Audit Your Online Presence
With 6,586,013,574 online searches conducted a day worldwide, we know that the web is a powerful tool for any business! You are likely a contributor in this large figure with the searches you are conducting daily. Have you stopped and taken the time to search your own company from the perspective of your target customer?
Put yourself in your customer’s shoes and conduct some searches online mapping out that entire online customer journey. According to Google, an average of 12 searches are conducted prior to any engagement with the business are made. These searches include
Initial research/curiosity –> weighing options –> more defined search –> reading reviews –> initiating conversation
You can read about SEO best practices, using video, and call-to-actions in other posts we have, as this post is dedicated to reviews!
Google Your Business
First, have you Googled your Business? What show’s up? Are you happy with the results? Are articles with your brand name showing up that you were not aware of?
Set Up Google Alerts
There are a handful of services available to monitor your brand/business online. One of the easiest and most cost effective (FREE) ways to do so is by using Google Alerts. Google offers a service where they will notify you via email when it finds new information online (web pages, news articles, blogs, etc) that match the search term you have identified. Visit https://www.google.com/alerts to set-up your account! Make sure to add your business name, including names of the leadership team, and if you want to monitor your competitor’s names feel free to plug those in as well.
In addition to Google Alerts, you might want to consider setting up a monitoring service such as mention.com or reputation.com
Check Your Social Media Profiles
Have you checked your social media profiles recently? When you Googled your business, did your social media profiles show up? If they did, chances are good that someone has clicked on them. Do your social media profiles do a good job of conveying who you are and the value that you bring to your customer? Some social media channels allow for ratings and reviews, have you been monitoring the posts that others have provided about your business?
Check Out the Major Online Review Websites
If you haven’t already, make sure to visit the major online review websites.
First, confirm if you have an active profile or not. You might not have made a profile, but one could have been made for you. Second, confirm the accuracy of the information on your profile. Several directories or services will aggregate information from various online sources and can often display inaccurate information. For example, our initial listing on the BBB website had me listed as Mr. Lori Highby. I kindly notified them that I am a Misses, not a Mister. Third, are there any published reviews about your company? If so, regardless of negative or positive best practices are to acknowledge the review.
Here’s a listing of websites that you should check. I’ve tried to include industry specific websites as well, please let me know if I am missing any and I’ll gladly update this list.
Better Business Bureau
US Accreditation Services
ApartmentRatings.com (real estate)
Trulia.com (real estate)
Zillow.com (real estate)
Google Your Brand
Set-up Google Alerts
Check your Social Media Profiles
Check out the Online Review Websites