You may have noticed that a handful of businesses are enjoying great success in the online arena. What is their secret? Do they have the best website design? Have they contracted with a hosting service that is better than the rest? Or is it simply that they have shelled out beaucoup bucks for professional search engine optimization? A targeted plan that employs several factors is likely at play, but one thing that the successful businesses seem to do better than their competitors is manage their online reputation, and there are many facets to this undertaking. So if you’re looking for ways to ensure that you’re providing consumers with the best possible service and improving your brand image in the online arena, here are just a few tips that could soon have you sitting in the company of virtual giants.
- Easy access. If people can’t find you, or they’ve found you but they can’t actually reach you, then you’re certainly not going to build a good reputation in the online arena (and you’ll lose business in the process). You may not realize it, but the longer you’re in operation in virtual space, the more likely it is that you’ll leave a trail of broken links and outdated or even erroneous information behind, which potential customers may stumble across. It is therefore important to do virtual cleanup periodically in order to control your search results and ensure that the information circulating is accurate and that all links associated with your site lead to you (and not a dead end).
- Damaging content. You might be shocked to learn that anyone can post anything they want about you online. This includes your competition. You wouldn’t be the first company to suffer because an underhanded competitor started posting fraudulent, negative reviews about you on forums or blogs, or worse, practiced black hat SEO using links to your site in order to get you booted from search engines. This type of damage can set you back significantly where your online reputation is concerned, so you need to be aware of social mentions as well as the placement of links pointing back to your site.
- Security. One of the worst things that can happen where your reputation is concerned is a breach of security. Whether it ends with malicious code destroying your files or the theft of sensitive consumer data, it can leave you in a world of hurt (and potential lawsuits). So it’s in your best interest to ensure adequate security via your firewall, password protection, encryption, and whatever other means you deem necessary.
- Customer service. If a customer has a bad experience, your ability to turn it around could just save the day and ensure loyal patronage. A company that goes the extra mile for unsatisfied customers is woefully rare in this day and age, so you’ll set yourself ahead of the competition where your reputation is concerned by dealing with customer complaints in a timely manner and going above and beyond to keep your patrons happy.
- Hire an ORM service. Managing your own reputation in the online arena is can be a massive undertaking, even if you only run a small operation. For this reason, you might want to hire an online reputation management service like Reputation Hawk or Reputation.com. They have the tools and know-how to keep your online image squeaky clean and position you to build the best possible virtual reputation.
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