What do people see when they Google your business? The first page of search results is your one shot at a good first impression, so if the answer isn’t “great things,” then you have a serious problem. The internet gives everyone a voice, so it is important the loudest ones have good things to say about you. Even the lack of online content can be damaging to your reputation because you will not appear as credible or relevant.
If you are the president, CEO or other prominent business executive, the search results for your name are just as important to your organization’s image as the results for its name. And if you are an employee, your online reputation plays a massive role in your ability to advance in your career.
Unfortunately, most people have no idea of the extent to which their online reputation can be controlled. Although you cannot delete other voices from the internet, you can take steps to be the loudest one. Every business is faced with risks that stem from the free flow of information. Even things that aren’t true can hurt you. A comprehensive online reputation management strategy can mitigate many of these risks, but it takes time and dedication to implement successfully. Here are a few tips to get started:
- Publish content of your own. Sure you have a website and maybe a Facebook page, but how often are they updated? New, quality content published weekly is excellent for SEO and necessary to reach the top results. Dominate the first page of search engines and drown out other voices by posting relevant content to Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Tumblr, SlideShare and WordPress. Just don’t post fluff. Search engines ignore it, and people see right through it. But they will share content that is relevant to them, which amplifies your voice.
- Remain informed about what people are saying about you. Google has long offered a service called ‘Google Alerts’ that emails you when new information containing a selected search term is published. You may have even been advised to create one for your name or business. However, Google has admitted that this tool no longer functions the way it was intended. Superior resources such as Talkwalker.com should be used to monitor what is being posted about you and your company
- Respond to negative comments. Maybe someone has given your business an unfavorable review on Yelp or GlassDoor, or posted a complaint or a frustrated tweet for the world to see. Promptly respond with an apology or explanation and offer to remedy the situation. Your response will be visible alongside the negative post, and viewers will be able to see that you care about your customers.
Need help managing your online reputation? Contact us here for a complimentary discussion on how Borenstein Group can help.