One of the most important marketing strategies that a number of businessmen do not pay adequate attention to is managing their online reputation. It must be borne in mind that the internet is more public than any other public forum that you can think about and whatever is on the internet is for everyone to see. Despite your privacy settings, search engines might return adverse remarks about you in the results if one happens to search the right keyword. While it is true that you cannot eliminate everything that is mentioned about your business on the internet, what you can do is control your image on the web and improve and manage it.
Here are 11 golden nuggets to build your online reputation
1. Separate the private and the professional:
You must have two mutually exclusive platforms that deal with your business and private affairs. Take care to invite the right people to join in and scrutinize those who send you requests to join your forums. If there is a filter in place to separate business contacts with personal ones, you will find it easy to manage both the affairs.
2. Optimize your presence on social media sites:
Fill out these sites as much as possible. Be sure to fill in your full name and not your nickname, phrase or slogan. A lot of these sites give you an option to link to other social media sites which must be exploited as it builds a stronger presence on the web.
3. Think twice:
After you have subscribed to social media sites, it is time to practice discretion. Make sure that you give a second thought before you comment or post a picture. Bear in your mind that the so called privacy age in the internet is over and an innocent remark of yours on Twitter may be the headlines of tomorrow and for all wrong reasons. If there is something that merits secrecy and cannot be said openly then it might as well be not said at all.
4. Gradually eliminate your mistakes:
Whenever possible, try to approach people who can assist you in removing your undesirable presence on the web. Delete of modify comments that you have erroneously made. If you have been tagged by someone in an objectionable photograph, you have all the rights to ask that person to remove it. Even search engines as expansive as Google have procedure to remove old information.
5. Ask for and promote reviews:
It is not sufficient to get reviews from clients and customers. What is more important is that you promote the good reviews on various channels of advertisement. By doing this, you will feed the search engines with good information about you resulting in a greater probability of someone reading good about you through those search engines.
6. Build your brand:
One activity that is continuously required to be done is remaining active on the web. This helps you build your brand by sharing posts, blogging, press releases and other ways to project the desired positive information about you and your enterprise. In this manner you would indirectly mask the less relevant information that may be present on the internet about you.
7. Remain updated on yourself:
Monitor your name, business name and other business related keywords with their variations. For example if you are a leading precast construction company you can go for keyword high precast concrete company. You can use services such as Google alerts or other professional services to serve this purpose. This will enable you to pick up both, good as well as bad information about you and your business that is going around on the internet. Keep promoting the good news about you and rebutting the bad ones.
8. Buy a domain name:
There are two schools of thought on domain names for businesses. Some say that it is better to buy a number of domain names while others argue that it is better to have few of them and create content that will stay on the site. It is entirely your choice to decide which way you want to go for after you weigh the pros and cons.
9. Look what others see:
Search yourselves on search engines to find out how people see you when they search you. Use variations of the keywords to find out maximum possible ways in which your business can come up as a result on the search engines and get an idea of what would your prospective clients think about you on seeing that result.
10. Update your SEO techniques:
Be mindful of the latest techniques that have emerged in the world of Search Engine Optimization. It is a matter of very little time that old techniques give way to new ones and if you cling to the primitive ones you are doing little to build your online presence and hence your reputation.
11. Have a good offline reputation:
It is very essential for any brand to have a good offline reputation as well. If you carry out your business in an ethical manner with customers satisfied with your services, there is a huge likelihood of your online reputation being taken care of well.