Why Every Business Needs Online Listings and Reputation Management

Managing your business’s online listings and reputation is crucial nowadays because it helps you maintain your brand presence and interact with your customers online in a more meaningful way.

Google’s VP of Marketing for the Americas Lisa Gevelber explains, “From on-the-fly travel plans to businesses “open now” to same-day shipping, people are using search to find answers to their immediate needs. And more and more, we’re seeing this time-sensitivity combined with local intent.”

This means, people are not only searching online for the things they need, but they are also taking into account your proximity, hours, and social links. The more up-to-date and accurate information you have, the more likely you are to earn brand awareness and loyalty from your customers over time. 

What are Online Listings and why are they important to maintain?

Web directories are a catalog of websites that provide links to various sites listed under the relevant categories. Submitting your business and website to these directories provides you with quality one-way links. Essentially, SEO-friendly directory submissions are one of the best and easiest ways of obtaining quality inbound links.

Reasons to be listed in a directory

  • Improve Your Search Engine Rankings From One-Way Links: Most directories provide one-way links, which is beneficial from an SEO aspect of your site. Search engines give importance to the number of inbound links to your site when ranking it for a given position during search and one-way links are thought to be valued more than reciprocal links (links exchanged with other sites). Thus, directory links can help give a boost to your SEO efforts.
  • Targeting Specific Keywords & Phrases: Most directories allow you to provide a link with keywords describing your site. It’s not easy getting links to your site with the keywords you want and directories serve as the easiest medium for getting such links. Getting links with targeted keywords/phrases can have search engines favoring your site over others when ranking for the given terms.

Given the benefits, it makes sense to have your website listed in as many SEO-friendly directories as possible. Many of these directories accept your listing at no cost but it is up to your business to submit and maintain them. This means keeping information listed up to date and accurate. 

Want to learn more about online listings? Check out our case study!

What is Online Reputation Management and why is it important to maintain?

Social media monitoring. Reputation monitoring. Buzz monitoring. Call it what you want, but it’s all the rage. All the cool kids are doing it! 

Your reputation is what you say about yourself and what others say about you. Managing your reputation is nothing new, every business has been doing it for as long as businesses have existed. What’s new is how the internet and social applications have changed the way reputations spread.

Your company’s reputation is the cornerstone of your business, and a reputation that took decades to build can be threatened by just a single event or ignored bad review.  At Xcite, we not only work with you to establish your online reputation, but we help you monitor and build upon it as well. 

Setting Goals

Just because you can monitor everything that’s being said about your brand online doesn’t mean you should just jump in without setting clear goals. Take the time now to ask yourself and write down what your goals are for your social media monitoring campaign. 

  • Are you trying to better understand how Twitter users talk about your products? 
  • Are you looking to measure the success of your new viral marketing campaign?
  • Perhaps you suspect a rogue employee is sharing too many company secrets. 

We talk a lot about “monitoring” social media, but you also need to “measure” the information you collect. You can’t do that without first defining your goals!

Depending on your goals, you might also consider monitoring the following:

  • Your product brands – iPhone, Android, Windows, Fiesta, and Motrin are all buzz-worthy products.
  • Popular company employees – are they saying too much?
  • Your trademarks – watch for infringement.
  • Super secret products – the ones you worry might leak to the web.
  • TV and radio slogans – is that cute jingle resonating with your audience?
  • Marquee clients, your CEO, your company name, misspellings, critics, retired brands, unhappy clients, investors, industry trends, former employees, and competitors.

What is Google My Business and why is it important to maintain?

Your Google My Business (GMB) listing is among the first things people see when they look for your business online. This means it is a powerful tool in shaping your brand’s online reputation but also requires you to follow best practices to ensure information is correct and valid. This will help you build visibility and trust with your audience.

Tips for maintaining GMB

  • Claim your business- Once you’ve claimed your listing, you will be able to promote your business, track business analytics, and gather customer reviews. 
  • Verify that your information is accurate and up to date- Make sure your location, hours, and photos are accurate and represent your business well online.
  • Ask people for new reviews and reply to them- 80% of people believe that a business cares more about them when it responds to their reviews. This is why you should respond to all your reviews—the good and the bad. This shows customers, and potential customers, that you care about their experience with you. 

Optimizing your GMB listing is integral to making your customers happy and also ranking high in local search. It can get tedious to regularly monitor and keep your business listings updated, especially if you have multiple locations (separate GMB profiles) but the pay-off is well worth the investment.

The Xcite Solution

StepRep is an online listing and reputation management software exclusively offered at Xcite to our clients. For agencies and businesses that manage customer reviews, mentions, and online listings, this software is a huge time saver while also allowing a business to automate and manage client listings, accounts, and reports, all in one place! This will help you establish accurate business listings across the web and increase your chances of being found in local searches.

If you are ready to learn more about how Online Listing and Reputation Management can help you grow your business, reach out to us today to set up a time to chat!