6 Key Reputation Management Metrics to Track

Explore six vital metrics for small business online reputation: review volume, sentiment, response rate, star rating, social mentions, and traffic.

Introduction

In today’s digital age, online reputation management is critical for small businesses. A company’s online reputation can directly impact their ability to attract new customers, build credibility, and shape their overall brand image. Neglecting online reputation can be detrimental, with studies showing that online reviews and comments significantly influence public perception.

In this article, we will discuss key metrics small business owners can track to monitor and improve their online reputation. We will cover total review volume, review sentiment, response rates, average star ratings, social media mentions, and website traffic. By regularly analyzing these metrics, small businesses can take proactive steps to manage their reputation and earn customer trust.

Review Volume

One of the most critical metrics to track for reputation management is your total review volume across platforms like Google, Facebook, and Yelp. Having a high number of reviews signals to customers that your business is established and trustworthy. According to research, businesses with more than 30 reviews average 10% more revenue per month than those with fewer reviews.

To monitor review volume, set up a spreadsheet to track your total review count across platforms week-over-week or month-over-month. Set reasonable goals for increasing your review volume over time, such as getting 5–10 new reviews per month.

There are several ways to get more customer reviews, such as asking happy customers to leave a review after a purchase, offering incentives for reviews, or putting up signs requesting reviews. Consistently providing excellent customer service and asking for feedback is key to getting more positive reviews over time.

Review Sentiment

Analyzing the percentage of your reviews that are positive, negative, or neutral is crucial for monitoring your online reputation over time. A

88% of consumers read online reviews before making a purchase decision. With reviews playing such a vital role in your business’ reputation, you’ll want to keep a close eye on your review sentiment.

A good goal is to have at least 70-80% positive reviews. You can check your review sentiment percentages in platforms like Google My Business, Facebook, and Yelp. Pick one main location to monitor for changes over time. For example, you may see your positive review percentage drop from 80% to 75% over a few months. This indicates something is affecting sentiment and requires further attention.

When you do receive negative reviews, craft thoughtful and constructive responses. Never get defensive or argumentative. Thank the customer for their feedback, apologize for their poor experience, and outline any steps you’ll take to improve. Monitoring negative review spikes and responding properly can help limit reputation damage. According to BrightLocal, 88% of consumers read businesses’ responses to reviews.

Review Response Rate

The review response rate is the percentage of reviews a business responds to. To calculate it, divide the number of reviews responded to by the total number of reviews. For example, if a business has responded to 80 out of 100 reviews, their response rate is 80%.

Industry experts recommend trying to maintain a response rate above 80-90%. Responding to reviews shows customers you value their feedback and are committed to improving. It also gives you a chance to resolve issues and thank happy customers.

Here are some tips to improve your response rate:

  • Set up alerts to notify you when new reviews come in.
  • Designate staff members responsible for monitoring and responding.
  • Respond within 24–48 hours.
  • Craft thoughtful, personalized responses.
  • Follow up on any issues privately if needed.
  • Consider response rate when evaluating staff.

With focus and commitment, most businesses can achieve a high review response rate. This reflects well on a brand and enhances the customer experience.

Average Star Rating

Your overall average star rating is one of the most critical metrics to track for online reputation. This rating is typically calculated by averaging all of your review scores from sites like Google, Facebook, and Yelp.

Going from a 3-star rating to a 5-star rating results in 25% more clicks from Google’s local pack. Having a higher star rating signals to customers that your business provides quality services.

Your average rating can also directly impact your search engine rankings. Google may display businesses with higher ratings above competitors in local pack results. Improving your star rating should be a top priority.

Here are some ways to boost your average star rating over time:

  • Actively encourage satisfied customers to leave positive reviews.
  • Respond professionally to any negative feedback.
  • Offer incentives for 5-star reviews.
  • Train staff to deliver amazing customer service.

Monitoring your average rating and taking steps to improve it will be key for managing online reputation.

