How To Defend Your Online Reputation

By  //  June 7, 2023

A simple Google search with your name could be the deciding factor for a potential client’s decision to work with you.

It is important to monitor the reputation of your name and business. Even if you don’t use internet very much, your clients or competitors will. They’ll go there first to learn more about you and your brand.

There are many reasons to build and maintain a strong online profile. If you don’t tell the story of your life, someone else will. You won’t have a voice in the outcome. Negative reviews on social media, arrest records published online and snarky comments can have a lasting impact.

If you think that avoiding the internet completely is the best way to protect your reputation, think again. A lack of online presence can reflect poorly on your company, making you appear out-of-touch and untrustworthy.

Don’t wait until your online reputation starts to deteriorate to start managing it. Being proactive is essential.

  1. Review sites are not reliable.

Do not rely on sites like Don’t rent me or Rate My Agent to find out what potential customers think about you. These sites are ranked highly because of the many links they contain, but you do not have any control over what is posted by users and have little recourse in the event that defamatory or unfair information is posted. Because anyone can create an account, and leave a comment, it’s possible that your competitors will use them to their advantage.

In a study (on dentists, but please bear with us), it was found that the majority of dentists in one area had an average of only four reviews on review sites. Each dentist had more than four patients. However, because the review websites appeared at the top Google search results, those few reviews, both positive and negative, carried a lot of weight with people looking for a local dental office.

  1. Monitor your reputation actively

You may be surprised by what you find when you Google your company name. When future clients search for your business, they will first see whatever appears on the first Google page. The second page might be all that clients see, given how few people click through.

It is important to Google your business at least once a week to see what others are saying. You can use tools like TweetBeep or Naymz to keep up with what people are saying about you. This allows you to be aware of any negative information that is spread.

  1. Google Rankings: Improve your Google Rankings

Create a website that is SEO-ready and filled with information of high quality. Your customers will be interested in reading it. Update it regularly (a blog would be ideal for this). Share your expertise and position yourself as an expert in your niche. Write strong, consistent profiles on any site you can, such as Google+ or LinkedIn. These profiles should showcase the things that you want to be recognized for.

It takes time and energy to build and maintain a strong online reputation, but it is not negotiable. You are online whether you like it or not. Prevention is key. By staying ahead of the curve and building a solid online reputation before trouble strikes, you will be in a better position to handle the odd negative comment.

  1. Act quickly

Take action as soon as you receive negative feedback. If you can, post a level-headed reply and invite the person who is unhappy to contact you directly so that you can resolve it privately. Early intervention is key to solving problems. Dealing with issues in a calm and open manner can also boost your reputation. Use social media to respond to negative feedback or complaints with grace and style.

You can hire a reputation management company to clean up your online mess, but it’s expensive and you should only use them as a last resort.

  1. Best foot forward

Be sure to keep your online interactions professional and polished. Use good netiquette by being polite and helpful, not posting offensive content, using correct grammar and spelling, and being a resourceful and interesting person.

Acknowledge mistakes honestly. Never argue about an issue, even if you’re right. Remember that published online can remain there indefinitely. No matter how quickly something is deleted, someone somewhere will have seen and taken a screenshot. By following these steps you can ensure that you remain on top of your online reputation.