What is Reputation Management and why is it so important?


The popularity explosion of social media over the past decade has also changed the entire landscape of digital marketing and branding. It’s the norm now for consumers to make their voices heard and engage with brands directly.

Gone are the days of brochure websites and static marketing campaigns. Now it’s all about having fresh, positive social proof — people trust what other people say, much more than company marketing. Here are a few eye opening statistics by BrightLocal that prove this:

  • 92% of people use online reviews for decision making. 
  • 84% trust online reviews as much as a personal recommendation. 
  • 68% form a purchase opinion after reading between one and six online reviews.
  • 73% only value reviews written in the past month. 
  • 49% only choose businesses with at least a four-star rating

This article will explore the ins and outs of handling reviews and maintaining a positive online profile, to help businesses of all sizes get more customers and build trust in their brand.

What reputation management really means

Wikipedia defines Reputation Management as: “The influencing and controlling or concealing of an individual's or group's reputation.” The concept is nothing new, PR services have been prized almost as long as the dawn of organized commerce.

In the digital world, this activity originally involved SEO related agencies putting out lots of new content to push down negative rankings in Google search result pages. Deliberately hiding bad reviews would generally be called ‘Black Hat SEO’, which amounts to unscrupulous tactics. 


Google algorithms are much smarter these days. They prioritize companies that have good business information listings and high star ratings across a number or platforms, like Google My Business, Yelp and Trip Advisor (to name a few). Besides, no amount of new content can cover negative feedback if customers go directly to increasingly popular review platforms, like Trustpilot. 

But with so many online listing and rating platforms these days, it would be practically impossible to stay on top of all of them across the Web. The good news is that now you can get a simplified, affordable tool that does this for you. Online Reputation Management is really about using Review Manager software, which pulls what the world is saying about your business into a single easy Dashboard. 

Any modern business wanting to achieve sustainable, long term growth needs to keep their customers happy, by showing they care about them. And that boils down to the new Golden Rule that business and marketing leaders advise — transparency. By this we mean:

  • Opening direct communication channels with customers, like Twitter, Telegram, or Gab.
  • Asking for company reviews on your website, emails, social channels, and in surveys.
  • Allowing employees to discuss your products and services online.
  • Responding quickly and effectively to negative feedback, including apologizing when you made a mistake, and doing your best to fix it.

Why review management is crucial

Here’s why every business needs to take customer reviews and star ratings seriously:

Trust means sales

It’s obvious that the more people trust your business, the more they’ll choose you over your competitors. As many as 88% of modern shoppers trust reviews as much as personal recommendations from friends, family and colleagues.


Other interesting conversion statistics to bear in mind — 72% of consumers will take action after reading even one good review, and shoppers are likely to spend 31% more with a company that has excellent customer reviews. 

People trust new reviews most, so by keeping up to speed with your reviews, you can leverage them effectively in your marketing.

Another way to increase trust and sales is to engage with customer feedback. On average, if you reply to at least 25% of reviews, it earns you 35% more revenue. Review replies and Google Q&A are a great way to show you care, and inform people about what your business can offer them. This type of content has a strong trust factor, because it’s helpful. 

What’s also important to keep in mind is that happy customers reduce your ad spend over the long term, because they’ll likely give you free advertising by telling people about their positive experience with your business.

On the other hand, negative customer feedback should also be seen as valuable. By responding it gives you the opportunity to show customers you care, and it also highlights your business gaps. By filling in your blind spots, you can continue improving.

Decision making process

With the incredible growth of online commerce and services, the digital world is getting increasingly noisy and competitive. People are bombarded daily with vast amounts of marketing, and they have unprecedented choices when shopping. This makes deciding time consuming. There’s even a modern term for it — shoppers fatigue. 

That’s why customer reviews have become essential. People rely on them to efficiently navigate their choices. But while even one great review can bring your business a sale, the same applies to losing a prospective customer with a negative review.

It would be practically impossible to manually monitor what people are saying about your business across the Web. Reputation management software brings it all into a single Dashboard, which is an invaluable time saving tool.

SEO and listings


Google takes quality customer experience very seriously, so they rank businesses that provide it higher in search results. But an often neglected area that companies easily overlook is not having comprehensive and current business information listings.

The problem, as with review platforms, is it’s no longer a matter of keeping your listing up to date on places like Google My Business, Yelp and TripAdvisor. There are now well over 100 business listing sites and growing.

A Review Manager displays these platforms in your Dashboard, so you can easily keep your details correct. Added to this benefit, 97% of consumers search online for local businesses. If they can see your address, directions, phone number, and website, they’ll be much more likely to shop with you online or pay a visit to your store.

Many of these listing platforms include star ratings. Further research by Brightlocal found that having a number of 1 or 2 star ratings puts off as many as 86% of potential customers. A good Review Manager even gives you response template suggestions, so you can respond quickly and in the best way to mitigate any negative Google reviews.

A quality presence on business listing websites tells Google algorithms that you treat your customers well, so your company deserves to be ranked higher in search results. And since only 5% of people browse past the first page of Google, that means a lot.

Top talent plus new clients


Having skilled, dedicated people is one of the key factors that makes a successful business. When searching for a job, people now research Google reviews, as well as what your employees say on platforms like Glassdoor. This gives them the social proof of positive feedback to decide whether your company is a good place to work. Increasingly people also highly value companies with the ethic of treating their customers fairly. 

A study found that 69% of job seekers would reject a job offer if the company had a bad reputation, even when unemployed. Top talent will naturally have a range of companies that would gladly hire them, so they’d tend to be even more picky. So managing reviews is also important for attracting great employees.

And the same applies to new business opportunities. Companies are increasingly turning to social media to research who they’re considering working with. Even one really negative review could put off a new client, which would be a big loss for new and growing companies. Online reputation management in the modern world is about so many factors besides customers.

Takeaway

Brand reputation can make or break a business in today’s competitive online marketplace. And in the digital world, a negative review doesn’t go away. It is logged and can do serious damage to your business, even if it happened years ago. 

People are increasingly relying on social proof online — positive feedback helps us decide whether a company can be trusted to buy from, hire, or work for.

Reputation management software has become crucial for businesses to be successful, because

it’s practically impossible to manually keep up with the growing number of business listing and review platforms.

A quality Review Manager gives your business the power to understand what the world thinks about your business, and control your online reputation. All from a single, simplified Dashboard.

Why choose a Review Manager from Namecheap?

We’ve built a 20 year global track record of trust for giving our customers a comprehensive range of essential web services, from hosting and domains, to cybersecurity and apps. Namecheap believes in giving businesses the tools you need without the usual roadblocks — high quality, user-friendly and super affordable.


Melissa Fletcher

Melissa Fletcher

More articles written by Melissa.

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