Every business has some kind of online reputation. Just because you are not on TripAdvisor doesn’t mean you don’t have to take care of your digital status. It even affects your search engine ranking. Let’s dive in to what you need for your business to have a good reputation online.

Embrace Social Media

If you haven’t already, gaining an established social media presence is a great way to carve out a respected reputation online. Why? Firstly, because there is an ever-growing audience of 2.3billion active users on social media. Secondly, people tend to trust a business that has a good online presence. You need to update your social media channels regularly with valuable, inspiring content if you want to come across as trustworthy, credible and insightful..

You also have to create a reason for people to follow you. No, that Google+ account from 2014 isn’t going to hack it. Choosing the right platforms, creating a fullproof social media plan and following it closely will do wonders for your online image.

Consider a Testimonials Page

Potential customers trust people, not faceless self-promoting companies or brands. Testimonials and reviews continue to be the biggest influencing factor in encouraging people to use a product or service. 88% of consumers trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations. Using this information, it’s only logical that you should also encourage reviews of your own business and services, allow ratings on your Google listings and Facebook page, and respond to them quickly.

Become ‘transparent’

Transparency is a fairly new phenomenon in online marketing, something that’s been adapted for the kind of ‘new communication’ that exists between customers and businesses, mostly driven by social media and the immediacy of online reviews pages. Due to this, nothing ruins a company’s reputation more than ignoring public messages on social media. All it does is prove you’re not listening. Reacting quickly to criticism and addressing it looks professional and will make your company look like it is open, honest, and most importantly, can come to terms with detractors. The biggest brands in the world – Coca-Cola, Apple, Google, Samsung – all have hecklers. But they deal with them in a courteous manner and they’re soon forgotten about: these brands make sure their positives (products and clever, inclusive marketing) outweigh the negatives.

Check your Search Engine results

‘How do I know what people are saying about me?’ Simple: ask a search engine. Searching for your business in the search bar will make it obvious what sort of sentiment is bringing visitors to your site – if negative review sites or negative media coverage is the main way people are finding you, then there’s only one thing for it: aggressive positive SEO (yes, you read that right). Create a Google Alert for your brand name, have a solid plan in place and start building positive content that is owned by either you or third parties. Prioritise this content and make sure it mentions your brand name, link to published content and help Google and Bing recognise authorship. Of course, false claims and serious attacks on your brand’s image need to be investigated through the correct legal channels.

Don’t be afraid to ask for professional advice; after all, you only get one online reputation, so make it count! Of course, with Digivita’s SEO and PPC services, we provide the means for companies to be seen positively by potential customers via strong marketing strategies, social media management, PR, PPC and SEO services: everything you need to ensure a positive impact on the web.