The short answer: yes. You should Google your business regularly and see what comes up. Even if you invested in reputation management services, companies like yours need to check on their online reputation to see how it’s affecting their business in real life.

Don’t believe us? Statistics from Forbes reveal some crucial observations: 90% of customers read online reviews before they visit a company. Two thirds of purchasing decisions are influenced by reviews. And of course, whether your reviews are positive or negative has a dramatic influence on whether your business attracts new customers or sends them running away from you. One negative article about your business can cost you 22% of your business. If you are not an active responder to your reviews, you will lose even more! Yikes!

If you agree it’s time to Google, here’s how to Google your business so you’ll find everything that everyone’s saying about you – and what you should do with the results.

Keywords, keywords

Obviously, you’re going to put your business’s name in Google’s search engine, but is that it? No! Especially if you own a franchise or if you have a common business name, you need a few more keywords in your search to ensure you’re getting the most accurate results.

Search your business’s name plus the city it’s located in. Multiple locations? Search each location where you have a brick & mortar presence. While you’re at it, if you have targeted landing pages, you can search your company’s name plus each location of your page to see if your pages are performing well.

Besides cities, throw in a social media platform after your business’s name and see what comes up. Same with well-known review sites. And don’t neglect lesser-used search engines like Bing. Each keyword or page result could bring up results that you wouldn’t have known about if you just plugged your business name into Google.

The good, bad, and the ugly

You’ve checked every keyword and search engine your customers may use to find out more about you. Now what? Take stock of what the reviews are saying. Are they generally positive? Do you have any negative reviews?

Your positive reviews can tell you more than you’re doing a great job. Are there more positive reviews, or reviews in general, on one platform or search engine vs another? If so, target more of your marketing to that platform or search engine! It’s where your customers are – and where they’re singing your praises.

Always leave a reply

Whether your reviews are positive, indifferent or negative, always respond! If the review is positive, be sure to thank your customer. Your reply goes beyond being just good manners. It shows your customer base that you’re paying attention and that you go out of your way to recognize thanks and praise.

Speaking of attention, don’t ignore your negative reviews, or worse, react negatively. Use them as an opportunity to thank the customer for their feedback, look into the issue, and see what you can do to resolve the issue. Your response will show potential clients that you always try your best to make it right when mistakes happen. For more details on how to handle negative reviews, check out these blogs that we’ve written in the past.

On that note, don’t be afraid to ask for positive reviews to offset the negative ones. Your loyal customers would be more than happy to leave a great review. Not sure how to ask? Check out our previous blog on how to solicit reviews.

Is there a faster way?

There are a few shortcuts here and there. You can (and should) sign up for Google alerts so if your business or website is mentioned online, you’ll be one of the first to know and you’ll have more time to formulate a strategy in case something goes wrong.

Staying up to date goes beyond Google though. You need to stay on top of any mentions you have on social media and on forums like Reddit and Quora. So although you can stay ahead of a scathing review or a not-so-great mention, monitoring still takes constant vigilance, a cool head, and a strategy to tackle any negativity.

If stopping the constant monitoring is not a priority, let us take it off your plate. That way, you can get back to what you do best: serving your customers. We’ll handle the monitoring and response strategy. We specialize in building and maintaining stellar reputations for businesses like yours. Call us today! Do you know someone with a company who could use a reputation monitoring service? Call us and ask how you can refer them now!