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Don Troiano advises Small and large businesses on Digital Marketing.

Saturday, October 14, 2017

How to create a bullet proof reputation on the web Reputation Management 101

Today more and more people are beginning to realize that what a Google search says about them can positively or negatively affect their life. Industry experts like Reputation Pros say the reputation management space is one of the fastest growing industries today. The problem is most people don’t worry about these results until it is too late. The fact is it is best to start building what these results say about you while you are in complete control. There are three definitive parts to your online presence.

·         Positive Content- Simply put positive content can be  articles, blog posts, social media posts and possibly even reviews regarding your name or brand.

·         Neutral Content- Neutral content can be basic information or information not about you or your brand neither positive nor negative.

·         Negative Content- Negative content can be anything you don’t want the world to see from articles, social media reviews and negative for profit review websites.

Once you have run a Google and Bing search on your name or brand online you should start by classifying each result on your first 3 pages. Typically most searchers don’t even look past page one of your Google search results. If you have done that and you don’t see any negative content you are in good shape, but now is the time to start building a strong reputation that you can control for the long term.

First on the agenda is to own your brand or personal name. You can search your brand or name by going to Go Daddy and searching. So if your name was to be say, David Hilton. You would simply enter davidhilton and you will see if the domain is available Hopefully the name you are seeking is available. My suggestion is buy it. It is only a few dollars per year to own the domain even if you don’t put up a website no one else can own it. If you decide to put up a website to promote your name you can build it almost anywhere and attach it to the URL you now own. If the website is strictly for self-promotion simply use a biography. You can find many on the internet and a get a good idea of the format to follow. Be sure to use the name you intend to promote within the content several times. Try to build several pages including a contact page. 

Second is to build your reviews. There are several reputable review sites on the web, but most of them are geared towards companies. There are reviews in Facebook, Yelp, Yellow Pages, Glass Door and even Google. Review sites have high domain authority so it is a good idea to have several up there and request your better customers to post good positive reviews.  If you are building a personal reputation or brand, I would suggest not putting up personal reviews unless you already have negative content reviews from one of the negative review sites. If that has already occurred, you already have your work cut out for you. Make sure wherever possible you leave links back to any sites you are using for promotion as this will make them stronger in search results.

Third is to build your professional media presence including Twitter, Linkedin and Crunch base. These sites have very high domain authority and will appear high on your search rankings. Make sure you post a good strong positive biography with your brand or name in it a few times also make sure you put links to any and all sites you can that you are using for promotion. All links will work together to help you control the first few pages of your search results.

Fourth are directory sites and there are many for business. Many are industry-specific so make sure the sites you choose relate to your industry where applicable. The following are not industry-specific  Manta, YP,  Merchant Circle, Google and Angies list. Once again most of them offer on or two links back to your web site. Make sure you add those links as well as you are building a strong brand or name presence on the web.

Your fifth step should be to add a blog. You can get a blog site from Blogger, Wix and Yola for free. Make sure you add content that is in line with your line of business and you can provide many links within the blog back to your sites. Make sure you provide links to all your sites even your social media.

Finally make sure the URL or web addresses you choose for all your sites contain your name or brand name. Even the social media outlets allow you to choose your own specific URL. If your name is David Hilton for instance and the URL davidhilton is taken try david-hilton.  The fact is this will take a lot of work, but not a lot of money. It will help build you a bullet proof reputation that will promote your brand and protect you from any future negative content.

By Don Thomas

About the Author

Don Troiano is a member of Reputation Pros LLC. A leading provider of reputation management and brand promotion.