The Vast Impact of Online Reputation on Consumers’ Purchase Decisions
It’s not enough for your business to have an online presence, especially if you don’t put a lot of effort into maintaining a healthy image on the Internet. In today’s competitive market, making yourself stand above your competition is only achievable by earning the trust of your audience through a positive online reputation. This would be difficult to accomplish if your business is bombarded with negative reviews and comments.
Through Online Reputation Repair (ORR), you can restore the good standing and reinforce the positive image of your brand. Now that consumers trust what they see on the Internet, investing in ORR is a necessity.
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More people search for services or products online.
According to a survey conducted by BIA/Kelsey and ConStat, 97% of consumers use the Internet to research services or products in their local area. This is further broken down according to how they search for products or services: 90% of them use search engines, 48% use online directories, 42% use comparison shopping sites, and 24% use vertical sites.
The influence of online information on consumers is not to be underestimated, especially since the Edelman Trust Barometer shows that 65% of Internet users regard internet search as the most trusted source of information about companies.
They don’t look too far.
Even if consumers use the Internet to look for businesses, they don’t peruse every page suggested by Google. In fact, Moz estimates that 50% of consumers look only at the first page of search results. The numbers dwindle from there, with 36% of consumers reaching only the second or third page and 13.6% never reaching beyond the fourth page.
It is for this exact reason that most online marketing services are geared toward ranking high on search engine results pages. Things become a bit more complicated, though, when you or your company is popular on search engines for the wrong reasons. Bad reviews, customer complaints and scam allegations—any and all of these can easily taint your image, and consequently, your credibility.
Consumers are influenced by online reviews.
As per a study conducted by Dimensional Research, 90% of survey respondents who read online reviews claimed that positive content influenced their decision to make a purchase. Imagine just how many customers you’ll earn if you cull enough positive content, and how many you may potentially lose because of damaging content.
Establishing your online reputation begins with a strong social media presence.
Social media is potentially a strong starting point for improving or repairing your online reputation. BI Intelligence found that people spend on social media a daily average of 37 minutes, which is more time spent than on any other major Internet activity.
Which social media platforms should you harness? Facebook and Twitter are definitely the top choices. BI Intelligence estimates that Facebook users spend 114 billion minutes a month on the site, while Nielsen discovered that Twitter users send 500 million tweets each day.
With such a high engagement rate, Facebook and Twitter can have a considerable influence on consumers. LMG suggests that 13% of consumers use social media to look for more information about a business that a friend or a family member recommended.
Chadwick Martin Bailey/iModerate Research Technologies also found that among Facebook users, 51% are more likely to buy from a brand they follow and 60% would recommend the brand to their friends. On the other hand, 67% of Twitter users are likely to buy from a brand they follow, and 79% would recommend the brand.
The numbers do not lie—the Internet has gone beyond being a mere information resource and communication channel and has become a massive influence on modern consumers. How your brand is perceived online can make or break your business. Find out how we can help repair your online reputation by calling us now!