If you’ve never heard of online reputation management (ORM), it’s time to get familiar with the concept. Essentially, this is the practice of ensuring what people see online represents what you are as a business. And it is perhaps one of the most important things you can do in the digital age. Keep reading for a brief rundown of the best tips to help you manage online reputations.
Need to boost your business’s digital marketing? The experts at Dluxe Web Design can provide superior web design and digital marketing service! Schedule a free web consultation!
Your online reputation is your public image. Bright Local uses the example of a politician or rock star. These high-profile individuals have PR managers that make sure that positive events, such as fundraisers and free concerts, get more publicity than negative, like scandals. Making sure that your online reputation showcases your best qualities is a great first step in managing your own public relations. Something to keep in mind here is that if you don’t own your reputation, the internet will, and more often than not, it will not be kind.
Managing your reputation starts with boosting your online visibility. It doesn’t matter if you are trying to grow a small retail store or launch a construction business, you have to be visible to your customers at all times — in a positive way.
Start by ensuring that your website is accessible. This means that it is easy to read, compatible with mobile, and filled with content your potential clients need. These steps will help you rank higher on the search engines. If you offer written content, look for a freelancer with experience in SEO services and content writing. This is a style of copywriting that can trigger the search engine algorithm to realize your webpage is relevant to a particular search query.
In addition to writing, you’ll also want to make sure that you employ a backend webmaster who can ensure your website operates efficiently and that your meta-tags are accurate and in place. They can also utilize services like Entity Explorer to see what people are searching for related to your business. This will help you come up with content and keywords that get attention.
Video content is also crucial, particularly as people continue to rely more on online services to make decisions about purchases. A word of caution: Turn off the autoplay function or you risk people clicking off your website before your content ever has a chance to shine.
Once your website is up and running, you will need to claim your business listings. Google My Business, Yelp, HomeAdvisor, and other listing sites likely already have your info available to their own visitors. Claim these listings so that you can control the content that goes on them. For example, you can respond to customers who ask questions.
You may also look into signing up for a review monitoring service, such as The Review Solution. This and similar SaaS offerings help you capture and manage what your customers are saying. Social media is additionally helpful and provides different avenues to share information. By engaging on both your website and on sites like Facebook and Instagram, you are a stronger competitor when someone searches for your services.
While this is not a full tutorial on how to manage your online reputation, it’s a good start, and should serve as a jumping-off point. The above steps are important ways you can stay ahead of the competition and make sure that your customers are happy and engaged. Failure to take the proverbial reins opens you up to one-sided criticism or, worse, blatant attacks on your business. Your online reputation is your public image. Own it before someone else does.
Written by Chelsea Lamb, Business Pop.