Managing Your Online Reputation
If you are applying for a job or your business is being considered for a big project, you can bet that someone is Googling your name or your business to see what you are about, outside of the paper resume or proposal. They’re checking out your “online reputation.” Seventy-five percent of adults have looked up their name in Google, and around half are unhappy with the results. The good thing about your online reputation is that you have control over what people see about you or your business. And with a little time and effort, you can establish a solid and positive online presence. In this article, we’ll give you some insights on how you can build a great online reputation and ensure that what people see is exactly what YOU want them to see.
Start with the Obvious
If you haven’t already, run your name or business name through Google and see what comes up. Embarrassing pictures? Old business websites? That irrational Twitter post? Don’t worry, you’re not alone. Everyone has those random, but maybe less than helpful items floating around the internet. Step one to creating a great online reputation is to clean up the junk. If your business has an old website, take it down. Those unflattering party photos and irrelevant tweets, delete them. Go through all of your social media and clean it up. Keep the items that make you or your business look amazing. Toss the rest.
Now that your existing social media presence is in order, don’t hide behind privacy settings or quit posting on social media. Use social media as a tool to create an amazing reputation for yourself or your business. Allow public access to your social media sites and be active. Make great posts and be mindful of what you put out on the web, remembering that it’s out there for everyone to see.
Get Your Domain Names
Protecting your online reputation can be as easy as buying a domain name. If you haven’t already, register a website with your name or your business in the domain (for example www.johnsmith.com). This is a perfect way to control the information that is on the web about you or your business. Holding on to a domain that is your name keeps other individuals from buying the domain and associating you with less than quality activities. Once you have your domain name, start building out your website with relevant personal information, experience, blog content, a resume, awards and honors. Make sure that the top search result is the best reflection of you and your business.
Once you’ve acquired your website and have it showing the best of you and your business, carry this idea through to social media. Start acquiring Twitter handles, Facebook profiles, Instagram accounts, etc. that also match your name or business name. Then get active. Start posting thoughtful and relevant social media content. Take pictures that highlight the amazing things that you or your business is doing and share articles and media that are positive reflections of you. Then, start interacting with other users. This is especially important for business owners. Interacting with customers will make your business feel accessible and friendly, two factors that are becoming more and more important for the connected consumer or hiring manager.
Keep Your Site Fresh
Don’t let your website stagnate. Publishing new content on a regular basis keeps people coming back to your site, and is an easy way to start improving your website rankings in search engines and building a positive online reputation. Don’t just post random information, however. Quantity alone won’t help your search engine rankings. Be aware of what your audience is looking for and post content that is not only relevant to the individuals visiting your site, but is also a good reflection of your knowledge and expertise.
If you are looking to build the reputation of your business, there are a couple of additional items that you need to consider…
Claim Business Listings
The best place to start this process is by claiming your Google listing. Make sure that the information that is out there is correct including your address and contact information (phone, email, social media, etc.). Verifying your listing is the easiest way to make sure that customers get to you the first time. Google has simple instructions on how to complete this process. Once your Google listing is updated, move on to listings in other locations like Yelp! or Home Advisor.
Keep an Eye on Reviews
If you don’t have business reviews, even the worst business out there looks better than your business. Connected consumers are relying heavily on online reviews to select products or services. If you don’t have reviews out there, start asking your customers to help you out by posting a review. Remember though, not every review you get will be glowing. When a customer has less than positive comments about your business, don’t just ignore their review. Respond and look for resolution. This will make future customers reassured that if they have a problem, you will make it right.
How To Manage Your Online Reputation
Mastering the internet and creating an amazing online reputation doesn’t have to be hard or take a lot of time, but it can make a huge difference in the success of your business. Have questions or comments about creating a solid online reputation? Let me know in the comments or contact me at (586) 580-1991. I am a Detroit SEO expert and have been helping clients OUTSMART and OUTRANK their competition in Google for over 12 years.