7 Reasons Your Need an Online Reputation Strategy (+ How to do it)

In today’s digital age, online reputation is more important than ever for local businesses. Studies show that 98% of consumers read online reviews for local businesses. Positive online reviews and reputation provide enormous benefits for local businesses in terms of driving new customers, increasing trust, and improving SEO.

With the proliferation of review sites like Yelp and Google, coupled with the reach of social media, a business’s online reputation can make or break its success. 72% of consumers say positive reviews make them more likely to use a local business. On the other hand, negative reviews can deter customers and damage brand perception. Managing and monitoring online reputation is crucial for local businesses aiming to attract and retain customers in today’s digital marketplace.

Building a strong, positive online reputation has manifold benefits for local businesses. It drives new customer acquisition by establishing trust and social proof. It improves SEO by boosting engagement metrics and keywords rankings. It also increases customer loyalty and retention by providing existing customers with confidence in their purchasing decisions.

In short, robust online reputation management is now a key part of succeeding as a local business. By actively monitoring, soliciting positive feedback and responding appropriately to critiques, local businesses can thrive in the age of online reviews.

7 Reasons Why Your Business Needs an Online Reputation Strategy

Building a good online reputation can take time.

It requires a dedicated strategy and the patience to maintain it, especially since businesses now need to manage their reputation across different online platforms.

But the benefits are worth it.

Put simply, having a strategy for online reputation management is the key to standing out from the competition and driving more sales.

The bonus is that more sales can lead to more happy customers who are willing to praise your business online… leading to more sales.

1. It Shows A Good Relationship With Customers

Customers need to trust a business before buying its products and services, so they look to other customers.

It’s understandable because finding unbiased information about a business is as simple as looking at real customers with first-hand experience.

Online reviews are a prime example of this. Online reviews tell a story of how a business treats its customers, as well as display the relationship a business shares with its customers.

Customer advocacy is, therefore, an invaluable resource for your business.

Whether in the form of a positive review or social media endorsement, the online praise of your existing customers will lead more new customers to your business and what it has to offer.

2. It Encourages Customer Engagement

Engaging with customers is one of the best ways your business can improve its online reputation.

Building on the above point, it can also demonstrate a healthy customer relationship – something potential customers want to see.

This makes it important to interact with customers wherever possible, such as your social media channels and review sites.

This includes creating social media content that fosters engagement and responding to your customers’ comments – including their reviews.

The good thing about interacting with customers is that it encourages more engagement.

By seeing that your business is communicative and caring, more customers will readily interact with you and feel more inclined to endorse your business with user-generated content.

3. It Builds Trust And Credibility

A good online reputation will serve as your banner of trust and credibility.

A high star rating backed by hundreds of positive reviews, for example, can often be more than enough to persuade a potential customer to skip further research and head straight to your store or website to buy the product or service they’re after.

In an age of accessible information, trust and credibility are factors that will make your business stand head and shoulders above the rest, as these days building a good online reputation and building trust are virtually synonymous.

4. It Increases Employee Loyalty

Alongside customer reviews, review sites such as Glassdoor invite employees to rate and review the companies they work for.

This is a whole new side of reputation management your business needs to account for, as it ultimately shows how you treat your employees.

For that reason, employer reviews now play a big role in determining whether or not jobseekers choose to apply for your company.

Customer reviews, on the other hand, can also determine whether or not existing employees remain loyal to your business, as what your customers say can have an effect on whether your employees feel they are making a difference and are part of a business that cares.

5. It Helps Your Business Improve

7 Reasons Why Your Business Needs An Online Reputation Strategy

A good online reputation can increase sales, which can increase reviews.

And with more reviews—more customer feedback—the more valuable insights you will have into what your business is doing right and what it needs to improve.

No business, small or large, should rest on its laurels.

Businesses should always be looking for ways to grow and innovate, and your customers’ opinions are by far the most valuable form of feedback your business can receive.

This doesn’t just make it important to listen to your customers but to encourage your customers to say what they think via customer feedback surveys, social media content, and online reviews.

Having a good online reputation is vital for information search: the second step of the buyer decision process is when a consumer searches for a business, product, or service after recognizing a need or want.

It’s during this stage that consumers do their research, weigh pros and cons, and refer to credible information sources, such as customer reviews, before making an informed decision based on trust and confidence.

As a result, having a credible, authoritative online reputation will not just draw customers to your business but speed up the buyer decision-making process.

After all, the sooner a customer trusts your business, the sooner they will confidently buy what you have to offer.

7. It Boosts Sales

In today’s competitive online market, a good business reputation is what generates sales.

This is the main reason your business needs an online reputation strategy and the end result that all the above reasons will lead to.

