Writing by Nick Stamoulis in Internet Marketing
The online reputation of your business is everything. Besides talking with trusted friends, family members, and co-workers, people turn to the search engines when they are looking for information about products or services. If they find positive sentiments about your company, they will be more likely to keep your business in their consideration set. If they find negative sentiments, there is less of chance that you will be considered. After all, it’s doubtful that you are the only one that offers your product or service. Every company has competitors and your competition will only benefit if you have a negative online reputation.
That’s why it’s so important for a business to monitor its online reputation and do what it can in order to improve a reputation or maintain a positive one. Due to the nature of the Internet, people have outlets to share whatever it is that they want about your company or your brand without being censored. In fact, there are numerous sites out there that are based on customers providing reviews of a business. There is no way to control what is said about your business, but there are a few things that you can control that can help from an online reputation management standpoint.
While you can’t control what is said on other web properties, you can control your own. Be sure to build a review page on your own site and optimize it. That way, when people conduct a search for “Company X reviews”, that page will show up. Ask happy clients or customers for a review. As long as you provide your clients and customers with a great product or service (which you should be doing anyway) they will likely be happy to do it for you.
Another way to control and protect your brand image is to build up profiles on many different web properties. These profiles will rank in the search engines and due to the trust factor of the website, will outweigh any negative content should it ever arise. Social media is a great way to engage with clients and customers and police any negative comments. Negative comments can happen, even to the best of companies, but how they are handled is what people tend to remember. Reach out, apologize, and make good on the situation.
It’s important for any business to spend some time manually checking profiles and review sites on a regular basis. In addition, set up a Google Alert for your company name. Keeping an eye on your online reputation and taking action when needed is necessary. It prevents a small issue from becoming a much bigger one.