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Why You Can’t Afford to Ignore the Online Reputation of Your Business 

Beauty salons. Fitness centers. Pet groomers. Tattoo parlors. No matter what kind of business you run, you probably didn’t open your doors so you could become an expert in digital marketing or public relations.   

But whether you like it or not, in today’s digital world your online reputation plays a crucial role in your business’s success. In many ways, it can literally make or break a business. Don’t agree? Consider these statistics:  

Luckily, using your online presence to win new clients and customers isn’t as complicated as you might think. Let’s look at some effective ways to master the online reputation game—and fuel growth so your business can thrive! 

How important is your digital first impression? 

Think about the last time you needed to find a product or service. Did you use a phone book? Or look in the local newspaper? Nope.  

Fact: just like you, most of your potential customers start their search for services online.  

That’s why the role of online search and reviews in consumer decision-making is more significant than ever. Word-of-mouth recommendations in the form of online reviews can be incredibly impactful—and are often more persuasive than traditional advertising. 

In fact, about three quarters of consumers say online reviews build their trust in a business.  

And while good reviews can help, bad ones can certainly hurt. How much? 94% of people admit bad reviews have made them avoid a business.

So it’s undeniable that your online presence is often the first thing prospective customers see about you. But what can you do? You’re in luck: Here’s how to get started and stay on track when it comes to building a strong digital presence online for your business. 

1. Develop a Professional Website 

You’ll find a lot of opinions about what makes a great website, but the truth is that the definition is pretty simple. Here’s a quick checklist you should keep in mind when having your website created—or doing it yourself:  

2. Turn Likes Into Loves: Use Social Media to Connect with Customers 

You don’t need to be a marketing guru to benefit from social media. Simply being present and responsive to questions on these platforms can help you connect with your community, share valuable content and offers, and promote your business effectively. You can use social media to give your business a personality online—and drive traffic to your website.  

3. Master the Art of Online Reviews 

We’ve talked about how much online reviews matter to your prospective customers. Will they be confident in clicking through to make an appointment with you? Or be turned off and scroll to the next business? Here are a few facts and tactics to help you make sure your online reviews are helping as much as possible. 

Where will your customers find online reviews?  

There are a few places where many of your reviews will show up online. First and foremost, they’re included as part of your Google Business Profile. Keep in mind that Google accounts for over 91% of all searches online†. So it should be your first stop to see how your first impression appears to prospective clients and customers.  

But Google isn’t the only game in town. Reviews of your business will appear in many digital locations: 

Be proud of your work—and share success stories 

Don’t be afraid to ask for reviews from your loyal customers 

You may be asking, “Isn’t it kind of cringe to ask for reviews?” No. It’s a great way to get your loyal customers to share their opinions online. And don’t be shy: Asking for reviews can be straightforward and effective with the right approach: 

Asking for reviews is a smart habit to get into as a business owner, and being able to automate the request makes it super easy.  

How easy? Salon R5 owner Tracy Nguyen uses DaySmart Reputation Management solutions and automation every day:  “It’s been great so far…I use the software to send out text and email appointment reminders and recently added on the reputation management feature to automatically text clients after their visit to leave a review.” 

Respond quickly to online reviews—whether they’re good, bad, or ugly. 

Responding to reviews, both positive and negative, demonstrates that you value customer feedback. It also shows how much you appreciate happy customers—and that you’re committed to improving your service for unsatisfied ones.  

And to be honest, while it may sting a little, responding to your negative reviews may be even more important than thanking people for the good ones. In fact, over half of customers expect businesses to respond to negative online reviews and comments in under a week.

Learn how to respond to negative and positive reviews in our virtual workshop. 

This practice gives you a voice to amplify good reviews—and address bad ones head on. Plus, it will help attract new clients—while retaining existing ones. 

Gabriela Rudnick, Director of Operations at All Fur Pet Grooming in Virginia, has experience with Reputation Management solutions from DaySmart. As she says, “Reputation management has also been the greatest resource. With it, we can send requests for reviews straight to clients’ phones and immediately learn if they’re happy with their experience with us. If it’s the case that they’re not, we then have the information available to understand the situation and better respond.” 

It pays to pay attention to the online reputation of your business 

We’ve covered a lot of ground in this post. In addition to showcasing the importance of your digital presence, we explored a few ways to establish your business online—and engage with prospective and current customers.  

Perhaps most importantly, we dove into the world of online reviews: Where to find them, how to respond to them, and how to ask happy customers to share their experiences.   

It’s no secret that establishing and maintaining a robust, positive online presence is a great way to attract new customers and fuel your business’s growth. And the truth is: it’s table stakes for operating a business in today’s world where customers give so much time and attention to digital and social content.  

Failure to manage and promote your online presence can really hurt your business’s ability to grow and succeed. On the plus side, there’s no mystery on how to have a positive online presence: You just have to put in the time. 

DaySmart’s Reputation Management solutions can simplify this entire process, helping you manage your online reputation effectively. And when it comes to growing your business, online reputation truly is Queen! Start enhancing yours today—explore all of DaySmart’s solutions specifically tailored to your type of business—and get in touch to learn more today.