Many consumers today will make buying decisions based in part on a “Google” search. Studies have shown that 61% of Internet users research a product online before making a purchase. As such, your company’s online reputation needs to be stellar or you risk losing a significant amount of business.

Customers can write positive or negative comments about their experience with your business, products, or services, and post them on multiple review platforms. Some may even create and publish blog posts about their experience. This means that, if you’re not managing your online brand, a quick online search may yield negative content about your business.

“If your potential customers encounter negative search results about your company, this can be detrimental to your business’s success,” stated Anthony Will, CEO & Co-Founder of Reputation Resolutions, a company that has successfully thousands of companies and individuals repair, improve, and manage their online reputation in Google:

Determining if Your Reputation is Tarnished

If you have not searched for your company’s products, services, or business name recently in major search engines like Google, Bing, and others, you may want to do so today. This can reveal important information about your business.

You can also search through review websites such as Yelp, Angie’s List, etc., to determine what your customers are saying about you. As a final step, if you do not know what your Better Business Bureau ranking is, you may want to review it. These are all venues that prospective customers will use to research your business before making a buying decision.

What You Can Do About It

It’s impossible to make some customers happy, and there will likely be at least a handful of disgruntled and often vocal customers who control the online dialogue about your business. It’s important to note that 88% of consumers trust online reviews as much as they trust personal recommendations. Thus, it is critical to be aware of any negative information about your business online.

To overcome this type of problem, there are a few steps that you can take, such as encouraging your happy customers to write positive reviews about their experiences. Setting up Google alerts is another easy and free way to monitor

You can also engage an online reputation management firm’s services to deal with more significant problems, such as negative news articles about your firm or its staff members. This can be more costly, but it can effectively move negative reviews and articles farther down in search engine rankings and even off of the first page of results.

People commonly search online for information about businesses, products, and services, and you want your prospective customers to find positive words when they search for your offerings. Take time today to learn more about what they may find when they search for your business.

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