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An online reputation management strategy has become a necessity for every kind of business, small or large. Whether you own a maid service, home cleaning company, home improvement, restaurant, dental practice, or any other type of business, creating a strategy for online reputation management for small businesses plays a major role in deciding the success of your venture.
How small businesses go about understanding their reputation management strategies?
In this article we will go over the steps small business owner should pay heed to while establishing a reputation management strategy.
Assess your reputation
Before you start with creating a reputation management strategy for your cleaning business, it’s a good idea to take note of where your business stands currently. The first step in understanding online reputation management for small businesses is doing a simple google search of your business.
What word-of-mouth referrals from friends and family are in the real world, the first page of google is to the digital world. You will get a solid idea about where your reputation stands through the first page results.
Start by taking note of what your online presence looks like. Next, identify areas of improvement and areas where your presence may be missing. One good way to do that is by going on review platforms such as Yelp, Healthgrades( for healthcare providers), Google and Facebook.
If you are unable to decide which places you should establish your online presence, one good way to help you decide could be to do an online search of your competitors. You can note down where they seem to have the most engagement and presence.
This could serve as a decent blueprint for the platforms you should include as a part of your business’s reputation management strategy.
This could also help you map out ways how you can do better than your competitor in terms of online reputation management.
Cool Hack – Focus on one platform at a time – For eg- If you want to start off with Facebook Drive constant engagement and generate enough reviews before you shift focus to other relevant platforms
Update listings across platforms
When we started with this blog, we mentioned that a ‘google’ search is a good way to start estimating your online reputation. With over 8.5 billion searches over a day on google, we know what a giant share of the search engine market it holds. The key takeaway here is that how you appear on google search results and mainly on the google my business listing or GMB profile will play a huge role in online reputation for small businesses and constantly gaining more customers.
Google my business allows businesses to create an online presence. This listing will include all the details about your cleaning business. Imagine Google my business listing as a digital business visiting card. It will include details such as : Name and location of your business, photos, directions to your business location, your business’s social channels,updates about upcoming events in your business, and the most important : customer reviews.
It’s very important that you :
1) Claim your Google My Business listing
2) Optimise Google My Business listing
Why is this important? Anytime a potential customer searches for a query such as ‘cleaning service’ near me, relevant businesses show up. If you want your business to show up in that search result you need to have your GMB listing optimised.
Now coming to reviews on your GMB listing. Google My Business highlights the reviews your cleaning service business has received. This means that whenever a potential customer searches for your business, they will most likely see the reviews it has received.
Other listing platforms that cleaning business owners should pay attention to and get their business listed are Facebook and Yelp.
If you are into home services, we know how important it is for you to maintain your credibility. People are extremely cautious about their homes, and rightfully so! When selecting a cleaning service for their homes they will definitely go and check the reviews out there. This means that online reputation management for small businesses should be a continual process.
One way you can do that is by always being aware about what people are saying about your business online. In order to do that, you can set alerts for whenever you receive a review on a review platform. By using a software, such as that offered by Emitrr, you can choose to receive text or email notifications whenever you receive a new review on platforms such as google and facebook.
You can also have an overview of all the reviews you’ve received so far to gain a more comprehensive understanding of your business’s current online reputation.
Another advantage of using Emitrr is that you will be able to monitor and respond to all the reviews you have received from different review platforms under one dashboard. This will help you save time logging on to different platforms, checking the reviews and then responding. By using ‘metrics’ in the left panel, you will be able to see an overview of your review performance. This inturn can help align your online reputation management strategy.
What are the benefits of maintaining online reputation management for small businesses?
- With trustworthy reviews about your business making a buzz online, an increase in revenue is bound to happen! The more people have good things to say about your small business, the more it’s credibility increases. This inturn brings in more customers for your business.
- An increase in search rankings can also be on the cards when your business is constantly gathering good reviews across various review platforms. A solid online credibility will do wonders for your Local SEO .
- Increased number of reviews will also do wonders for your business. 100 people saying good things about your business, as opposed to let’s say a 10, will surely attract more potential customers towards your business. As more and more people vouch for your business you will become an indisputable force in your industry!
Online reputation management for small businesses is a must considering how important it is for small businesses to portray their credibility and build trust. Monitoring the reviews your business is receiving on a regular basis will help improve your digital reputation . Keeping in mind that reviews are received across the internet on different platforms, it’s good to use a software that will help you manage all under the same platform. All in all, reputation management is something that should take up an important place in your business operations strategy, do not overlook it!