In today’s digital age, a single online review has the power to shape public perception. That’s why understanding a company’s reputation has never been more crucial. Whether you’re a customer, job seeker, investor, or business owner, it’s important to understand who you do business with.
So, how do you check the credibility of a company online? In this blog post, we’ll dive into why you should check a business’s reputation and the top ways to do so.
What is Online Reputation?
Online reputation is what others say about your company across the internet. This can be through social media, online directories, review sites, news outlets and more.
Why Check a Company’s Online Reputation?
The reasons why someone would want to check out the reputation of a company varies. It depends on who is searching for that information:
Consumers: These days, options are limitless. Consumers rely on a company’s reputation when making purchasing decisions. Reviews, testimonials, and general online sentiment shape their perception of a brand. A brand’s reputation determines whether or not a consumer will buy from a certain company.
Job Seekers: A company’s reputation offers a window into workplace culture, their values, and business stability. Skilled job seekers want to align themselves with reputable organizations that have good values and a positive work environment. Online platforms like Glassdoor offer insights into employee satisfaction. If a company doesn’t have a positive reputation, they won’t attract high performing talent.
Competitors: The market is competitive, and businesses often monitor their rivals’ reputations. This helps them assess and evaluate their own standing within an industry. Understanding a competitor’s reputation can reveal strengths to emulate or weaknesses to capitalize on, informing strategic business decisions.
Investors: A company’s reputation points to its potential for growth and stability long-term. A strong, positive reputation signals better financial performance and lower risk. Investors want to know about a business’s reputation to gauge public perception and evaluate long-term viability.
Press and Journalists: Media professionals investigate a company’s reputation to uncover stories and report on business trends. Understanding a company’s reputation leads to more informed reporting. The press has a huge impact on public perception and can influence market trends.
Business Owners and Managers: For businesses themselves, monitoring their own reputation is essential for managing brand image, customer relations, and identifying areas for improvement. Taking a proactive approach to reputation management can help to stop reputation crises before they happen. Companies must rely on branding and reputation management to present their company in the best possible light.
The Best Ways to Check Out a Company’s Reputation
While word of mouth can be great, more people are relying on the internet when making buying decisions. In fact, 86% of people trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations from friends and family.
A positive online reputation and good customer reviews add legitimacy to a business. Here are the top places you can check out a company’s reputation for yourself:
Customers aren’t the only ones who can leave positive or negative reviews. Glassdoor is an invaluable source for job seekers. This website lets current and former employees leave candid reviews about their experience with a company.
This way, jobseekers can gain insights into:
Company culture and working environment
Essentially, if you’re a job seeker, you can use Glassdoor to find a company’s red flags before you apply. This allows you to make more informed career choices.
Better Business Bureau
The Better Business Bureau (BBB) is a trusted resource in North America for evaluating companies. The organization has a comprehensive rating system that assesses business based on factors like:
Transparency, trustworthiness, and integrity
Adherence to best practices
This platform helps consumers and other stakeholders gauge a company’s credibility and trustworthiness.
Using SEO research tools like SEMrush, you can search for branded keywords. Note the different keywords and the number searches per month (monthly search volume).
Take note of any keywords that entail negative consumer experience. For example:
[Brand Name] scam
[Brand Name] complaints
[Brand Name] bad reviews
[Brand Name] lawsuit
[Brand Name] refund problems
Just like branded searches, Google Autocomplete can help you learn about what others are searching for about a company.
To do this, simply start a Google search with a company’s name. Then, Google will come up with frequently associated terms and questions. This provides clues into areas of interest about a certain brand.
Search operators in search engines can help you find specific mentions of a company across the web. This can help you uncover news articles, blog posts, websites, and more that mention the business’s name.
To do this, simply go to a search engine, such as Google, and type in one of the following:
Intext:”company name” – any website that mentions a company in the text of the page
Intitle:”company name” – any website that mentions a company in the title of an article or page
These searches give you a broader view of a company’s online presence and reputation.
Google My Business
Google My Business is essential for small businesses with a local presence. This platform provides:
A place for customer feedback such as star ratings and reviews.
A profile for businesses to list their information such as address, contact details, pictures, and more.
This platform is vital for local businesses who want to rank in local search results. It also helps business owners gauge customer satisfaction and community perception.
Yelp is an extremely popular directory that consumers use to write reviews on companies. Reviews on Yelp can have a major influence on public perception. Positive reviews on this site can drive customers towards your business, while bad reviews will drive them away. This is especially true in industries such as hospitality, retail, and services.
Depending on the industry, niche directories can offer targeted insights. For example:
TripAdvisor focuses on the travel and hospitality sector, including hotels, restaurants, bars, and attractions.
Angi focuses on home services including local contractors, plumbers, electricians, etc.
Zocdoc is healthcare-focused, enabling patients to find and review healthcare providers, including dentists, primary care physicians, and specialists.
Zillow and Realtor.com are real estate sites that provide reviews for real estate agents, properties, and rental listings.
EduReview focuses on education, offering reviews of schools, colleges, and educational services.
These directories provide industry-specific customer reviews and ratings. That way, potential customers can make informed decisions.
Social media platforms offer real-time insights into how a company interacts with the public. A company’s social media presence can reveal a ton about their brand personality and customer service ethos.
To see whether or not a business has a negative reputation, follow these steps:
Search for their profile on large platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, TikTok, etc.
Check through user commons on their social media profiles
Enter the company’s name in as a hashtag and see what comes up
Check their engagement levels
Search for posts that other users have tagged the company in
A company’s YouTube channel and video comments can show how customers feel about its products, services, or marketing. Video content is the most engaging type of content online by far. YouTube provides valuable information about a company’s reputation through content reception and audience interaction.
Set up a Google Alert to monitor online company news in real-time. This tool is an invaluable way to get an ongoing snapshot of a company’s evolving reputation. It keeps you up to date on:
Any mention of the search term you enter will be sent straight to your email inbox!
Conclusion: Check a Company’s Online Reputation
Today, the internet is the primary method of brand discovery and assessment. Understanding how to evaluate a company’s reputation is not just beneficial-it’s essential. A company’s reputation is ever evolving and shaped by countless online voices. No matter who you are, it’s important to keep your finger on the pulse.
At Reputation911, we understand the complexities and nuances of an online reputation. If you’re looking for business reputation management, our expertise is at your disposal. Our team can address negative or false reviews, news stories, and other content that can negatively affect your brand. Contact us for a free reputation consultation.
We are a reputation management company that helps to make you Look Good Online.