If you’re working hard on your online lead generation strategy, a factor you’ll need to consider is that reputation management is the new SEO.
If you don’t have a strategy to deal with reputation management then this is something you’ll want to remedy quickly.
Recently, Wired Magazine published an article about the importance of online reviews saying:
Imagine a world where banks take into account your online reputation alongside traditional credit ratings to determine your loan; where headhunters hire you based on the expertise you’ve demonstrated on online forums such as Quora; where your status from renting a house through Airbnb helps you become a trusted car renter on WhipCar; where your feedback on eBay can be used to get a head-start selling on Etsy; where traditional business cards are replaced by profiles of your digital trustworthiness, updated in real-time. Where reputation data becomes the window into how we behave, what motivates us, how our peers view us and ultimately whether we can or can’t be trusted.
Welcome to the reputation economy, where your online history becomes more powerful than your credit history.
Another study, published in the Economic Journal, shows that crowd-sourced online review websites play an important role in consumer decisions. An analysis of 328 restaurant reviews on Yelp found that an increase of a half-star in ratings corresponded to a 19 percent greater likelihood of selling out during peak dining times.
We’ve mentioned previously some of the statistics regarding the percentage of people who make buying decisions based on reviews from people they know as well as the almost as large percentage who make buying decisions based on reviews by people they don’t know (97% and 78% respectively).
We’ve also previously discussed the fact that Google is placing the highest possible emphasis on peer reviews to determine your rankings in their search results.
Reputation management has assumed a greater importance than social media (in fact, it really is a form of social media), SEO , PPC, Local Marketing and any other form of web presence building currently used for online lead generation.
So why aren’t more businesses paying attention to this? The simple answer is that it’s not that easy to get customers to go online and post reviews after they have a good experience. In fact, most people are only spurred to make the effort by either anger or reward.
As it’s not ‘legal’ to pay people to endorse your business, most businesses don’t do this. That leaves the review arena in the hands of mainly angry people.
The good news is that there are a few very slick and convenient systems to get the kind of review visibility that Google is demanding. We have some proprietary tools to manage the process with very little effort on your part. Reliable systems that will not get you into Google’s bad books.
If you see the importance of online reputation management in getting the visibility you need to generate leads online, and you want to know more about how it works, you can register for a free webinar here. This explains the process and lays out some options you may want to consider.
You’re also welcome to contact us to discuss your reputation management and have us assess what will work best for you.