Social Media Mentions

Social media provides a valuable source of reputation insights by allowing you to track mentions of your brand name across platforms. Services like Social Searcher and Social Mention enable you to set up alerts so you’ll be notified any time your brand is mentioned online.

Monitoring the volume of social media mentions can reveal how often your brand name is being talked about and referenced. Tracking this over time gives you a sense of whether awareness of your brand is growing or declining. Try setting a goal for the number of monthly mentions and aim to increase volume through social media marketing and engagement.

It’s also essential to analyze the sentiment of social media mentions. Are people saying positive or negative things about your business? Tools like Social Searcher and Social Mention allow you to view the sentiment breakdown of mentions and see if it becomes more or less favorable over time. Pay special attention to negative mentions and consider directly engaging with the authors to resolve issues.

Regularly checking for brand name mentions on social platforms should become part of your reputation management strategy. The insights you gain can help you identify problems early and highlight areas for improving customer satisfaction.

Website Traffic

Your online reputation has a direct impact on the amount of organic website traffic you attract. A strong, positive reputation will increase the likelihood that your business appears higher in search engine results pages (SERPs). This leads to more clicks and visitors from organic searches.

Use website traffic analytics tools like Google Analytics to track trends in your organic traffic volume over time. Look for correlations between changes in review volume/sentiment and organic traffic. The more positive mentions and reviews your business has online, the higher you should rank for relevant keyword searches.

It’s also important to monitor traffic referred from review sites like Yelp and Facebook. Set up campaign tracking to analyze how many visitors click through to your site from reviews. Getting more positive reviews can boost these referrals. Encourage customers to link to your website from reviews to help drive more traffic.

According to HubSpot, only 31% of websites get more than 50,000 monthly visitors. Use free tools like SimilarWeb to analyze competitor traffic for comparison. The more you improve your online reputation, the better you can compete for more organic and referral visitors.

Key Metrics Summary

The most important online reputation metrics for small businesses to focus on are:

  • Review volume—total number of reviews across sites like Google, Facebook, Yelp
  • Review sentiment—percentage of positive, negative and neutral reviews 
  • Review response rate—percentage of reviews responded to 
  • Average star rating—overall average rating across review sites

These key metrics can be tracked in a dashboard using a tool like Hootsuite or Google Data Studio for regular monitoring and analysis. Setting goals for improvement and analyzing trends over time for these metrics will give you the key insights you need to boost your online reputation.

Improving Reputation

There are several key tactics you can use to start improving your online reputation. First, focus on review response best practices. Respond professionally to all reviews, especially negative ones. Thank the customer for feedback, apologize for any issues, and explain how you plan to address their concerns. Aim for a review response rate over 60%.

Next, work on review generation tactics to increase your overall volume of positive reviews. Make it easy for happy customers to leave reviews by sending follow-up emails and review requests. Offer incentives like discounts for leaving a review. Getting more positive reviews helps counteract any negative feedback.

Finally, keep monitoring review sentiment over time. As you improve service quality and fix issues brought up in negative reviews, you should start to see your percentage of positive reviews increase. This will gradually lift your average star rating as well. With consistent effort, you can turn around negative sentiment and build a strong online reputation.

Conclusion

There are several key metrics that small business owners should focus on to monitor and improve their online reputation. The most important metrics to track regularly include review volume, review sentiment, response rate, average star rating, social media mentions, and website traffic from review sites.

To recap, here are some of the key steps you can take to boost your reputation:

  • Actively encourage more customer reviews on sites like Google, Facebook, and Yelp to increase volume.
  • Aim for a high review response rate by replying professionally to all feedback received.
  • Monitor your average star rating and work on improving any low ratings.
  • Set up alerts to track social media brand mentions and sentiment.
  • Analyze traffic driven from review sites and work on getting more referral visits.

By regularly monitoring your performance across these top reputation metrics and taking steps to improve them, you can manage your online reputation effectively as a small business owner.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

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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