Your reputation is the reality that other people have for you. This reality is shaped by multiple factors, including how you present yourself and how others speak of you. Part of this you can control directly: carefully sculpt and cultivate your brand, create and produce content that fits that brand, and avoid errors that cast you in a negative light. If you act carefully and responsibly, and if you proactively present the best of what you are to the world, you can go a long way toward building a positive reputation.
Other aspects of reputation management can be harder. You can never control fully how others speak about you, or information that other people provide about you. In these areas, reputation becomes necessarily reactive. The companies that best manage their reputations handle problems that arise quickly and effectively, and make changes that they need to make to help prevent those problems from arising again.
In the online world, you need to manage this to make sure that people are seeing you in a positive light. After all, an effective Internet marketing campaign depends on keeping your reputation strong. 1st in SEO will help you keep your online presence strong, with people seeing your company in the best light.
The element of reputation about which you can do the most is presenting yourself well. This includes brand management and consistent, relevant content creation. Both of these, while not simple, are factors entirely in control of a business. Working with a strong SEO marketing firm like 1st in SEO allows you to focus your efforts on your business while experts help you achieve a strong online reputation in the areas you can address proactively.
This begins with producing regular content that puts on display your knowledge and experience in your field. Your website should exude excellence; the design should fit what you do and how you do it, and the information you provide should be current and relevant. In addition, creating regular content, through a blog or other regularly updated page, goes a long way toward showing your potential customers not only what you do, but how your expertise makes a difference for them. People will visit and read your website, and come out of the experience with a positive sense of you and your company.
In addition, though, the content must retain its focus. If your brand is to contain any meaning, your website needs to convey and demonstrate that meaning with everything you place there. SEO work gets your website noticed and helps it rise in search engine rankings. Your reputation will move with it; to do so most effectively, you cannot veer from the messaging that demonstrates who you are. You control the information you provide, and the ability to build your reputation comes with every reader, every page view.
1st in SEO helps you build your reputation by creating websites and marketing content that reflects the image you want to present. We build out your presence and let your customers and potential customers see in everything you present. We design around you and work to ensure your content reflects only positively on you. Online content that you provide should only enhance your reputation, and we make sure that is the case.
Some content, though, does not come from you. An online reputation score comes in part from the accuracy of information online about you, whether or not you created that information. Some listing sites provide name, address, phone, and website information on local and industry companies. To a search engine, inaccurate information on these sites, including information that has changed but has not been updated on individual sites, serves as a knock against your reputation score. This harms site rankings and keeps you from some customers who might otherwise find you. In addition, customers who view conflicting information on different sites may think less of you for factors not under your immediate control.
Clearing this up requires diligence. You need to review listing information for accuracy on every site that lists your company. Some of these are the online equivalent of a white pages, listing information for every company within a metropolitan area. Others list companies that fit within different niches, whether it relates to a product you create or sell or a service you offer, or an industry within which you operate. They may be supported from anywhere, pulling information from other online listings. A single error can spread to multiple sites quickly, leaving a web of misinformation to untangle.
Fortunately, 1st in SEO is there to take on this work for you. We will find every listing for your business and review every detail. If a name is misspelled or a phone number out of date, we will find it. We then reach out to the listing site or company and give them the corrected or updated information. From there, we follow up to ensure they make the changes required, and continue to monitor over time. Because errors sometimes feed upon each other, this process requires consistent investigation to protect the accuracy of your information and the strength of your reputation.
Online reviews of businesses are a major factor in developing the reputation of your company. You can guide people to sites such as Yelp, Angie’s List, Foursquare, and others to write reviews for you. While you cannot directly solicit those reviews, you may let people know your company is included there, and even link to the sites from your own website.
Even better, when customers do post positive reviews, we can help you feature those reviews on your website. This serves two important purposes. From a direct marketing standpoint, it shows others visiting your site that you have provided a positive experience for a customer, and in turn that they can expect a good experience as well. Further, it helps indirectly encourage others to leave similar reviews, adding another layer to your reputation enhancement efforts and SEO success.
But what of negative reviews of your business? You and those you hire run your business to the best of your ability every day. Unfortunately, if a customer leaves unsatisfied, or sometimes even in a bad mood, you cannot control how that person responds outside the confines of your store. Sometimes people post negative reviews, and you need to be prepared to respond.
If a negative review is demonstrably false, you may be able to challenge it with the site posting the review. Even in those rare circumstances, though, the better response is twofold. First, you can reach out through the review site by responding directly to the post. Apologize for the negative experience, and offer to make it right. Second, you need to actually respond to ensure the experience is not repeated with another customer.
Responding to the negative review helps mitigate damage done to your reputation online. Perhaps more importantly, it helps improve your service levels by addressing immediately comments made about you. Take the review as a positive opportunity, an insight into a customer’s mind that you may otherwise never see. Your service in the real world and your content in the virtual world can both improve and develop as a result.
1st in SEO monitors your online reviews over time, in every site that identifies your company for reviews. When you receive positive reviews, we bring them to your attention and to your website, letting you take full advantage of them for your marketing and reputation management. When you receive less positive reviews, we flag them for you and help you formulate a response. In all cases, we work with you to develop and improve your online reputation.
No one’s reputation comes in an instant. You earn it over time, for better or for worse. 1st in SEO takes a methodical approach to your reputation management. Each post and each page of web content provides an opportunity to push your reputation incrementally forward; we take the opportunities and eliminate or avoid the potential pitfalls to lift you to the highest point you can reach. We then continue our work to keep you there and even find new opportunities to enhance the reputation you have achieved.
Reputation management, it should be clear, does not occur in a silo. Your content marketing campaign works in conjunction with and as a part of these efforts. When you work with 1st in SEO, we do more than keep your reputation safe. We help you develop content that puts your best presentation on display for your customers, and then develop your outreach to present it to as many potential customers as possible. We use your social media presence and your website, and all of the SEO marketing techniques available, to ensure your online presence reaches the maximum relevant audience. And we use our focused presentation to ensure that the presence enhances your reputation with every new entry. With 1st in SEO, your reputation is in good hands.