With the world getting more digital every day, users have become a lot more accustomed to the internet over the last couple of years, especially when it comes to parting ways with their cash. It is now very common to expect clients to have weighed their options online and asked for recommendations from their network before making a purchase.
Users interested in buying are flocking to various review websites to find information from other users in order to make the final decision. What does this mean for businesses? It means that online reputation management is becoming extremely important. Companies all over the world need to be more transparent than ever before, making sure that they are producing the best quality service and products possible for their clients.
The days are gone when companies were able to simply sweep disgruntled clients under the rug and forget about them. Every consumer has a voice and it is extremely important that a company monitors how it is being used online.
Always be proactive with your reputation management strategy. One of the easiest ways in managing your reputation online is to control and have high rankings on the search engine result pages for your brand. How do you get those rankings? Of course I can say: “With a proper digital marketing strategy,” but it is not as easy as it sounds.
So how can you get started with this? Follow the steps below to improve your brand online and grab the attention of the search engines.
Improving your brand online
Include your brand and business name in all the meta titles of your online profiles. Also use your brand name on page specific keywords. Always make sure that your brand name is clearly identified and visible across all your websites with a strong “about us” page. This can improve your rankings drastically on the search engines.
Start a blog
My favourite! There are really a thousand reasons why any business should start blogging, but the most important part is that it gives your brand and company a voice and personality. It allows you to talk directly about your brand, services and products. A blog can also give your website a massive boost with your rankings on the search engines increasing your website’s authority online. Well thought out and original content on a regular basis will get a thumbs up from Google.
Social media profiles
Create profiles on popular social media channels and make sure that they are indexed by the search engines. A small link building campaign can help with this. By creating profiles for your business as well as key individuals is another smart way that you will be able to acquire more attention from the search engines.
Local SEO is a simple method of occupying more space on the top of the search engines. Add your business listing on Google Places and other relevant business listing channels. This method can achieve you a ranking alongside your web page and also provide users with another fun way of discovering your company.
Regularly monitor your results. This is often the job of a digital marketing employee, but with time to spare you can do it yourself. Once you have achieved the results on the search engines that you are after, spend some time to make sure it stays that way. Setup services such as Google Alerts to track any mentions of your brand online.
Good rankings don’t mean you have a good reputation
The tips above are just one way how you can dominate the search engines with your presence. This doesn’t mean that you will be able to remove all the “negative” listings about your business from Google — they will only be pushed down further. If you have a bad reputation online, improving your reputation starts from the inside. Why do you have a bad reputation and can it be amended? The goal with having a positive reputation online is all about being transparent about who and what you are.
Author | Anton Koekemoer
I'm your friendly neighbourhood digital marketing specialist. I specialise in helping brands connect with targeted customers by enhancing their online presence through emerging web-based communication channels. I translate business objectives into comprehensive initiatives that focus on humanising brand identity while maximising measurable business results. More