The Importance of a Positive Online Reputation for Small Business Owners

It is no secret even for beginning online business owners that the reputation their business inherits or gains over time has a powerful effect on the number of new customers they attract, the sales they make and the overall popularity of their brand.

The Impact of Customer Reviews

People looking to make almost any type of purchase these days look to online reviews when it comes to deciding upon a specific product. The problem is that most customers have a difficult time making informed choices because of all the often misleading and contradicting customer reviews that make their way on various sites.

Some customers tend to exaggerate extremely small issues, while others are genuinely interested in providing information that others could benefit from. In any case, it can be difficult sometimes to tell which review is genuine, and the whole situation can become quite confusing.

For business owners, the impact of a negative customer review can be extremely serious, however, since future customers will surely be taking it into account when dealing with the company. And it is frightening to find out to what extend one negative review, no matter how biased, can actually influence the general opinion! A recent study conducted by Cone, a Boston marketing agency, reveals that 80 percent of people change their mind about purchasing a service or product after reading a negative review online.

Yelp: an Important Source of Information and Reviews

An important information and quality review source on the internet is Yelp. The site has reached a remarkable level of popularity, due to its policy of encouraging quality over quantity when it comes to reviews.

Yelp reviews have a powerful impact on independent and smaller businesses due to its significant focus on local searches. This, combined with the fact that business owners can dispute the reviews posted on the site, has led to many people seeing Yelp as a trustworthy and reliable source of information.

A study that took into account the link between high Yelp ratings and revenues, focusing on the Seattle restaurant industry, showed just how much influence the ratings can have. The statistics showed how each star in a Yelp review has led to a jump of about 5 to 9 % in revenue for the reviewed restaurant.

These findings further prove how reviews posted on a popular review site such as Yelp can have surprising ramifications when it comes to the success of a business.

Solving the Negative Reputation Problem

Many viable sources of information are available that can help small business owners get detailed insight on what the customers in their niches are looking for, as well as what they like and what they are not interested in.

One of the most intriguing tools available for those who need as much information as possible about their online reputation is Spotless Rep. This is an efficient, new reputation monitoring and defense system that scores and tracks companies’ reputation on the internet in real time, follows the changes that come up on various review sites and assists business owners in improving their online reputation.

Also, the system further helps businesses by tracking the reputation of their competitors. This can be an invaluable asset when you want to have a clear picture of the entire situation and make decisions accordingly.

While online reputation can be somewhat difficult to keep track of, services such as Spotless Rep can effectively give you an upper hand over your competition in this regard, while also helping you get closer in touch with your customers’ concerns and even attract more potential clients for your business.