Online reputation management covers a wide range of factors that directly impact a business’s local SEO. From reviews to optimized business listings, maintaining your ORM is crucial for your success in an increasingly digital world. Search engines, like Google, will consider your ORM when choosing what businesses rank in what order when a potential customer searches for a business like yours.
Essentially, ORM allows you to have more control over what customers see when they find your business online.
Optimizing Business Listings
There are dozens of different factors to consider when building a better ORM. One of the most important is optimizing your business listings. If you have not already claimed your business on Google, stop reading now and do so!
Ensuring your Google Business Profile information is accurate is essential for your business. This goes beyond the basics of business name, address, website, and phone number. You need to make sure you have a written description that matches your website’s key terms.
Also, make sure you have selected the correct categories for your business; this will allow you to add special sections to your listing, like a menu for a restaurant or a list of services for a handyman.
Regular postings to your profile, checking your Q&A section, and filling out as much information as possible can only help your local SEO. You may not realize that anyone can suggest edits to your business page, like a change in hours of operation, ask a question in the Q&A section, answer questions in the Q&A section, and posts photos of your business. If you are not actively monitoring these sections of your business, you may be losing out on potential customers if the information available is inaccurate.
One option is to ask and answer questions yourself, especially if you notice the same questions repeatedly. How you phrase these questions and answers can also help with your keyword search results.
In addition to listing optimization, another critical area of ORM is review management. People typically only leave a review of a business organically when they had the best or worst experience. Unfortunately for most businesses, it is usually the latter. Therefore, a good ORM practice would be to actively request reviews from your customers to increase the number of positive reviews.
Responding to reviews is also essential, even if the review is negative. This allows you to build a better relationship with your customer base and gain valuable feedback on areas you could improve.
While you cannot outright remove negative reviews or inappropriate comments, Google and other search engines allow businesses to flag comments that may be harmful or inaccurate. This would include answers to questions that are no longer true and reviews that may be threatening to your business or your employees.
This is just a brief overview of ORM and some basic practices all businesses should use. Of course, there are dozens of ever-changing factors to ORM and how it impacts your business, but this should help you start on the right foot when navigating your business’s online reputation.