In today’s fast-paced world, when practically anyone and everyone has a profile on the World Wide Web, whether personal or professional, it is important that whatever content we put up reflects positively about us. It directly affects what and how people think of us. This is especially true of businesses. The Internet is probably the biggest tool for advertising your wares. Word-of-mouth is how your reputation will spread on the Net. So how you market yourself on the Internet, and how happy your customers are, are a few things you need to be very careful about. A satisfied customer might post a positive review online which can boost business, but at the same an unsatisfied customer(s) can ruin your reputation in no time by posting unfavorable reviews. To prevent this from happening, a lot of major corporations manage and safeguard their online reputation by taking help from reputation management companies. But what steps would you take yourself to keep your reputation from getting tarnished, especially if you own a small business, or have a personal profile or a blog?
Creating Your Own Personal Brand
If you are a job seeker and planning to post your résumé online, then it’s very important that your résumé creates a positive impression about you. If you have a social networking profile or a blog, make sure it contains only good content about you. A prospective employer might just run a search for you and get influenced by what your profiles have to say about you. As they say, first impression is the last impression. In a blog, never ever lie about yourself or anything that you have written. Offer only useful content. Providing valuable and thought-provoking insights and high quality material will not only help in establishing you as an expert in your field, but fetch you better results and push your rankings up in search engine results. At the same time, keep in mind you don’t divulge too much personal information about yourself.
If you own a business, just make sure your website contains all the information it can about your products and services. Incomplete information will leave a prospective client unhappy and he may leave the website and hunt elsewhere. Highlight all the positive reviews about your products by providing links to them. If you have received testimonials, provide links to them. Starting a blog will help you interact more with your customers, and your business can profit if you get constructive feedback from them. Be sure to create a page for your business on all social networking sites. Attract readers to your website once it is established by asking friends and partners to provide links to your content on their own blogs or sites. This often serves to increase the number of people visiting your page, and is a great tool to increase the prospects of landing a good job and/or promoting your business.
How you design your website also has an effect on your online reputation. If you are an expert at HTML, you can have a snazzy website which will attract readers. Otherwise, keep it simple by not crowding it with too much content, pop-ups, and advertisements. These can be a major turnoff and drive readers away.
Check and Respond to What Others are Saying
Keep a tab on your reputation by constantly monitoring it. Every day, make it a point to check who all have posted reviews about your services, whether good or bad. If you find a negative review, try to get in touch with the people who posted it. One way out is to take the criticism good-naturedly, apologize to the customer, and tell him that you will do your best to rectify matters. The way you handle complaints is going to affect your business, so handle it such that the customer is satisfied and not disgruntled anymore. Trying to justify your services might backfire, so whatever you choose to do, do it carefully. At the same time, if a customer posted positive comments, thank him for it, and make it look sincere. Do this monitoring activity on a regular day-to-day basis, so you can take care of all negative comments before they begin to tarnish your online reputation.
Build Contacts with People with Similar Interests
This is extremely important as well. If you do not build and maintain contact with people who have the same professional interests, you could be losing out on a huge load of customers. You can share a great deal of information online with people who are into a similar business as yours. Cross-referencing and joining forces with your business partners or other professionals in the same field will ultimately lead to an increase in traffic on your website.
Ensure the Right Internet Presence
It’s not just about building a website and garnering an online presence, but how you maintain quality content and link to social media sites, that goes a long way in creating a good online reputation. If your website hosts false or copied information or has excess keywords, search engines may penalize you by banning it. This is where search engine optimization comes into picture. Using this technique, build your website in such a way that’s not just technically right, but offers just what the users want to see, carefully constructed, error-free, valid content. Also, never link to websites that contain spam and malicious content.
Having a reputable web presence is highly important nowadays. It helps in increasing your brand awareness, and targets the right audience. Relevant content will improve the flow of customers to your site, helping you to establish long-term relationships with customers, and ultimately improve sales. Building an online reputation takes time, and once you build it, managing it is also equally important, and when you do that, both your customers and rivals will look up to you.