Most smart businesses know that the power of Google is instrumental in offering online visibility to customers. The results of a Google search can make or break a company’s chances of success. Online reputation, or the information available online, is critical in maintaining this visibility.
However, it is important to understand that online reputations can go far beyond a Google search. Places such as review sites, social media sites, forums, and other platforms can be areas where your business is being talked about.
In this article, we will discuss other areas where businesses need to monitor their reputations, ensuring continued visibility and customer connection that improves revenue.
Google is the default search tool for many web users. People around the world use the platform to research companies and services before making purchasing decisions. It is vital to have visibility in Google search, but as technology advances, there are many other platforms gaining prominence in online search visibility.
What are these other platforms? Here are some of the many applications and websites people use to conduct searches:
Each of these platforms represents a potential way customers can view information about a business, including ratings and customer reviews. There may even be public business profiles that exist without your knowledge, such as for medical professionals, attorneys, and restaurants.
Now that it is clear that customer search extends far beyond Google, what can businesses do to take charge of their online reputations? In some cases, there is not much that can be done other than monitoring the variety of platforms where information on the business can be discovered. In most other cases, there are several tactics that savvy business owners use to conduct preventative maintenance or even repair of their hard-earned online reputations.
For social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter, preventative maintenance strategies include creating engaging profiles and providing regular updates to the content available on those platforms. By following users and related pages, businesses can create a web of connections that resonate with potential customers. And, regular activity on these platforms generates so-called “social signals” that may improve rankings in Google search results.
Professional business profiles on business directories and industry-related portals can be managed by ensuring that the information on those profiles is both accurate and timely. Identifying those platforms where users can submit reviews of a business are the most important in this reputation management strategy. Many such platforms allow the business owner or entity to claim specific pages, giving them the opportunity to add or correct any information about the business and to provide details to viewers. These details can include a physical address, practice or service details, a company history, or even responses to user comments.
Google My Business is similar in that this platform allows businesses to claim a listing and to populate it with accurate and relevant information. With local search representing so much of a business’s chances at connecting with customers in their areas, it is foolhardy to ignore this powerful and free tool. Claim the listing, add “NAP” details (Name, Address, and Phone number), then create a company profile to be viewed by searchers.
With these tips and a lot of careful monitoring, business owners can take charge of their online reputations, helping customers understand what the company is about, what it stands for, and what products and services it provides.
If you need assistance with a poor online reputation, contact us today and receive a free analysis (worth $199).
Hayden Koch is the Director of Search Engine Marketing at Internetzone I, Inc., specializing in SEO and ORM strategy.