it personally. Take it as an opportunity to improve and get better. If you see a customer complaining about something like “long wait time”, try and see if there’s anything you can do to help speed things up for your customers.

Remember, customer reviews provide insights into what’s working and what’s not. Make sure that you understand what your customers want and use this knowledge to make your business the best in your area.

Respond To Negative Reviews

7. Fight Slander Against Your Business.

A fake review can cause some serious damage to your business’s reputation. Sometimes you might get a 1-star review from someone who isn’t even a customer. This can lead to some serious damage to your business’s reputation.

While you can and should report fake reviews, sometimes this isn’t enough. Review sites will only delete reviews when there’s definitive proof that they don’t come from a real customer.

The best way to deal with these fake reviews is with a strong response. This way, potential customers can see that this review doesn’t show an actual customer’s experience with your business.

Put your evidence out there strongly and politely so potential customers know that they’re looking at a fake review. Saying something like, “We cannot find a customer by your name in our records, please contact us at our phone number.” Can show the public that this review doesn’t actually represent your business.

Fight Slander Against Business

8. Make Sure That Your Customers Can Find Your Business’s Information.

If a customer can’t find your phone number or your hours of operation online, it’s going to be hard for them to pay you a visit. Nobody wants to take time out of their day just to show up to a closed store.

If there are any incorrect listings on the Internet, it can spread like a virus. Some listing websites pull information from bigger websites like Google and Facebook. A wrong address or phone number on one website can ultimately lead to a lot of confused customers.

Want to make sure that all of your competitors can find your business quickly and easily? Click here to scan your business’s listings across the Internet.

Update Business Listings

9. Keep Track of Your Competitors.

Whether customers are trying to find a new restaurant to go to or a new dental practice to try out, they’re probably going to look up multiple different options online.

That’s why it’s important to keep track of what your competitors are doing. If there are areas where your competitors are excelling and where you’re falling short, you can figure out what you can do differently to stay a step ahead. Paying pay close attention to what customers are saying will help you stand out from the pack.

Keep Track Of Competition

10. Stay Active on Social Media.

Facebook has more than 2 billion monthly active users. There are over 5000 tweets being posted every second. Remember, social media isn’t just a place for sharing memes and family photos. Social media is an opportunity for you to reach your potential customers and there are a lot of them out there

Make sure that your business is posting regularly on social media. . Posting a glowing review can be a great way of showing potential customers how great your business’s services are.

What is a Strong Online Reputation?

Of course, having a strong online reputation isn’t always as simple as it seems. When asked, most businesses will say that having a high overall star rating makes their business looks great to customers. While this may be partially true, it’s definitely not the entire story. If a business has 5 online reviews with an average rating of 4.5 stars, would you say that this company has a positive online reputation? Most people would say yes.

Now, if this company has a competitor, with 500 reviews and an average rating of 4.5 stars, which company are you more likely to go with? Our money would be on the competitor. Both companies have a positive online reputation, but the competitor has a much stronger online reputation because of how many reviews they have.

Build Strong Online Reputation

A strong online reputation has the power to attract customers. It’s about psychology and strength in numbers. While a business with lots of reviews might have some negative reviews here and there, that shouldn’t have a huge impact. A study by Spiegel Research Center showed that customers prefer businesses with some negative reviews over those with none at all. After all, even the best businesses get negative reviews.

When a potential customer looks at the company’s review profile, he or she is looking at the collective testimony of 500 people. Such strong social proof shows customers that the business will deliver quality services.

How can you create a ‘Strong’ online reputation?

To build a strong online reputation, businesses need to get reviews from all their customers (not just from happy ones) and slowly create an impressive online presence. Now, on the other hand, some businesses leave their online reputation management to chance and leave it to their customers to take the initiative. Doing this isn’t going to end well - even if they have killer services and tons of satisfied customers.

If businesses aren’t proactive with review requests, they are putting their reputation at risk. Unhappy or angry customers will vent their frustration online and leave negative reviews, while happy or satisfied customers have little incentive to seek out review profiles and write a glowing review for the business.

The voice of your customer can be a critical tool in your marketing arsenal. Make sure you hear what they have to say. Be proactive – reach out and get their feedback. Interact with your customers – keep the channels of conversation live at all times. Regular interaction with your customers can help place your business on the right trajectory for success.

Since your reputation is dependent on online reviews, it’s important to stay on top of customer feedback. Let’s talk about what you can do to start managing your online reputation today.

How to Get Started with Online Reputation Management

So now you know how important it is for your business to stay on top of its reputation. There’s a lot of different aspects to how your business appears online. We’ll go into some more detail later, but let’s talk about some easy things you can do to get started.

Step 1- Claim Your Google My Business Profile

The first thing that potential customers will see when they do a Google search for your business is your Google My Business profile. It’s important to claim your profile so that you can make a great first impression. Once your profile is claimed, you can add important information like your phone number, address, and hours of operation.

Don’t have a Google My Business page? Find out how to setup Google My Business page and optimize it.

Claim Google My Business Profile

Step 2- Send Text and Email Review Requests

Text or email review requests. Sending an email or a text (SMS) is a great way to motivate customers to review your business. The key is to make leaving a review as easy as possible. When asking for reviews via email or text, make sure to leave a direct link to your business’s profile so they don’t have to click through multiple pages to find you. The easier the process, the better your results.

An easy place to start is sending out emails or texts 24-48 hours after the service. The sooner you send the review request, the better your odds will be of getting a review. After all, people’s memories fade quickly.

