If you want to make money online with your blog, you have to protect your brand and your online reputation. You should know what people are saying about you, your brand and your business immediately.
With social media usage at an all time high, you never know if there is an awkward picture of you lingering around. In addition, there are millions of websites, blogs and even more content created daily. Whether the content it is good or bad, people are talking about your business. That is not all… spammers may be using your name, business name, product or website address deceptively for scams or to gain more traffic. Unfortunately, the latter is exactly what happened to me.
There are specific sites you do not want your website associate with which includes anything dealing with porn or gambling. These sites can ruin your reputation and cause problems with your website showing up on Google.
Think about this, when was the last time you Googled your name? Surely, you can Google your name anytime you want however, that is not a strategy. What you need is a plan for strategic online brand and reputation management.
How does a brand and online reputation management strategy work? It starts with a checklist:
1) Create a set time for brand and reputation management activities
Like everything else important in your business, you need to have a scheduled time and frequency to manage your brand online. If you are in a high volume business like restaurants or spa, you may want to complete this activity every week. Businesses like coaching, consulting, authors may want to complete this activity on a monthly (recommended) or quarterly basis.
2) Create automatic alerts to routinely monitor your brand
You can get immediate email updates from Google Alerts or use Social Mention. These tools will do the work for you by constantly searching the internet and social media. To cover all your bases, be sure to create alerts for not only your business name but also your name, your website address and your product or service names.
3) Use your WordPress Dashboard to monitor your content
That’s right! This is often overlooked as a tool to monitor your content online. When you choose to display the “Incoming Links” widget and “allow trackbacks and pingbacks” you get useful information. The “Incoming Links” widget queries Google Blog Search so that when another blog links to your site it will show up here. Allowing “pingbacks and trackbacks” notifies you when a blogger links to your article.
4) Ask customers to provide testimonials online
What better way to manage your brand than to have many amazing testimonials scattered across the internet. Instead of only using a paper form or a form on your website to collect testimonials, ask your customers to post them online. They can post testimonials on LinkedIn in the form of a recommendation or post on the “Reviews by Google users” section on your Google Places page.
5) Find where people complain about services in your industry
Unfortunately, people are quick to leave a negative comment but you have to practically beg or bribe someone for a testimonial. You should know where people go to leave a negative review for your type of business. In some instances, it may be the Better Business Bureau or simply Yelp.
6) Use Google’s “Me on the Web” monitoring tool
Ah yes leave it to Google to provide a service to monitor your identity online. With Google’s “Me on the Web” service you can get notified when your personal data appears on the web. They also claim you can remove unwanted content but do not be fooled because it does not work on pages you do not control.
7) Monitor, measure and track your website traffic weekly
You are working hard driving traffic to your website but not keeping track of the numbers that matter in your business. Using data you already collect with Google Analytics provides a wealth of information about your website’s usage and traffic. These number allow you to notice (and quickly respond to) a sudden drop off in your website traffic.
Are you managing your brand and online reputation? If this was encouraging and helped make a very confusing topic more clear, come talk to me on Facebook! I’d love to meet you!
What’s the craziest thing you have found online about you and your business? I’ll tell you mine if you tell me yours below.
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