But more sales are not the only benefit of building a good online reputation.

As touched on earlier, more sales can lead to more reviews, which can create a powerful feedback loop that can influence more customers to use your business.

The result is that your online reputation will start to grow by itself.

The driving force here is customer reviews, as reviews will increase sales by inspiring trust and confidence. So the bottom line is clear: businesses need reviews for online success.

Monitor Your Reputation

Keeping tabs on your online reputation is crucial for local businesses. You’ll want to monitor review sites, search engine results, and set up alerts to stay on top of what customers and leads are seeing about your brand.

Set up Google Alerts for your business name, keywords, and variations of your name. Google Alerts will email you whenever new web pages, articles, or reviews mention your business. Checking these alerts regularly allows you to find new reviews quickly.

Keep an eye on major review sites like Yelp, Facebook, and industry-specific directories. Yelp in particular can make or break visibility for local businesses. Be sure to claim your listing on these sites so you can monitor reviews and respond as needed.

Search for your business name on Google every few weeks and browse through the results. Pay attention to which listings, articles, and review sites show up on page one. Aim to increase your presence on authoritative, positive sites.

Consistent monitoring provides visibility into how your reputation is evolving online. While staying on top of reviews takes time, it enables you to capitalize on positive feedback and address issues before they spiral out of control.

Use Social Media Effectively

Social media is a powerful tool for local businesses to connect with customers and build their reputation. Here are some best practices for using social media effectively:

  • Actively respond to customers. Social media allows you to have real-time conversations with customers and quickly address any questions or concerns. Monitor your social channels closely and engage with any comments from customers.
  • Share positive news and updates. Don’t just use social media for promotions. Post about new products and services, awards or media mentions, events, and other positive announcements. This strategy provides value for your followers.
  • Post engaging content regularly. Whether it’s images, videos, or written content, provide a steady stream of engaging social content. Consistency is key, so commit to a social media calendar and regular posting schedule. Start with daily posts, then optimize based on engagement and growth. Vary your content types to keep it interesting.

Get Positive Reviews

One of the best ways to get more positive reviews is to directly ask your customers for them. An easy way to do this is by sending a follow up email after a purchase or service, and include a friendly ask to leave an online review. Let them know you appreciate their feedback and that it helps other potential customers learn about your business.

Another great time to ask is when you are following up with a customer after you complete a job or deliver a product. Thank them for their business and provide a link or instructions for leaving a review on sites like Google, Facebook and Yelp. The closer the request is to the actual customer experience, the more likely they will be to leave a fresh review.

You can also incentivize customers to leave reviews by offering a discount, coupon or other reward in exchange for their feedback. Just make sure to follow the review site’s guidelines around incentives. For example, Yelp requires you to offer incentives to all customers, regardless of whether the review is positive or negative.

Deal with Negative Reviews

No business wants to get negative reviews, but they’re inevitable from time to time. The key is responding professionally and trying to make amends when appropriate.

Take a deep breath when you receive a bad review. Respond calmly and avoid getting defensive. Thank the customer for their feedback and apologize for their poor experience. Offer a solution if possible; for example, if they complained about an employee, you could promise additional training.

If the review seems fake or intentionally malicious, you may want to flag it. Review sites like Yelp let businesses report reviews that violate their rules. Use this strategy sparingly, as aggressive flagging can damage your reputation.

Most importantly, learn from negative reviews. If multiple people complain about the same thing, it’s a clear sign something needs to improve with your business. Reviews provide an opportunity to address issues and offer better service going forward.

Create and Share Great Content

Creating and sharing high-quality content like blog posts, videos, and testimonials is a great way to boost your online reputation. Well-written blog posts that showcase your business’s expertise can position you as an authority in your field. Make sure to optimize blog posts with relevant keywords so they can be easily found by potential customers searching online. 

Useful, educational videos are also highly engaging content formats that customers love. Don’t forget to share customer testimonials and positive reviews. Having satisfied customers vouch for your business goes a long way in establishing trust and credibility.

Gaining press mentions and positive media coverage also improves your reputation. Consider pitching story ideas to local media outlets and reporters. Getting your business featured in news articles and interviews provides third-party validation and extends your reach. Make it easy for reporters to cover your business by sending out press releases when you have exciting news to announce.

Be Transparent

Being transparent and honest is crucial for building trust with customers and protecting your local business’s reputation online. When businesses make mistakes, it’s important to own up to errors quickly and publicly. Admitting faults openly shows customers that you are accountable and willing to improve. Taking responsibility for missteps also demonstrates that you prioritize transparency, even when it’s uncomfortable.

According to Rodney Rabah, “Transparency not only helps clients, but it also helps businesses when it comes to maintaining credibility.” Being transparent about business practices, values, and decisions makes a company more trustworthy. Customers will appreciate your honesty and feel that they can rely on you.

