In order to minimise any damage to your business’ reputation online, you need to take pre-emptive steps and adopt a business reputation management strategy.

Take Steps to Protect Your Business’ Reputation Online

When it comes to corporate reputation online, it is vital that any business learn how to manage their activities on the internet. Through our EBook, Igniyte have previously taken to explaining the essentials a business needs to look at, in order to do so; to make sure they protect their online reputation in the long term. So that it, in turn, doesn’t damage their bottom line.

This is why implementing pre-emptive steps to protect your online reputation before a crisis erupts on Google is so vital. Increasingly at Igniyte, we are seeing – through inbound enquiries – how our potential clients are coming to understand, that if you leave online reputation management until after negative content makes its way onto Google, it’s already too late to stop it from driving down your bottom line.

The Positive Effects of Pre-Emptive Business Reputation Management

Alternately, that means that forward thinking businesses aren’t waiting for negative content such as bad reviews, posts from unsatisfied former employees and unfavourable media coverage, to become a concern. They are looking at their online image far earlier, which has two major positive effects

  • It puts the business in the position where it is able to take control of the majority of page one clicks for the searches for their business name.
  • It shields the business retroactively from potential adverse content on page one for their search term, essentially lessening its impact by acting as a buffer.

Whilst the latter point is one that is widely recognised, the former is one that businesses don’t necessarily have a firm understanding of. This may stem from the common myth amongst a large proportion of the marketing community, which suggests that brand and business searches on Google are served only through their company website taking up pole position on the first page of Google for their search term.

Who Controls Page One for Your Search Term?

Yet this top link only attains 32.5% of the clicks on page one on Google, something we have seen through recent research. From this conclusion, we come to the idea that if you cannot control the remaining links on page one, you have no sway over your search term’s remaining 67.5% of traffic and clicks.

Translate this to traditional media, and ask yourself whether you would be happy if you paid out for a normal ad, yet couldn’t control most of what is being said about your business. Of course you wouldn’t.

How Does Content Get Onto Your Page One?

The thing is, that if you don’t control the comments, content, media and listings populating your search terms page one, then common sense suggests that this content is only there through default. Think about it.

If you are not putting measures in place to own these places on page one yourself – if you assume that your company site is perfectly capable of directing all links to its site by itself – how else is Google expected to know what to populate you page one with, except to use what’s already on the internet concerning your company, and do it for themselves?

How Do Potential Customers Check Out Your Business Online?

From here, you need to remember that in the modern era, with digital technology everywhere and Google the most popular directory in the world, potential customers check out businesses and brands online.

However, any customer wants to make sure they are getting value for money, which is why they do their research.  Typically, they do this not by clicking on your company website link, but by clicking on the other links on your search term’s page one.

Why? They want to find out what their fellow customers, as well as your fellow competitors, have to say about you. After all, it’s always good to get a second opinion, which is why they tend to look for other opinions from credible sources such as Wikipedia Pages, Industry Membership, Social Media, Press Coverage etc.

And now it all comes together. These observations lead us to the foregone conclusion that focusing on the remainder of the page can help you get control of it, through the implementation of an effective plan that takes advantage of foresight to direct all links to relevant, business websites.

A Guide to Effective Business Reputation Management

This is why Igniyte would suggest you take advantage of the following guide to ensure an effective online Business Reputation Management Strategy…

  • Focus on Social Media. Free and effective, social media holds multiple benefits for your online reputation that you shouldn’t fail to take advantage of. When you fail to engage on social media, your company creates a risk of losing sales and status, because you are not taking advantage of an opportunity to impress and influence your customer base.
  • Remember that social networking sites such as Facebook have a significant long term effect on your firm’s online reputation. They provide access to your news and information to a staggering large range of potential customers.
  • Keep in mind that negative reviews don’t have to stay negative. You have the power to use them to engender a positive impact. Through negative reviews, you can see what your company needs to work on, which provides you with the opportunity to rectify any issues before they escalate.
  • When it comes to clearing ‘bad press’ from page one results, companies are often far better positioned if they adopt a long term media campaign. This is because said content has to compete with other content, which is often of a higher quality and more thoroughly established on Google. Essentially, you can better your company’s Google listings and improve your firm’s online profile, by putting out relevant, unique content on a regular basis.
  • On the other hand, you don’t have to work to push down negative content when it is slanderous or defamatory, because it can be removed. When you are confronted with such content, make sure to report the comment, along with the commentator, directly to the website and they should remove it/them for you. If not, you have legal standing to go to the appropriate authorities.
  • The former strategy can be carried out in certain circumstances with the Google Removal Tool, which can be used to have negative content taken away from the search results. Yet the search engine will only remove said content, when it is clear that it is either of an adult nature or defamatory.
  • Remember to put measures into place to monitor any mentions of your company online. By setting up Google alerts targeted to your business’ name and search terms, you can alert yourself to any potential problems online. Basically, the tool will notify you of any positive or negative (or any) mentions, along with where and when they are published, so you can catch them and address them before they do too much damage.
  • Maximise your resources by selecting your keywords and phrases with carefully considered precision. That way, you can optimise your business’ online content, so that it readily appears in any searches potential and existing clients and customers undertake for your business.

“A Good Reputation is More Valuable than Money.”

In conclusion, remember that Latin writer Publilius Syrus once suggested that “a good reputation is more valuable than money.” That statement is one that holds as true today, as it did when it was first made, which is why you must strive to protect that reputation pre-emptively to ensure your business can thrive online, no matter the circumstances.

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