How to Create a Positive Online Reputation for Your Business

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Stop me if you’ve heard this one before. A CEO decides to do a Google search for his company name. He finds out the search results are peppered with negative results. As a result, he freaks out, hires a reputation management firm, and they go to work to flush these negative search results away.

See, when it comes to reputation management, these services are usually reactive instead of proactive. No one seems to realize that a proactive approach to creating a positive online reputation can be far more effective than waiting to go into panic mode once something negative pops up online.

So, how do you go about taking control of your image and creating a positive online reputation? It’s simple. Here are a few steps to help you get started.

  • Publish Press Releases Regularly—Usually, when we talk about press release distribution, we talk about it from an SEO/link building perspective. However, publishing positive press releases on a regular basis can actually be a great way to create and maintain a positive image for your company. We already know that press releases tend to grab and keep high search engine rankings for a long time. Of course, always make sure your press release is actually newsworthy. You can write about any major accomplishments or milestones your company has recently achieved, awards you might have earned, etc.
  • Get Social—What better way to take control of your online image than by creating social media profiles? It’s a great way to let your target audience get to know you on a more personal, less corporate level. The key here is to remember not to approach your social profiles from a typical sales-y, marketing perspective. Instead, actually interact with and listen to your community. It also doesn’t hurt that social networking profiles tend to grab high search rankings for your company name.
  • Ask for Reviews—Assuming your company offers good products and services, you can ask satisfied customers to write reviews of your company. Whether they do a short write-up on their own blog or on an actual product review website isn’t important. What’s important is that these reviews act as testimonials for potential customers to see. More importantly, they can help you achieve another top ranking for your company name on the front page of the search results. This acts as just another piece in the puzzle to building a wall of positive content for your brand.
  • Track Your Name—Of course, no matter how proactive you are, something negative is bound to pop up sooner or later. It just comes with the territory. The key is to identify these potential problems as quickly as possible. That’s why I recommend setting a Google Alerts for your company name. You can also sign up for an RSS feed on Twitter for any time someone mentions your company name. However, always exercise caution when handling these negative remarks. You never want to come off as overly defensive and amateurish.

What do you recommend for creating a positive online reputation? Share your best tips with me in the replies!

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