Laura Richelle Scott 2013-12-05 00:18:57
How to Manage Your Online Reputation While to some the Internet may seem like an uncontrollable jumble of information, there are steps that you can take to make sure that you look great online and that people who Google your name find the information that you want them to find. Control the Conversation Once you have made a name for yourself, there is going to be information about you in the Google search results that is created by the press, happy (or not so happy) clients, or competitors. Because information about you will inevitably end up online, there are hardly any options to “opt-out” of having an online presence. Managing your online reputation essentially means controlling what ranks on the first page of the Google search results for your brand name. The best thing that you can do to make sure that you have a positive reputation online is to proactively create the websites, articles and social media that you want people to find when they search for you. Build Your Home Base Your main website should be like the home base of your online reputation, at which all of your web properties, social media profiles, business directory listings, and press releases are pointing. Your website will provide official and accurate information while giving less credibility to any inaccuracies that others might have published about you. Your Website is Built, Now What? Just creating a website isn’t enough to build a positive online reputation. You also need to optimize your website for all of the appropriate keywords and key phrases, wait for the Googlebot to crawl your site, and index in the search results. Your goal is to rank at the top of the first page of Google for your brand name and all of its variations. Claim More Google “Real Estate” Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and LinkedIn are all mega popular social networks that you can use to build your online brand through status updates and interactions. Being on social media not only gives you a reputation as a tech savvy brand that is dedicated to modern marketing, but each social profile will also take up one of the 10 spaces on the first page of the Google search results, thus helping to manage your reputation. Other listings you can create that will also claim valuable Google real estate, while giving your brand more authority, include Yelp, Google+ Local, Merchant Circle, Avvo, Manta, and Kudzu. These are directory websites that allow you to create and claim your business listing. While having a listing on review sites like Yelp typically doesn’t require as much maintenance as a Facebook page, you need to monitor your customer reviews and respond accordingly to any negative reviews. Content, Content, Content! Writing content for your brand is an effective online reputation management method that you can continue to do even aft er your Web properties are created. Publishing press releases, articles, blog posts, and white papers will quickly help you claim more Google real estate as each article will rank individually. If you know that you are the type who will continually be able to write articles about your industry, then the best option is to create a blog. The blog can be built in to your main website or on an entirely separate domain from which you can direct readers to your main site. When managing your online reputation by claiming Google real estate, you want to make sure that each social network, website, blog, and directory listing that you create makes sense with your overall marketing plan. Don’t join a social network simply to have another listing; make sure that it compliments your overall branding strategy. Laura Richelle Scott is a graduate of the University of Montana SoBA and the head content manager for the online reputation management firm, Search Control. At Search Control, Laura and the team of Web designers, Web developers, Web content writers, public relations professionals and social media managers build a positive online presence for business owners around the nation and the world. The team offers online reputation management services in English and Spanish. Search Control executives have decades of experience in Web-based business and have the tools to keep your firm relevant online. To learn more, visit www.SearchControl.com or call 1-800-399-2001.
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