Being present and having a good reputation go hand in hand. Not being listed on a reference site customers use is just as bad as having bad reviews somewhere else. When many of a business’s online profiles have user generated content like reviews, their reputation drives tangible results. You need to maximize visibility and reputation simultaneously, building off the genuine customer experience. Building a consistent online presence and a positive reputation is important for both consumers and search engines. Some of the most important aspects of the online footprint include:
• Number of listings
• Consistency of listing information (name, address, phone)
• Overall sentiment in reviews
• Frequency or current velocity of new reviews
• Overall volume of reviews
• Social activity and engagement (especially with reviewers)
People trust traditional advertising far less than social recommendations and review sites. Customers view this user generated content as more genuine and authentic, expecting them to mirror the actual customer experience. This means that maintaining a reputation is getting increasingly more important.
Nearly 95% of smartphone users have looked for local information online. Google has reported that nine out of 10 of those searches lead to action, and more than 50% lead to sales.
Much of the time, a customer decides to purchase before even entering the store. If a business has a good web presence, customers will come to them rather than their competitor. This includes local listings in order to be found; reputation management in order to be chosen, and; social products for word of mouth. Once they’re in the store, 79% use their smartphones inside to look at reviews, compare prices and other metrics, and 74% of them end up making a purchase.
Of course, you know all this—the trend has been obvious for years and it’s likely (significantly) changed your buying habits. Those numbers make the opportunity clear: maintain a good online reputation, get people in the door and make sales.