If you find yourself in the latter category or don?t want to up end there, here are some effective methods, services and online reputation management strategies?that anyone can take to protect the integrity of their name, business, and image on the web.
1. Maintain a LinkedIn page
It seems like everyone and their mother has one of these resume pages, but there?s a reason for that: They work. LinkedIn has become required reading for anyone looking to maintain or build their online reputation because it gives readers and potential customers an easy place to research and learn about a person?s work history and recommendations. If you don?t have a LinkedIn page, you need to get one, and if you do, make sure it?s updated and filled with positive recommendations about your skills, talent, and work history.
2. Keep on top of your social networking sites
Sites like Facebook and Twitter make it much easier for businesses, blogs, and websites to communicate quicker with their customers and audiences. They are easy to use and read thanks to the rise of mobile communication, and they allow you to talk with your readers and users faster and more efficiently than traditional email or website comments.
3. Keep delivering quality contentThe key to delivering quality content is to do just that. A good way to keep readers and visitors come back to your site for more is to keep giving them what they want on your website or blog. It also needs to be of the highest quality and free of errors, so always give your work a second read before you publish it.
4. Be careful what you share
Social networking sites make it easier to share content and updates in half the time, and that includes information that could damage your reputation. Negative comments or controversial statements and content can spread easily on the web, so it?s always best to take your time and think about what you?re posting. If there is even an ounce of doubt that it might harm your reputation, stop and think about how it could be better worded or if it?s even worth addressing.
5. Separate your personal profile from your professional profile
If you still feel the need to post something that could cause you harm in the general internet arena, it might be best if you separated your personal social networking sites from your business or professional social media profiles and websites. Both Facebook and Twitter offer a privacy feature that can protect your Tweets and Facebook updates from the general viewing public.
6. Remove whatever negative content that you can
Sometimes, however, you won?t be able to control what other Internet users write about you or your business. If you can contact the owner of the site that is lowering your online reputation score, you might be able to convince them to remove the offending comment or give you a chance to address it. Some, however, that simply try to inflame readers? tempers with unfounded claims or accusations, aren?t worth drawing attention to and won?t gain much traction if you just ignore them.?
7. Be responsive
Customers always appreciate it when business owners or entrepreneurs take the time to address their comments or claims. If they ask a question, you should respond to it in a reasonable amount of time and make sure they can reach you if they have any other concerns (without giving away any personal information such as home phone numbers or private emails, of course). Even just a simple ?thank you? to a general comment or positive review can provide a big boost to your online reputation.
8. Control as many similarly named domains as you can
Some of the more popular blogs and sites usually attract domain name squatters who buy up similar-sounding URLs and can cause doubts or concerns to potential customers who don?t realize they are looking at a site that isn?t under your control. The best way to avoid this problem is just to buy all the alternative URL addresses that you can and point them to your original website. It might cost a little more, but it will save you plenty of headaches down the road.
9. Be as personable as you can
Customer service over the internet may not involve telephone conversation or face-to-face contact, but customers still expect to be treated with the same level of respect and courtesy. Any emails, social networking messages, or website comments should be worded very carefully, and treat customers the way you would expect to be treated in the same situation. A little courtesy can go a long way.