Digital reputation management is designed to control the online narrative. Learn how it can help you stand out from the competition with our guide.
If you are an individual or business owner, people are using the web every day to learn about you.
People use search engines like Google every day to learn about businesses and services in their areas. They are just as likely to do a Google search to learn about people they meet.
The information found in search results can have a dramatic impact on someone’s perception of you. Your digital — or online — reputation is dependent on the information available about you.
Whether you are applying for a job or trying to grow your business, a good online reputation is a critical aspect that can help you reach your goals.
In this guide, we will explore why your online reputation is more important than ever and how online reputation management services can help you control the digital narrative, positioning you to achieve new levels of success in your life.
Your Online Reputation
To begin, what exactly is your “online reputation”?
The term is defined as:
“The consensus public perception of an individual or business based on their online presence.”
In the digital environment, our presence is comprised of the information available about us. The quality of this information — news articles, social media mentions, images, blog posts, and more — can influence how we are viewed by others.
A positive digital reputation is a valuable asset, allowing us to explore new opportunities on both personal and professional levels. A brand’s online reputation is one of its most important digital aspects, helping to foster a sense of trust between a company and its customers.
A negative reputation, on the other hand, can stand between you and your goals. If unflattering information or online reviews appears in search results, people may choose not to do business with you or may pass you over for someone with a better online presence.
How is an Online Reputation Made?
In today’s highly-connected digital world, it is rare to find an individual or business without some sort of digital presence. With internet access and a few minutes of time, it is relatively easy to go to Google or your favorite search engine to look up details about a person you meet or a business you want to visit.
Your entire online presence is made up of information that is available to others. This information often winds up in online conversations, such as on social media pages like Facebook and Twitter.
A wide range of information sources, both positive and negative, can influence how you are perceived:
- Positive customer reviews on Google and third-party review sites
- Positive news articles
- Positive mentions on social media accounts
- Positive brand mentions
- Unflattering news articles
- Arrest records, mugshots, or criminal histories on people-search sites or public records databases
- Negative customer feedback
- Negative online reviews on review sites like Yelp, TrustPilot, the Better Busines Bureau, or TripAdvisor
- Negative search results that turn up embarrassing photos or blog posts
Why Does Your Online Reputation Matter?
Whether you are aware or not, people are talking about you online.
Google is the first place many people start when learning about businesses in their area or people they met both in-person and online.
When the information in search results is positive, this helps to build trust right away. Potential customers that find positive reviews and glowing recommendations are more likely to visit your establishment.
When the information in searches is negative, those very same people may be put off by what they find. In fact, people have lost job opportunities, been denied home loans, or were not accepted in the school of their choice based on a negative reputation in the online environment.
The Value of a Positive Online Reputation
How important are positive online reputations? Consider these statistics:
- Positive reputations based on favorable reviews or customer feedback can increase revenue by 5-9%
- Positive reviews are a primary deciding factor when considering making a purchase. As many as 68% of all purchases are influenced by online reviews.
- 90% of all customers read reviews before making purchasing decisions. People are using tools like Google to evaluate you before ever setting foot in your establishment.
- 85% of recruiters and human resources professionals indicate that a job applicant’s online reputation influences hiring decisions. Almost half of the recruiters say that a positive reputation is often the deciding factor between two candidates.
You can also read this: 3 Benefits & Advantages of Online Reputation Management