Send Review Requests

Step 3- Market Your Reviews on Social Media

Reviews don’t just have to stay on reviews sites. A genuine testimonial from a real customer can speak volumes about your business. Share reviews across your social media sites so that all your followers can see them. To post Google reviews on your Facebook page, just:

  1. Find the review you want to share. Or share a review that with an effective response.
  2. Select the reviewer's name.
  3. Make sure the correct review displays.
  4. Click the "Share" button.
  5. Copy and paste the URL into your Facebook status and it will be shared.

Market Reviews On Social Media

Step 4- Display Reviews on Your Website

Social media isn’t the only place you can share your reviews. You can make sure that all of your website visitors can see how effective the content is with online reviews.

If your business’s website was created on WordPress, there’s a “Google Reviews Widget” that will display your business' reviews in a live feed on the sidebar. There are many other online tools that will help you embed your reviews if your website wasn’t created on WordPress.

Display Reviews On Website

What Else Can I Do to Effectively Manage My Online Reputation?

There’s no magic bullet that can create a great online reputation, but there are a mix of different strategies you can use.

Now imagine if all this was taken care of automatically by a review management software, so you can focus on running your business. That is exactly what a review management software does. It can help you save time on all of these processes.

You Can Save A Lot of Time and Effort with Automation

Let’s talk about some specific ways a review management tool like BirdEye can help your business grow revenue.

Reputation Management Software

A tool like BirdEye can make the process of managing your reviews significantly easier. Here are a couple of things that reputation management software can accomplish for your business.

Stay on Top of Customer Reviews

Your customers aren’t just on big sites like Facebook or Google. Customers are discovering your business all over the Internet, making it important for you to stay on top of your online reputation on all of the different sites that you appear on. Of course, this isn’t easy. It’s hard for business owners to go through every single profile that they have manually. There just isn’t enough time in the day.

Luckily, there’s an easy way you can impress all of your potential customers, no matter where they discover you: Review Monitoring.

Stay On Top Of Customer Reviews

With BirdEye’s Review Monitoring , it is easy to track all reviews from Google and Facebook to more industry-specific sites for lawyers, dentists, realtors, and doctors, all in one place on BirdEye’s dashboard. BirdEye tracks reviews from over 150 sites, making it easier than ever to manage your online reputation.

Get New Customer Reviews

The more reviews you have, the better your business looks to customers. While sending review requests to your customers can help, it’s tough to this manually. We’ve found that the best time to send a review request to your business is on the same day as the sale.

After all, if a customer gets a review request three weeks after the sale chances are that they don’t have a clear memory of their experience. They probably won’t be willing to leave a review and even if do, it might not be an accurate representation of your business.

Luckily, there’s a better way. BirdEye can send review requests to your customers automatically. BirdEye can integrate with your Customer Relationship Management system and send review requests to your customers while you do the hard work of taking care of your business.

Get New Customer Reviews

Easily Respond to Reviews

It’s tough to respond to customer reviews. You might have some reviews on Google, some reviews on Facebook, and some more reviews on industry-specific sites. It’s tough to spend your time shuffling between all of these different sites in order to respond to all your reviews.

Luckily, a platform like BirdEye can help you solve this problem. The BirdEye dashboard allows you to respond to reviews on 150+ sites in a single dashboard. Respond to the review within the dashboard and the response will appear on the site where the review originally appeared.

Easily Respond To Reviews

Get Data-Based Insights

Reviews contain valuable information that can fuel your company’s growth. Once you get lots of customer reviews, you can take a close look in order to find areas where your business can improve.

With our advanced NLP engine Athena, BirdEye analyzes insights from reviews and social media in one place. This helps businesses find the root cause of the problem and take appropriate actions.

Businesses using BirdEye have used insights to find out exactly what their customers want. Check out this case study showing how Blaze Pizza used BirdEye Insights to accurately measure the increasing volume of online customer feedback and improved their business operations.

Get Data Based Insights

Why BirdEye?

BirdEye is the most comprehensive solution on the market. Recently, G2 Crowd named BirdEye the #1 reviews software based on the data from hundreds of customer reviews.

No other company on the market can compete with BirdEye’s all-in-one platform. Only BirdEye allows customers to send automatic review requests, respond to customer reviews, send surveys, get actionable insights, and fix listings across the Internet.

Reputation Management Cost

The price of reputation management software can vary depending on your business needs. A large enterprise like Blaze Pizza or BMW might have significantly more online reputation needs than a single-location business and will be charged a higher price as a result.

BirdEye offers different plans for businesses with different goals. Click here to find out how BirdEye can help your business fulfill its unique needs. We recommend that businesses speak with one of our reputation experts to discuss how your business can get the best results from online reputation management.

Does Reputation Management really get results?

It did for Academy Mortgage. By using BirdEye to help with its online reputation, Academy Mortgage saw its Google reviews increase by 6 times and Facebook reviews increase by 3 times. On an employee-level, most of Academy Mortgage’s employees at least doubled their review volume, and all earned a 4.7 average rating or higher. One employee increased review volume by 10x.

With BirdEye, you can make sure that your business is supported on every step of the journey from reviews to revenue. Our platform gives businesses the tools they need to get new reviews and leverage them for more customers. Watch a demo to see why more than 50,000 businesses use BirdEye to drive growth.


Reputation Management Tactics

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4 useful search engine reputation management tips for small businesses

4 useful search engine reputation management tips for small businesses


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Do online reviews matter

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Soliciting reviews: Facebook and Google

Soliciting reviews: Facebook and Google


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