The Ultimate Online Reputation Management Guide
If you are a company or a high-profile individual, then you understand how important your reputation is. For your information, your online reputation might be your best asset. If you are a company CEO, whatever shows up when they search your name matters. What potential clients see will play a part in the decision they make about working with your customers. Chicago Website Design SEO Company Reputation management will help you work on your reputation and help you send the right message to the people watching.
It is important to work with a reputation management professional. Whether you are dealing with negative reviews, negative press coverage, or a crisis that affects your image, our reputation management team will help you through this. Our focus is on presenting your image to your target audience professionally. Our approach is to address specific elements of each individual case for the best results.
It is important to understand why online reputation management is important to you and what you can do to control it.
- Why Is Your Online Reputation Important?
We live in a digital world and your reputation has never been this important. This is because a simple but negative comment can really change the way people look at you.
When Do You Need Your Online Reputation
While there are specific times when your reputation will matter most, maintaining a good image should be a constant process. This is because you might be dealing with important clients or businesses anytime. The following are events when you need good online reputation most:
- When closing an important business deal
- Working with customers who want to read your reviews
- Starting a new business
- Connecting with colleagues
- Building a partnership in business
- Comparison shopping
- Looking for a job
- Talking to the press
- Running for a public office
- Looking for new clients
- Asking for a raise or promotion
- College application
Online reputation issues have proven problematic for people looking for a job. It is well known that mover 90% of companies in the US research online when recruiting a candidate. There are about 34% of hiring managers that have dismissed potential candidates because of online reputation issues. Facebook has become a popular recruiting site with many colleges now checking the reputation of potential students online.
The truth is that there are many people looking at you online. This simply means that you need to make sure that your reputation is always on the positive side.
Whatever Is Online About You Is Forever
The important thing is not whether you need positive reputation now, what matters is that you will need it someday. For this reason, you need to pay special attention to what is out there about you. The internet might seem like it moves pretty fast, however, it is very slow to forget. Unfavorable news or negative photos might just pop up the first page of search engine pages if the search engines think they are important. Some of the information that seems like its forgotten can still be found if people know what to look for.
The content on your social media platforms can still be used to determine your reputation. It is, therefore, important to make sure that these platforms are managed to prevent avoidable disadvantages.
- Things You Should Know About Online Reputation Management
There is a lot more you need to know about online reputation management apart from the first few search engine results. There are many ways through which your image can be tarnished online.
Content On Private Accounts Is Also Important
If you have locked down all your social media accounts, you should not feel safe enough to speak your mind. This is because though the account is private, whoever has access to your posts can save them or share them with other people. They can also take screenshots which can be equally damaging.
Online Reputation May Soon Affect The Ability To Get Credit
Companies have started looking at social media before making lending decisions. Though in most cases they are looking for identity confirmation, they also include other aspects such as creditworthiness. It is possible that your social media activities may be included in your FICO scoring.
Always Remember that You Cannot Compete With Review Sites
Review sites like Ripoff Report and Yelp are very strong. They have a lot of content and rank very high on search engines. This simply means that having a negative review on these sites will give you a hard time.
You Can Use Google And The Law To Get Out Of A Sticky Situation
If you think that the current sticky situation that you are dealing with is as a result of negative search engine results, there is something you can do. If you are dealing with offenses such as false information, you can take advantage of the online defamation laws. This will help you remove content that is tarnishing your name. You might also get compensation for the damage caused by the false information. Google can also offer special help if someone needs to permanently get rid of some information, especially with the new internet eraser laws.
Good People Can Have Bad Reputation
Bad reputation can happen to everyone including good people and good companies. There are situations where you share your name with a criminal. You might also have been falsely accused or dragged into a political debate that makes you look bad. Companies might have thousands or millions of good reviews. However, one negative review can bring everything down. These are factors that might be difficult to control but can greatly affect your online reputation.
- Do You Have A Good Or Bad Online Reputation?
Though every brand or individual is unique, there are specific factors that can tell you whether your reputation is working for you or against you.
How Do You know You Have Good Online Reputation?
Accurate Search Engine Results
If you Google your name or your brand, you will get accurate results that are about you or your brand. Accurate results mean that there are no results from people who share your name.
When you send any kind of application or letter, most of the recipients will check you out online. Good reputation means whatever you have told them matches with what is online. Keep in mind that what they see about you online might actually influence the decision they make.
Active Participation Online
Do you have online accounts? Are you active on these accounts? People want to search for you and see if you show professionalism and a will to learn.
