Online reputation – what is it, why is it important, how can I protect it?
Online reputation has come about with the age of technology. In previous decades we relied upon hard copy directories and business phone numbers. There was no ‘Google it’, there was no ‘websites’; we relied upon building strong relationships with our clients face to face.
Today, your reputation is much more complex. While you still have your face to face reputation to protect, you also have your online reputation to worry about. Your online reputation consists of the way people view your business via the internet and the search engines within the internet.
How do you protect your online reputation? Well, there’s a fork in the road. You either hire a professional who can protect you effectively, or attempt it yourself by adhering to the following three steps.
Step one: Know your weaknesses.
A key to protecting yourself online is knowing your weakness. Identifying your weak points can be done by conducting a Risk Assessment of your current online reputation. This Risk Assessment involves SWOT analysis (Strengths, weakness, opportunities, threats) and will help serve as your guide to where you need to place your resources.
An example would be an online clothing business – where customers are never physically seeing the end product, nor are they trying them on. This could lead to bad reviews on sites such as Yelp, Google places and even the formidable Ripoff Report if clothing does not live up to expectations. In this situation the business would prepare for such events occurring by dedicating pages on their website to tagging “reviews” whilst building directory listings and original content that revolve around the word review. This will help counteract any negative ‘reviews’ they receive as they are already targeting the keyword.
Stay tuned for step two which will be delivered next week.