Getting visitors to your website is only half the battle. Once potential customers are there, 88% of them will research your company before deciding to conduct business with you.
That’s why we produced the McKremie Online Reputation Management Survey, which provides insight into consumer behavior and offers online reputation management tips from some of the field’s top consultants.
Here’s a breakdown of some of the survey’s findings.
1. Consumers research deeply
Only 3% of the individuals who participated in the survey said they don’t check out companies online before starting doing business with them.
And while businesses are preoccupied with the first page of Google results, consumers are willing to dig much deeper.
The largest percentage of those surveyed regularly research through the third page of Google’s results, and a sizable portion (14% and 10%, respectively) go on to the fourth and fifth pages.
Business takeaway: If you’ve only been focusing on the first page of search engines results, it’s time to rethink your strategy. You could be missing out on business.
2. They leave positive AND negative reviews
The survey shows that 71% of the individuals have left an online review about a business they have dealt with.
And while some businesses are under the impression that consumers only leave reviews when they have a negative experience, the survey results say otherwise. In fact, while 38% had left a negative review, a whopping 68% said they have left positive reviews as well.
Business takeaway: Leaving reviews online is becoming more and more commonplace. Leverage your community to make sure you nurture positive reviews, and make sure you have a response strategy ready for negative ones.
3. Consumers trust Google but ask friends, too
While there are a growing number of review sources available online, Google is the consumer’s first choice when it comes to reliable reviews. Based on the survey, 55% of the individuals put their trust in Google when they are researching a company.
But social media is gaining, too – 49% of consumers are likely to research your business via social media, with Facebook, Google Plus and LinkedIn cited as the most popular places to ask around.
Business takeaway: Consumers trust Google and social media, but not all businesses are active on Google Plus. If you have not gotten your Google Plus page set up, you are one step behind in your reputation management.
4. Reputation management is growing in importance
61% of businesses surveyed say they monitor their businesses reputation on a daily basis.
These are the businesses that have the right idea. Negative comments can come at any time and it is best to use social media tools to monitor for mentions – both positive and negative. Being proactive and having a company reputation policy and someone to help manage the process is a must nowadays.
Business takeaway: Many businesses are neglecting or don’t have systems in place to handle their online reputation. This leaves opportunities for companies that understand the value of a solid online reputation management strategy.
For more results from the survey and reputation management tips from 10 experts in the field, visit the survey on the McKremie site.
The McKremie Online Reputation Management Survey was conducted online between Oct. 25, 2012 and Nov. 6, 2012 and surveyed 512 U.S. consumers 18 years of age or older. F more information about the respondents click here.
Stuart McHenry is the President and handles Reputation Management at McKremie. McKremie helps companies on a daily basis with both search engine optimization and online reputation management issues.
Photo courtesy dogahunt on Flickr