Navigating the Web: Tips to Build An Online Reputation

Chances are that you know how important the internet is to the success of your company. The web plays a major role when most consumers shop or look for services.

Whether they purchase their products online or read reviews before a purchase, these shoppers know what they're looking for. As millennials become an even larger part of the purchasing population, you'll need to continue increasing your company's reputation online.

Hire a Reputation Management Company

Knowing how to build a better reputation on the Internet may feel overwhelming, especially if you're not particularly savvy with the web or if you are just starting to pay more attention to your reputation. Working with a reputation management company means you can obtain a comprehensive review of how your business is doing out there in the jungle of the web. Also, you get to have professionals working to better your reputation. If hiring a firm isn’t in your budget, explore freelancers who have experience in reputation management.

Showcase Your Professional Associations

Demonstrating that you are part of a larger entity associated with your field can help to build your reputation. For example, your eatery may be part of a national, state or local association of restaurants. Direct sales companies like ACN Inc can work for membership in the Direct Sales Association. Most businesses in any niche can request to be accredited by the Better Business Bureau. No matter what field, you can definitely find some professional association’s to affiliate with. Once you’ve established that connection, keeping that information to yourself is not helping to build your reputation online. Instead, make sure this information is displayed in a highly visible part of the first page on your site that consumers see. When they recognize the brand, and even if they don’t, they can feel greater confidence.

Remove the Spam and Slowness

You probably remember the early days of the internet when spam lurked around every corner. In fact, you likely have memories of slowly scrolling through bogged-down websites in the early years of the 21st century. Providing that same experience for your own customers is likely to turn them away. Make sure visitors to your website don’t advertisements jumping out at them constantly. Check your speed - if it takes forever to scroll down your pages, you can lose business.

Answer Your Messages

No point exists in establishing a contact box on your website if you aren't going to respond to messages. Even if the answer to the inquiry is readily available on your website, take the time to answer it. Whether you ignore messages sent via email or on your social media pages, you are telling consumers that you do not care about interacting with them. They may wonder why you have such poor customer service and question the ethics behind your company.

Secure Their Shopping

Imagine that you went to a website where you had no guarantee that your credit card information was secure. It is highly unlikely that you would actually purchase items from this website. Ensuring your customers that they have a safe shopping experience is pivotal. You might think this tip doesn't apply to you because you don't currently have an online storefront set up. In that case, you should consider how much potential business you are losing because you don't offer the opportunity for customers to buy products online.

Respond to Online Reviews

Plenty of people love to go on the Internet and write reviews of companies once they have visited or procured services. Therefore, you should show an acknowledgment of these efforts. When you receive positive reviews, show you're gracious for them by thanking the writers. When criticism arises, respond to it in an appropriate manner. Most readers don't expect perfection of the reviews they view; however, they do want to see businesses responding in a respectful and useful fashion.

Your online reputation can seriously affect how successful your business is. Some customers may even entirely judge your business based upon what they see on the internet. Whether that is fair or not, your company must respond to it.

Thank you to Kara Masterson for her guest post contribution. Masterson is a freelance writer from Utah. She enjoys writing and spending time with her dog, Max. Find her on Twitter.

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