Positive Reviews And Articles
When we search for a company or person on any search engine, we are highly likely to check the negative things. What kind of reviews will people read? Do you have positive articles that have been written about you?
How Do You Know You Have Bad Online Reputation?
Inaccurate Results or The Lack Of Information
For people interested in something about your company, finding nothing is as bad as finding negative information. It can be a frustrating experience when you are trying to learn something about a company and not find any credible information. This is a sign that anything negative can easily take over your reputation especially because there is little positive information.
Bad Reviews Or Negative News
If someone says something bad about you online, this directly affects your image. This means that you made a mistake and there was someone angry enough to share the information with the whole world. A simple story covering your arrest, information from an angry ex, or an unsatisfied customer can greatly hurt your reputation.
Inappropriate Language, Controversial Or Hateful Options
The internet provides a great platform for discussion and exchange of ideas. This is where you connect with customers, clients, family, friends, and colleague. Facebook, Twitter, Google+, YouTube, Instagram, and forums are popular connection places. They are great but carry the potential to demolish the reputation you are trying to build. Any search engine results that link your name to any negativity is bad reputation.
Embarrassing or Inappropriate Photos
There have been people being fired for one inappropriate photo on Facebook. This simply means that photos are very important.
Events such as an old bankruptcy situation or a night in jail might seem like history to you. However, there are people searching for this history and if these things show up; they might look at you from a very different angle.
- What Do You Know About Your Online Reputation?
Knowledge is power in everything you do and online reputation management is nor any different. If you feel like your reputation has a long way to go, it is important to make sure that you understand what needs to be done. The reason why online reputation management is a long-term process is because of the changes. Search engine algorithms keep on changing and this means that you have to keep on checking your reputation. The changes can bring some unfavorable information to the top of the searches. You have to keep checking the information that people are getting when they search for you or your brand.
How To Assess Your Online Reputation
Put yourself in the shoes of the people looking for you. The first thing they do is to search for your name or your brand. Search using the name that people are most likely to use when finding you. You can add your location depending on your target audience. Being signed into Google might customize the results. It is, therefore, important to sign out of Google for better results. There are sites that can be used to check for your name on all social media networks.
Look At Your Results
Having a few or no search engine results about you is as bad as having negative results. Anyone searching for you might believe that you are actually hiding important information. They might also think that there is nothing special about you or your brand. Building your reputation includes making sure that you have lots of positive results. This will eliminate the chance of any negative information making it to the top.
Assess You Results
It is a good idea to assess your reputation to find out where you stand. Is it neutral, negative or positive? If you happen to come across any negative information that might affect your reputation, bookmark it.
Add A Second Eye
We all look at things from our own perspective. Make sure you tell friends or family members to look at any information that might hurt your reputation. They might just see something you missed in your assessment.
- Repairing Online Reputation
We have to emphasize that online reputation management is not something that happens overnight. Chicago Website Design SEO Company reputation management team focuses on content that leads to sustainable results. This frees your hands and allows you to focus on other important elements of your business or personal profile. Though we can help where you might face challenges, there are steps you can take to repair your online reputation.
Try To Eliminate The Bad Content
If the bad content is on your social media or your blog, you can simply delete it. If the content is on someone else’s account, politely ask them to remove it. Information on a website might be difficult to eliminate. You can, however, contact the website owner to see if they can delete the content. Explain to them that the content is hurting your reputation. If they refuse, you might be stuck. However, if its sensitive information, you might get help from Google and the law.
Change Your Name
If you are dealing with embarrassing comments on blog posts or on social media platforms under a certain screen name, change the name. Log into the accounts and change the name to a different name.
Learn From Your Mistakes
It is possible to deal with bad online reputation. You can actually push the negative results out of the first and second page. However, things will work better if you also stop making the same mistakes. Start with identifying what is negatively affecting your reputation and focus on stopping it.
Focus On Positive Reputation
We all make mistakes. After you identify your mistakes, make the necessary changes and move on to making your reputation about positive results.
- How To Prevent Mistakes When Handling Online Reputation Management
It is possible to repair a bad online reputation. However, it is easier to avoid mistakes that make it bad. Here are a few points that will help you avoid some of the common mistakes:
Private Should Be Private
Private content that is questionable or content that can easily be misunderstood should not be public.
Keep An Eye On Your Reputation
Do not make the mistake of not checking your online reputation regularly. Being attentive gives you the advantage of responding to issues before they cause a lot of damage. There are services such as Google Alerts that can help you get information if there are new results for specific queries.
