Your reputation is everything. Consumers no longer blindly make purchases or wake up and decide to do business with you. They conduct careful research to find out who they are dealing with. If your online reputation is not in good shape, you could be missing out on a lot of business.
It is true that some brands take a beating online. With trolls and angry customers having access to the internet, you’d better believe that they will quickly tell their bad experiences to others. You will also have competitors who engage in unethical tactics such as leaving negative reviews.
So how do you ensure that your online reputation is not destroyed?
Create a Positive Reputation Before Anything Negative Happens
One way to manage your reputation is to make sure you have as much positive press as possible. When the internet is flooded with positive news stories about you, negative ones do not seem to matter as much. Many of them will be drowned out by the positive press while others will be disregarded by readers due to the abundance of encouraging news.
In order to build your positive reputation you need to claim all your online profiles. By this I mean you need to create a Facebook page, Twitter handle, Crunchbase profile, and more. You need to sign up with every website that allows you to create a profile. It is also recommended that you purchase your branded domain name.
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Another great way to build a positive online reputation is to start blogging. Bloggers can create a positive reputation and become known as experts or authorities in their field. Search Engine Journal has a great guide to reputation management blogging, laying out the steps you can use to help build your online reputation.
Pushing Down Negative Content
One of the best ways to remove negative information is to push it down the search results. Things that wind up on page 2 of Google are rarely seen by those using the search engine. As such, you can effectively “remove” negative content simply by pushing it down Google pages.
The way to push negative content down is to outrank it with positive content. You will need to conduct media outreach in order to do so. Getting yourself mentioned and linked from high authority websites will help with the process. Simply find out the domain authority of the website you want to push down. Then, try to land featured articles in publications with a higher domain authority.
Wikipedia seems to be at the top of the list for people wanting to manage their online reputation as it has a high domain authority and will help push down negative content. However, experts recommend not using Wikipedia as a reputation management tool. The reasons are simple. If you create a Wikipedia page and there is negative information about you available online, it will ultimately be added to the page and actually cause negative articles to creep back to the top of the search engines.
Online reputation management is synonymous with SEO. There are many SEO techniques to avoid and you need to keep this in mind when trying to push down negative content. Make sure to optimize content properly so that it will outrank the negative content you are trying to get rid of.
So basically there are two methods of online reputation. The first, and most important, is to have a positive reputation in the first place. The second is more of “reputation repair” in which you try to suppress negative content. Anyone with an online presence should be aware of these methods in order to maintain a positive perception and be able to rebuild if someone tries to disparage you.
If you have any online reputation management suggestions I’d love to hear about them in the comments below.