The Importance of Your Online Reputation

Every so often, something or an experience totally unrelated to your subject matter can provide inspiration, and that is certainly the case for this week’s blog. The Click Submit team have been loving the BBC2 six part series, Back In Time For Dinner. Starting in 1950, the Robson family were forced to consume the food of each decade up to 2000, and take on the traditional roles of the family. In the episode that re-enacted post war Britain, it was mind blowing to see how little food we were allowed to consume, how limited our lifestyle was and what a minute amount of choice we had as a consumer in the UK. Tea time consisted of bread with dripping and the weekly meat ration would equate to one nights for a family in 2015. The general consensus of the decade was simply, to make do with what you were given. Fast forward into the 21st century and we have never had more power as a consumer, nor have businesses ever had to work harder to gain a client’s trust or seal of approval. It’s interesting to consider the factors that have contributed to this, but importantly, we want to make sure that you recognise how vital it is to protect & build your online reputation and we’re about to advise you how to do so!

Search Engines

Nowadays, the first thing a potential client is likely to do when considering using your service, is to search for you. And by search, we mean via a virtual engine like Google. What is said about your business online has become an immediate reflection of the quality and ability of your service/s. So you want to know that the results being returned are honest and above all, positive. Thus, go Google yourself! And suss out what people are saying about you online. Even if your business isn’t built online, it’s highly likely that if you type in your businesses name, there will be relevant results. It’s crucial to stay in the know when it comes to what people are saying about you in the realms of the virtual.

Monitor Social Media

If you have read our previous blogs and followed our words of wisdom, you should be pretty social savvy by now. If you’ve created your profile pages and have started publishing content/ engaging with your clients, you should also start to monitor what people are saying about you. Cue burning ears. This will give you an indication of how well you’re performing and whether your product offerings are being received well and the content you’re delivering is engaged with. If a client has raved about one of your products or your service via a tweet/ status update, respond to it. It could encourage them to write a review. Equally, if there are any signs of negative criticism, address it and deal with it (we’ll discuss negative reviews later). As your company grows and more people begin sharing feedback about it online, the more difficult and also important it will be to monitor it. It’s critical that you manage this element of your business pro-actively.

Independent Review Sites

If you’ve mastered the social portals, you need to address your presence on independent review sites, such as uk.trustpilot.com or www.reviewcentre.com. Although you’re likely to be collecting testimonials for your main site, there are a number of sceptics out there who will want further reassurance that your on-site testimonials are genuine. And if you have a good amount of off-site testimonials to add into the pot, you’ll be helping your potential client/s feel confident that utilizing your service or purchasing an item from you, is the most advantageous, reasoned choice.

Encourage online testimonials

People are always far quicker to write negative reviews online than to write positive ones. Usually, as a means to vent anger and frustration. So encouraging positive online testimonials is likely to require more effort than simply providing a great service. You can approach long term clients, for example, ones that have been using your service for over 6 months, or those who have bought from you at least 5 times previously. By contacting a client once they have had an ample amount of time to sample your offerings, you’re more likely to gain reward. Encourage them to be as specific as possible too. It’s important to note that regular online reviews will assist with your SEO (win, win) and the more recent the review, the more likely a potential client will recognise that you’re hot right now.

Tip: Think outside the box & reward longevity

This isn’t a fresh idea, it’s one used in marketing strategies globally, but rewarding your loyal clients occasionally will boost their experience, encourage returning revenue and hopefully, generate rave reviews online. Businesses are always so eager to encourage potential clients to sign up, but once they’ve stepped on the bandwagon, the offers usually end there. So, think outside the box and we’re confident by doing so, your online reputation will be 5 star.

Negative press

As painful as it can be sometimes, it’s better to maintain the mentality that the customer is always right, even when they’re wrong. The downside to the growth of the internet, is that instead of an unhappy customer relaying a negative experience to their friends or family, they can share it with the world. Although this gives a consumer more power than ever, it can mean a business might not get the opportunity to address its error before it’s out for everyone to witness. Whatever happens, don’t ignore any negative press. If you respond to it efficiently and with the intention to resolve the issue, with the customer’s best interest in mind, it can actually result in a positive outcome all round. Businesses are not machines and there will inevitably be errors along the way, but how you choose to deal with the mishaps will reflect your brand and affect how it is perceived.

Tip: Ask for feedback and don’t shy away from criticism

Whilst monitoring your online reputation, don’t hesitate to ask your customers what they like and what they feel could be improved in your business. Showing that you’re eager to please your clients and are continuously brainstorming ways of advancing your service/ products can only be received positively.

Since we don’t like to end our blogs on a negative note, we’ll mention our latest product, Positivity, which is centred around reputation management. First and foremost, this product was introduced to assist our clients with their SEO, because it appears that online reviews are now a key factor of search engine algorithms. But it was also born with the intent of helping them generate positive public reviews.

It is a really simple tool that allows our clients to verify whether their client’s happy or not, before asking them to submit a review via an online review centre. If a client is unhappy for any reason, it also gives our client the opportunity to rectify the situation.

This is another way for our clients to learn from and engage with theirs, and hopefully improve their brand/ reputation at the same time.

*This additional product is included in our existing quarterly fee and more info is available here

We hope this blog has been a useful read and please let us know if you have any questions. Contact or follow me on twitter @Annabelle_CS

Have a great day!

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