Online Brand Reputation Demands Managing Local Business Directories
Harnessing The Power To Build Or Kill Your Business’s Reputation
They say “perception is reality”. Therein lies an advantage for those business that understand web design, social media, and brand management demand an unusual, almost unfair dedication to detail. Do not ignore business directories unless you think your businesses reputation isn’t that special. In fact business directories are arguably more important that your website or social media assets! A local business directory can fast track you new customers or stuff (and keep) your brand into the sewer. Therefore, pay special attention to any local business directory that ranks on the first four pages when you search your business by name.
Have you checked your online business reputation lately?
A simple exercise is to take my “PRT”, aka “Perception Reality Test”. Grab your phone and use voice or Google to search your company. Look for the local business directory ratings that come up. Even if your website makes the first page, a local business directory that allows reviews and ratings, will also rank highly, if not higher than your business website.
Do another search, this time using using “Review *my company*”. Are the average reviews over 4 stars? Are the recent reviews over 4.5 stars? If there are there any reviews that are less than 3 stars, did you respond? Are you monitoring all the local business directories that came up on the first two pages of your review search? Does the information provided in those local business directories, i.e. contact, website, hours, and images, accurately reflect your business?
Managing any local business directories takes both diligence and patience. These business directories can funnel business directly to your website, phone, or front door. On the other hand, they can cause a prospective client or custom to move on without further investigation. You simply have to look at the results from the two searches above? Were any of your competitors listed on the search results pages? Did any of those competitors have a higher average ranking? Did the top ranking business directory also suggest businesses similar to yours? If “yes” was the answer to any of those questions, it is time to raise your level of online brand reputation management.
Think about your expectations! Would you hire you based on the average reviews on local business directories?
Mobile search engines and voice search response versus the desktop experience
The reality is that mobile search results matter far more than the desktop experience. The ideal consumer is more likely to be searching for you on a mobile device. That consumer is impatient, allows visual stimulus, i.e. rating stars, steer them to businesses, and will likely read more bad reviews than focus on positive ones.
It is also that a local business directory will rank higher and carry more authority than your business website when your business is searched by company name. If you are not managing your online business reputation, you are letting reality be created and letting others control your businesses reputation. Esearch results, love visual cues to business reputation, and have a lot of choices if the “stars” don’t align with their expectations and perceptions.
Perception is reality when it comes to your brand online.