Business Reputation ManagementBack to school season is in full swing. This time of the year signals the end of summer, and for many of us, that means it’s time to get back to business after a long, relaxing break by the pool.

Maybe it’s because the routine is ingrained in us from childhood, but the end of summer can spark productivity and creativity. In the business world, the back to school season looks a little different from buying pencils, notebooks, and a flashy new backpack. For example, many businesses use this time of the year as an opportunity to review their online reputation. Like making the first impression on a new teacher, you want to make sure your business is making the right impression on potential customers.

In person, we’re more self-aware of our actions and reputation. Online, it’s tougher to read between the lines. We’ve put together a handful of tips to help you audit your business’s reputation and finish out the year on the right foot.

1. Check Your Online Business Listings

When you’re beginning your business’s online reputation evaluation, you’ll need to start by auditing your existing contact information and making sure it’s up to date. This contact information includes data like your address, phone number, hours, and URL. When your business’s contact information isn’t correct, it makes you look unknowledgeable. Customers want to know how to contact you and how to locate you. If something looks suspicious or the information is inconsistent from source to source, a potential customer might move on to a competitor who has information that is more accurate. It’s easier to trust a business when their information is updated and consistent everywhere.

Oftentimes, the issue with researching and updating your online business listings is figuring out where to start. Documenting every site where your business’s information is cumbersome. This process becomes even more complicated when you’re managing multiple business locations across multiple states. As part of High Touch’s Business Listing Management service, we offer a free listings scan to help your business get a baseline knowledge of your existing information. After the assessment, you’ll need to keep your information updated manually.

If you’d rather save time, let us do the work. When you choose High Touch for your Business Listing Management needs, your brand’s data will be consistent and up-to-date across over 100 websites, search engines, apps, voice assistants, GPS systems, and social networks.

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2. Ask Your Customers for Feedback

Your business’s online presence can make or break your next deal. While you’re investigating your contact data, it’s important to review your business’s online ratings. According to a survey conducted by BrightLocal, an online reputation management agency, 86% of consumer read reviews for local businesses. Even more staggering, 95% of consumers aged 18-34 read online reviews before making a purchase. Of these consumers, 57% will only consider purchasing products from business that have a four star rating or greater.

With those statistics in mind, how does your business fare? Unfortunately, consumers are more likely to leave a review after a single bad experience as opposed to years of consistent, good service. If you have customers who you’re regularly engaged with, kindly ask them to leave a review for your business. Share customer testimonials on your website. Use a promotional item to encourage meaningful and positive digital interaction with your customer base.

Finally, if your business has negative online feedback, do your best to respond in an objective, impactful way. Consumers are just as likely to read bad reviews as they are to read positive reviews. According to the same BrightLocal survey cited earlier, 89% of consumers read businesses’ responses to online reviews. By offering meaningful resolution to these reviews online, customers can build trust in your business.

3. Evaluate Your Business’s SEO

search engine optimization (SEO)Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is the practice of constructing websites to gain organic traffic. Organic traffic, or website visitors you gain from unpaid sources like search engines, listings pages, and social media, hinges on how optimized your website is to align with search engine algorithms. If search engines don’t think your website is a user-friendly, accurate, and reliable source of information that closely matches typical user search terms, your website won’t receive good search rankings. Bad search rankings translate to fewer website visitors and bad SEO.

The challenge with SEO is in constantly evolving search engine algorithms. If you can’t remember the last time you updated the content on your website, you should consider freshening up some of the language and visuals or revisiting your site navigation. Certain aspects of your website, like content quality, social media, presence, and website listings, also affect your SEO score. High Touch can analyze these aspects of your website through a general SEO assessment.

For intricate websites and quality SEO enhancements, High Touch can conduct an advanced SEO assessment that investigates website speed, code, and keywords.

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4. Refresh Your Website

Your website is the digital front door to your business. It’s where many potential customers will go to determine if your business can serve their needs. Does your website match the reputation you want your business to have?

High Touch can help give your website a facelift, or build an entirely new one from scratch. Developing a website for your business isn’t an overnight process. It takes careful planning, building, and testing to ensure you’ll get the best results. When building websites, High Touch functions as an extension of your in-house team. We put the focus on your company’s needs throughout the entire development process.

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5. Discover New Business Efficiencies

Put yourself in the customer’s shoes. Who do you think has the better reputation, a company with out of date, inefficient technology, or a company with state-of-the-art tools?

Most businesses depend on technology. With your constant business demands, technology, tools, and checkups can fall behind. Eventually, you need to modernize your tools to keep up with new and advancing businesses. You want to give customers the impression that you’ll be there to serve them for the long haul. One way you can do that is by showing you invest in yourself as well as your customers.

  • Legacy Software. Does your business depend on custom software you built more than three years ago? If you answered, “Yes,” it’s probably time for updates and maintenance. By modernizing your legacy software solution, you can add security updates, features, and interface enhancements.
  • Phone Systems. Despite being relatively new to the phone system arena, cloud-based phone systems have become an affordable alternative to on-premise phone systems for businesses. Cloud-based phone systems offer low upfront costs, quick deployment, simple maintenance, and powerful productivity features.
  • Hardware. What would you think if you walked into a business and saw a yellowed desktop running Windows 95? You’d probably run far, far away. Make sure your hardware sends your customers the right message about your business and its reputation.

Questions About Managing Your Business’s Reputation?

These five business tips are just the beginning. Your business’s technology solutions directly influence your online reputation. High Touch has the knowledge to help your business manage and improve its reputation. Contact us today to learn more.

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