With a few strokes of the keyboard or swiping on their phone, anyone can publish their opinion, experience, or business review.
Other opinions can boost your business and online reputation but also harm it.
Customers are much more likely to share negative reviews and experiences about a business online than positive ones. It’s unfortunate but a reality that most business owners have to come to terms with.
Negative news, reviews, and opinions have significant effects, creating a negative online reputation for your business, brand, or personal reputation.
Negative Reviews Equal Negative Online Reputation
It’s not a surprise that bad reviews are bad for your business. Most consumers do online research before purchasing a product, especially when it comes to large purchases.
Overall, online reviews affect about 70% of consumers’ purchasing decisions. Negative reviews have a massive pull on consumer behavior.
While positive reviews help your business’ online ranking, negative reviews significantly impact your business. Below are some ways that negative reviews drive consumers away and affect your business.
Lower Search Engine Ranking
Google is the most common search engine and is used by millions of users every day. Having negative ratings makes your business rank lower on Google and other search engines like it.
Search Engines typically rank websites and businesses with the least amount of negative reviews higher than those with the most negative reviews.
If you have more negative than positive reviews, your competitors will likely rank higher than your business online.
Decrease The Number of Website Visitors
Research shows that three negative reviews drive away about 60% of potential customers, whereas four bad reviews drive nearly 70% of customers away. As bad business reviews increase, the number of visitors to your website will decrease.
Loss of Revenue and Less Profit
Businesses with bad reviews on Google, YELP, and Facebook are at risk of a loss of revenue. A business with a 1-1.5 rating on any site reports 33% less revenue than the average business.
Reputable sources such as Forbes reported that 94% of consumers steer clear of businesses with negative online reviews.
Without any revenue coming in and customers being driven away from your company, your company’s profitability will also suffer.
Finding solutions to increase positive and decrease negative ratings is worth the investment to grow revenue and increase profit.
Undermined Your Online Reputation
A lot of time and effort goes into building a positive reputation online. That positive reputation can quickly be destroyed with a few negative reviews lurking around on various review websites.
Several people will not purchase or interact with a brand or business with a negative online reputation. Often consumers are looking for credible businesses and trustworthy individuals to buy from.
If your company’s search results are negative, you won’t be attracting many customers. Overall, online reputation matters.
Should You Interact With Negative Reviews Online?
There is a lot to say about interacting with customers online. It can be risky, but if done correctly, it can help to turn your online reputation around.
First, seeing a negative review about your business online can be challenging. But the worst thing to do is become defensive and attack the reviewer. Forcing an argument online will damage your reputation more, not improve it.
Instead, try focusing on listening to the reviewer’s concerns, address them, and let them know how grateful you are for the feedback and what your plan is to fix it.
Every complaint may not be fixable, but making your customers feel seen and heard can help improve your online reputation.
A Negative Online Reputation Affects Hiring Abilities
When interviewing for a job, most potential employers search the company online before accepting an interview or job.
If your company’s search results are filled with negative news and bad reviews, the likelihood of attracting great talent to work for your company becomes less and less.
When it comes to hiring, you know that people are a top asset, but if they don’t like what’s said about your company on the internet, you won’t be able to attract the best team members.
Potential Employees Make Decisions Based On Company Reviews
According to Fractl’s American Workplace Survey, one in three candidates was known to turn down a job because of one negative review online. Negative news and reviews online limit your hiring pool, even if the news online is exaggerated or false.
Monitoring your Indeed reviews and publishing positive content on LinkedIn can help you negate harmful content online about your company and will likely help you attract top-notch candidates.
Negative Search Results Will Drive Candidates Away
Curating a diverse digital footprint online should be a top priority for a company. Negative articles, press releases, videos, or pages on Google and other search engines will drive potential employees away.
Working to suppress negative and rank positive results is vital to help rid of negative search results. This can be a lofty task, but hiring a reputation management company like BRANDefenders can help lift the burden and improve your online reputation.
Implementing a reputation management strategy that’s aligned with SEO best practices will help you create the narrative you desire for your company and enable you to combat negative content.
Outsourcing this type of SEO work and creating room in your marketing budget is ideal as hiring experts allows you as the business owner to work on other parts of your business.
Leveraging Social Media To Attract Employees
It was mentioned above that paying attention to the content published on social media channels like LinkedIn can help you attract top talent and eliminate any negativity online.
But LinkedIn is not the only social media channel that matters. Levering social media channels like Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, and others will help you harness your online reputation and attract potential employees.
Creating different social media accounts is an easy and free way to market your company to potential employees and give them an inside look into what it would be like to work with you and your team members.
Developing social media marketing tactics and strategies to attract different audiences on different platforms will help you reach the broadest possible audience and pool of candidates.
Social media can be a strong tool for hiring when done right, but if proper tactics are not adopted, it can also damage your reputation, so be sure to work with experts that know how to use your social media to your advantage.
How to Fix A Negative Online Reputation
Attracting potential employees and customers’ purchasing behavior are only a few ways a negative online reputation can affect your business.
If your business struggles to improve its online reputation, there is still hope. Hiring a reputation management company like BRANDefenders is one of the best things you can do to improve your online reputation.
Although it’s possible to try and fix your negative online reputation on your own, it can be a big headache and time-sucker. Working with experienced SEO specialists and experts is your best bet for fixing negative content online and improving your brand’s image.
Online reputation services know how to suppress negative results and rank positive results on search engines, along with other tactics to help you generate positive press around your brand.
Monitoring and managing your online reputation is one of the most important things you can do to improve your brand image and grow your business.
Whether you try to work on improving your online reputation on your own or hire a company like BRANDefenders, it will be worth the time, money, and effort.