In today’s digital age, a vast ocean of information is conveniently accessible at our fingertips. With over a billion searches taking place now on Google every day, the internet has forever changed the way business is conducted. This means most buying decisions are literally initiating with an online search, which begs the question: what is your digital first impression, when someone looks up your business from their smartphone? Ultimately, the perception you give prospects when they find you on the Web, is in your power to control with online reputation management.
So what exactly is Online Reputation Management?
Essentially, online reputation management is the series of steps involved in controlling what people see when they research you on the internet. We map out the steps involved in making sure that positive information about your brand is promoted to the top of the search engines, while pushing negative content further down the results. By following these guidelines, your business will be positioned favorably and directly in front of the motivated buyers online that are looking for your services.
Online Reputation Management Best Practices
The first step in solving any problem, is first determining the scope of the obstacle. These best practices will help you determine how your search results are impacting your business, and whether that’s for better or for worse. Based on your online ratings and how you are also ranking in a Google search (how high or low you are showing on the first page), we can help you determine the best course of action to garner success.
Tip #1: Look up your business online
A great way to get an idea of how you’re positioned online, is by searching yourself on Google and seeing what you find. When you engage in this process, it is crucial that you are not signed into any Google account, as they utilize personal browsing and local search data to custom tailor results “best suited” for you individually. By logging out of your account, you give yourself a more genuine picture of what consumers are seeing when they search for your business online.
Tip #2: Evaluate yourself
Once you have searched yourself out, the next thing to do is evaluate exactly what these results say about you or your business. The outcome should help you visualize what specific aspects of your online reputation need improvement. You will notice that your presence will predominantly fall into one of the four categories listed below, although you may find that you are a mixture of these categories as well. Knowing where you stand online, helps you form the best plan of action to move forward.
Negative: This is the worst category to fall under. A negative online presence means that there is one or more links that appear on the first page of the search engines, that present your brand unfavorably to prospective customers. The reality is, even just one bad review can be enough to send motivated buyers running for the hills- or at least to a competitor with better client testimonials online. Even though some imperfect feedback posted about your company on the Web, doesn’t necessarily mean you’re running a shady operation… nowadays businesses are held to some of the strictest standards of all time, as it only takes one consumer complaint to tarnish your reputation online.
Neutral / Irrelevant: Neutral or irrelevant links refer to you or your company, but do not give prospective clients any information that would motivate them to do business with you. For example; let’s say you are a fantastic attorney, but all people can find when they research you is your personal Facebook page and a neglected directory listing for your business, which shows nothing more than your NAP (name, address, phone-number). Even though this information is about you; it will likely not influence prospects to contact you about your practice, and is therefore irrelevant.
Mistaken Identity”: When you find yourself falling under this category, your search results are overrun by one or more individuals or businesses with the same name as yours. In a situation like this, those other people or companies are creating that first impression for you- be it positive or negative. Best case, the competitors information buries yours and makes finding relevant information on you hard to locate. Worst case, the negativity reflected by this other person or company online, creates a false judgment with your prospects and they move onto other options, before you even had a chance to earn their business.
Positive / Relevant: You fall into this category when the search results for your company, display accurate & positive information that establish your brand to prospects. No need to panic if you do not fall into this category, as our online reputation management solutions can quickly help.
The categories you fall under play a massive role in the impression you leave with people who are looking for you online.
Tip #3: Plan the work, and then work the plan
It has been said that a failure to plan, is a plan for failure. This is why once you have figured out the status of your online reputation, it’s time to start planning the steps necessary to make your digital presence work best for you & your business. The desired result is to have a wealth of positive links associated with your brand, on the first page of a search. After doing a self evaluation, we should be able to gauge how much work lays ahead of you, and plan accordingly. At Dymic Digital, we have the tools & expertise to help you formulate a plan of action, that will position you to reap the rewards of a great online reputation.
If your digital presence is hurting, below are some things to consider based on your situation.
I have no web presence: The first thing you need to do is begin generating positive, relevant content for yourself or your business. A few ways this can be done is by: distributing a press release about a new product or service you offer, generating more social media reviews, or even collecting more positive customer testimonials. All of these avenues will help you gain exposure on the search engines, as well as provide positive content for viewers to learn more about who you are.
I have negative reviews appearing on my search: Having poor reviews on the first page of a search, can result in harsh consequences from viewer perception of your brand. We have found that often times the best way to drown out negative content, is with wave after wave of positive content. By actively publishing welcoming testimonials & information for your business online, you can push those outdated bad reviews down the rankings by flooding the search engines with favorable and up to date content. With online reputation management, you can deliver the consumer confidence that prospects today demand; through reviews, blogs, press releases, and more.
My positive links are not ranking high enough: You may have some great content that you would like prospects to see on the first page of a search, but those links are not ranking high enough to be seen. Here at Dymic, we have developed programs & strategies that not only help you bury negative reviews, but also bring your consumer’s focus to the positive aspects of your business through online reputation management.
Preserving a good image on the internet can be a daunting task, but with online reputation management, we can help you reap the benefits of looking as great as you really are on the Web.