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These days, it’s crucial for every business owner to monitor their company’s online presence and know how their brand resonates with existing and potential customers. The metric used to measure this component of marketing (and brand) is often known as your reputation score.

Knowing your reputation score not only provides a broad overview of your brand’s online performance and sentiment but can create a powerful starting point from which to strengthen your image, generate leads, increase sales and develop that oh-so-critical social proof needed to build consumer trust.

Below, I’ve compiled a list of factors you can use to estimate your online reputation score and better understand your brand footprint across the web.

Related: 7 Powerful Ways to Improve Your Brand Reputation and Recognition

What factors should you consider when calculating your score?

While there is no exact formula for calculating your reputation score, you can gather data from various sources to shape and understand your brand’s total online impact. Here are five factors to consider when adding up your score and how to use them when measuring your more considerable branding efforts.

1. Customer reviews

Few things affect your score and draw more online attention to your brand than customer reviews. Search engines, niche industry-specific review sites, and general review pages are everywhere. Your score can vary drastically from page to page, and bad reviews are inevitable. How you handle them is far more critical.

Related: Here’s Why You Shouldn’t Worry About Your Business Getting Bad Reviews

Most consumers will comb through 10-15 reviews before taking the next step down the sales tunnel. So monitor your reviews closely and develop a review management strategy. The more you know about the customer experience with your brand, the more valuable feedback you have to improve it.

2. Employee ratings

Sites like Indeed and Glassdoor allow current and former employees to review your company anonymously. Many job seekers base their decision to apply on employee reviews. If they use this information to gauge your company’s reputation, so can you. Here are a few questions to consider when factoring employee reviews into your reputation score:

  • Are there more negative than positive reviews?
  • Can you find commonalities in the negative?
  • Does your current work environment reflect the comments employees left?
  • Do reviews bring to mind any areas that require a change in leadership tactics?

Related: 5 Highly Effective Leadership Traits Even the Best Leaders Can Forget

Transparency is a valuable company asset, and modern consumers will turn their back on a business accused of treating employees poorly. So, no business can afford to ignore employee reviews.

3. Local listings

Local listings significantly impact your company’s reputation score, particularly as it holds up against competitors in local search results. For example, if you own a salon, search for “get a haircut near me” or “hair salon near me” for a quick view of your visibility on local search pages.

Related: Increase Your Marketing Reach With Google SEO and SERP Doing the Heavy Lifting

How do you improve your local search ranking and, by extension, your local search reputation? Start with your local listings. Is the information up to date? How do the reviews look? Nearly all consumers click links appearing on the first search page. Therefore, your SERP position clearly indicates how you score across local search pages.

4. Long-tail search terms

Long-tail keywords contain between three and five words to attract consumers seeking answers to specific questions. Scoring well in a long-tail search can significantly impact your overall reputation score and conversion rates.

Scoring yourself on long-tail terms is as simple as typing questions or phrases relevant to your industry and common among consumers. Once you know how you score, you can develop SEO content to boost your ranking and position your brand higher in the industry.

Related: SEO and Content Marketing Is the Perfect Marriage for Your Business. Here’s Why.

5. Social media presence

Your social media presence often has an outsized impact on your reputation score. And in an era when so many consumers interact with brands on sites like Facebook and Tik Tok, it also tends to consume a big slice of the brand reputation pie. For example, a single viral complaint video or data breach can turn your business upside down in a moment. In addition, customers use social media to engage with companies and will not hesitate to make their experience public.

Your social media presence also provides a wealth of data. With an efficient analysis, you can paint a more comprehensive picture of the quality and quantity of attention your company generates. This is also a place for soliciting reviews and addressing issues you discover through them.

How can you improve your reputation score?

You can use collected data to compare your business with competitors and develop better outreach strategies. Consider some steps you can include in your approach to boosting your reputation:

  • Solicit more positive reviews by asking for them yourself or using a service to get them.
  • Reach out to your customers more often, showing them that you prioritize their experience over your profits.
  • Create quality content to drive convertible traffic to your website and social media.
  • Answer good and bad feedback professionally and promptly.

Your reputation score can change as quickly as your marketing strategies. Therefore, consistent monitoring is the key to maintaining control of your brand reputation and addressing issues before they become more credible threats.

Related: How To Deal With Negative Social Media Comments

Are you concerned about your reputation score?

Building a successful brand and influential online presence demands a multi-channel approach to improving the customer experience. Companies of all sizes can benefit from brand specialists and staff dedicated to online review management. When online engagement is up, and customers project excitement about your products or services, growth remains on the horizon. Monitoring your reputation score is an effective means to get you there.

This article is from Entrepreneur.com

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