If you have been in business for a while then you have probably heard of online reputation management but what exactly is it and how does it fit into your overall digital strategy.
This blog post will go into some details about what this is and more importantly why having a proactive approach in your marketing plan can be of great benefit to your business and brand strategy.
Reputation management is the process of identifying where people find your business online and then shield your brand as much as possible against competitor sabotage, misinformation or negative reviews that are misleading.
1) Search Engine Result Pages (SERPS)
One of the first places people go when researching your business is search engines like Google and Bing, if they search your business name and come across random listings or negative information they are far less to trust you and will certainly have a bad first impression of you.
To help combat this it is important to register all key profiles for your business such as Facebook pages, Instagram, Pinterest, LinkedIn and YouTube to name a few.
When it comes to Google searches and local businesses having a Google My Business listing is also critical as without one you won’t appear prominently in search results and maps and worse a competitor can claim the profile for themselves.
Aside from just having the profiles registered taking the time to fill them out correctly with unique descriptions, logo’s, cover photo’s if allowed and links to your website and other profiles are also important to increase the chance of them appearing higher up in searches.
Lastly keeping your profiles and blog up-to-date with fresh content and maintaining brand consistency across the internet will help solidify your branding and make it much harder for unscrupulous individuals to damage your reputation.
2) Online review platforms (Yelp, TripAdvisor, Google etc)
Reviews are the lifeblood of many small local businesses, ensure your business is listed on platforms like Yelp, Google My Business and other industry specific platforms like TripAdvisor and Zomoto if they are suited to your business.
If you have a negative review rather than try to fight it or worse respond aggressively try to be polite and offer assistance to improve the customer experience. This shows you have made an effort to rectify the situation and depending on the circumstances may cause the person to remove or change their review if you satisfied their needs.
Likewise when you do a good job for a client offer them the option to leave a review of their experience. Over time cultivating these good reviews will definitely help strengthen your rankings and leave a positive impression for visitors.
3) Social media platforms (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram etc)
Just like search engines and review sites social media websites are also a common place people go to leave reviews or share content about their encounters.
Having pages with up-to-date valuable content is also very important to not only attract a following but also become an authority in your field positioning you as an expert.
Similar to review sites the same approaches can used to deal promptly with negative reviews and also cultivate good reviews to bolster your profiles.
4) Press releases and media exposure
Last on the list is press releases and other forms of media exposure, in addition to been great for SEO creating press releases when you have news to share is a great way to get your business details spread out to hundreds of media websites which will often rank for your name and help control the first few pages of search results for your business name protecting against potential competitors ranking for your name.
5) Personal blogging
While all the above tips talked about things you can do for your business website they didn’t factor in individuals or sole traders who often have little distinction between their business and name as it all falls under the one personal brand.
In this case having your own website alongside that of your business such as firstnamelastname.com can be beneficial and also act as another means of promoting your products or services for prospective clients.
Further to this populating it with the occasional blog post and sharing it to a set of social profiles will help defend search results for your name. If all this sounds like it will take too much time there are systems online which will allow you to automate the posting so you simply hit publish and the distribution is taken care of.
Applying all of these tips early on can help mitigate problems before they spiral out of control and cause issues for your brand.
We hope you enjoyed this blog post, if so be sure to share it with anyone you think could benefit from these tips. If your looking for a managed solution for any of the above or require an SEO plan for your business click the button to book a call to discuss your project and we will be happy to assist.