Word-of-mouth is one of the best ways to attract new customers, but in today’s digital age, the majority of word- of- mouth marketing happens online. Reviews posted on websites like Facebook, Yelp, Google, Bing, and others; have a major impact on brand reputation.
With 92% of consumers reading online reviews, and 72% of consumers saying they trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations, brands can’t afford to be absent on the most popular platforms. They also can’t afford to have negative reviews show up at the top of search results, which is where reputation management comes into play.
Seventy-five percent of brand value is based on a business’s reputation, according to data from the Economist Intelligence Unit. Inaccurate or untrue statements about a brand can have disastrous effects, both in brand value and SEO.
At its most basic level, SEO is the practice of managing what the public sees about a business in search results. Online reputation management involves finding ways to move the most accurate information about a brand to the top of search rankings. When online reputation management is done effectively, brands can drown out inaccurate results with accurate, positive reviews and posts.
The link between reputation and search ranking is not something that most marketers understand, but it’s clear that reputation does influence SEO. Experts believe that Google incorporates user review sentiment into its search algorithm. Businesses with a high number of positive reviews, therefore, may rank above businesses with a low number of reviews or businesses with largely negative reviews. Mention sentiment, which is measured by the number of times people mention a product or brand on social media, also plays a role in SEO.
Practicing proactive reputation management is a sure-fire way for brands to improve their rankings on SERPs. To learn more about how to engage with customers on social media and other review platforms, read Brandify’s guide to review management.