Would you say your business right now is attractive to customers and prospects? If you honestly can’t answer that question, then you haven’t spent much time on building up your online brand. Your Internet presence will always precede you, whether you’re in control of it or not. People will talk about your business, in both a good or bad light without your knowledge. This is why it’s important to pay attention to what’s being said about your brand on the Web. Your prospects are using the Internet to find out about your company before they do business with you. If what they find isn’t good, then you’re losing leads you didn’t even know you had.
If your business could use more customers, then you need to invest in online reputation management. This can be done using social media, search engine optimization and content marketing. But before you begin, you should consider implementing the following steps.
First, Research Your Brand
What’s on the Internet regarding your brand right now? Google, Bing or any other search engine is a good enough tool to find out what’s being said about your brand. You may have to play around with the keyword phrases a bit if you have a common name or business name. Search through the first few pages to see what you find. This will give you an idea of how much work needs to be done. If you’re not ranking or are ranking for negative comments and posts, then you’ll have to work even harder to push down those results.
Google and other tools can be used to set up alerts for your brand name, so you’ll be notified right away when your brand name is mentioned in social media, videos, blogs and news stories.
Clean Up Your Identity
If you have social media accounts with embarrassing or inappropriate photos, posts or other content, then you need to remove them. You may find it easier to close accounts and open new ones to start over fresh. Check to see what images your profile is being tagged in to ensure they aren’t inappropriate because this will show up when people type in your name.
Buy Your Domain Name
Your URL should be your brand name, if possible. You want to buy this before someone else does and potentially ranks for your brand name. This will help improve your chances of getting a high position in the SERPs. You can also buy variations of the domain name at affordable rates (i.e. .org, .com and .net).
The content you push out from here on out should be posted to your social media accounts and accurately reflect your business and what it represents. You can post your content on LinkedIn, your own blog and on other blogs as a guest writer.
Hugh Benjamin is an Internet marketing expert that has worked with small businesses across the world. He’s helped entrepreneurs by providing content marketing, web design, online reputation management, PPC marketing, social media marketing and search engine optimization.