The Internet is loaded with information. When we want to know the answer to a question, we simply Google it or ask Siri. We assume that what we find is true and, for the most part, it is. But, what if this information isn’t true or helpful to our business?
You need to know how to protect your reputation. It’s helpful to know how to overcome bad reviews or untrue information.
Your online reputation is the information people find about you or your company online, whether it’s true or not. Anyone can write most anything online. Sometimes its another company or person with a similar name that has a bad reputation that can be confused with you. The answer is being proactive and turning a negative risk into a positive reaction.
Making sure positive content is out there to defend against digital attacks is key in keeping your reputation as clean as possible. Anything negative that goes undefended can immediately rise to the top of search results for the whole world to see. So what can you do? We’ve heard it said often, The best defense is a good offense.
4 Tips to Protect your Reputation Online
Know Your Online Reputation
Do a search or “Google” your name. Each individual or company’s online presence is unique. The only way to know what kind of reputation you have is to check and see. Look over the listings that come up in the first few pages of a search. This gives you a good idea of what others see. Is the information correct and helpful? What kind of information is shown and the source listed helps determine if it is valid. Besides your website, you may see articles, Facebook or Twitter accounts, directory listings, map listings, and more. Check each listing to see what people are saying about you. Take note of positive and negative comments and reviews. You might be pleasantly surprised.
Protect Your Name
First impressions are important! Registering a domain name with your name included is one of the best ways to protect your name online. Build out your own website as a central hub of information about you. Ensuring that your website is listed at the top of search results will help people find exactly what you want them to find first.
Be proactive and list your name across several different platforms. Be sure to protect your name across social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and others.
It takes about 10 property rankings to control the message of your company on search engines. In your Google search you will find places that you can list your name. This helps prevent others from taking this valuable piece of real estate away or using it against you in the future.
Publish Regular Content
Building and optimizing your website is only the beginning. Changing and adding content to your website not only helps SEO (Search Engine Optimization), but it improves your visibility on the web. If your search engine results are few, it can be just as damaging as having several negative reviews.
Customers want to trust who and what they are buying and the Internet is the first place they look. Not having information to access may turn off potential clients. Make sure you are providing information on your website, social networking sites, and other listings so people can easily find your content. These profiles will rank in search results over time and it’s an effective way to drive traffic to your website content. Social media content every day can help protect against bad search engine results.
Be Proactive in Handling Reviews
Harness the power of social reviews. Encourage your clients to leave reviews. Sometimes the shear volume of good, quality content and positive reviews can out weigh any negative risks. Responding to negative reviews gives you a chance to turn them around. Sometimes a negative response can actually help your business grow. It may reveal a problem area that you can correct. You can’t fix what you don’t’ know. Thank them for bringing it to your attention and make changes where necessary. Continually providing quality, truthful information about your company will help your online identity grow and will ultimately improve your search engine results.
Protecting your reputation online can give you a competitive edge. Taking the time to check it out and improve your listings and rankings will create a solid online presence. Being proactive in creating and sharing quality content can be the difference between building your business to incredible heights or sinking your ship before you even gets sailing. Overcoming negative results will show that you care about your reputation and your business. Creating a strong, positive reputation online will ensure your business is around for years to come.