There are many different ways to learn about a new business. Maybe you just drove past one and are interested in reaching out to them; or your trusted eye doctor recommends laser eye surgery and gives the number of a Lasik eye surgeon nearby; or maybe a friend recommends a new place to eat.
You could pick up the phone and call or stop by the business in any of these situations (if you have that information available), but our brains are no longer wired to remember phone numbers or website URLs. Instead, we now simply turn to Google or Google Maps and do a search. And few us ever enter a phone number anymore. We just click the “call” button in the Google listing.
Maybe your objective is to just find a restaurant’s menu, or get directions, or find the phone number. In any of these scenarios, a simple search can lead you on an unintended journey.
Today, if you Google the name of a business or medical practice, you’ll discover a lot more than just their street address and phone number. You’ll see their website, social media accounts, countless directories that make up their Digital Brand and online reputation, and more.
I recently met with a well-known and reputable Lasik eye surgeon who was shocked to see that a Google search of his name returned a 1-Star Rating on his WebMD directory listing. And it was the third link in the search result. Imagine how many potential customers the practice has lost because their online reputation was poor even though their offline reputation was one of the best in the area.
An updated, nice-looking website is only one of hundreds of links Google will provide potential customers searching for a business name. That’s why your business needs a comprehensive digital marketing strategy to ensure your digital brand and reputation are properly managed—not only on your website but on every online directory—and that you are kept aware of how consumer reviews are affecting your reputation.
Managing your website and directory listings—and encouraging your customers to leave positive reviews online—has become very important in helping prospective customers find your business. Do you know how your business looks online? Take the time to find out..it’s important!
Tonda DiPlacido is a marketing strategist with MIMI Magazine and a proud member of the Willoughby Western Lake County Chamber of Commerce