Managing your online reputation through content

When the Internet is such an immediate source for information, potential customers of yours are able to research your business with a few clicks of their mouse and a couple of minutes on Google. Rest assured that people will do this, and how your business is perceived online is vital to the success of your company.

What are people saying about you? Are they customers, former customers, employees or competitors?

The problem is that if you do find negative information on websites about your business, how do you deal with it? One thing you should never do is to retaliate to negative comments. If you go around posting ‘false’ positive reviews of your business or glowing testimonials, you will surely come unstuck and do your reputation more harm than good.

Do not respond to comments on websites that you do not control, as doing so merely adds content to the negative pages, making them rank higher in Google. Leave them be, no matter how tempting.

Instead, you should embark on a process of reputation management and build your own pages to rank within Google. These are pages that you control, so that others can’t post negative comments about you.

You can do this through your blog, writing about your business and your industry. You can do this through social media optimisation (SMO), using websites like YouTube and Facebook. There are many ways to do it, but stoking the fires at sites you can’t control isn’t the way forward.

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