In today’s digital landscape, having a solid online reputation is crucial for the success and prosperity of any business. As the recent BrightLocal’ s survey shows, 98% of consumers turned to the Internet to gather information about local companies before purchasing or engaging their services. This fact alone underscores the immense importance of online reputation and its role in influencing consumer decisions.
A positive online reputation builds trust, credibility, and brand authority, making it more likely for consumers to choose your business over competitors. At the same time, negative reviews, mentions on Google and social media, and low scores on review sites can cause irreparable damage to the company brand and, consequently, impact its revenue.
Managing and controlling your online reputation can be challenging because anyone can write a company review and impact the online presence of your business. And this is where an online reputation audit comes to play.
The Basics of Reputation Audit
A reputation audit is a comprehensive analysis of your brand’s online presence. It involves review site analysis, search engine results analysis, social media analysis, and third-party mentions analysis. Let’s delve into each audit component for a better understanding.
Review sites analysis
Monitoring what customers say about your brand on popular review sites is essential to building a robust online reputation. Review sites like PissedConsumer can either be your greatest allies or your worst enemies. So why do they have such a powerful influence on how your target audience perceives your brand?
If your rating on review platforms is less than three stars, it can be detrimental to your business as your target audience may choose your competitors with higher ratings. According to the statistics, 87% of consumers would not consider a business with an average rating below three stars.
A reputation audit will help you identify why customers rate your company as unsatisfactory and empower you with practical recommendations for addressing this issue. Consequently, you will be able to improve your online brand image and avoid a revenue decrease.
Review platforms are impartial because they give visitors genuine opinions from other customers. The study revealed that only one in five consumers tend to believe reviews on company websites. That’s why review site analysis is needed, especially when you don’t monitor your rating on review sites regularly.
Search engine results analysis
By conducting a reputation audit, you can identify search queries and websites that mention your brand and detect any negative or misleading content. Consistent monitoring can help you promptly address unwanted content and prevent harm to your brand’s online reputation.
Most internet users only scroll through the search results on the first and rarely second pages. Therefore, if negative content for your business is on the first page or higher in search results than your website or positive reviews, it can significantly impact your business’s online reputation.
Social media analysis
Through a reputation audit, you gain insights into your brand presence on social media and learn what your target audience discusses and shares about your company. Social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram can be a great way to connect with customers, promote your brand, and build an online reputation.
However, negative comments and reviews can spread quickly, damaging your reputation. Therefore, it’s necessary to know about them as soon as they appear to maintain a positive social media presence.
Third-party mentions analysis
A reputation audit also includes analyzing third-party mentions of your brand, such as news and blog articles. Such brand monitoring is essential to ensure that they accurately represent your company’s values and mission.
Suppose any inaccurate or misleading information is present. In that case, you must immediately correct it and mitigate potential damage to your brand’s reputation.
Benefits of Online Reputation Audit
When you conduct a reputation audit, you gain two main benefits:
Maintain a positive online presence
You can ensure that content mentioning your brand is relevant, truthful, and captures the attention of your potential customers. In addition, a positive online presence helps you build trust and establish your brand as a reputable and trustworthy business.
Provide customers with a top-notch experience
Online reputation audits can provide valuable insights into what your customers like, what makes them frustrated, and what needs to be improved in your products, services, and even business processes to satisfy them.
Give business time to respond
Overall, an online reputation audit helps you mitigate or even avoid harm to your online presence by warning about content that can discredit you in the eyes of your target audience. With this information, you can react to discovered issues and solve them quickly.
In addition, it shows that you care about your customers and want to provide them with the best experience.