5/20/2019

Ways to Protect Your Online Reputation and Why It Matters

If you want to be a successful business owner in the year 2019, you need to be able to establish and maintain a positive online reputation for your business. This is a very important thing to understand, and the reality is that most business owners do. According to a 2018 study by TripAdvisor, 97% of business owners agree that online reputation management is important.

The reason why a business's online reputation matters is due to the fact that many consumers believe and trust what they read online. A 2018 survey by BrightLocal stated that 84% of consumers trust online reviews just as much as personal recommendations. What this means is that if there is negative stuff written about your business online, it can negatively impact all aspects of your business. 

Unfortunately, there is no way to fully monitor everything that is said about your business online, but there are ways in which you can protect yourself, and minimize the risk of your business establishing a negative online reputation. In this article, I will be discussing four ways in which you can protect your online reputation so that you can be set up for future business success.

Make Sure All of Your Online Data Is Secure

One of the biggest mistakes business owners make is not properly securing their online data. If your online data is not secure, then you run the risk of all of your customer data and information becoming public knowledge. If your customers find out that the information they thought was private is now public, then it really sheds a negative light on your company and its online reputation. Therefore, making sure that all of your customer information and data are safe and secure is something that every business owner should be doing. The way to effectively do this is by using database security. By using database security, you are making it nearly impossible for your customer's information to become public knowledge. Ensuring that all of your customer's data is safe and secure will not only protect your online reputation, but it also protects your business in general as well.

Respond to Customers

If a customer directly communicates with you online, whether it be via social media or otherwise, you should always try to respond to them. Responding to customers is an excellent way to protect your online reputation because it allows you to defend yourself, and directly address any questions or concerns that they may have. It's fairly obvious that responding to positive comments and reviews is something that you should do, but you should also be responding to negative comments and reviews as well. 

By responding to negative comments, you are showing not only the person who posted the negative comment but anyone else who reads it, that you care about your customers. If someone leaves a negative review about your business online and you don't respond to it, whoever reads the review may believe that there is some truth to it, and as a result, your online reputation can be negatively impacted. However, if you respond to a negative review, it not only shows customers that you are listening to them, but it also gives you a chance to defend yourself. By defending yourself, you are increasing the chances that people disregard the original negative comment that was posted. 

However, when you respond to these negative comments, you want to make sure you do it in a way that doesn't make you look bad. Be careful about what you say, and do not say anything that can be deemed as controversial, and you should be fine. Responding to customers is a great way to not only protect your online reputation but increase it as well. 

Set Up A Google Alert

The third way to protect your online reputation is to set up a Google alert. By doing this, you are allowing Google to alert you anytime a story gets published online that contains your name or your business. This is a useful tool because it makes it much easier to monitor your online reputation. In order to protect your online reputation, you first need to be able to monitor it, and this tool allows you to do just that. Once you are aware of what has been written about you online, you can then act accordingly, and protect your online reputation if the situation calls for it. Knowing when things are said about you and your business online is extremely important, and there is no easier way to find this information out than by setting up a Google alert.

Install Live Chat Services on Your Webpage

The fourth and final way in which you can protect your online reputation is to install live chat services on your webpage. This will not only increase customer engagement, but it will also increase consumer trust as well. If there is a real human being who is logged into your company's website, it leads consumers to believe that their data is being well protected at all times. If consumers believe that their personal data is secure, then it will only positively impact your online reputation.  

In summary, a good online reputation is very important for the overall success of any business. If you have a poor reputation, then you probably won't survive in today's business world. That is why making sure you know how to protect it is something that should not be overlooked. By following these four tips, you are providing the ultimate protection for your business's online reputation, and setting yourself up for success.

 

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