The new year is just around the corner! If you haven’t already, take a few moments to balk at how fast 2019 has passed us by. Then, get ready to start prepping for 2020 to make it your organization’s best year yet.
You see, 2020 is the start of a new decade. Aside from all of the Roaring 20s jokes you’re about to start hearing, your online reviews are going to matter more than ever in this new decade.
In this guide, we’re going to cover why online reputation management will be even more critical in the upcoming few years. Let’s get started.
Your Business’s Online Reputation Needs to Earn Future Business
One of the most significant benefits of online reputation management is that it can – and should – win over new business. As a potential customer is doing their research online, they should come across your organization and be impressed. Like… impressed enough to pick you over the competition and spend some of their hard-earned money with you.
It’s already true that, if your online presence is weak and you have some bad reviews, winning over business will be difficult. In 2020, this will affect revenue even more.
You see, when you have negative reviews displayed on your profiles and your rating is below average, that’s a problem. If your website has a poor user experience or looks outdated, that’s a problem. And if your social media presence is weak, potential customers really don’t have much to base their decision on.
All of that will be working against you in a few ways:
- Search engines are less likely to display your business.
- Customers are less likely to move forward with a business that has a poor rating.
- Customers may have their “expectation” of your business let down by a poor online reputation.
But needing a strong online reputation to earn new business isn’t a new thing in 2020. Search engines are also doing their best to favor organizations with well-managed online reputations.
Search Engines Will Favor Businesses with a Great Online Reputation
In the latter half of 2019, we saw a shift in the way search engines interact with data like online reviews and ratings. For years, they’ve already taken accessibility and user experience into account when deciding to display a website. They’ve started to show social media profiles as an outlet for online reviews that also influence SERPs. And, now, they’ve removed review rich results.
While review rich results weren’t the end-all-be-all of online reputation management, they certainly helped. Organizations that uses review rich results were able to get a star rating and other information displayed on SERPs. Now, that’s gone, and businesses can no longer display a rating metric that they can control.
In effect, this cuts down on the non-organic information floating around the SERPs. Though you may run your business honestly, many organizations choose to display the best of their business rather than reality.
Now, search engines have made their stance clear: online reviews and ratings will continue to influence search results and rankings.
All Aspects of Online Reputation Matter
When we talk about online reputation management, we often discuss online reviews. Reviews are one of the most transparent ways to check in on the health of your organization’s reputation. That’s not all you’ll need to pay attention to in 2020, though.
This year, you’ll need to dedicate yourself to all aspects of online reputation. That includes:
- Business profiles, like on Yelp
- Online reviews
- Online ratings
- Social media presence
- Website appearance
- User experience
If any of these factors are out of whack, you could run into issues in 2020. Search engines will only continue to place more weight on the full picture of a business’s online reputation.
So, focus on getting great reviews frequently and across your most relevant profiles. Post to social often and engage with your audience – even ask them to leave recommendations for you on Facebook! Claim and enhance all of your business profiles. Duble check how good of a job your website does at representing your business while you’re at it.
If you want to make 2020 your best year yet, take the time to start working on your new and improved online reputation management plan. ReviewU is here to help you with the best in ORM education. Start off by taking our Review Management 101 course today.