In our modern world, all companies rely on the internet to find customers. Sure, local businesses could once trust that their customers would find them by strolling down Main Street or opening the Yellow Pages, but times have changed. Modern customers don’t use paper books to find businesses, and even window-shopping trips are often informed by mobile Google searches and map apps on smartphones.
We use the internet to order our food and find our dates—we use it to find goods and services. Online searches surpassed phone book use in the late 2000s, and now phone books seem destined to become a complete thing of the past. The new system means new challenges, of course. And one of the most interesting wrinkles to the era of online search is this: in a great many cases, online reviews are a part of the search experience.
Online reviews and your business
Remember the Yellow Pages? It’s a website, now. It does a lot of the things it always did, but it also serves up customer reviews. As do Yelp and Google. These days, it’s hard to find a search engine that displays businesses without reviews.
That’s not always ideal, explain the pros at Straight Marketing LLC, a digital marketing company. The Straight Marketing LLC reviews experts point out that customers are more likely to leave a review when they’re displeased with a business than they are to leave a good review when they’re happy. That’s an unfortunate truth that depresses business’ online reputations.
An incredible 84% of people believe reviews just as much as they believe recommendations from their own friends. Customers take reviews at face value— it doesn’t matter that the online review system naturally depresses good reviews, or that many people reading these reviews would never write any reviews themselves. The customers trust the reviews all the same, and businesses have to live with that.
That’s why it’s so important for businesses to invest in their reputations online.
Digital marketing and online reputation management
Bad reviews online can mean real losses in sales of products and services. Good reviews, on the other hand, can boost your business’ reputation. Smart business owners turn to digital marketing firms to improve their online presence and take advantage of other digital marketing strategies.
A good digital marketing approach incorporates all different aspects of digital marketing. There are ads, of course: banner ads and ads on search engine results pages (SERPs), to name just a couple of options. Online advertising can be very cost-effective, thanks to the pay-per-click model.
Then there is search engine optimization, or SEO. This is the practice of making your business’ web presence as appealing as possible to search engines. Major search engines like Google field incredible numbers of queries, and therefore direct incredible amounts of traffic. There’s a real dollar value to being higher on the results page.
Your business should also carefully maintain its reputation with the help of digital marketing experts. Great social media pages are a must. An active social media presence can act as advertising, improve SEO, and even help you prevent bad reviews. If you are available on Facebook or Twitter, customers may turn to you there before slamming you on Yelp. You might get the chance to solve their problem or apologize to them, diffusing the situation before it hits bad-review territory.
Your business’ online priorities are complex and intertwined. But a great digital marketing firm can make things simple. Invest in one today, and get your business’ online reviews — and all of the other parts of its online presence and reputation — under control.