A bad online reputation can have a knock-on effect on your business: Potential customers may be put off by what they read online or dissuaded from purchasing due to a bad review, resulting in lost customers, lower sales and decreased employee morale.
So, how can you tell if your company has a negative online reputation? Let’s find out.
- Tell-Tale Signs of a Bad Company Reputation
- How To Turn a Bad Company Reputation Around
- Turning One-Star Reviews Into Five-Star Reviews
Tell-Tale Signs of a Bad Company Reputation
The effects of bad company reputation should never be ignored. A single bad review online can cause companies to lose 22% of their business (Moz, 2015).
Nip the problem in the bud by looking for the following warning signs:
1. You Have High Bounce Rates
Bounce rate issues can harm your brand reputation with search engines, resulting in a lower ranking. There are several reasons why high bounce rates occur, such as a slow website, unappealing design or poor content.
Ultimately, it boils down to user experience (UX). Think of how often you have clicked away from a website because it was too slow or didn’t look right. Your customers will do the same.
Ensure your website design is up-to-date and highly responsive to guarantee an enjoyable browsing experience for visitors. Content should also be clear, informative and engaging.
2. Your Conversion Rate Is Plummeting
Conversion rate is the percentage of people who take a desired action, like subscribing to your email list or buying a product. A significant drop in conversion rates could mean your brand has a poor reputation. Fewer people may not trust your business and will dismiss your products before considering them.
A study shows that 60% of consumers will not use a business due to negative reviews (ReputationX, 2023). While search engine optimization and other digital marketing techniques attract people to your website, reputation management helps ensure visitors stay and convert.
Performance metrics like site and page visits, traffic sources, interactions per visit, bounce rate and goal conversions can help you gain insights into your reputation. Use them to identify potential issues, such as a lack of visibility or low engagement, then adjust your optimization strategy accordingly.
3. Your Website Lacks Authority
An authoritative website is a go-to resource for reliable information on a specific niche, industry or topic. Good content drives these sites and becomes popular because visitors trust the brand behind the information.
A bad online reputation can quickly and severely damage an authoritative website. If visitors are presented with outdated or incorrect information, they have no reason to refer back to the site in the future. Quality content is essential to sustain an authoritative website and maintain its trustworthiness.
Website authority may not be a Google ranking factor, but it is a good indicator that your website is performing well against other competitors in the market. When an authoritative website links back to yours, it’s a sign that your content is of good quality and worthy of being shared with a larger audience.
4. Customer Sentiment Is Turning Sour
You cannot please everyone, but something must change if your business is constantly caught in a cycle of bad press. Just as positive word of mouth can boost your reputation, a bad review can tarnish it in seconds.
Be wary of media-hyped scandals and unfounded customer complaints. False claims can be just as damaging to the reputation of your business as legitimate ones.
You can improve online reputation through risk management. Consider hiring a business reputation management firm to help you with review management.
5. Online Listings Are Mostly Bad Reviews
Every additional one-star Yelp rating boosts a business’s revenue by 9% (Harvard, 2016). Similarly, businesses with one or two-star reviews failed to convert 86% of prospective customers (ReputationX, 2023).
Online reviews on business review sites like Google, Facebook, Yelp and Tripadvisor serve as social proof, a crucial component in customer decision-making. Bad reviews can influence what people say, think and feel about businesses.
A slew of negative reviews on your local listings and business directories can be difficult to contain, but good online reputation management can protect your digital assets. Reputation management includes monitoring bad business reviews, responding to complaints and improving customer service.
6. You Have Difficulty Hiring New Talent
Sixty-nine percent of unemployed job seekers will turn down a job from a company with a poor reputation. Talents will research the company’s culture, values and mission before considering a job offer. If your job postings receive low applications, it’s time to take a step back and assess your employer’s brand reputation.
Employer branding is about how you communicate the values and mission of your company to the public, including job seekers. This includes all communication you place on job boards, career websites and social media platforms. It also includes reviews from past and current employees, which can be found on sites like Glassdoor and Indeed.
