91% of people read online reviews and 84% trust them as much as their friends. This means that bad reviews can prove detrimental to your online reputation and hence, your brand and business. Unfortunately, it is difficult to identify and understand the signs that your online reputation is in trouble.
Most businesses would simply not pay attention to a single bad review. However, it is important to understand that it is going to be read by hundreds or potentially thousands of people. Research has shown that businesses can lose as many as 22% of customers when only one negative article is found by users looking to make a purchase. This number rises to 70% when four or more negative articles are found.
It is much easier to handle a disgruntled customer in person, but online, the dynamics are totally different. Before you know it, the damage is done, particularly if you have not been keeping an eye. Here are some tell-tale signs that you have an online reputation problem and that you need to do something about it.
Having too few or negative reviews
When you don’t have enough reviews, it may become very difficult for you to build trust. Moreover, even a single negative review will have a huge impact because the total sample size is small. One negative review may not matter if you have a total of 100 or even 50 reviews and most of them are positive. However, when you have very few reviews, one negative review can have a huge impact. Also, people trust recent reviews more than old ones. So, at least 20-25% of your reviews should be recent. If you have too few reviews online or there are quite a few negative reviews, it is a clear sign that you need to work on your reputation management. You must also keep an eye on how your reviews are growing. If there is an increase in negative reviews, you must take urgent corrective action.
Your content is not ranking
Your online reputation goes beyond the online reviews. It also shows in the way your content ranks online and the way users engage with your brand on social media. To create a good online reputation and rank high on search engine result pages, you need to constantly generate relevant and engaging content, and post it on various platforms. If you have been doing all things right but your content is still not ranking, you need to work on your online reputation management.
Loss of business without obvious reasons
If you have noticed a decline in your sales and revenue without any apparent reasons, chances are that your online reputation might be hurting your business. Many times, a company’s online content (or lack thereof) negatively impacts the business.
High bounce rate
When people visit your site and don’t find what they are looking for, they immediately leave and look elsewhere. A high bounce rate can negatively impact your online reputation and search engine rankings. There are various reasons that can cause an increase in bounce rates including poor quality content and technical aspects of website design. Websites that are slow or difficult to navigate have a high bounce rate. This may indirectly impact your online reputation so you should work with your website developer and content manager to address these issues.
If you think your online reputation needs overhauling, you must keep in mind two things. First, it cannot be done overnight and only an experienced professional can help you with that. Get in touch with our team to know more about how we can help build a positive online presence.