As a business owner, you should be concerned about the answers to questions such as:
- What are my customers saying about my brand?
- What does my online image project about me?
- Am I coming across as a trusted brand?
Of course, all these questions pertain to your business and brand and your reputation too and that is where building online reputation with SEO can have a huge impact.
It is easy enough to start with managing your presence on social networking sites. You should choose your platforms with care. There are plenty of choices out there but only a few may fit into your marketing strategy based on the kind of brand or products you have.
You should aim for:
- Consistency of image and message across all platforms.
- Getting into meaningful conversations with the people who interact with you.
- Networking with the right kind of brands and people on social sites as well.
Referral links can go a long way in shoring up your online presence. The key here is quality over quantity. If you have great content to offer, then you will find that there are other people who will think it beneficial to link to your website. Here, you have to be careful about the kind of websites that are linking to your website. It is best to have a small number of links from credible, high-quality brands or websites. Comb through your content diligently to remove or repair broken links as well.
Have a blog
Having a high quality – technical and content wise– blog is one of the best ways in which you can build online reputation. A blog:
- Allows you to talk informally to your readers.
- Helps position you as an industry expert.
- Can be diverse in the subjects it covers. It need not be restricted to talking only of your brand or business.
- Can be refreshed very frequently and easily too.
It can also help you become a guest blogger on other high quality forums and websites.
Use all channels
The online world offers immense possibilities in hosting your images, content, presentations, and videos of all kinds and so on. Exploit all these avenues to project your business. For instance, if you have a dedicated YouTube channel then host explainer videos, product demo videos, videos that talk of your participation in international or industry events and so on. You can also host videos of related businesses so people know that your channel can answer all their questions related to a particular product or service.
Listen, engage and answer
It is good to remember that online reputation consists of conversations that you get into. Treat it like a ‘real life’ conversation that you have. It involves:
- Listening to the other person talk.
- Responding with care and diligence.
- Apologizing when necessary.
- Engaging in a ‘round table’ chat – and not talking down to your customer.
Getting into an online argument is slippery ground. You may be completely right but a word out of place will portray you in a negative light.