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The 10 Commandments of Great Online Reputation

Aug 8th, 2011 — by Salar

As we all know, reputation matters. Especially in the online world where word travels a million times faster there than it does out in the real world. These days it is extremely important to know what’s floating around about you and your company on the world-wide web. Being able to monitor and manage your online reputation is a top priority. If you have a bad reputation online, odds are your business is suffering tremendously and most times without you even knowing it. Why is my online reputation even important? Well, not only can it affect your sales positively or negatively, it can also help your business expand by spreading your brand to many more channels and people.

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Having established its importance, let’s go over the 10 Commandments of Great Online Reputation:

1.) Find SEO software that tracks and monitors your online reputation for you. SEOmoz Pro is a wonderful web app that makes managing your online reputation easy. With weekly web crawls that notify you of any issues affecting your performance and rank tracking that monitors specific keywords you care about on the search engines used most by your audience, you can spend less time on the busy work and more time building your brand.

2.) Create a website that shows you run a first-rate business. It’s important to prove yourself as a reliable and trusted business and if your website is out of date this can seriously affect your reputation.

3.) Use social networking sites like Facebook, Twitter and YouTube to your advantage. All of these are great methods for building a strong reputation. If you can build a social media following you are more likely to turn up in the search engines.

4.) Make sure your business is appropriately characterized on local business listing websites. By creating an accurate profile on local listing sites customers are able to find the right information needed to follow through with purchases.

5.) Protect your reputation. Make sure that you handle customer complaints quickly so that you can regain the respect of an angered customer or client and in turn prevent them from spreading negative comments online.

6.) Research your audience. Knowing your target audience allows you to build your brand around them and makes it easier to monitor your online reputation.

7.) Google Alerts. Many times the first place someone goes when checking up on someone or something is Google. Setting up alerts can help you zone in on those keywords that will help you manage your reputation.

8.) Blogging. Here you can host your own blog on your website or host others that can put a positive spin on your brand. It allows people to see the person behind the brand.

9.) Be Patient. Nothing ever happens overnight. As with everything there are wins and losses and it takes time to push away the unfavorable websites that may turn up in a search. Over time the negatives will be less and less visible if you continue using these best practices.

Have a detailed plan for dealing with a crisis. Once a crisis hits, you probably don’t have much time to spend trying to fix the problem so it is always a good idea to have a crisis plan established, even if you never have to follow through with it.

After implementing the ten commandments of gaining a great online reputation, rest assured that those negative comments will never sneak up on you again. Reputation is a crucial part of any business. In addition to building a brand or trying to make a name for yourself, what you do (or don’t do) in managing your online reputation can mean the success or failure of it all.

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