Online Reputation Rules are Changing
New browser version. New reality.
The new Google Chrome browser will be released soon. It will pack the most recent updates. Generally, most businesses have no valid reason to pay attention to every newly released browser version; this time around is different. If your business has a website, you must understand the most important Chrome update that may negatively affect your website visitors’ confidence.
To try and keep our personal information more secure, Google has introduced a notification in the address bar letting the website’s visitors know if the website is not secure. How does Google know this? Simple. If your website does not use HTTPS as opposed to HTTP (meaning that the information transferred between your website and visitors device is not encrypted), Google Chrome will display a non-secure notification to your website’s visitor. This major change follows an earlier announcement by the Google team that stated that the company will reward the websites that use SSL, a secure connection, by ranking these websites higher in search results.
What importance does this hold for your business?
If you don't use SSL currently, you have an issue concerning your website ranking within search results. When the updated Chrome browser is released, you will have a much bigger problem as your website’s visitors will be greeted with the "non-secure website" notification. Most definitely, something like that would affect your online business reputation. Since over 57% of people use the Google Chrome browser, it's the force to be reckoned with.
Protecting your online reputation.
Your business has to react quickly before your customers and prospects engage with your competitors.
To address both search engine rankings and ensure you are not penalized for non secure data transfer, you should add an SSL certificate to all public facing websites and web applications. The good news is that it's simple, and your webmaster or a web development partner can address it in a matter of hours. Over the years, the price of secure certificates has decreased significantly, so that it wouldn’t be too hard on your bottom line.
What about Search Engine Optimization (SEO)?
Well, since Google uses HTTPS as a rankings signal, unless getting free traffic to your website is not one of your main goals, adding the necessary security must be one of the top priorities. Of course, your website optimization won't end there, though it will help you rank better.
How come multi-location businesses fail to manage online brand reputation? Here’s the reason why.
Businesses of all sizes, including enterprises and small & medium businesses simply don’t have the right tools. Most of them choose consumer tools or home grown, half-baked solutions and expect to be successful. When a disaster strikes, they won’t know because no one ever looks at data affecting your online brand reputation. It’s solely collected for the purpose of making process improvement and is done so within the traditional means.
What this means is that your world as you know it, is good enough. People don’t like change. Most people are scared of new technologies; it’s true. Businesses are slow to adopt new technologies primarily because the don’t see the value compared to the “traditional means” or in other words, they afraid of change. New technology, no matter how advanced, won’t be introduced at your company because you, the decision maker, are mostly unaware of all the benefits. Moreover, no one around you will tell you to look at it since most of them are very comfortable, so why change?
Using traditional means and not wanting to think ahead is not wrong. It’s awfully wrong. Not having the right tools that give you a bird's-eye view of your online brand reputation presented by hard numbers, is wronger than wrong. When you have multiple business locations, you can’t be in multiple places at the same time. Of course, you trust your managers and you do believe that they can do nothing erroneous, right? Now, back to reality. The reason you worry, don’t sleep at night and don’t take time off is because you don’t trust your managers, and do try to be in multiple places at the same time. Your blood pressure is off and your doctor is strongly suggesting that you take it easy. But can you? Most likely you still have a few mortgage payments, your kids are still in school and you worried about financing their future. All of that can be helped, fast. All you need is the right tools.
Imagine being able to look at your brand and instantly seeing that your locations are listed in the right directories and review sites that are most important in your industry, and see if the listings are accurate. Imagine being able to see average review scores by location and ponder why King St. location, in comparison to your other business locations, is lacking in customer satisfaction, with an under 3.5 star rating. You’ll be able to answer “why”, simply because numbers tell a story, and graphs show you which manager is underperforming. You’ll never have to guess again or make decisions made based merely on word of mouth When customers or clients leave reviews these days, they tend to get personal. Would it not be nice to know that Agnes at your Bond St. location is costing you your reputation and hence is responsible for your declining revenues?
Here is the good news.
Right tools do exist, and what I have described is not science fiction; it’s reality. And yes, it’s affordable and will cost you a lot less in comparison to Agnes’ mistakes. Stop guessing, get the right tools and succeed. Many of these new technologies are already used by your competitors, why not join the race? It’s not a matter of having better tools, it’s a matter of having the right ones. Having the right tools will just mean that your company, will be coming in first place.
ReputationMart.com - passionate digital marketing team.