It is not easy for small businesses to grow. They have to rely on referral marketing, and if that fails to bring the required business for growth, they have to depend on other methods of advertising and promotion. Running a commercial on local TV is out of question as the budget is not affordable for small businesses.
So when you turn to Digital marketing, what do you find when you do a quick Google search of your business? You see the top 3 businesses selling the same service/products like yours in the local pack 3. They have made it easy for themselves to get customers or to be more precise – your customers. But it is not difficult to turn things around for your business. With Online Reputation Management, you can get more clients for your business.
So what exactly is Online Reputation Management?
ORM or Online Reputation Management is the activity in which you improve the perception of your business in the eyes of your potential customers. It consists of two things:
You identify the online resources that potential customers use to learn more about your business.
You plan and execute the steps that will make the resources show your business in a positive light.
What if a customer searches for the products or services that your business offers and finds only your rivals but not you? In that case, also your business will be perceived in a negative way! The ultimate goal of ORM is to increase your customers and revenue.
ORM for Small businesses
Online Reputation Management is certainly not expensive even for small businesses if you do it in the right way. Following are the four platforms through which you can increase the reputation of your business on the online space:
Google My Business (GMB)
When you search for your business name in Google, you will see the names of three companies in the local pack 3, this is because they use GMB. Google My Business is a free tool allowing you to be on Google maps and connect with potential customers. Create your business profile on their website and start filling the different sections, including photos. Avoid the mistake of filling only minimum information.
Give special attention to a strong feature in GMB – Customer reviews. They have the ability to drastically increase or decrease your online reputation based on the kind of reviews your business will get. Ensure it is filled with positive reviews.
Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
The name itself says optimizing your business presence on search engines. Who doesn’t like to come on top of search engine results? The things that should come on top of search results are your website and your social media profiles.
You have to do a lot of things on your website to optimize it for the search engines. Ensure your website is indexed; you can do this by adding your website URL in the “Add a property” section of the Google account of your business. Verify the ownership of your website through your domain provider or Google Analytics. Index each page of your website; submit a sitemap (a simple roadmap) of your website’s pages.
When it comes to Social media profiles, you don’t have that much control over taking those pages to the top of the search results. E.g. your Facebook page is assumed to be a part of your owned media, but officially, it is a Facebook owned property. You can only link these social profiles on your website so that search engines will understand that you are endorsing those pages, and that will help those pages rank better in results.
More and more people are discovering new businesses on Facebook. It is the world’s largest social media with around 2 billion active users on it. Thus, you get a huge scope to increase your business and find new customers on Facebook and Facebook Messenger.
Create a page of your business and fill out all the required fields including the profile and cover image. Put up the correct and attractive images on your profile. Click on “Edit Page Info” which is present on the upper right corner of your profile. Fill out every section mentioned, to optimize your online reputation, esp. the “About Us” section, upload as many photos of your business as you can.
Customer reviews are important here too! You can ethically encourage customers to give their reviews. You can use a messenger chatbox to help you answer queries for all the 24 hours of the day.