Any modern business needs to take their online reputation management seriously. The digital nature of both business and consumer habits now makes this essential. Failure to do so could see people have an unfair and negative view of your company, which could put them off from using your services.
What is online reputation management? Put simply, it is the process of being in control of your brand online and its reputation with regard to the ordinary consumer. Taking steps to do this is essential if you want to be successful in the long term.
What do you need to think about when protecting your brand online?
If you are new to online reputation management, then here are a few great tips to get you started:
- Search for your business online regularly – how do you know if you have a problem with your reputation online? The only way is to constantly be searching for your business in the major search engines such as Google to see what comes back. This will instantly alert you to any negative reviews or press that need to be dealt with quickly.
- Try to fix problems first – although there are techniques to bury poor reviews or unhappy customer comments, this should only be done if they are unfounded or you have made every effort to sort them out first. If you believe that there is a real issue to resolve, then reach out to the other party to help do this. This will see them update or remove the offending review and see your reputation restored naturally.
- Encourage positive reviews – another thing to think about with online reputation management is getting more positive comments and reviews from customers. It is also worth seeking out good press from bloggers and online news sites. Lots of positive mentions will organically enhance your brand image and push the occasional bad review down the SERPs.
- Engage on social media – when it comes to managing your online reputation, social media is key. Most (if not all) of your customers will be on there, and even people who do not yet use your services could hear about you there. Maintain a constant, positive presence on the major ones that you use to engage with consumers and deal with any issues effectively.
Consider using a specialist company
Of course, some business owners may not have the time, inclination or skillset to manage their own reputation online. This is especially true if it starts to get more technical and involves trying to use SEO methods to suppress any lies or unfounded bad press. ReputationDefender is one of the best companies around to help with this, and has a long history of effective results.
Online reputation management matters
If you are involved in business in the current age, then protecting your reputation online is key. Most people now will believe what they see on the search engines to be true, so it could really harm your long-term success if it is not positive. If you feel that you have a problem in this area, then it is vital to take steps to fix it yourself or outsource it to a specialist external company.