When typing any business’ name into Google or another search engine, the results that are shown determine the online reputation of that business. Reputation management is hugely important. But what is equally important is building a positive reputation in the first place. If a business’ reputation is good, then it is less likely that they will get negative comments that they then have to deal with.
Three Important Pieces of Advice
There are three facts that every business should be aware of:
- If something isn’t on the first three pages of Google, it may as well not exist.
- 90% of all traffic goes to pages that are on the first three pages of Google.
- The first ten results get 80% more traffic than results 11 to 30.
What this means is that if a negative opinion on a business appears on the first three pages of Google or, worse still, in the first 10 results, it will create the public opinion on that business, which is its reputation. Hence, the goal of reputation management is to make sure that those first three pages of Google are filled with nothing but good opinions about the business they work for.
It must not be underestimated how important this actually is. In fact, it can be applied to both businesses and individuals. Some 83% of recruitment agencies today will look up a candidate’s social media profiles when they are considering whether or not to hire them. Furthermore 43% of these will eliminate a potential candidate if they don’t like what they see. And, worst of all, there is very little that can be done about this. Threatening to sue for libel really only makes you look worse, even if the information actually is libel. Furthermore, a libel lawsuit is very expensive and very lengthy. In the meantime, the reputation remains destroyed and a business is likely to find themselves bankrupt.
Businesses should not underestimate how easy it is for negative information about them to become public. Reputation management is about having strategies in place to identify and address these negative comments as soon as possible. At the same time, however, it is important to understand the power of positive feedback, too.
Positive feedback is great and should be dealt with appropriately as well. It is vital for a business to engage in Search Engine Optimization practices that ensure this positive feedback is easy to find for potential customers. In fact, the efforts put into bringing these reviews to the forefront should be as extensive as the efforts put into making it harder to find negative reviews. This takes particular skills and knowledge, which is why it is so important for businesses to work together with experts on these issues.
Reputation management experts are SEO experts. They know how to get certain pages found and how to make sure others fall back into Google obscurity. Their role is to make sure a business’ positive reviews gain higher page authority and ranking and, in so doing, they will also improve their overall online reputation. The practice of SEO is about having a business page found online, so that it becomes a go-to, authority figure in a particular niche. Reputation management uses similar tactics, but does so for very specific comments and pages. As such, it delves deeper into the different aspects of SEO and looks not just at a business’ own page, but also at the pages of other businesses and individuals where comments may also be posted.