The Business Owner’s Guide to Reputation Management Strategy

Business Owner's Guide: Reputation Management Strategy

A business' reputation, especially online, has a huge impact on its success. Don't miss this business owner's guide to reputation management strategy.

Managing your business's online reputation is no small feat. You can spend years building up your business, re-enforcing your brand message and helping your customers only for it to tarnish in minutes by poor judgment and some overzealous internet trolls on a Reddit or Quora page.

Sadly, the impact of these trolls can be huge, that's why having a strong reputation management strategy in place is so important. Woody Harrelson's AMA is a perfect example of reputation online gone wrong when he featured in a live 'ask me anything' style question board, only to avoid any questions not linked to his film release.

Sadly, his reputation took a massive hit. Making sure you manage your business's reputation online correctly is incredibly important.

That's why this article will guide you through managing your business's reputation online with a clear and direct strategy.

Let's get started.

Why Your Reputation Online Matters

The truth of 2018 is we live in a search happy world. Negativity online can mean more to you than just one person's opinion changing; it can alter a lot of your customers.

Research suggests that you risk losing 22% of your business when potential customers find a negative article on your first-page search results.

If you find two articles, expect that number to increase to 44%, and 59% with three.

Don't wait until your reputation is in the gutter before you come up with a plan to fix it.

Find Out Your Current Reputation

One of the first things when considering your online reputation management strategy is to analyze where you are at right now. Figure out if you need to clean up your act or if you're currently good to go.

The best way to do this is to give yourself a quick Google search. This is especially important if you are the face of your organization or if you are a brand new business.

It's also a good idea to Google your new business name. Not only to see how easy it would be to rank for that search term, but also to see if there is any competition using the same name that someone could confuse with your own company.

If you find anything you don't like the look of when Googling yourself like old pictures you don't want the world to see, go ahead and get rid of them online now.

You can even use tools to look through your social media history and remove anything controversial or potentially damaging.

Build a Personal Website

You might think that your priority would be to create a business site or focus on marketing tips for your business. But if you are the publically named owner of your business, it's not unusual to see people Googling your name to understand the man behind the company better.

If you have a personal website, it'll serve as a central hub of information for anyone looking up your details online. This gives you the best opportunity to present what's important to you and most impressive.

Here is what you should include in your personal website.

A Website With Your Full Name in The URL

Having your full name in the URL will help you to rank higher in your search results. It will also give you added credibility in the search results by having a proper website.

Feature an About Page

Write a description and a bio all about you. Make sure to write it from a third-person perspective, and to naturally include your full name in the writing to help your page rank.

Have an Active Element To Your Site

Including a blog, a news section or a press page helps to keep Google informed that your site is up to date. This helps with ranking and your search results.

Add a Call To Action

What do you want people who read your personal page to do? Read your blog? View your business page? Get in touch? Whatever you desire, make sure to make it obvious to people visiting your site.

While your personal website is important, don't forget to neglect your business site. Your personal site should be about reducing any risk and making people aware of what kind of person you are.

Reserve Your Name & Business Name

In the first page results of Google, you have ten results. To make sure your potential searchers don't get distracted by other results, make sure to actively register both your business name and personal name on different social media.

Everything from Twitter, Facebook and Linked-In and lesser-known platforms like Quora, Crunchbase and Slideshare could all lead back to you in the first page results.

Make sure to use your full name in the online world so people can find their way back to you.

Whatever business you are in people are going to look you up online, it's the way the internet works. 61% of internet users research a product online before they make a purchase.

Always Provide Value

One of the best ways to win when working with Google is to play by their rules. How you do that is by providing value to the users.

If somebody is searching online for a question and you have the answer, Google likes that. It's well known that high-quality content that helps users is one of the biggest ranking factors Google uses for search results.

Make sure to keep providing value to your readers again and again, and Google will reward you and bump up your results in search. Every piece of content responds in different ways.

The content you make for Youtube would be different to the one you'd make for Facebook. By focusing on producing helpful content for the platform, you are focusing on you can help get more positive exposure for your brand and build on your online reputation strategy.

Claim Your Free Google Listing

Ever wondered how some businesses get a big listing on the side of Google with opening hours, a contact telephone number and an address? A huge component of reaching your audience is by using Google My Business.

This amazing feature is free, yet many businesses are oblivious to its existence. You can give yourself a big boost by signing up and filling in all the relevant information.

Spend time creating a Google + profile and researching how to maximize your Google My Business listing for your business. This is an easy way to build up your online credibility.

GMB also works very well with online reviews.

Manage Your Online Reviews

Pairing up with Google My Business is Google Reviews. There are a ton of ways online in which you can get online testimonials and reviews out there.

It may surprise you how many customers will hesitate to do business with you if you have a less than perfect rating. Star rating for a business is the number one factor used by customers to judge a business.

As a business owner, you have two types of reviews to consider, employee reviews and customer reviews. Glassdoor is the biggest site for employee reviews.

This is a place where they can leave anonymous reviews about pay, salary and their opinion on working for the company. It's an important consideration as it's not only potential employees that review these sites but new customers.

Customer reviews are an altogether different beast. You can begin to create positive reviews for your business by utilizing a simple call to action.

If your business revolves around a product or service, many leave a calling card to activate an extended warranty or offering a discount and then ask for an honest review at the same time.

This is a great tactic as it leaves the customer on a high-note while asking for them to give you honest feedback on their experience with your company.

Reviews really come down to you encouraging your customers to leave you feedback, the more you encourage them, the more likely you are to get a response.

What Does Your Digital PR Say About You?

Reputation management for businesses comes in two forms. What you say about yourself and what others say about you.

That's where digital PR comes into play. You can do this through writing thought leadership articles and by asking top-tier publications to publish them. You might find a better way to get the word out about your company and brand is through a press release.

You can send a press release out to digital publications and sent out across the online network. Picking up links from note-worthy news websites can make a big difference to your brand and your search results.

Time to Create Your Reputation Management Strategy

With the right reputation management strategy, and using the right time management tools, you should have no problem in restoring or creating a solid, positive reputation for both yourself and your business.

As your brand expands in the future, you can use these tools to both improve your customers' perception of you and increase the number of leads that come to your business.

If you'd like more help in getting your brand set up correctly online, get in touch with us today.