Before you can invest in online reputation management (ORM) services, you need to know what your online reputation looks like in the first place, right?
Right! While the company you choose to hire can help you with this, it’s likely you want to see for yourself. Here are a few ways you can tell what your online reputation looks like.
Google Your Name or Business Name
Search your name or business name in all the major search engines, such as Google, Bing, and Yahoo. You’ll see different results on the top two pages. More than likely, it is the same websites, but in a different order.
Take note of what you see there. You’ll likely see any social media profiles attached to your business, and you may or may not see your company’s official website. This will depend on if your business name is your domain name, and how many other competitors are out there.
You may also see review websites that may have a number of negative reviews about your company.
Search for Your Name on Social Media Websites
Search social media websites to find out who is talking about you and what they are saying. If you use social media to promote your business, use their built in analytics as a good starting ground.
Search engines won’t show you social media chatter. It is an important and overlooked aspect of your online reputation.
Claim Your Yelp Business Listing
Look for Your Business Profiles on Review Websites
If you’re in any kind of retail business, hotel, or restaurant industry, chances are you have a listing on any number of review sites like Yelp. Even if you don’t think you have any listings on those sites, look into it. You probably do, and if so, you need to claim them!
See what people are saying on the review sites. Use the information to improve your customer service and what you have to offer. Claim the listings and make sure your information is up to date. You may even be able to reply to negative comments to help resolve them. This can help improve your online reputation.
If you can do all of this yourself, then what’s the point in hiring a professional ORM company?
- Professional companies understand how the search engines value content. They can take steps to bury the negative and replace it with positive information about your company.
- They have access to tools and information not available to you as an individual.
- They have expertise. This is what they deal with every day. They know your industry, too.
- They have time! You, as a small business owner are likely wearing multiple hats every day. To get the results you are looking for as quickly as possible, you would have to drop all your other tasks. If you do this, then other areas of your business would suffer.
I don’t see anything negative. Do I still need ORM services? Yes!
While you don’t see anything negative right now, search engine algorithms change frequently in an effort to bring forth the best results to their customers. You never know when an upset customer (who did not bring anything to your attention) will go online and say something.
It’s better to start working on ORM before an issue arises, so you have a plan of action in case it does. When you have a stellar online reputation, you will see bigger business. There is no reason not to invest in ORM services, to keep your good name in tact.