A positive online reputation should be every individual or business’s goal in 2020. An online reputation can be defined as the way that a person or business is perceived based on the information that appears about them online. Hopefully, that information is positive. If it’s not, then it’s time to put in some work to clean up your search results and start your journey to maintaining a positive online reputation and reaping the benefits that come with it.

Your online reputation is so important that a single misstep can result in loss of revenue and trust in your brand. And it can be difficult to recover. That’s why it’s worth it to invest in your reputation while it is in good standing.

Positive online reputation defined

A good online reputation is a positive perception of a person or business based on the information that appears about them online. It’s often mistaken as something uncontrollable, since it is essentially the opinion that people form based on what they find online via Google search results, social media pages, Yelp reviews, and more.

While an opinion is largely subjective, it can be shaped or molded by the actions that you or your business take to manage what appears about you online. There are also several qualitative aspects of your online reputation, like the number of stars your business has on Yelp, or the number of positive search results that appear when you Google your name.

How did I decide on breakfast this morning? Reviews.

Speaking of Google, when’s the last time you Googled something? The first thing I did when I woke up this morning was Google “Breakfast near me.” Then I scrolled through the search results to find a café that had overwhelmingly positive reviews. I took into consideration the number of stars, number of reviews, and number of recent reviews when making my decision. This is just one example of how a business’s online reputation can directly impact its business revenue. I didn’t even look at restaurants with less than four stars.

google search results

People are Googling at an increasing rate. In fact, Google handles 3.8 million searches per minute on average globally. That breaks down to 228 million searches per hour, 5.6 billion searches per day, or 2 trillion searches per year! With such a large volume of searches being made, it’s essential to make sure that whenever someone Google’s your name or business, what they see portrays you in a positive light.

Benefits of a positive online reputation

A good online reputation can lead to higher trust, better talent, less risk, and more profit. These benefits are even more advantageous for corporations. Companies with a good corporate reputation tend to be treated better online – even given a second chance.

Here is our shortlist of the top benefits of maintaining a positive online reputation:

  • Higher trust: If you can’t get people to trust your brand, you’re going to have a difficult time getting them to buy your products. People tend to trust a brand with a good reputation more, and, as a result, will be more likely to purchase from them, and to recommend them to others.
  • Increased profits: Companies with high star-ratings and reviews get more business. Studies have shown that every additional one-star Yelp rating causes an increase in the business’s revenue as high as 9 percent.
  • Better talent: Brands with a positive reputation earn better employees. People want to work at a company that shares the same core values and beliefs as them, one that they can trust. Having a better online reputation will lead to stronger applicants who are more likely to stick around for the long haul.
  • Less risk: People move with crowds. If your reputation is bad, it can perpetuate that negative sentiment by attracting more negativity that can lead to additional problems.
  • Gentler treatment: Companies that share the same core values as their clientele are likely to overcome a reputation scandal easier than one without. Think Apple Computer vs. Monsanto.
  • Improved Marketing: Your reputation is closely tied to your marketing efforts. A positive online reputation can help you to stand out from your competitors and earn more customers, who can then become repeat customers and share their positive experiences with other through online reviews and social media.

How to maintain a positive online reputation

A positive online reputation can’t be constructed overnight. It is the result of careful curation over time. If you dedicate the time to improve your reputation, you can expect to see results. A good place to start is to develop (and stick to!) a reputation strategy.

Here are a few key things to keep in mind to maintain a positive online reputation:

  • Assess your current situation: Start by simply Googling yourself or your company. Take note of what comes up and whether your search results are mostly positive or negative.
  • Monitor your search results: Keep a careful watch on what is being said about you online. Respond to comments whether they are positive or negative. If they are negative, work to improve the problem to avoid repeating it in the future.
  • Create positive content: Focus on the channels you can control (your website, blog, social media pages) to create positive content.
  • Focus on your brand: Your overall brand is key here. Be transparent, and work from the inside out to make sure that your brand is what you say it is online.

Your online reputation is important. The tips discussed in this blog are simply a jumping off point for maintaining a positive online reputation. When it comes to online reputation management, the work is never finished, since reputations can often change without notice. Whether you are just starting to build your online reputation or are facing a reputational crisis, you can work to improve your search results.

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