John is a lawyer from Indiana who specializes in family law. He’s dealt with hundreds of cases in his career, and like most lawyers has had his share of unsatisfied customers. Regardless of whether they have a good reason to be unsatisfied with his work, they’re out there and they want to publicize their grievances against John. Where do they go?
A lot of businesses or working professionals consider face-to-face interactions more important than online ones. They also often feel that online reviews and the big wide world of the internet are less important than their referral network and existing customer base.
This couldn’t be further from the truth.
These days, the internet IS the go-to location to find out about just about anything you’re going to pay money for. Whether that be reviews on the Indian restaurant down the street, checking up dentists in your area, or reviewing family practice lawyers (like John) before you commit to buying expensive hours of their time, the internet is the defacto area that we look to before making almost any buying decision.
What Shows Up When You Google Your Name or Business?
Before you read any further, do a quick experiment. Make sure that you’re signed out of your Google account, then search your name or your business name.
Here’s what you see if you Google my name:
This is an example of a good result. I’ve got a branded domain name as the #1 result, then social media profiles and a business website. On top of that, there are images of me and in the image search results.
Now, how did I do this?
Where to Start in Reputation Management
The first thing you need to do is make sure that your business website is optimized for your brand or personal name. This is easily done by making sure your title tags and on-page SEO is optimized. If you don’t know how to do this, feel free to reach out to Social Fulcrum for a consult.
After your company website is optimized, start taking advantage of other websites. In SEO, there is a concept known as “parasite hosting”, which is actually far less sinister than it sounds. The basic idea is that websites like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and many other social media websites already have incredible authority in the eyes of Google, AND they allow you to create your own profiles…take advantage of that fact!
The Bare Essentials
Here’s a short list of the bare minimum web properties you should own for your name or business:
- Facebook Page
- Twitter Account
- LinkedIn Profile or Business Page
If you’re a service business:
- Google+ Local
- Yahoo! Local
- Bing Local
When you create these accounts, be sure to fill them out as completely as possible, and use the exact same name for your business or brand on each site. You want all of the business or name details to be as similar as possible for these so you have a better chance of these actually ranking.
Interlink All of Your Properties
If you’ve followed all of the instructions above, you should have a bunch of web properties that you’ve customized and set up properly. The next step is to make sure that a visitor to any one site can get to any other site in just a click or two. This helps you in two ways:
1. It allows a visitor to get to your other web properties and find out more about your business as quickly as possible.
2. It helps each web property gain more authority in the eyes of Google due to the increase of links pointing at each property.
Take Control of Your Search Results
So many consumers are making buying decisions based on what they find when they look up businesses on Google that it’s simply foolish not to look into controlling the search results for your brand. If you haven’t gotten on top of this yet, follow the tips in this guide and you’ll be off to a solid start.
If you’ve been the victim of a malicious attack, have negative reviews about your business plastered around the internet, or have any other difficult reputation management problem, please contact Social Fulcrum for a consult.