Have you ever searched a company on the internet to check out some of their info, only to see a bad review pop up that was clearly spouted off in a fit of rage by an angry customer, or sometimes even a dishonest competitor? Most of us know to take those types of posts (that are usually written in ALL CAPS with little to no punctuation) with a grain of salt, however not everyone can read between the lines, and can be easily turned off, only to cruise over to your company’s competitor who is happy to oblige. Annoying? Yes. Avoidable? Also yes.
This is where Reputation Management comes in. It is often a misunderstood part of digital marketing because people think if you have to try to change what pops up when your business is searched, then you must have something to hide. However, that is not always the case, as stated in the anecdote above. But either way, it is important to get ahead of the game, and stay on top of it to ensure no problems arise. It is not a speedy process as it uses SEO, so starting early is always a good idea.
If you’re like most business owners, you might be wondering if this is something you can tackle in-house, or if you should hire outside help. If you have a reasonably good understanding of SEO and how it works, it may be something you can take care of by yourself. But be prepared to dedicate the proper amount of time, and sometimes even money, to keep up with it. Otherwise, there is always the option to hire an outside firm to take care of it so you can keep doing whatever else it is you do best.
Now managing your reputation comes in different shapes and sizes. First, make sure your website is properly optimized. This is a space you have complete control over, so be sure that it represents your company exactly how you want it to. Fill it with plenty of relative articles, internal links, and content. Next, utilize your social media profiles to your advantage as well. It is imperative that all information on them is current and correct, including your hours of operation, phone number, contact email, physical address, and website URL. Everything should also be branded with uniform logos, color schemes, and high-quality images.
Last but not least, earn positive reviews. Do what you do best! Give your customers a reason to brag about their experience with you on all platforms; this will beef up your SEO, help drown out or bury any unwanted negative reviews, and give prospective customers peace of mind while doing their research. Ask your customers for reviews and make it easy for them – send them direct links for places you’d like them to post. It might even be worth it to incentivize them for doing so.