Protect Your Business Success by Protecting Your Online Reputation

by Eddie Reeves on

If your home is your physical castle, your website is your royal abode online.  For virtually every business today, your digital real estate is a key asset that must be zealously safeguarded.

While cyber security – protecting your website from hacking, phishing and other nefarious online maladies that didn’t even exist a decade – gets a ton of press, it’s not the only concern.  You also need to look after your brand reputation online.

Why protecting your online reputation is crucial

Increasingly, the world is an open book society.  As more and more of our information is out there to be accessed by all, it’s vital that we control as much as possible the tenor and flow of what’s seen and said about us.

This is particularly true if you own a business. reports that 87 percent of people believe the CEO’s reputation is an important part of a company’s reputation.  They also report that 70 percent of companies have rejected a candidate because of something they found on social media.  And, according to an August 2011 posting on Marketing Pilgrim, 80 percent of people change their minds about a purchase after viewing a bad review.

Okay, so it’s abundantly clear that we need to make sure we are looking after our rep online, but exactly how can you be proactive about this?  Can you really control what people do and say?

The answer is … somewhat.

5 Ways to safeguard your online reputation

Here are five proven ways to make sure you control the lion’s share of what is said about you online:

  1. Monitor your online reputation regularly – Fair or not, the Worldwide Web has turned everyone into a worldwide critic and publisher.  Make sure you are performing a Google search at least once per week, and have set up Google Alerts for your names and brands. It’s crucial to know when someone is having a go at you!
  2. Be careful what you post online – It’s amazing how much brand damage is self-inflicted online.  The basic rule: If you don’t want anyone and everyone to see it online, don’t post it.
  3. Don’t fight online!Getting into online spats with customers, competitors or anyone is not only unprofessional, but will turn out badly 99.99 percent of the time!  Handle disputes calmly and professionally and you will be rewarded by the flames rapidly dying down on what otherwise could have been a huge fire.
  4. Images can be damaging – Assume you are always on camera, because you probably are.  Those pictures of you passed out on the bar at Baby Doll’s? Think they’re not going to surface just when you’re trying to close a big deal?  Think again!
  5. Create tons of great content – One of the best ways to control what people find about you in is to create lots of content featuring your or your brand’s name.  This has two benefits: one, it helps you in the search rankings; and two, it pushes any negatives further down the search results where they will much less likely to be seen.

Take your online reputation seriously, and proactively seek to ward off any potential problems.  Your bottom line will thank you!

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