How Your Online Reputation Can Make or Break Your Business

by Dan

The internet is an incredible source of information for just about anything. Be it investigating about someone by a law enforcement agency, searching for reputable service provider by a customer or looking for a potential mate, the internet comes in handy.

A survey by .ME shows that more than one in every three millennials believes they can make a better first impression on the internet than at a party. Well, that isn’t a surprise considering how social media growth has surged over the recent years, making it a great facet for one’s image.

And this doesn’t just apply to individuals, but to companies as well. Clearly, a well-managed online brand can go a long way to help you achieve both professional and personal goals. More than 50 percent of Americans believe a personal website can play an important role in this. That notwithstanding, it’s still important for one to be careful about how their overall image is presented online through social media, review websites, press and the entire blogosphere.

So how do you make your online reputation stay in check?

  1. Google Search Yourself Often, or Set up a Google Alert

What most people don’t know is that every comment they post on a blog or social media can easily show up in Google search results. The same thing would happen if someone mentioned your name online. People can also post all manner of stuff about you or your company online. What they post could be true or false, but unless you check it, you won’t even notice. And the worst you can do is to ignore or attempt to delete those comments.

For example, think of a customer who posts a bad review online about a company yet the mistake was mainly the customer’s. Everyone else will think the company was on the wrong unless some company representatives jump in to clarify or even apologize (if the customer’s comment is genuine that is).

To keep track of all these online mentions, regularly Google search your name or that of your company. You can also set up a Google alert so that you check accordingly whenever you’re mentioned online.

  1. Respond to content wherever you’re mentioned

Other than setting up a Google alert to find out where someone has mentioned you, it’s also important that you actually respond to the content where you’ve been mentioned.  Even if someone posts something negative about you, it’s important that you move fast, acknowledge it and apologize so the news don’t go viral and ruin your reputation.

If, on the other hand, the comments posted are malicious and untrue, you can counter that with facts to silence whoever posted.

  1. Request for testimonials from clients

If you’re offering stellar services or products, chances are clients will email or even text you flattering comments. While such remarks will make you chuckle and excited, they won’t help build your business if you don’t share them with the world on your website. Have a testimonials plugin on your website and collect all those awesome comments to be displayed to the world. You may attract new clients this way.

  1. Claim a personal domain name

Unless searching for the availability of your business domain name, creating a personal domain name is super easy, and you don’t need to be a geek to do that. If you’d like your personal site to show up when people Google search your name, let the domain read firstnamelastname.com. This way, it’ll show up in search results when people search your name online.

In addition to making it easy for potential clients to effortlessly find you online, it also bumps any not-so-good content about you right down the search engine results. While people can post whatever they want about anyone online, it’s relieving to know there’s that one place people can go that contains information you have full control over.

  1. Climb the search engine results

There are at least 5.5 billion Google searches every day. How many of these searches do you think could be about your brand? Small or big, you should leverage on SEO in a bid to ensure positive comments dominate search results while pushing down any negative comments about your brand. To outrank negative comments, promote fresh, positive and useful content on different web pages about your company.  Most brands usually achieve this by creating reviews or blogs across online review portals, community platforms and social media.

Summing up

A positive reputation for your brand creates trust and credibility with your customers, shareholders, and the media. Online negativity may originate from numerous sources; a disgruntled employee or customer only needs to post a comment on a popular forum. This can ruin your brand’s reputation in a matter of minutes. Luckily, you can restore your reputation and protect yourself from negative content in future with Elite reputation defender.

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