Tremors fade and the earth settles to feel like solid ground once again. Visibility is clouded as dust particles fill the once clear air. Metal is mangled, debris scattered and broken buildings continue to crumble. Sounds of sirens, mothers wailing and stuttering car engines mesh into a symphony of chaotic noise. Panic is widespread. This is a disaster. This is crisis. This is a melodramatic introduction.
Many people wait until after the online equivalent strikes to start thinking about their online reputation. The problem is you are in post-disaster, survival mode, tensions are high, time is of the essence and your emails are filled with CAPITAL LETTERS and too many exclamation marks!!!!! It’s a reactive approach that is necessary, but prevention is better than a cure. A little bit of proactive work will go a long way. Getting on top of your online rep will bring value to your brand, not just minimise damage when a bombshell drops. So take a step back, brew a green tea, do some yoga and implement these tips.
Do you know what people see when they search for your name, brand or even your high school photos? The first step is to ‘self-stalk’ and take stock of the good, bad and ugly search results on the first page of Google. To quote many a rapper – show me what you’re working with. It’s important to open an incognito window to ensure the results aren’t skewed by your browsing history. The moment of truth. This essentially represents who you are online. What do you see? If it’s a company name you’re searching, the company website should ideally appear in position one. You might see a mix of review sites, local listings, major social profiles, YouTube videos and other pages depending on how many people are talking about you online. The results can be divided into positive, neutral and negative assets. Naturally, it’s ideal to have positive and neutral assets dominating page one. Repeat the self-stalking process for all major platforms.
Pick Your Poison
Though page one of Google seems to be an elusive beast, you can better your chances of choosing what appears by focusing on a few positive assets at a time. By now you know that it is pointless to sign up to every one of the 127,230,219,289 available social media platforms, #even #though #they #are #all #so #exciting. Pick the ones that work for you and focus on producing good, engaging content, regularly. But let’s be honest, you already know this too. There was that phrase going around for a while… content is… oh never mind. Don’t be disheartened, social media is not your only saviour. Focusing on gaining reviews and ratings on trustworthy local listing sites, updating your own website and creating a presence on the main online hubs for your industry or niche.
Do you know what people are saying about you online? It may be true what they say – haters gonna hate – but what if there are great conversations happening about you, your product or your exceptional service happening online? These are the kind of consumer behaviour insights you need! On the contrary, if there is not a single soul uttering your name across the vast landscape of the internet, do you know why? The first port of call is to check the backlink profile of your website. Here you may find valuable conversations where people are not just talking about you, but going that extra step of linking to your site. Once you have trawled, tracked and responded to anything of value here, try searching for variations of the terms you want to track using advanced search queries on Google. Brand name and URL variations will be your major players. Start with something simple like:
Track the Talk
As great as your website and brand name are, you don’t want to be manually searching for web mentions every day. This is laborious, and more often than not, a waste of your precious time. Plug those sexy advanced search queries into Moz or a host of other tools and they will do the work for you. Check in at your leisure. With Google alerts you can set how many times you would like to be notified. Too easy!