Igniyte founder Simon Wadsworth features among the guest authors sharing their expertise and advice in the latest must-have guide for entrepreneurs, CEOs and marketeers. Taking Control Of Your Online Reputation by Simon Wadsworth is a practical online reputation guide in a new book titled Every Entrepreneurs Guide: Focus on Marketing.
Simon Wadsworth is one of the UK’s leading experts in online reputation management. This guide provides practical advice, guidance and tips for taking control of your reputation – to help you get started and get ahead in business.
Why is taking control of your online reputation important?
While online reputation management isn’t a new concept, it was perceived for a long time as a bit of a business luxury, a nice to have. But individuals, businesses and brands now recognise that it’s not only a business essential in today’s online world, but also a very valuable marketing tool to leverage.
Taking control of your online reputation is now vital, no matter which industry you’re in or where in the world you operate.
Research shows that Google controls 74% of all search engine traffic in the world and the first page of a search for your company attracts 95% of the search traffic. 90% of people only look at the first page of search results to form their impression. Which is why, when people search for you online, you want them to get a positive first impression.
A good reputation is vital for success in business. Organisations with the best online reputation perform better, earn more trust and credibility from customers, stakeholders and more and they recruit higher quality staff.
But with the concept of reputation still often a misunderstood and neglected asset, Simon’s book chapter serves to shed more light on this vital marketing topic and offer valuable insights.
Simon says: “A good reputation online is vital for success in business. When people search for a business – or entrepreneur – online the search engine results show people everything that’s being said about you online. Your site, social media, blogs, reviews, forum comments and more. And they see the good, the bad, and the ugly. Online reputation management helps you to have some control over what people see – so you make the right first impression. Which is why so many people are asking: what is online reputation management? And those in the know are talking about the importance and value of it.”
Simon’s contribution in this book aims to give entrepreneurs practical and actionable advice on how to take control of their online reputation to set them up for success and protect them against threats online.
Taking control of your reputation
In Taking Control of your Online Reputation Simon explores what online reputation is, why online reputation matters, taking control of your online reputation to protect and grow your business, even getting the edge on your competition. He also discusses why, as a business owner, or senior team member, you should be managing and taking control of your personal and professional reputation online.
How do you take control of your reputation?
Here is a quick summary of 5 top take outs from the chapter.
- Start with the basics
Begin by searching for your name and your company name in Google. The results you see will give you the clearest picture of what your current search results look like or what your ‘online reputation’ looks like to everyone else. Do you like what you see? Look further at every search result and record what is being said. Is it positive, negative or neutral?
- Create and activate an online reputation management strategy
Taking control starts with auditing everything and taking charge of your online ‘real estate’, including websites, social media and any professional profiles. Your strategy should include monitoring your name, your business name, services and any related searches.
Your online reputation management strategies, both business and personal, and ongoing activity will transform your search results. Contact an online reputation management company, like Igniyte, for expert help.
- Challenge negative content and build a positive reputation
Once your profiles, social media accounts and sites are ready (more on this in the book chapter), the medium to long-term strategy is about building a positive online presence and challenging any negative content.
This can take many forms – from online news, blogs, PR, thought-leadership pieces, reviews, videos, images, infographics – think about all the ways that you can communicate with your audience and how they like to consume information. Challenging negative content should follow a best practice approach.
- Be honest, open and authoritative with your customers
Everything you write online is visible to the public, who will judge you on how you respond. You should always be professional and try not to take any comments personally. Your clients, business partners, investors, and employees, past and present, are potential reviewers.
Similarly, if your interactions with clients aren’t honest, it will hurt you in the future. When you are building a business a lack of transparency gives your competition, or any disgruntled people, ammunition to attack you and damage your brand. Likewise, if you make a mistake, the key to preventing mistakes from harming or killing your online reputation is to take responsibility. Own your problems, admit mistakes, and work to resolve any issues.
- Pay attention to your personal/professional reputation
As an entrepreneur, a huge part of your marketing success is about personal branding, and to this end, you should have a strategy in place for your personal reputation. Many companies have suffered when a reputation issue arises with a CEO or executive. The negative press headlines, which we all see, can be incredibly damaging and stick around for a long time online.
The reputation of your business is essential to its survival and has a direct and profound effect on your bottom line. What was once regarded as an intangible asset, clearly now has a tangible impact on business performance. In Taking Control of Your Online Reputation you will find all the basics you need to start thinking about your online reputation management and putting strategies in place.
About Every Entrepreneurs Guide: Focus on Marketing
Every Entrepreneurs Guide: Focus on Marketing is written by marketing strategists from all over the world and is a unique and valuable business tool to help marketeers’ success. Other chapters include Savvy SME Marketing Tips, Three Ways To Make Search Engine Marketing Work For Your Business’s Success, plus many more.
Published by Athena publishing the book is being distributed throughout Australia, the US and the UK, and is available on a wide range of formats, including Kindle, eBook or paperback. It is available to buy via Amazon and Kobo books, as well as direct from the publishers and selected book stores.