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Why Your Company’s Online Reputation Is Important [Infographic]

Reputation is everything. Whether you’re a small business or a global enterprise, your reputation plays a major role in your company’s success. This is especially true as consumers become more tech-savvy than ever before.

As a result, your company’s online reputation is crucial to its long-term success — especially online. But just how important is reputation management to your business?

Why your company’s online reputation matters

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1. Reputation management at a glance

Before we get into specifics, let’s look at reputation management from a birds-eye view. reputation-management-overview First, roughly 25% of a company’s market value comes directly from its reputation. So if you have a lot of critics, dissatisfied customers, or online attackers, you risk losing 25% of your company’s value — even if what they say isn’t true.

Beyond that, it’s also important to note that consumers trust online reviews 12x more than product descriptions.

For retail and ecommerce, that’s a huge advantage. That means you can add reviews directly to product pages and use them as marketing materials instead of just company feedback. Clearly, your reputation goes a long way in terms of sales.

But that leads us to one big question. If online reputation is so important, why doesn’t everyone want to improve it?

Find Top Reputation Management Companies Here!

2. Executives and reputation management

The fact is that every business wants a good reputation. But because the results may feel abstract, not everyone follows through. This is especially true for executives.

reputation-management-executives A whopping 87% of executives say managing company reputation is more important than managing strategic risk. That means 7/8 C-level businesspeople believe firmly in managing their company’s reputation. But for some reason, only 15% of executives follow through on reputation management strategies!

This could come from any number of reasons, including that some executives simply don’t believe in the power of the Internet.

No matter what the reason, 85% of executives are missing out on opportunities to improve their companies.

That’s almost just as many who say their business’s reputation is important. So what’s the bottom line? If you want to improve your company’s reputation, you have to make it a priority.

  You can start by earning positive reviews with star ratings.

3. The importance of star ratings

Star ratings are today’s dominant method of showing online reviews. Google, Yelp, Facebook, and just about every other review outlet shows reviews with stars. Most of the time, a “five star” rating is the best possible rank you can achieve.

5/5 stars means you’ve satisfied 100% of your customers with a product or service. But you don’t need 100% satisfaction to get new sales. reputation-management-star-rating 94% of consumers say they’d buy from a business with 4/5 stars, 57% of consumers would buy from a business with 3/5 stars, and 14% of consumers would buy from a business with 2/5 stars.

If your company has 1/5 stars, you can bet that practically no one will buy from you online.

This means it’s in your best interest to start building positive reviews online. But where do you start?

4. The popularity of review sites

There are tons of online outlets for product and business reviews. It doesn’t always pay to focus on all of them, especially if you’re a small business. That’s why we recommend choosing three and working on them first.

reputation-management-sites Google fields 4.08 million queries per second. That means you can be pretty sure that someone’s looking up your business at least once a week, if not once per day! On top of that, Yelp users post 26.38 reviews per minute.

This is so many reviews that you almost certainly have a rating on Yelp, even if you didn’t create your business’s listing!

Last, Swarm users check in 4.26 times per minute.

This is more sensitive to brick and mortar businesses with storefronts, but it still carries a lot of weight. Your business is probably on all of these sites, regardless of whether you signed up for the services. But if you didn’t sign up for them, why should you care what these sites say?

The short answer — sales.

5. How your reputation impacts sales

Your online reputation has a major impact on your company’s sales. reputation-management-sales-impact First, 92% of consumers read online reviews to learn about a business. So if you have bad reviews online, you could be losing an overwhelming majority of your customer base!

On top of that, 91% of consumers look up businesses online.

That means 9/10 potential customers will find you online, even if you haven’t actively monitored your online reputation! But it doesn’t just stop with online review sites. 80% of consumers get advice on products from social media.

So if you’re not on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, or other social platforms, you need to start today. 80% of consumers say they’ve changed their mind about buying because of online reviews, too. It’s not specified whether those changes are good or bad — but it is clear that reviews impact your customers’ decisions.

Next, 67% of consumers won’t buy from a business if they have 1-3 bad reviews.

So even one negative review could completely change how many sales you get at any given time. 43% of consumers look up a business’s reviews at least once per month, as well. That means your reputation doesn’t just matter to active customers — it’s also important to subscribers, repeat customers, and future prospects.

In addition, 40% of consumers form an opinion about a business after reading 1-3 reviews.

That’s also the number of reviews a lot of websites show as a sample. So even if you have 100 good reviews and three bad ones, you could still lose 40% of your customers if the bad reviews show up above the good ones. This is also a strong case for continuing a reputation management strategy after you’ve achieved the initial results you want.

Recent reviews will empower your company to sell more over time.

Last, 39% of Facebook users like brand pages so they can research products. So if you have a Facebook page, you can be sure your followers will look to that page to determine if they want to buy from you. This last data point is especially important for ecommerce.

You can have a lot of product and business reviews right on your Facebook page. And if you have those, you can feed them straight to a product’s sales page on your site. Why?

reputation-management-product-reviews When a product has 50 or more reviews, your sales increase by 4.6% for that product. That may not sound like a huge leap at first — but expand it to your entire product catalog.

If you could increase every single product’s sales by 4.6%, you just made a huge leap in company profits. Even if you only have 10 items for sale, this is still huge.

But wait a second — the Internet is still a pretty new technology, regardless of how powerful it is. Some companies may think they can just hire better sales people and that’ll offset the bad reviews they have online. This is why they’re wrong.

7. Reputation management and hiring

Your company’s online reputation doesn’t just impact sales. It also affects who you hire. reputation-management-hiring First, online job hunting has doubled since 2005.