7. Decline in Social Media Engagement
Decreased social media likes, shares and comments could be a warning sign of a declining brand reputation. Prospective customers may not be interested in engaging with your content because of its low quality or exposure to negative reviews.
Inactivity on social platforms can also indicate a poor reputation management strategy. While there isn’t an exact formula for successful social media campaigns, having good content and engaging with relevant conversations are key elements.
Higher engagement can turn a negative online reputation around and increase brand loyalty. People use social media for more than just entertainment – they take cues from the conversations you have with them to form an opinion of your brand. Show them you care and are willing to listen to their feedback, and they will return the favor.
Depending on what’s appropriate for your audience, you can share memes, GIFs, tutorials or stories to break up conventional content. Experimenting with different content formats and finding the right balance between promotional posts and more educational pieces can help you improve online reputation.
8. Your Losing Referrals and Brand Mentions
Referrals from one user to another are a powerful way to gain exposure, while brand mentions from popular influencers significantly impact a business’s success. A decline in referral traffic and mentions can signal that your business is losing its appeal.
People will not share a business with a negative online reputation. Focus on improving customer service, responding to bad business reviews and monitoring brand mentions.
Determine who your key influencers are, then find ways to collaborate with them. Networking events and speaking opportunities can also provide an avenue for gaining more exposure. Having high-profile people talk about your brand is an excellent form of free advertising that can boost your reputation.
How To Turn a Bad Company Reputation Around
Don’t get discouraged if your company’s reputation has taken a hit. Achieving a successful reputation turnaround is possible with these tips:
Claim and Manage Local Listings
A presence on local listing sites such as Google Business Profile (GBP) and Yelp is essential for any business. These platforms help you directly respond to customer reviews to set the record straight on specific issues and provide helpful information that could alleviate negative impressions of your brand.
Respond to Online Reviews (Good and Bad)
Ignoring bad reviews will not make them disappear. Responding quickly and professionally is essential to resolve customers’ issues. In the case of good reviews, responding with appreciation will further demonstrate your commitment to customer service.
Create Positive Content
Consumers now have the power to create content that can influence the public perception of a company. Create positive content about your business, such as customer interviews or feature stories on employees. This will help to influence public opinion positively.
Engage in Crisis Communication Planning
Prepare for a potential crisis and implement a systematic plan to respond to negative publicity. This should include having an internal team to assess the situation and develop an effective response strategy.
Customer Satisfaction Surveys
Regularly surveying customers can help you identify potential problems before they become full-blown. This will allow you to address the source of your bad company reputation. It will also give you feedback on what customers like, which can help shape future strategies for improving a bad online reputation.
Invest in Reputation Management Software
A reputation management software automates verifying online reviews, responding to bad business reviews and identifying potential issues. You can analyze subjective content and attitudinal information, such as opinion, sentiment, mood and emotion.
Partner With an Online Reputation Management Service
An online reputation management service can help you implement an effective strategy for building a positive online presence. They have the expertise to provide comprehensive services, such as creating positive content, managing the effects of bad company reputation and review management.
Turn One-Star Reviews Into Five With Rize
The effects of bad company reputation are not easy to shake off. But, with the right business reputation management tools from Rize Reviews, you can turn one-star reviews into a money-making five-star review.
Rize has helped numerous businesses manage their online reputation by providing a platform to track customer reviews, respond quickly when needed and monitor changes in ratings. Automated tools make it easy to invite customers to review your business.
A telecommunications provider serving 10 locations in the U.S. experienced a boost in reputation after partnering with us. The company started with only 172 reviews and an average of 2 out of 5-star reviews. After only four months of implementing the new strategy from Rize, it acquired 856 reviews with an average star rating of 4.6.
You can experience similar results! Contact Rize today to see how our powerful reputation management tools can help turn a poor reputation into a successful one.