17 Jun Does Reputation Management Have Any Affect on SEO Rankings?
Does Reputation Management Have Any Affect on SEO Rankings?
For just about any business, the goal is always to please the customers. You want them to be happy with your product or service, and you want them to tell their friends. A business should be concerned with its online reviews because that allows a customer to tell a lot of their “friends” about their experience. However, the opposite is true as well. If they have a bad experience, that can end up on Yelp or another directory, and it can cause you to lose business. Reputation management is a strategy with which a business can keep things positive online. It can also indirectly affect your SEO, and the best SEO practices will always include reputation management.
The Connection Between SEO and Reputation Management
The connection between the two concepts isn’t a direct one. You will not get a better search ranking by having good reviews, as the search engines do not account for that. However, good reviews will still make a business more visible. When a potential customer does a search for “widgets in San Antonio”, they will get a listing of all the widget businesses in San Antonio. These listings are often also accompanied by the rating of the various establishments. So you may appear higher in the rankings, but if your business only has 1 star and is surrounding by 5-star business, then you may not see much benefit.
How Important are Reviews?
More and more, customers are using online reviews to help in their decision-making process. Some surveys have even shown up to 85% of consumers read them and take them into consideration. Most of those don’t read many, however, so they make decisions based on the first few reviews they see, along with the average number of stars. Online reviews can absolutely help, or harm, your business. Even the best SEO strategies may not be able to overcome bad reviews.
The Basics of Managing Your Reputation
Online directories, such as Yelp and TripAdvisor, do not allow businesses to have much impact on their reviews. They want customers to be confident that the reviews are accurate and authentic. If the top review is a bad one, then it can hurt your business. To help, there are a few things you can do. For one, if you have a customer who is about to go home happy, then encourage them to rate and review your business online. The other thing you can do is basic good customer service. Yes, at the point of sale or interaction with the customer, you need to be professional, friendly and helpful. However, if you get a negative review online, you can still make up for it. Contact the customer, or reply to their review, and see if you can rectify the situation for them. Keep track of all your reviews so that you do not miss anything. Google alerts and other tools can help with this.
Reputation management involves having a plan and following through. Do not let negative reviews slip through the cracks, for one thing. For another, make sure that you and any staff you have are always practicing good customer service, and you have a quality product or service to offer. The best defense against negative reviews is to not have any at all, however, they will happen, and you need to be ready to respond. Combine those with good SEO, and you have a recipe for success.