Google Reputation Management
You don’t have to be an internet expert to understand how important Google is to the health of your business. Now with the proliferation of online review sites, Google is now factoring customer and patient reviews (for healthcare) into the overall ranking factors of a business.
Google is always striving to provide their users with the best, most efficient searching experience possible. Remember too that most people searching online don’t don’t look past the first page of search results unless they’re very savvy or dedicated to finding something obscure.
You can imagine then that the competition is fierce between businesses to be seen on that first page of results. Online reviews are a new wrinkle in that competition.
Google looks at many ranking factors so you still need to have a decent website with educational content and accurate information. Spammy websites are not going to rank, at least not for long. Google’s algorithm is too smart for that and it’s smart enough to know that positive reviews for a business make it more trustworthy. So if you have more reviews than your competition, you’re likely to rank higher than them.
How Are Your Managing Your Reputation on Google?
Managing your reputation on Google can be a full-time job. Depending on your industry, there are a lot of different review sites. Keeping up with all of them, tracking responses, and updating your information can be very time consuming.
You may not have the resources or manpower to constantly be checking your email to monitor reviews, logging into different sites, responding to negative reviews, and soliciting new reviews from new customers which may be the most key aspect of managing your reputation.
Did you know that you can use software to automate and manage your reputation online?
That’s where RepCheckup comes in to help with:
- In-Office Review Solicitation Program
- Send Review Solicitations via Text Message
- Consistent Monitoring for New Ratings and Reviews – Plus Monthly Reporting
- Email Alerts When Profiles are Updated
- Managed Moderation of Ratings and Reviews
- Create approved responses to positive and negative reviews
How to Implement a Google Reputation Management Strategy
- The first step in implementing a Google reputation management strategy is doing a Google search on your name, business or practice, product, or service. In other words, Google yourself and see what comes up. Then ask yourself if you’re happy with the results. Hopefully your customers and patients have been raving about you online, acting as brand ambassadors unbeknownst to you.
- Next you should evaluate what, if anything, people are saying about you online. If it’s positive, you’ll just need to stoke the fire. If it’s negative you’ll want to respond with clarifications or apologize if you truly did make some mistakes. If no one is saying anything about you then you’re starting from scratch and you’ve come to right place.
- Whatever your situation is (good, bad, or ambivalent) you need to claim your free profiles on popular review sites and get a handle on any review profiles or social media accounts that you already own.
- Once you’ve taken stock of your online perception and empowered yourself with the tools to change it you can then devise and implement your Google reputation management strategy. Determine if you need to change people’s perception, thank or reward folks for spreading the good word, or begin a plan to persuade people to start leaving reviews of your business.
- The state of your current reputation on Google will determine the initial path that you need to follow for your Google reputation management strategy.
- The end goal is to get online reviews on a consistent basis, but first you need to evaluate where you stand, what you have to work with, and potentially clean up any negativity before enacting outreach programs for long-term review count growth.
I Don’t Have Time, Can’t I Just Ignore Online Reviews?
Out of sight, out of mind doesn’t apply here. Even if you choose to ignore reviews guess what, your customers aren’t. If you don’t take an active role and claim your online profiles on review sites, people will say whatever they want about you with no recourse.
Obviously, you do great work and you have wonderful customers that advocate for you by sharing their experience online and encouraging others to visit your business. With human nature being what it is, people also love to complain. The easiest review to get, without even asking for it, is the negative review. Complaining online appears to be a hobby for some folks.
There’s a way to counteract that though with, you guessed it, Google Reputation Management!
We get it, you can’t do it alone and you need help.
RepCheckup has online reputation management software that makes it easy to track reviews, respond to reviews, and most importantly solicit new reviews to keep your business ahead of the competition.
Managing Google reviews for your business is a critical part of your reputation management. Make sure to select the best Google Review Provider. You can get started with RepCheckup. Click here for your free trial.
Why is Google Reputation Management Important?
(Most popular search engine, people see search results before website, Google aggregates reviews from around the web)
Have you ever searched for a restaurant and the first search result is a Yelp! review page? Their website might not be optimized but it does it show the power of online reviews and review sites.
With Google, the most popular search engine, the search results are intensified even further. Whether on mobile or desktop, people will see Google aggregated reviews and Google’s local search results prominently displayed before they see your website.
Currently, this business search result is compounded on mobile because it’s the top result. On the desktop version these results still maintain a high profile but are on the right-hand side of the page but unignorable all the same.
Imagine then that someone directly searches for your name, business, or practice and the first thing they see, like a sunrise blasting through their bedroom window, is the number of reviews and an average star rating.
If the number of reviews is low and the star rating is low what do you think their initial impression is going to be?
Any type of marketing and advertising is focused on shaping perception. Ratings and reviews are no different which makes Google reputation management so important to the health of your business.
What are the Benefits of Google Reputation Management?
(Enhance brand, higher search rankings, better click throughs)
Simply put, Google listings with higher stars rank better than their competitors.
The sentiment and content of reviews then plays an important role. It’s been proven that there is a correlation between number of reviews and the ranking placement i.e. the more reviews that you have, the higher you will rank.
If your online reviews are more positive and you have more of them, the chances that someone will do business with you greatly increases. This also acts as a ranking signal for Google.
84% of consumers actually trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations – trusting the content of the reviews at a very high level.
Leading to 68% of consumers saying that Positive reviews make them trust a business more once they’ve had a chance to read positive reviews about them.
With positive reviews consumers are 63% more likely to choose a local business over one of their competitors.
A great way for Google to get information about a business is to look at what consumers are writing online about that business. Google then references these reviews placing importance on the sentiment and content of these reviews. For you to continue ranking highly, your customers need to paint a pretty picture of your business via online reviews.
Generating reviews and outranking your competition go hand in hand. Managing your online reputation can be a full-time job.
How do you remove your name from a Google Search?
The bad news is that you can’t remove your name from a Google search. The good news is that Google will remove content from search results that is illegal or violates their guidelines such as sensitive personal information (bank account number, image of your handwritten signature, explicit images).
You can personally reach out to webmasters of sites where you are listed and ask to be removed but the reality is that once your name hits Google it’s likely there for good. Even if you were able to remove every instance of your name or business (which would be mind numbingly time consuming) it’s likely to just reappear like weeds in your lawn after a heavy rainfall. You’re a business serving the public and at some point somebody is going to be talking about you online just like they would in day-to-day life with their friends and family.
Once thing that you can do is to delete obsolete accounts. You don’t want any information about your business hanging out on the internet that’s innaccurate or not current. The information may not be necessarily embarrassing or damaging but, you’ve spent considerable time ensuring that your name, address, and phone number are accurate on review sites so just delete anything that is not relevant.
Google likes information that is relevant because it makes for an easy and enjoyable experience for their users. Even an old landing page for a sale that has since expired could frustrate customers looking for something that you’re offering. Keeping your information current will help to keep you at the top of search results.
Bottom line is that you can’t fight online reviews and you can’t delete yourself from Google. You’re a public-facing business. You wouldn’t lock your doors whenever you see a customer walking up. Your online reputation is a virtual storefront that needs the same care and attention as the physical location that you work out of every day.