Have you ever Goggled the name of a potentialnew client in order to learn more about them? If not,you can bet that they do. People do Google searcheson everyone and every business, to find out moreabout them. Whether it is due to business, or apersonal matter, it is possible to find out quite a lotabout someone or a business, via a simple GoogleSearch using the persons name or industrykeywords.
What is found out about you online maybe a true reflection of you and yourbusiness, or it might not be. Whats worse,it could be a complete and utter fabricationand lie about you and your business. Due tothe proliferation of review websites and therelative lack of policing these sites, its likethe wild-wild west out there. For thisreason, it is important to not only monitoryour online reputation, but to actuallymanage your online reputation.
If your business were to become a target of anonline campaign to ruin your business andreputation, it can greatly affect your bottom line ifnot destroy you. It is important to monitor allstatements made on blogs, comments, forums,articles, and social media all over the Internet. Itseasy to do it yourself free using Google Alerts, or youcan hire a virtual assistant or a specialized service todo it for you. However you choose to manage youronline reputation, you must set up a system and doit.
No business or person is perfect, but even onebad complaint that goes viral can ruin a lifetime ofwork. It doesnt even have to be a complaint thatruins everything for you and your business, it couldsimply be you that ruins your business by not beingcognizant of the consequences of your actionsonline. Yes, you read that right! Make a rudecomment to someone, (or the wrong someone) postan inappropriate picture, forward an off-color joke,and before you know it, you might be the numberone trending topic on Twitter, and not in a good way.
In order to manage your online reputation, firstyou must be aware that you have an onlinereputation. Your online presence goes back as longas youve been online. There are many archivewebsites that maintain snap shots of activity on theweb, and youre likely in there, somewhere. Youcan go to http://www.archive.org and use the "wayback machine" to see many websites and how theylooked years ago including how much traffic theyhad and even some old comments and forum postsif they exist.
Now that youre convinced that ahistorical record exists of your online life,know that it is not impossible to managewhat is being said about you and yourbusiness. Follow the following tips:
Manage Yourself Be cognizant of what you do and sayonline whether it is personal or business.If you wouldnt say it in public in mixedcompany, reconsider if you should say itor share it online.
Monitor the Buzz Using Google Alerts or anotherservice monitor what is being said aboutyou and your business. Use your name,the business name, keywords andvariations of each to try to covereverything.
Build Your Brand Put out enough good content aboutyour business that anything bad or notperfect out there will be buried. Tryposting a keyword rich blog a day for 30days in a row, and an article on articlemarketing sites for 30 days straight andwatch your search results look betterfast.