The Importance of Online Reputation in the Modern World
In today’s digital world, it has become vitally important for businesses to closely manage their online reputation. But why is it so important, and how does a company go about managing how they’re seen online?
The importance of online reputation
Regardless of the industry you operate in, marketing will be as important for you as it will be the next company. Digital marketing is perhaps more competitive than any previous marketing space we’ve known, with thousands of businesses around the world competing for potential customers.
For as long as we have known, businesses have traded off the strength of their reputation. In every profession, there will likely come a time when a certain customer or job doesn’t go as well as planned, and whatever the size of the business, managing the impact this has on reputation is key.
In the modern world, the internet has opened reputation management up in to a new age of complexity. If you perform a job badly, or deliver it late or over-budget, within minutes your reputation can begin to be affected online. It’s quick, and it can be incredibly difficult to turn back in to a positive.
Similarly, performing a job exceptionally well or offering a quality of service that goes above and beyond the expected level can also earn real exposure online, giving your online reputation a huge boost.
It’s also incredibly important to consider that if you do get some bad publicity for your business online, Google and other search engines will almost certainly index these pages, be it on social media posts or in blogs. Therefore, it may be around forever, and that presents a problem. But the same can also be said of positive exposure.
Several years down the line, potential customers could be searching for your business to see what customer reviews are like. They will likely come across reviews, news articles or social media posts that have gained any online attention, and whether that’s positive or negative, the impact can last many years.
Taking a proactive approach to brand awareness and SEO
Of course, effectively managing your online reputation goes beyond simply avoiding negative reviews, or turning them around. There are many proactive steps to be taken to help paint your business in a positive light, and to give yourself the best chance of being found.
Your online reputation should almost certainly start with, and be built around, your own company or personal website. This is the platform on which your business story should be told, where your services are explained and your positive customer reviews are posted.
A website allows you to begin building brand awareness online, something which can be incredibly powerful when it comes to attracting new customers. A digital platform for your company also allows to you begin competing in the world of search engine optimisation (SEO), and this is a key driver in online reputation management.
When a customer, or potential customer, searches for your business online, or as importantly that services you offer, they will rarely get passed the first page of search results. Making sure that your website competes highly in these search engine rankings, ideally positions 1-5, is a great way of managing how your seen online. It presents your website and your brand as you want it to be seen, higher up than rival companies, and hopefully any negative reviews you may have picked up elsewhere along the way.