Trust is hard to gain but easy to lose. By readily admitting errors and choosing to be transparent rather than try to hide mistakes, local businesses can foster open communication with customers. Taking accountability when you fall short of expectations will build confidence in your brand. Being honest and upfront will prove your dependability and help you stand by your reputation.

Aim for radical transparency as a local business owner. Adopting this mindset of sharing when you mess up serves your audience and helps construct an honest, authentic brand identity. Don’t shy away from publicly acknowledging when things go wrong. Spinning the truth will only diminish trust and damage your reputation. Accept responsibility openly instead, and your integrity will shine through.

Keep Monitoring and Improving

Reputation management is an ongoing process. You need to continually monitor your online presence and seek out feedback and reviews. Setting up alerts and reports is the first step, but you can’t stop there.

Actively encourage customer reviews by sending review requests and feedback emails. Provide incentives like discounts for leaving reviews. Make it as easy as possible for people to leave feedback.

Keep engaging with customers on social media and respond promptly to any reviews or complaints. Stay on top of new review sites and listings. Be proactive in building your reputation, rather than just reacting when problems arise.

Your reputation can change quickly, especially if you have a disgruntled customer or negative press. That’s why you need ongoing monitoring and constant vigilance. Don’t let your reputation just happen—take charge of it and continually work to improve it.

According to Bright Local, 86% of consumers read online reviews for local businesses, so your reputation has a huge impact on your bottom line. Invest time and effort into monitoring and managing your reputation, and you’ll reap the rewards through increased trust and customer loyalty.

As you can see, it’s essential to constantly monitor your social media profiles and local listings for reviews or feedback and to respond within 24 hours or as soon as possible. A proactive approach is key for local reputation management success.

Key Takeaways

Here are the key takeaways from these strategies for improving your online reputation as a local business:

  • Monitor review sites and search engine results regularly for your business name and keywords.
  • Be active on social media by responding to customers, sharing news, and posting engaging content.
  • Proactively request reviews from customers via email and follow-ups after purchases.
  • Deal with negative reviews professionally by responding politely and making amends if appropriate.
  • Create blog posts, videos and press releases to showcase your expertise.
  • Be transparent by admitting mistakes quickly and being open and honest.

It’s crucial to monitor your online reputation regularly so you can catch any new reviews, press mentions or search engine results right away. This practice allows you to respond promptly to negative items and encourage more positive mentions. Ongoing monitoring enables you to continually refine and improve your strategies over time. The online landscape is always shifting, so staying on top of your reputation management is key for local businesses.

The Best Online Reputation Strategy: Get More Reviews

You can’t build an impressive online reputation without a strategy. But creating an online reputation strategy isn’t as difficult as you might think – your business just needs to get more reviews.

What is the best way to do this? Request reviews from your customers.

There are different strategies for requesting reviews, but it’s far simpler to use automation.

This eliminates the hard work of sending manual review requests, which, as most business owners soon realize, is time-consuming.

ReputationStacker is a solution to this. And it doesn’t just send review requests automatically; it takes care of the review request messages themselves, so you don’t have to deal with templates, review links, and the rest.

ReputationStacker is effective because it streamlines the review process from start to finish.

The result is that it makes it easier than ever for customers to post reviews, making it easier than ever for your business to receive them.

So why take the long route? Your business needs an online reputation strategy, and ReputationStacker is the all-in-one, hands-off solution that will effortlessly grow your business’s online reputation for you.

As we have explored, managing and improving your online reputation should be a top priority for any local business. The strategies covered in this guide, from actively monitoring review sites to transparently addressing feedback, provide a blueprint for taking control of how potential customers perceive your brand online.

By routinely keeping tabs on what people are saying, and taking proactive steps to share positive news while also righting any wrongs, you can cultivate an outstanding reputation that encourages new business. Satisfied customers are also more likely to leave glowing reviews that reinforce your standing.

While reputation management requires constant vigilance and effort, the payoff for diligently following these best practices is immense. A strong online presence inspires trust in potential patrons, earning you more opportunities and higher esteem within your community. The rewards make the hard work well worth it.

Focus on providing remarkable products and services, while also listening to your customers and letting their experiences shape ongoing improvements. Keep striving to exceed expectations. With consistent care and effort, you can become the gold standard that people enthusiastically recommend without reservation


Ian Kirby has been working in digital marketing for over 15 years. Having worked both with and for digital marketing agencies and in-house with multiple companies, he has a specific interest and expertise in online reputation management, online reviews, and the implementation of business systems. Ian’s writing, videos, and interviews have garnered millions of reads, views, and listens.


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