Transparency on the internet has dramatically changed the way consumers perceive businesses. What are people reading about your business online?

There is no way of avoiding the question of online reputation and how it can impact both individuals and businesses alike. The internet and social media have radically changed the way in which we live, and this isn’t limited to individuals but to businesses as well.

Exactly how important is having a positive online presence and reputation for companies? Statistics show that online reputation and online reviews are both crucial elements in how the public will perceive a company. 90 % of consumers read online reviews before visiting a business (2016), and online reviews have shown to impact 67.7% of purchasing decisions (2015)i.

Taking this into consideration, it’s important to be aware of your company’s online reputation and where it stands.

If online reviews are detrimental to a business’s reputation, what is the impact of negative reviews and how do they affect revenue?

A single lie destroys a whole reputation of integrity” – Baltasar Gracian

Regardless of how great your product or service is, what customers are saying about you matters. Surveys show that 85% of consumers trust online reviews as much as personal recommendationsii. If consumers are placing this much value in online reviews, a bad review or a series of bad reviews can have a damaging impact on sales and revenue.

To further complicate things, people are generally more inclined to write bad reviews and not write positive reviews. When people are happy with a product or service, they are inclined to talk about it within their social circles. But when someone is unhappy with a product or service, they tend to go online and vent. This trend often results in misrepresentative reviews online, where the negative outweighs the positive.

How can a company mend a poor online reputation? Content suppression vs. content removal.

Content Suppression:

If your company has a negative online presence, there are solutions. There are a number of Online Reputation Management Companies that specialize in building and repairing the reputations of businesses. They most often use content suppression, which is a technical approach to hiding search results by pushing them down the list in search engines. This can be effective, although it is a temporary solution akin to a bandage.

Content Removal:

The most effective means of addressing negative search results for your company would be content removal services. This technique permanently removes unwanted content from the internet and is hands-down the best route to take. It is a highly technical method and there are not many companies that offer this service. Reputation Management companies make more money by suppression, as it always leaves the customer coming back to fix their problems over time. Whereas content removal is a one-time solution as it is permanent.

i https://www.brightlocal.com/learn/local-consumer-review-survey/

ii https://www.brightlocal.com/learn/local-consumer-review-survey/