Did you know that there are over 2 million online stores in the US?
That's a whole lot of competition! With so many other options out there for consumers, you must do everything you can to stay ahead.
One of the best ways to do this is by not only employing well-known marketing methods, like SEO and PPC ads, but by using the lesser-known methods too.
One of these methods is measuring your reputation score and, although it's essential, many businesses fail to do it.
But that makes it the perfect technique to use to gain that competitive edge. There are quite a few tools that you can use to monitor and help you manage your online reputation, such as Yext and RepWarn, to name a few. Find out everything you need to know in our guide.
What Is A Reputation Score?
The online world is like a mirror for your brand. It's a hub of people's opinions, feedback, and impressions of your business, and each interaction builds up your reputation.
Your own mark on the world, including the content you share and how you talk to your customers, adds to this reputation and helps your audience create a perception of who you are.
A reputation score gives all of this information a numerical value, summarizing how you're viewed both online in one neat number.
This number will let you know whether your activity is hurting or helping your reputation in the world. Like it or not, how you're perceived matters, so this is very important!
Why Is An Online Reputation Score Important?
It's easy for a reputation management company to tell you that your reputation score is important, but why? How will your score affect your business?
How you look online matters. When people find you, they want to know who you are and whether they can trust you before they connect (be that through buying products or services, subscribing to newsletters, or whatever else you want your audience to do).
Your reputation score lets you know whether they'll like what they see or be put off by it.
There are several ways your online perception can affect your business.
Firstly, a good reputation score can boost sales. If you look enticing to consumers and have a better reputation than your competitors, you're more likely to get a bigger share of your industry's target audience.
There's also recruitment to consider. If you want the best staff working for you, the ones with plenty of experience, knowledge, and drive, you're going to need to look appealing to them online.
There's a reason there are websites solely for employee reviews, and it's because people you're scouting want to see if you're good enough to work for.
By working to improve your reputation, you're directly working to improve your business.
Who you are online is vital to building relationships with your audience, gaining their trust, and showing them why they should be interested in you.
Every brand has an online reputation, but it's up to you whether it's good or bad.
How is a Reputation Score Calculated?
If you're working towards a good reputation score, the first thing to know is how it's calculated. Many factors affect your rating, not unlike a credit score.
Your reputation score uses your positive, neutral, and negative interactions with the web to weigh up where you stand among your competitors, audience, investors, and any other peers you may have.
To help you understand more, let's dive into some of those all-important factors.
Your Online Reviews
Online reviews are a hive of knowledge for all of your peers and directly reflect your brand.
Your reputation score takes into account reviews of your company across the web, from Google to Facebook, as well as platforms specifically designed for reviews, like TrustPilot. These can be used as a basis when looking at how the world perceives you.
In terms of how they'll affect your reputation score, this depends on the reviews given. If you have negative reviews, these will push down your score. Your score will also go down if you don't have reviews or you don't have any recently written.
If you want your score to improve, you should aim for generating lots of positive, detailed reviews from your customers. These should be frequently written, so you always have recent reviews.
Spreading out your reviews on different sites is another great way to increase your score and leave a better impression on the internet.
Many people scour the search results for reviews before making a purchase, so even if you're not trying to build a good reputation score, it's still wise to manage your reviews.
Listing your website locally is a great way to improve your reputation score quickly. But, for your listings to work in your favor, you need to have an accurate phone number, email address and physical address, and all of your information should be accurate and regularly updated.
To help boost your online presence, the information should also be easy to find and in public records.
Social Media Presence
Social media is critical to consumers these days, with 90% of people shopping with brands they follow. To help boost your online reputation score and leave a more noticeable digital footprint, you have to be on social media.
You should have an active profile where you regularly post valuable content for your audience to see, and you should encourage your audience to interact with you.
When you have a social media page, make sure you look at it from the point of view of someone who's never seen your brand before.
If they read your captions and replies to customers, what will they think of you? What does your content tell the world about you?
The better your social media presence, the higher your online reputation score will be.
Can You Improve a Bad Reputation Score?
If you don't think you have the best online presence and need to improve your reputation score, there are plenty of ways to do this.
The first step is to solidify your presence by setting yourself up on social media platforms, filling out listings on Google My Business and reviews sites, and using SEO to boost your search ranking.
Once you start getting noticed, you can use other tools to tailor your reputation.
For example, you could run a campaign to gain more reviews across different platforms. Offer a discount code for customers who leave a review on your website, on a review site, or on your social media.
Most people with positive reactions to your brand won't leave a review, meaning it's usually negative feedback that will harm your reputation score, but a campaign like this should bump up your positive reviews.
You should also actively monitor your online reputation. Make sure you're not being mentioned in any negative news articles, there's no sudden rush of online hate, and people on your social media are talking positively about your brand.
This is known as online reputation management, and it's vital to boosting your score.
How Do You Find Your Score?
These services will let you check your online reputation score based on their own criteria, so make sure you find one who uses factors that apply to your business.
One of the most commonly used sites is MyLife, whose reputation score is calculated using a range of important factors, giving you accurate and useful advice on your online presence.
You can also use reputation score calculators geared towards your industry, such as the Trivago Rating Index for hotels.
If you'd like to learn more about the reputation management tools available, be sure to check out our top reputation marketing software of 2021.
Once you have your reputation score, you can start managing your brand online. Of course, this is extremely time-consuming, and when you're running a business, it probably isn't high on your priority list.
This is why many people hire managed services to do it for them, making it easy to create online content that improves your presence, keeping on top of good and bad press, and making sure the world sees you in the way you want to be seen.
Get Help From the Experts
Now you know everything from what is a reputation score to how you can improve yours, it's time to start creating a strategy that will boost your presence and create long-lasting relationships with your audience. This is no easy task, but the results will make it well worth it!
If you need help creating your strategy and ensuring your business stands out from the crowd, take a look at this range of brilliant resources that every business owner will find useful.