Having an online reputation management plan is pretty standard these days. Even if you don’t have any issues with your reputation, it’s good to stay well ahead of the game. All it takes is one negative link ranking on the front page of Google to complicate things. Trust me, I know! In order to achieve reputation management success, I’m going to show you how to formulate a reputation management plan.
Why Online Reputation Matters
The online space is a highly competitive place. A sure way to end up on the bottom is to ignore your own rep management or reputation management for business. When someone looks you up online, what can be perceived from that search is your online reputation. On average, 40,000 Google searches happen every second. When someone searches for you or your business, it’s your responsibility to make sure the right things are shown in the results and not someone who shares your name, but resides in prison. That’s why now is the time to come up with your reputation management plan.
How It Works
Initially, conduct a search and see what pops up in regard to your name or your brand. This is where your rep management begins:
- Create your social profiles and pages on networks relevant to your industry. If you’re unsure, Facebook and Twitter are great places to start.
- Check and update any local listings showing in the search results on sites like Yelp and Foursquare.
- Use Google Alerts to monitor chatter on the web.
- Respond to any customer service queries or reviews
Now that you’ve created the right kind of presence, you have completed the first step for online reputation management.
Assessing Your Online Reputation
To assess your online reputation is a lot like our first step in the previous section: Googling yourself or your business. However, this time you need to do it as if you were an anonymous stranger.
- Log out of your browser or use a different one that you don’t normally use.
- Clear your cache and ensure you are logged out of everything.
- Google yourself.
- Search alternative engines like Yahoo and Bing.
- Assess the situation by making a list of how many sites you control your information on and how you appear.
- Conduct research using Google Adwords Keyword Planner to determine what terms are searched most to find you and the overall reputation of those terms.
Once you understand your online presence, you can now put together a reputation management plan.
Formulating Your Reputation Management Plan
Using the information you gathered during your assessment, build your reputation management plan. If you have search terms that return negative results on the first page, tackle these areas. Work diligently on that first page. Remember only 1% of searchers bother to go further.
Creating content is one of the best ways to achieve reputation management success. Check out these types of effective content:
- Websites – If you don’t own yourname.com, consider buying it and creating a site for your brand
- Social Media – Post regularly to your social media pages
- Photos and videos – optimize your images with alt tags or hashtags containing keywords and post them to sites like YouTube, Vimeo, Instagram, or Pinterest
- Forums – Participate on online forums and message boards
- Business Listings – Make sure you’re listed everywhere and that you have control of that listing
- Press Releases – Share newsworthy events and news
All of these content types can improve your reputation by replacing negative results with positive authoritative content you create.
Online reputation management is an ongoing process. You will need to occasionally monitor your progress and adjust your strategies likewise. Once you have things under control, your efforts will eventually turn to prevention. A steady stream of fresh content should maintain things nicely. Let me know about your reputation management success in the comments!