Thursday, September 27, 2012

Your Personal Brand - Managing Your Online Reputation

A strong and well defined online presence can certainly move the “needle” when it comes to determining the success of a company. In many ways, your company brand is an extension of your own personal reputation – especially if you own a consultancy. For all the good resources and opportunities that the internet provides it can also be a place where negative reviews can have a lasting impact. Can you control what is said about your brand online? Here are some helpful hints about managing your online reputation.

Google Yourself

The only way to know what is being said about your company is to dive into a Google search. However, the occasional search won’t be enough to fortify your interests. Set up a Google Alert which can send you daily updates about any topic you create. This is a perfect way of staying on topic of mentions in blogs, articles or websites. Take advantage of Google Alerts, a free notification service by Google that tracks any keyword online and notifies you anytime there is an article related to that keyword.

Optimize Your Brand

Just because someone types your brand name into a search engine doesn’t automatically guarantee a positive result. What might appear at the top of a search engine ranking could be a negative reviewed from a disgruntled customer. When you consider that a recent study found that 89% of click throughs occur from the first page of a Google search, then you can see the importance of optimizing those results towards more positive trending. Search Engine Optimization or SEO is an area you should focus on for your online marketing campaign. The key is tracing back the links to your business from negative sources and improving the positive responses. There are many resources that can help you improve your rankings. It’s another proactive approach that should be at the top of your to-do list.

Make Social Media Your Friend

Anyone with a passing glance at the internet will no doubt come across some of the dozens of prominent social media networks. These areas are quickly becoming the “hot spots” where internet users spend most of their time online. You need to develop a strong presence for your brand on these sites as well. Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Pinterest are all viable places where you can develop positive brand reputation.

Offer Quality Content

No matter what type of product or service you are selling online there is an opportunity to build out your brand by providing quality content for online users. An informative article or blog posts that relates to your brand which has been properly optimized can be picked up by search engines and draw traffic back to your site. That can only happen if you make an effort to create engaging content. If you feel that your writing skills are lacking, there are plenty of talented writers who can help deliver the kind of fresh content your website needs for strong SEO.

Finally, try to maintain a positive impact offline as well. A negative news story about your company can push all the hard work right off the first page rankings. By staying active in your local community, you can create positive buzz in on the local news front.