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what is online reputation and why is it important?

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Online reputation is a concept that is hardly taken into account but it is much more important than it is believed. We are in the age of new technologies and the internet, so we have to take more and more care of our image and worry about what we are projecting as it will be how consumers perceive our brand.

what is online reputation?

It is important to be clear about this term as there are many misconceptions about what it really means. It is often said that online reputation refers to the number of social actions you take or what people say about you on forums and other platforms.

But what online reputation really implies is a whole set of elements that represent the prestige, whether of a brand or a person, but always within the network. Online reputation is a complex element as it depends on many factors, and many of them are not within our reach, in addition, the success or failure of our company depends on this reputation, a bad reputation can end up sinking us.

But although many of these factors cannot be controlled, there are several ways in which you can improve your brand's online reputation. Not everything is out of our hands!

The main problem with online reputation is that all internet users can contribute to it through their opinions or comments. These users could destroy your brand if they wanted to, but of course, you would have to give them reasons to do so, so the most important thing that is in your hands is to give them plenty of reasons to form a positive opinion and thus create a good reputation for you.

We can understand online reputation as the sum of two different aspects:

  • Internal factors: On the one hand we have the internal factors, those that are in our hand to be able to direct our reputation towards a positive opinion on the internet. This includes the information and data that a company shares about itself, this includes all the actions that it carries out within the network and the internet over time. Everything is recorded on the network.
  • External factors: On the other hand we are facing everything that has nothing to do directly with the company and that is not within our reach, which are the opinions of other users or consumers of our brand, all this information provided on the internet can be much greater than that provided by the company itself, so the most important thing is to provide these users with a good shopping experience so that these opinions are positive and the reputation that is created is good.

On the other hand, we have to make an important distinction between two terms that are often confused or understood as synonyms: online reputation and brand image.

what is the difference between the two? Online reputation has to do with all the footprint that the brand leaves on the internet, all the information about it and the opinions it generates. Brand image is something different, first of all it is not only based on the internet, brand image is indifferent to online and offline issues. With brand image we focus on all the aspects that exist between the customer and the brand, and the control to change it or not lies directly with the company because it depends on the message that the company itself spreads.

why is online reputation important?

  1. Importance of online research
    More and more research on the internet is becoming the order of the day, and before deciding to buy one brand or another, users research the different options they are considering. And they do this using the different search engines and the different opinion pages that exist, so if our brand is not well valued on these pages and has negative opinions and comments, users will end up choosing another option. Therefore, this online reputation can end up ruining your brand or taking it down the road to success.

  2. Link to SEO positioning

    Online reputation is directly linked to SEO positioning, Google not only takes into account the internal organisation of the page, it also takes into account the reputation of the same, the websites that have a large number of positive ratings and reviews, have a greater chance of appearing in the top positions of Google, which is a great advantage because thanks to this we get to generate a lot of traffic to our website.

  3. Brand image
    As we have already differentiated above, online reputation and brand image are different concepts, and online reputation can influence the brand image that we have built as a company, a series of comments, whether positive or negative, can directly influence the mental image that users have of our brand. If we have a bad brand image, we will not generate the trust that is so important to continue selling.

  4. Loyalty
    Just as online reputation is linked to SEO positioning, it is also linked to loyalty, if a brand has a large number of positive opinions, i.e. there is a good brand image and users have a positive mental opinion, it will be easier to build loyalty, in the long term users will prefer our brand to others due to the good mental opinion they have generated, and with this it is much more likely that they will recommend us to others, and remember that word of mouth marketing is very beneficial for a brand.

  5. Trust
    Online reputation is an endless loop, that is, if we have good comments on the internet, we will generate more confidence in users and they will buy more from us, which can lead to brand loyalty and this will make them leave good comments on the internet about us, that is, an endless loop. If I am deciding between several brands to buy a product, even if I like one of them more for whatever reason, if the other has good opinions from other users, it will generate more confidence in me.

  6. Community
    What you are generating around your brand is a community and for this to continue to exist you have to take care of it, this is crucial for the reputation of your brand, answer the comments, thank the positive ones and try to solve the problems of those users who have left negative comments on your page. Keeping in touch with them creates a strong bond that in the long run will be lasting and positive to maintain that community. If you encourage your online communication with users, they will end up talking about you on a regular basis.

In conclusion, online reputation has many external aspects, but it is in your hands to have a positive reputation, offering a good experience within the web, you will get that those opinions generated by users are positive and help you to continue growing as a brand. So start by providing your users with a good shopping experience and your good reputation will come by itself.

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