3 easy ways to manage your company’s online reputation

The reality is, that in today’s world when a consumer needs a product or service they look online first. This provides a huge advantage to you if you’re company is easily found online- but every …


Kyle Van Deusen

The reality is, that in today’s world when a consumer needs a product or service they look online first. This provides a huge advantage to you if you’re company is easily found online- but every opportunity can come with it’s own set of drawbacks.

It’s not enough to just be found- you have to ensure that your brand is being portrayed in a favorable way. Negative reviews or bad information can be as detrimental as not being found at all.

While there are many things that affect your online reputation, today we’re going to talk about a few ways you can start to manage your online reputation right away.

Google yourself.

That’s right, Google your business. And Google yourself while you’re at it!

The first thing you are going to want to know is what is already out there. What are your customers seeing? If you haven’t already, it’s time to find out. Head over to Google and type in the name of your business and just see what pops up.

Having a good idea of what people are seeing when they find you online will help give you a better idea of how you can improve your online presence.

Also try searching for your business name under the “images” tab on Google- see what comes up. A picture of a hair in your famous burger, or your delivery driver cutting someone off could just as easily turn away customers.
Check out these tips on ways to improve your online reputation!

List providers (like Yelp) often generate listings for your business for you- but often times they are filled with incorrect information.

You can “claim” these listings as your own and edit them to ensure your potential customers get the correct information about your business.

Eventually it’s going to happen. Unhappy customers are typically the loudest. Your best practice is to respond to these customers so you can provide context to the situation and help alleviate any fears a potential customer may have. It shows you are actively trying to better your business.

Did you know you can be alerted every time someone mentions your company online? You can! Just head over to Google Alerts and set up a custom alert and be notified instantly when you are being talked about!

Control your message
The “metadata” on your website tells search engines what your site is about, but it’s also the first impression your customers have.

If you’re not familiar with metadata, don’t worry- it’s actually pretty simple and any web developer should be able to help you edit your website’s meta data.

So what is it, and what does it do? Take a look at this search result:

Looks familiar, right? Well, your website’s metadata is what provides that information to Google to tell visitors what your site is about. It’s important to fill your metadata with keywords that relate to your business. For this example I searched “lawn care Gainesville, TX” and Google looked through the relevant sites and pulled this listing for me. Notice the few words in the listing that are bold? Those are from the search we did to find this listing.
Check out these tips on ways to improve your online reputation!

The reality is, people will only glance at your listing- you have a short amount of time to get their attention. Plan carefully on what you want your result to say. Click the next tab to find out more!

Keywords are the things people type in their searches to find you. Think about what people are looking for when you want them to find your business and incorporate those phrases in your metadata. Make sure you are optimizing your site for the right audience.

It’s important you follow the guidelines on the amount of characters you can put into your listing. If you go over, your text will be cut off. If you don’t use all the space, you’re wasting it! Try and paint a complete picture for your audience.

See what people are saying.

People often read company reviews before doing business with a new company. What people are saying about you matters.

Whether you realize it or not, what people are saying about your business online is already affecting you. Bad reviews and incorrect information can cause potential customers to skip your listing and move on to your competitors. The only way to improve your reputation is to manage it.

It should come as no surprise that companies with good reviews are going to get more clicks than companies with bad ones. It’s important to know what people are saying and by monitoring these results you can help keep the conversation in your favor.

It’s important to always be authentic. Savvy online customers can sniff out phony jargon immediately. Be yourself, have personality and always stay positive!
Check out these tips on ways to improve your online reputation!

It’s perfectly okay to ask your happy customers for reviews. They are likely relying on reviews just like this to find other products. If you have provided great service they will likely be happy to do it. Make sure to give them an easy way to get to the review like providing a direct link to your Google listing.

The good ones, and the bad ones! People that left you a positive review took time out of their day to do it. A quick “thank you” message can help show that you are present and you appreciate your customers. Responding to negative reviews is just as important. Everyone has an unhappy customer now and then, but if you can provide context and help fix the situation online viewers will take notice!

The worst scenario is your business isn’t being talked about at all! Join community boards and discussions and help get your business some much needed publicity. It’s important to do it organically and not force it- but making sure you can be found everywhere increases your chances at finding new business.

About the Author

Kyle Van Deusen

Since 2003 I have helped businesses like yours increase their online presence through powerful websites that help you easily, effectively, and affordably grow your business.