If you aren’t sure what’s being posted online about your business, it’s highly recommended that you find out immediately. The continued success of your business may depend on it.
Do People Really Read Online Reviews?
The percentage of internet users who search for information about a business before they go to the business has been steadily increasing. In a recent survey, almost 9 in 10 individuals said they read online reviews to learn about local businesses. This information is given a great deal of weight. Most people now consider online sources of information, like reviews, to be trustworthy.
Put simply, you need to know what people are saying about your business online because it significantly impacts whether people will buy from your business.
How Do I Know What People Are Saying?
There’s no single place to find all discussions and reviews regarding your business. For a broad overview, we suggest that you start by looking in three places: Google, online reviews, and social media.
Google is so widely used that it isn’t just a search engine, it’s a verb! It’s also one of the easiest places for people to search for information about a business. Even those who aren’t technologically savvy can run a simple Google search for a type of business, such as restaurants in a particular location. Type your company name and location into Google’s search box to see what the results show. The first page is the most important. Few internet users go beyond the first page of results.
Next, check for formal reviews. Online reviews can be found in multiple places. They are integrated into Google’s business listings and are also on platforms such as Yelp (for restaurants and many other services), TripAdvisor (for lodging and travel packages), Avvo (for attorneys), and Amazon (for products). While conducting this search, consider the number of stars your business has earned and read the actual reviews.
Social media is tricky because it constantly changes, and different audiences use different platforms. As a starting point, check Twitter and Instagram because both are widely used platforms where much of the information is public and searchable via hashtags. These platforms won’t have formal reviews, but they will allow you to find comments that are being posted about your business.
How Can I Take Action Against Negative Reviews?
Knowing what information is being posted about your business online is only the first step. If the information is all positive, that’s a great sign. Simply continue to regularly monitor your company’s online presence to be certain the information remains positive.
If you don’t find any information about your company, it’s likely that your business is missing out on potential customers, so you should take steps to develop a positive online presence.
If you find negative reviews or comments about your business, make sure that information isn’t what potential customers see first when they search Google for your business. Or better yet, remove the negative information, if possible.
If this feels a bit overwhelming, Net Reputation can help analyze your company’s online reputation, promote your business with positive online content, and remove or minimize negative commentary.