Being able to manage your Business Reputation is one of the most important parts of continuing success, whether you’re a large corporation or small local business.

Having your business online means you’re even more vulnerable than ever to criticism and negative reviews. If a customer has one bad customer service experience with your company, word gets around fast, whether through forums or third party review sites.

And it isn’t only you, the business owner, who cares about your business reputation. Think about your business partners, stock holders, employees, customers and even your personal relationships.

Simply put: if you don’t manage and control your public reputation, other people will. If negative criticism occurs to the point where it affects your SEO and search engine results, then you’ll need to respond immediately.

The damage your online reputation can take can be wide-ranging. It could be a small concern, such as a customer clicking on a link on your site accidentally, or an industry-wide boycott with hate sites built against you.

There aren’t just financial ramifications to consider, but also legal ones, depending on circumstances. If it gets bad enough, then your bad reputation could be enough that the news results could rank higher than your own company website, and that could potentially hurt your business for years. You’ll also have to decide what to do in the aftermath to solve the problem, whether it be firing problem employees or other solutions.

But how do you monitor your Business online reputation? The Internet is a ubiquitous realm, so is it even possible to watch all of the activity related to your site and see what everyone is saying about you?

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Not exactly. But there are ways to get a pretty good assessment of your company’s online reputation.

  1. Do a simple search on major search engines. Keep in mind that most searchers won’t usually look past the first or second pages, so examine only those pages. Start with simple search terms, and check out your results for terms like your company name, your own name and that of your employees and business partners, your products, and any handles or usernames your colleagues use. Be sure to log out of Google or disable personalized search so that the rankings will appear more as most users will see them.
  1. Use a spreadsheet during your search, record the top thirty results and determine whether they were negative, positive or indifferent. Use this spreadsheet to determine whether you need to fix your online reputation.
  1. Assess your reputation based on your findings. If you see that a number of the search results in the rankings, especially in the top ten, aren’t about your business, it may be about time to build your Business reputation. Even if the sites ranked aren’t negative, the lack of exposure your business is experience could affect you negatively in the long run. Even if the search results are about you but are indifferent, you’ll still need to build a positive reputation.

The SEO professionals at Sticky Web Media know all about building positive business reputations. Not only will they give you an overall assessment of your business reputation, they will also take the steps to develop and implement an online reputation plan that will get you the positive exposure your business deserves.