Startup Business Tips -- Online Reputation Strategies For 2017 In these days, immense shifts in the reputation landscape are transforming how and what companies communicate.

By Anchit Sood

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A recent report from Fleishman-Hillard states that 89 percent of consumer turn to a search engine to find information on products, services or businesses for making a purchase decision.

A single negative information can be the kiss of death for your business or brand. In this digital era, it has become a godsend for a plethora of individuals to monitor your virtual reputation and share opinions with other online users. Most of the users are using the internet and online reviews to determine the value of your products and make purchase decisions. That`s why, a majority of startups and other businesses are willing to commence with the online reputation platform to influence their services better, along with the intention of building a good impression among their customers.

Importance of Online Reputation for CEOs and their Businesses

Weber Shandwick's research report signifies that 87 percent of consumer believe that a strong CEO reputation is just as important as strong product brands. In addition, it shows that a positive CEO reputation helps in attract media attention (83 percent), crisis protection (83 percent), and retaining (70 percent) employees.

In these days, immense shifts in the reputation landscape are transforming how and what companies communicate. Fundamental changes caused by the Internet, globalization, and third parties, resulting in fading returns on traditional media. The increasing in the demand of general public and widely use of social channels have created a new dynamic, where the CEO`s reputation behind the brand is becoming more significant than brands themselves.

It might be possible that you haven`t Google yourself before, but there is a scope that someone else might type your name in search box, especially for CEO`s to judge you based on what they find. A list of websites such as Yelp, Amazon, Angie's List, and City search etc. for online business reviews are available for the reflection of you and your brand quality, reliability, and skills. The waters of social channels and online reputation can be ruthless, especially in small businesses, where a positive online reputation can make you and your brand invincible. On the other hand, a single negative review can demolish you and your business reputation from top to bottom. So, it's your responsibility to ensure that you leave an enduring impression of both (you and your brand) on the web to acquire the following benefits

Increase in Customers

Customers' referrals play an important role in marketing. For a customer, reading reviews about business products and services

are now part and parcel of the buying process. Here, are some quick stats on referral marketing:

  • 65 percent of new business come from referrals.
  • Buyers are more likely to buy products recommended by a friend.
  • 49 percent of customers in U.S. said, friends and family are their top sources of brand awareness.

For an instance:

Imagine that you`re marketing a product, and one of your customers has bad experience, gives your product bad review. Eventually, he/she will refer that to a friend, who in turn tells a family member, and so and so forth. In this age of internet, every individual has a wide-reaching network, lacking to understand the power of customer`s opinion can result in detrimental of your business.

Affects Your Local SEO

Not only online reviews are important in customer's referral but it also plays major role in your organic search ranking. Moz's study of 2014 local search ranking factors involves that online business reviews are among the top 20 ranking factors. Down below is the breakdown of how important reviews are to your ranking:

  • Global ranking factor: 9.8 percent important
  • Regional organic results: 7.2 percent important
  • Pack/Carousel results: 12.3 percent important

Considerably, there are a range of factors that are involved into your ranking that you might don`t know or can`t control but the quantity and quality of reviews are such factors that you have in your hand.

Enhances your branding

If we talk about marketing, it rests on human nature and their appealing. A lot of people don't necessarily buy the product, they just buy the brand. For instance, imagine yourself at a grocery store and you have two products -- branded product versus generic, which one will you buy? Obviously, the branded one because you already know and most likely trust that product.

Positive feedbacks from customers put up confidence and trust in your product, and eventually in your brand. Whereas, negative reviews from customers can slap a scarlet letter on your chest that will stick to your brand for a long time.

Despite the above discussion, Online Reputation Management has become imperative for brands to monitor, identify, and influence the digital reputation of the product and services. In addition, a good online management strategy can open several opportunities for the business that you might be expecting.

Anchit Sood

CTO & Founder, Reputation Savvy Inc. & Websetters

Anchit is currently the Chief Technology Officer and Founder of Reputation Savvy Inc. & Websetters which is a pioneer in creating big brand websites, develops social media content, Online Reputation Management, and Marketing strategy. 


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