Managing a reputation, both online and offline, is incredibly important to any business whether you’re just starting up or have a long history of good feedback. Now that social media is so easy to use and guest contributing has become so common, it’s easy to have a slip up here and there. The important thing, however, is to understand how to solve this slipup and make sure it doesn’t happen again. Reputation management is always going to be an important part of running a successful company, and it should be at the top of any priority list.
In general, following a few of the basic rules will get you a solid reputation that you can count on, but why not get a little bit creative? It’s the companies that step out of the box and take a risk that really end up on top, and while reputation management might not be a place to “take a risk,” it is certainly a place with room for creativity (something your competition is surely lacking).
Top Reputation Management Techniques and How to Bring in Some Creativity
Below lists a few of the basic ways you can manage your online reputation as well as some tips describing how you can take these efforts to the next level:
1. Know how to ask for anchor text links. Earning backlinks to your website is obviously incredibly important for SEO reasons, but obtaining these backlinks can sometimes hurt your reputation if done incorrectly. You don’t just want to ask for a link back without offering any type of content, or something else of value, because this will come off as unprofessional. This has helped guest posting become as popular as it is today.
- How to Get Creative: Most companies either guest post or ask another company to link back to their company, but you can’t forget that you are able to pay it forward. Get creative by putting a link back to their company website first. After all, if you want them to link back to you, chances are they have some great information that will help your readers. This could backfire and they might not be interested in returning the favor (which is why this works best if you’re talking with a compliment-type company and not a competitor), but if this is the case you can always either take the link out or just see it as a way that you helped your readers understand a difficult topic. Just be careful to not go over-board with reciprocal links.
2. Have a varied web presence. It’s important to diversify your company across all different types of online channels—social media, blog posts, YouTube and video, directories and listings, etc.—because this looks good in the eyes of Google and gives you a better chance of ranking for a specific keyword.
- How to Get Creative: Creating profiles on different blogs and social accounts will surely help you push negative results off of the first few pages. Instead of focusing only on links, understand that profiles are often put to the top of Google search results.
3. Monitor your search results once per month. Part of managing your reputation means always knowing where it stands. One of the most popular ways to monitor your reputation is to simply Google your company name and look at several pages (the first five to seven is usually a good number) or use Google Alerts so you know when your company is mentioned in the SERPs. Check to see if there is anything negative that you might want to get removed. Another way to monitor your brand is through reputation management software, which we will discuss later.
- How to Get Creative: Consider setting up Google Alerts for not only your company name, but also any authors associated with your company. It’s important to remember that authors are also a representation of your brand, and they may not show up if you’re only monitoring your company.
4. Use reputation monitoring software. This is probably one of the most important parts of reputation management because it helps make sure you don’t miss anything. Part of creating a brand is increasing visibility online, but this makes management more difficult. In a nutshell, reputation monitoring software (like Trackur) helps give you numbers for your rankings and social media. This data often shows you who is engaging with your content, where that engagement is happening, where he/she found the webpage, and even if that person is influential in the industry.
- How to Get Creative: Many companies have a few people who look at one set of data from one set of software. Consider having others in your company take ten minutes out of their day to gather data from another free reputation management software. This will help you cross-reference your analytics and will make sure you’re going toward the “problem area” first.
Do you have any ideas about getting creative with reputation management? Were you successful? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.
Photo Credit: thesocialinnovation.com
Amanda DiSilvestro gives small business and entreprenuers SEO advice ranging from keyword density to recovering from Panda and Penguin updates. She writes for Highervisibility, a nationally recognized as a top SEO company that offers online marketing services to a wide range of companies across the country.