Frequently Asked Questions
- What is online reputation and why is it important?
- What are the 5 core aspects of online presence and reputation?
- How do I fix a damaged reputation?
- What ways can someone damage my reputation?
- What can happen if someone writes something negative?
- How do I protect against attacks?
- How do I improve my reputation?
- Once something is online is there a way to get it removed?
What is online reputation and why is it important?
Online reputation is the publicly available information that prospects and customers can find about you on the internet.
More than just reviews or your website, it's what shows up when someone types your business, or personal, name into a search engine.
Over 90% of homebuyers use the internet to make buying decisions. Having no online presence, or a bad reputation can cost a mortgage broker thousands of dollars in lost commissions.
Also, when a mortgage broker is referred, the first thing the referral will do is search for broker or business online. Your reputation is your first impression with the referral. If what they find is unsatisfactory, or negative, this person will likely not call you or fill out an application on your website.
We make ourselves presentable when meeting with a customer. Therefore, we should do the same online. It's important to have positive, accurate, and up-to-date information that can be found about you and your business. It will help you to build trust and convert home buyers into new customers.
What are the 5 core aspects of online presence and reputation?
Are you able to be found? And is the information about your business consistent and accurate across ALL relevant sources? Your Name, Address, Phone Number, and Website data should be the exact same for every site/listing possible.
Sites like Facebook, Yelp, Google, and Yellowpages have a high amount of authority and are used for the data they provide about a business. Make sure the syntax of your information is correct and consistent across all relevant sources.
Online business listings also provide a great deal of SEO value and links back to your website. Every new citation is another vote for your website to outrank competitors.
What are past customers saying about you and are you trusted? Do you have recent reviews? Are your review sources diversified, and on sites that prospective customers are using most often?
88% of consumers will trust an online review as much as a personal recommendation. In the age of digital, reviews are insanely important for driving new customer acquisition. Request reviews from past customers, and respond to both positive and negative ones. This shows future clients that you are engaged and care.
Is your business relevant and up to date? Does your brand stand out? Does your website encourage someone to convert into a new customer or push them away?
Your website is the hub of your online reputation. It takes someone less than 8 seconds upon visiting your site for them to decide whether they want to work with you or not.
4. Social Media
Is your business liked and active in the community? Do you use your social accounts for advertisements? Or do you promote true value that engages and grows your audience?
Social media is an opportunity for you to connect new with prospects, and stay top of mind to potential buyers. Develop a consistent posting schedule and provide value to grow your audience.
Are you an authority and expert on mortgage brokering in your city? Are you providing and promoting relevant content that educates homebuyers?
When people consume your content, it helps them to build trust with your brand.
How do I fix a damaged reputation?
The only way to fix bad reputation is to build up the amount of positive information that can be found about you.
When you actively contribute to the wealth of information that can be found about you the internet, you will be able to 'push down' or suppress negative feedback. As the saying goes, the best place to evidence to a crime is on the second page of Google.
If you have a negative review, comment, or blog post, that is showing up on the first page of Google. The best action would be to generate new positive comments, reviews, posts, etc, to displace the negative results.
What ways can someone damage my reputation?
There are many ways that someone can damage your online reputation, and most of the time you will have no way to know what has happened until it's to late.
Someone can post negative reviews on major sources like Yelp, Facebook, Google+, etc. Or they will write negative blog posts and content. They could even post a nasty image about you that shows up when someone searches for you or your business.
What can happen if someone writes something negative?
When someone attacks you online, it could impact you and your business in many ways. It could prevent people from calling you and limit your ability to generate new business. It could lead to shame or guilt. It could lead to you being asked to leave the brokerage you are work working for. Or it could put you out of business.
How do I protect against attacks?
There is only one way to protect against damaging attacks on your reputation. Build a wall of positive and accurate data about you on the major search engines, review sites, and social sites. That way, even if somebody tries to discredit you, you have a ton of good quality information to negate any damaging effects.
How do I improve my reputation?
In order to improve your online reputation, you must put together several different pieces. Below is a short list of key tasks that can be executed to give your reputation a boost:
- Create social profiles on the major social sites: Facebook, Google+, Twitter, LinkedIn
- Regularly contribute to all social media channels (this will help you build your brand awareness, and get new customers!)
- Claim all of the relevant review sources (Google My Business, Facebook, Yelp, Yellow pages, BBB, Manta, Angies List, Foursquare, etc)
- Generate new, positive reviews on a diverse set of review sources. Do this monthly.
- Write interesting and valuable content. Publish this content to your website, news sites, social media, etc.
- Fix and update your business listing data on search, social, review, directory, and listing sites. This will ensure customers can find you. And when they do, that they have the correct information to get in touch.
- Improve the search engine optimization of your website and content. This will ensure that your information and is picked up by search engines, and found by potential customers.
- Rinse and repeat.
Once something is online is there a way to get it removed?
Unfortunately, in very few situations is it possible to get negative comments, reviews, or posts removed; as it violates the terms of service of most websites.
In some cases, where the post is truly slanderous, we can work with our team of lawyers to have the site take the content down. However, this can be both costly and time consuming. It's not an overnight fix.
The best plan of action is displace and push down anything negative that can be found about you. This will ensure potential customer only find positive information about you at the top of search results, and no one ever comes across the negative content.
What you should do now
If you'd like us to dramatically improve your online reputation and leads, claim your free strategy session.
If you're serious about becoming the top mortgage broker in your city, go to our "Learning Zone" page, where you can download valuable reports.
If you have questions, contact us for more information.