In just 12 years, the Internet has become the prime way people find new steps in their career path. It’s gotten to the point where some review sites exist exclusively to help job hunters learn more about corporate reputations (like Glassdoor).

84% of job hunters would leave their current company for another one with an “excellent” reputation. So if your business doesn’t have a great reputation right now, you’re risking your whole staff with a bad public image.

On top of that, 79% of job seekers use social media to find their next career move.

That means you have to maintain a positive image on social media if you want to attract the best, savviest talent for your business. Interestingly, 20% of job seekers have applied to a job they found via social media.

That may not sound like much at first, but that means you could get five applications for every job instead of four. Those results compound, too.

That 20% gives you 10 new applicants instead of eight and so on. In other words, your reputation gives you choices when it comes to improving your business.

Most important, 11% of job seekers would decline an offer from a company with a bad reputation even if they were unemployed! This may sound dramatic, but it speaks to the incredible power of a company’s reputation.

If you don’t maintain it, you risk losing 1/10 applicants to your company! So the verdict is clear — your company’s reputation is essential to its long-term success. But how do you improve it?

8. How to improve your company’s reputation

We saved the best for last. If you want the benefits of a great online reputation, this is how you start. reputation-management-how-to-start Search saturation is a great first step.

This is the process of creating content around keywords that show negative news about your business in search results. Search saturation lets you “reply” to this negativity and even push negative news off of the first page of SERPs. At the end of the day, that makes sure you’re putting your best foot forward for new customers or job applicants.

Next, social media plays a huge role in how the public perceives you. Creating profiles on major social networks and developing a following helps you out in SERPs as well, and it also gives you a consistent audience online.

Claiming profiles on review sites is important as well. As we suggested earlier, you can start with Google, Yelp, and Swarm, among others.

Interaction is also important for a positive reputation.

Interaction means you reply to people who leave positive or negative reviews, following up with them in the way that’s most appropriate.

Press releases can help as well. Lots of press release sites have SEO power, which helps with search saturation. You can also use press releases to appeal to journalists, bloggers, and publications in your industry.

Last, we have consistency. 44% of consumers say reviews must be written within one month to be relevant. So once you start your reputation management strategy, keep going!

The components of your online reputation

Every business is essentially made up of two components: the corporate, professional image, and all the people who work to uphold it.

Let’s take a look at how online reputation works for each:

Your business’s professional reputation

Branding is important in business, and it helps influence consumers’ buying behaviors. When widely-known, these are recognizable distinctions. For example, when a person wants a particular fast food, he or she doesn’t type “fast food” into Google, but instead uses the name of a specific company, like Taco Bell, McDonald’s, or Wendy’s.

These are strong brands with positive overall reputation.

However, much like these brands have earned success with positive reputations, a bad reputation can stand in the way of growing your company. So what makes up the professional side of your company’s online reputation?


Today’s consumers are accustomed to using sites like Yelp and Google to find out more about companies before they make purchases or decisions. And while one bad review isn’t necessarily going to sway a customer who is interested in what you’re offering, a slew of bad reviews can have a serious impact.

Remember that it’s human nature to focus on the negative, rather than the positive.

News articles

How is your company as a whole presented in the media? Are there any articles that present your products or services in a negative light? Even if this occurred several years ago, it could still be front and center when your corporation’s name is placed into any of the major search engines such as Google, Bing or YouTube.

Even if what the media outlet said was inaccurate or no longer relevant, your company’s name will be attached with the stigma.

Employee comments and opinions

In some cases, unhappy ex-employees take the step of trying to publically derail their former employers. If you are in this situation with a past employee, your reputation can certainly be damaged—even if their claims were ultimately untrue.

Social Media Posts

Even if you don’t have an official social media presence for your company, it can play a huge role in your online reputation. Negative social media posts can and do spread like wildfire in some circumstances, and while Facebook and Twitter won’t necessarily impact your chances of ranking well, if a potential client sees something negative from a family member or friend, they’re unlikely to want to work with you.

Looking at all these reputation derailment possibilities, it’s easy to see that companies absolutely need to make an effort to keep up with their online management.

Whether small or large, no organization can afford to overlook or ignore negativity online. However, online reputation isn’t just about the corporation—it’s also about the people who work under its name.

Your personal reputation

When it comes down to it, your business is more than a flashy logo and the products it sells. This means that regardless of how great your products may be, the actions of the people who work for your company matter to your overall reputation.

All of your employees can have an effect on how the public perceives your company.

Let’s say that you have one whose online reputation has been sullied by any of the following:

Pictures on social media

Perhaps one of your employees had a little too much fun in college. While she didn’t post pictures of wild parties on Facebook, one of her friends did… and promptly tagged her. Now, these pictures are on the web forever, and they don’t look particularly positive for your company.

Legal issues

If you can take to the Internet and in a matter of minutes look up a judgment or criminal action related to your employee, so can any customer.

And if the criminal matter is big enough, it can get local, national or even international press. Suddenly, your business is connected with crime.

Negative press

Did your employee come from another business where he was let go under suspicious circumstances? This could be online, and available for anyone to see.

Negative reviews

Irate customers may take to the Internet to blast one of your employees.

Not only is your business name dragged through the mud, but your employee’s name is, too.

These are real consequences for not only the individual, but also your organization. Although background checks are often used during the hiring process, they don’t usually include a check of online reputation. Therefore, problems like these can be overlooked until they begin to affect your business.

Want more on reputation management?

Want to learn more about how you can improve your online reputation?

Contact WebFX today and we’ll help you set up a reputation management strategy!

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