For many years, businesses looked at reputation-building as a passive activity. It was largely looked at as a by-product of doing good business with the onus of reviews being put on the customer. Online reviews and mentions were often treated as a secondary marketing activity, rather than a primary focus in customer service.

Now, an online reputation is everything. Look no further than Crossfit’s recent fall from grace as a result of CEO Greg Glassman’s Twitter activity. If your business hasn’t devoted resources to online reputation management, here are six compelling reasons to start.

1. Building SEO

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Over the past few years, Google has made significant changes to their algorithm. The goal is to eliminate black hat SEO practices and make way for things that bring searchers value. For businesses, this means that it’s not easy to trick the system and land a top spot on the first page results.

Online reviews, particularly those on Google, play a notable role in how your website is ranked. This consideration is vital in local SEO, as having positive reviews could be the difference between you and the restaurant down the street being listed as the must-visit spot.

2. Part of Your Brand

Your brand is more than just the visual and design-oriented components of your business. While having elegantly branded packaging from Deepking and a memorable logo are a key part of your brand, they’re just one of many moving parts.

Your online reputation is a foundational part of your brand. It shows how your brand is perceived and helps you identify challenges and opportunities so that your business can evolve.

3. Social Proof

The shopping process has evolved over recent decades. Now, 95% of shoppers look at online reviews, with 89% saying that this information directly impacts their purchasing decision.

Social proof is the reassurance that someone else has used a product or service successfully. These consumers didn’t waste their hard-earned money on something that didn’t perform as expected. If your potential customers are looking online to learn about your business from existing customers, your business should be there to monitor and respond.

4. Response-Based Evaluation

Your online reputation isn’t just about what people say about you; it’s about how you respond. Even in well-organized businesses, things go wrong. Products don’t ship on time, or negative people find something to complain about. This phenomenon creates both an opportunity and a challenge for businesses to prove their merit through their response.

Showing customers that you care about their concerns is huge in reputation management. Conversely, ignoring those reviews can be damaging.

5. Ensuring Consistency

When the internet launched, opportunists bought up the domain names that they expected big businesses to acquire. They would then offer to sell the domain name at an inflated rate. This scheme later coined “domain squatting.

Believe it or not, dummy accounts and domain squatting still run rampant today. Playing an active role in online reputation management is essential to ensure everything is consistent across the board. It helps you identify and remove scam accounts that use your product images or tarnish your business reputation.

6. Timing is Everything

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The world is moving faster than ever. Today’s consumers have grown up in an era of instant gratification. If your business isn’t moving at the same speed, you’ll get left in the dust.

In other words, timing is everything. You need to actively manage your online reputation and get ahead of problems before it’s too late. All it takes is one negative experience going viral on social media to derail your reputation in minutes. Being proactive can help you shape the narrative and get ahead of any potential disasters.

The online world has become synonymous with the real world. For modern businesses to thrive, online reputation management is an essential task.

Pressfarm is a great and affordable tool that helps you contact various media outlets to write about your startup. Pressfarm has a database of over 1 million journalists with all their contact information. There are a few packages to choose from depending on the type of services that you require; the Starter plan at $90 one-time charge, the Launch plan at $180 one-time charge, and the Campaign plan at $480 one-time charge. They focused on creating awareness to your brand, building your credibility, and increasing your reach.