Enjoy the following guest post, courtesy of professional Online Reputation Manager Gavin Carter.
The views expressed in this post are those of the author and not necessarily that of Return On Now.
Your company’s online reputation is very important. Most people check online to see what reviews have been left about a company before making a purchase decision. If you have detractors online, you could be losing clients.
It’s important to realize that even if you aren’t online, your reputation is. People could be writing about your company even if you have nothing to do with the internet. It is very dangerous to let rumors go unchecked. You could lose a lot of customers.
How to Find Out What People Are Saying About You
Do a search for your business name on Google and see what comes up. This will give you a good idea of what most people are seeing when they are searching for more information on your company.
Even if you find mostly good reviews now, rest assured that there will always be someone willing to post negative sentiments about your company. Set up a Google alert with your company name so you’ll be notified when anyone posts anything about you. The first step to owning your online reputation is keeping tabs on it.
Put Your Content In Front of People
If your website isn’t first in the search results, you need to get it there. Make sure you find a good hosting company by checking reviews online and choosing a host that works for you.
Set up a website with your company name as the URL. Make sure that it is properly optimized with your keywords. You will also want to get some good backlinks to the site. One way to gain backlinks is by offering to provide guest posts for other websites with blogs.
Blogging on your own site will also increase its value in the eyes of the search engines. It can help to have all your content in one place, to give your site more authority. Since you will complete control over your own blog, you can remove unpleasant and negative comments immediately.
In addition to having your own website, you need to set up social media profiles. Fill out the profiles completely, with a photo or logo and the URL of your website. Even if you don’t actually use all of the social networks actively, your profiles will exist, making it a little tougher for anyone else to pretend to be you.
Dealing with Other People’s Opinions
You can’t control everything that people write about you online. However, you can do some damage control.
If someone has a bad experience with your company and posts about it online, you can resolve the problem. Contact the reviewer and let them know that you want to make it right. It will not always be possible to do this, but you will gain points for trying.
When you use Google Alerts, you will be able to respond rapidly to comments on other blogs. This is important. It will show other readers that your company cares about its customers. Just be sure to keep the conversation polite, no matter how badly the other person badmouths you.
Summary: Own Your Online Reputation
Stay on top of what people are saying about your business so you can respond quickly and do damage control. You should also ensure that your own content is what people see first when searching for your company online. Create a website and optimize it so it will stay at the top of the search results.
About the Author
Gavin Carter is a reputation manager. He frequently writes about how to maintain a solid online reputation on small business blogs. Hosting your website with the right company helps it rank better, which in turn helps you control your reputation. For webhost reviews, visit the virtualhosting.com website.