Keep Your Anger Offline
There will always be people who push your buttons online. Keep in mind that it is not worth it to get angry because this will damage your reputation.
Secure Your Devices
You can work hard to keep your reputation clean. A simple hack can demolish everything you have built in a matter of seconds. Always ensure you choose your passwords carefully and make sure that your devices are safe or logged out if you are not the only one using them.
Always Take Your Time before Posting
Think through whatever you want to post before you press the post button. Think about the consequences of your post or comments.
- Developing A Positive Online Reputation
Working on the process of building a positive online reputation will help you present your good side to people interested in you or your brand. It is also a good way to protect yourself from negative information about you. Before you start dealing with a problematic reputation, there are things you can do to keep it positive.
Prevention is always better than cure. Build a strong foundation of positive information about you. This way, you will have an easy time dealing with any negativity that comes your way.
Use Professional Logos And Photos
Creating a brand is all about professionalism. It is what people think when they see photos or logos associated with you or your brand. Use professional photos and logos to outrank any bad or embarrassing photos.
Claim Your Online Properties
Even if you do not plan to have Pinterest, Foursquare, or Tumblr, it is a good idea to get hold of these accounts before other people do. Having these accounts help in the provision of accurate information. Claim the social platform accounts but keep in mind that some private settings are important in keeping private information private.
Google+ Is Important
Ranking well online can be boosted by a Google+ account. Google is a search engine giant we cannot ignore. For this reason, any of Google accounts can help with your online reputation, especially with Google search results.
Online Domain Registration
It is a good idea to grab online domains such as yourname.org/.net/.com. You can also get others such as yournamesucks.com. This is a good way to protect your brand in future. If you cannot register your name exactly for a .com domain, it is better to use a .net. Make the registration as long as possible even if it means buying the domain from the current owner. This gives you more credibility and protects the domain from people who would want to buy it once it is up for renewal.
Keep Using Your Accounts
There are top social media platforms that rank well on search engines. These are Facebook, Twitter, Google+, YouTube, and LinkedIn. If you have any of these accounts in your name, you can be sure that it will pop up when someone searches for your name. Add information and photos you want people to know about you on these platforms. Share information that presents the best part of you and make sure you are building a positive reputation.
Develop Your Online Content
It is a good idea to have a personal website where you can add all the important information about you. Create social media accounts and use them to share important information. Even if the information you share is not interesting, make sure it is something that will influence positive results.
Link Your Content
If you have great content you are proud of such as a positive article or a great portfolio, link it to your social media platforms. Sharing such links and having natural engagement will help a great deal in helping your ranking.
Share What You Know
We all are experts in something. You can write guest posts and share your knowledge in your area of expertise. You can get a chance to earn a helpful link that will change how people look at you.
Online Conversations Are Crucial
Your comments on news that interest you are important. Follow blogs, groups and forums. Engage in the discussions and have insightful comments. Ask meaningful questions and build your network. It is a good idea to use your real name.
Be An Authority
If you are an authority online, you will command respect. This will also contribute to your positive results. Participate in groups, forums, and other question and answer sites such as Quora. Make sure you are providing the right information because this is what gives you authority. Speak at industry events and conferences and post about it online.
You can push all the inappropriate photos down the results by sharing positive appropriate photos. Use Google+, Twitter, Facebook and other platforms to share photos. Use your real name in the tags and captions so that the photos can show up when people search for you.
- Online Reputation Management Tool
It is not easy to manage your online reputation. However, there are tools you can use that will help you make things easier:
- Yahoo Alerts
- Google Alerts
- Social Mention
- Complaint Website Search
- Help a Reporter Out
Online Reputation Management Rules
Managing your online reputation can be a daunting task. There is just so much to be done. Keeping things simple and following the basic rules of online reputation management will help you get through the process.
- Keep your profiles clean
- Know what you are dealing with
- Keep in mind that the internet never forgets
- Claim all important accounts online
- Stay away from trouble both online and offline
- Always use your real name
- Stay active online
- Concentrate on positive content
- Stick to proper grammar
- Have a portfolio
- Link to important content
Chicago Website Design SEO Company is a proven web marketing company that helps businesses get online visibility. We will also manage your online reputation to ensure that people interested in your brand are seeing information that makes them want to buy from you or work with you.
Contact Chicago Website Design SEO Company today for professional online reputation management (ORM)