Online review management, or ORM for short, plays a very important role in your online marketing strategy. It’s no secret that reviews are essential to any business these days. But if you don’t have an effective means to manage your ORM campaign, you can quickly get buried and overwhelmed. That’s because online review management takes time — and that may be time you just don’t have.
First, let’s define what online reputation management is. Essentially, it involves monitoring and improving how you are perceived online by customers and potential customers. It involves analyzing what people can discover about your brand, your products and services, and so much more when they search online. What they find will dictate their decision to call you or another competitor who offers the same services yet comes better recommended. In fact, 87 percent of people read online reviews before interacting with a local business, according to Small Business Trends.
Let’s take that a step further in the healthcare space. About 70 percent of patients say online reviews are crucial when selecting a healthcare provider, says Health Leaders. As the owner of an elder care or home care business, credibility and trustworthiness form the foundation of your mission. In your line of work, in particular, reviews take on even more importance because family members need to be able to instill total trust in your agency to ensure their loved ones will be well taken care of. Positive online reviews, in turn, can increase how many clients you take on.
In the pre-digital world, word of mouth was the gold standard when it came to reviewing and recommending a company. Today, things have changed quite a bit, but the fact remains that 80 percent of people trust online reviews just as much as they do a personal recommendation from a friend.
In a nutshell, leaving reviews to chance without a robust campaign to manage them all can mean the difference between success and failure. With so many people reading reviews online before they even make contact, it’s essential that you make a positive impression before you can even speak to the customer on the phone. And that takes a well-thought-out ORM campaign.
Why You Need an ORM Campaign
An effective Online Reviews Management campaign involves encouraging and promoting favorable reviews while responding to and, oftentimes removing, unfavorable reviews. You need ORM for two things: to boost your SERPs ranking and to encourage visitors to click through to your website.
There are many official review sites out there, such as Google, Facebook, and Yelp. A few key things to remember:
- Searchers are attracted to results with a high number of positive reviews.
- Google reviews appear in local and organic search results.
- Yelp reviews appear just in organic search results.
- Facebook reviews don’t appear in SERPs. But with that being said, Facebook is a likely destination for those in your primary target audience for eldercare SEO: the adult children of senior prospective clients. This is why Facebook reviews should never be ignored.
There are, of course, private industry sites and agency sites like Caring.com, but increasingly people are understanding that these are more of a form of paid advertising than organic or legitimate reviews.
A Plan of Attack
If you don’t have an ORM campaign in place already, it’s never too late to start. Here are a few key pieces of advice to get going:
- Claim your business anywhere you can, from Google My Business and Yahoo! to Bing and Yelp. Create a Facebook business page as well as a LinkedIn page if you haven’t already.
- Create reputation monitors: There are online tools you can use, such as Google Alerts, that will make you aware of potential problems before they get out of control.
- Develop a strong social media presence: Interact with your followers, show interest in their observations, answer their questions, and respond to all comments, even the negative ones. Offer to make it right, but avoid getting into back and forth arguments. Show integrity in your response.
- Increase your search rankings with SEO help: Develop a strong content or blogging strategy with the help of an SEO firm that specializes in your industry. This will increase your online visibility so people can find you. Often, it’s worse to have nothing pop up for your brand than if you had a few negative reviews. If nothing is ranking for your business, it’s much easier for negative content to take hold.
- Hire someone to help: If you just don’t have the time or sufficient knowledge of the process, hire a company skilled in online reputation management. You need focused attention from a professional who handles online review management every single day. They can manage your reviews so you can concentrate on more important things, like growing your business.
Contact A Servant’s Heart Web Design and Marketing
If you need help with online reputation management or online review management, we are the ones to help. We welcome you to contact us at 760-227-2720 with any questions on how to get started. We have a lot of experience managing ORM campaigns for our valued clients in the home health care or elder care space, so you know we bring precise knowledge of your industry to the table.