5 Actionable Tips For Small Businesses To Maintain Online Brand Reputation
Do you have a massive list of to-dos in the day-to-day running of your business? Cannot afford a marketing company for results you don’t understand? No matter how much you avoid the issue, your business is online in some form or another. These tips below can be completed in less than two hours giving you peace of mind that you are controlling your brands online reputation.
Own Review Site Pages
Many of the review sites that appear in the top of Google search rankings allow you to verify yourselves as business owners of the page and can give you access to update the page as necessary. You can upload photos from your business with important information (restaurant menus and opening hours). Simply Google your business and jump on the websites from the first 10 results and sign up as appropriate.
Time: 30 minutes (one time)
Check The Consistency Of Your Business Name, Address and Phone Number
Transparency matters in the Internet world that is quickly becoming a messy web of contradicting information.
Put yourself in your customer’s shoes. What would you do if you were trying to find ‘Thai Takeaways Pukekohe’, open up a couple results about the same restaurant and notice different addresses? You would (should) disregard this place immediately, ain’t nobody got time for that!
Ensure your business name, address and phone number (NAP) are consistent everywhere you can be found online. If they are not, figure out why and send an email to have the information changed. Make Google’s life easy (with accurate NAP) and they’ll love you by bumping you up relevant search results.
Time: 25 minutes (one time)
Get Google Validated
Google is shifting towards providing results that match the semantic behavior of customers when searching Google. If they are searching for best takeaway shops, they want to list the best shops in the vicinity. By being a verified business on Google Places you are giving yourself priority to feature on appropriate searches.
To get verified on Google, follow the guide here. Don’t take this lightly, as soon as you see the postcard come from Google, verify your information ASAP.
Time: 45 minutes (one time)
Respond To Reviews Online
Customers have plenty of websites they can leave a review about your business online from Trip Advisor, Google Reviews, UrbanSpoon and Facebook to name a few. When you have control of your business page on these sites (see first point), respond to every review within 5 days maximum to show you are real people behind the brand. If the feedback is negative, suck it up and address the issue in an honest way. And no, don’t go writing fake reviews.
For a unique strategy on how to manage your online reviews check out this post here.
Time: 10 minutes (twice a week)
Monitor What Is Being Said About You
Google has a bunch of products and it is not always possible to manually monitor your brand online. You can get assistance by setting up Google Alerts. Simply set it up so that every time your brand gets a mention online an email with the link is sent to you. With independent bloggers becoming more and more mainstream you never know where a review (good or bad) could turn up.
Time: 10 minutes (twice a week)
We know you don’t always have two hours a day to spend online growing your brand. Before you close this window, slot in a two-hour window, pour yourself a beverage of your choice and fumble your way through the 5 tasks above. Like it or not, brand reputation extends to the online world. Spending just 20 minutes twice a week will ensure your reputation remains intact. A little work now will pay off in the long run.