According to Lauren Simonds in TIME Sept. 25, 2013
“Your reputation’s online, even if your business isn’t. Take control of how the online world views your business, and protect your bottom line.
Before the Internet connected the entire world, your business reputation was something that you built, not managed. Fallout from the customer complaints you couldn’t fix was of limited scope. Today, the Internet acts like a lens that magnifies every blemish, perceived insult and mistake—and then broadcasts it with a bullhorn.
Consumers turn to the Web to research practically everything before they buy, and one blistering review on Yelp can go viral and undo everything you’ve worked to achieve. Worse, its affects can haunt your bottom line for years. Managing your reputation is something you can’t afford to ignore.
Consider this. Blogs, forums and anonymous review sites can give consumers a strong voice, which is not a bad thing per se. But they can also attract commenters and reviewers who may be acting at the behest of your competitors. Unless you actively monitor and manage your business reputation, you clear the way for other people to step in and tell the story. And it’s pretty much guaranteed that the story won’t have a happy ending.”
When people search your company online, do you know if the content that ranks the highest in their results casts a negative or positive light? It can be difficult to manage what is said about your business online, but through advanced online reputation management practices, one can ensure that the top search results are the most affirming.
When it comes to branding and reputation management, your business should have some control over the pages that appear first during a search. Being active online is essential to making this happen.
Negative news isn’t the only thing that can hurt your online reputation, though it travels fast. Incorrect or misleading news, perhaps places where you are misquoted, and other bad spin is just as important to track.
Strong SEO content on pages that you run will help you attain Sitelinks. In a search result, you may have noticed that some pages appear to have multiple sub-links under them that take you to popular sections of the site you’re looking for. These allow a company to own a larger percentage of the first page.
Potential customers and clients will nearly always use sites like Google or Bing to research a company prior to conducting business with it. Effective reputation management will make certain that messages people find about you or your company are what you want them to see. Comprehensive tracking can be done on your behalf and monitor what is being said about you online.
James Chamberlain is Digital Media Consultant for 202 Edge (Powered by TBO.com). James manages social media resources on; Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/james.d.chamberlain, Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/JDC352, LinkedIn: http://www.linkedin.com/in/chamberlain1966. James can be contacted by phone: 813.394.8036 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org.