Online Reputation. Start Here.

Ignoring your negative online reputation is not a winning strategy.Is your current online reputation apathy or simply a lack of a plan?

Anyone who owns a business should be familiar with the terms online reputation management. The question you need to ask yourself then is, “What am I doing about my online reputation?”

Are you using Google search, social media, alerts, etc. to monitor for brand or store mentions?  Are you proactively growing your online reputation using your current and previous clients opinions?  Do you know how to?  Are you spreading news of those proactive reviews to the right places on the web to get them them seen?

If you answered no to any of the questions above, the reputation train has not only left the station, it’s derailing.  But, it’s not too late to fix the situation.

Start here… Develop a plan.  Map where your reputation is at currently.  What is the best way to do this?  Google your business name.  You’d be surprised how many people forget to start there.  Do you know exactly what your clients see on page one search results when they Google your business’s name… how about page two?  Take the results on these pages and make a spreadsheet.  Be sure to get the page URLs and note if you own / control the page or not.  If the results show third party results, sites you don’t control, catalog those carefully as well.  Just because you don’t own the pages doesn’t mean you can’t affect change on them.  A pattern should start to emerge.  You will most likely find that a relatively small number of review locations are spreading themselves across your business name searches to multiple destinations.  This is because many reviews are simply feeds from larger review collection sites.

Don’t forget to apply a tracking / scoring system to pages that show star count ratings, ratings counts, etc.  You need to know the number of reviews on these sites, your current average so you know what volume of new reviews it will take to affect change.  If the review site is being fed by other site, follow the reviews back to their true source.  Often times, proactive work on key online reputation scores will be much more successful than attacking every review location you can find independently.

So, what’s your reputation plan?

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