When you’re launching your first business, it can feel as though all the weight of the world is on your shoulders. You’re in the spotlight, and what people think about you really can define your company’s future success. Perhaps your mind swarms with thoughts and questions that keep you up until the late hours of the morning. What are people going to think about my new innovation? How is the competition going to react? And of course, the clear burning question: Will the public like my offering enough to recommend it to a friend?
Your reputation is everything when you’re first starting out, and it’s not easy maintaining it to polished standards in a world where consumers have become engulfed by the multi-screen phenomenon—the idea that individuals multi-task between screens, such as watching television while texting their friends and checking Facebook on their tablet. The truth hurts: It’s harder to grasp consumers’ attention, but when you do, you better make it memorable.
Tip #1: Claim Your Stake on Google
Online reputation management is not a luxury in the world of business; it is a necessity. The first thing you can do to protect your brand from a potentially damaging review or SERP result is by owning as many high domain authority websites as you can. The experts at Creative Tinge always integrate this strategy as the first step in our process. Make sure that you own as many website domains that contain your brand or personal name. Other high domain sites include social media, and the great thing is that it doesn’t cost a penny to sign up on the general sites such as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn and Pinterest. Once you own various websites and social profiles, make sure that you remain active on these platforms so that Google recognizes your brand name associated to them as relevant for searchers.
Tip #2: Conduct Regular SERP Check-Ups
Sure, our favourite saying does go that the best place to hide a dead body is on the second page of Google. However, Google’s algorithm is constantly changing, and if you are a new brand present on the SERP then search results can quickly fluctuate between rank positions. We always recommend monitoring your branded keywords for unwanted results, however most people don’t check the second or third page of Google. As a startup, it is imperative that you venture past the first page in order to be aware of any potentially damaging news. A press release on the second page of Google may turn up on the first page in no time if you’re just starting off—we’ve seen it happen!
Tip #3: Listen Carefully to Your Critics
Don’t try to hide the issues that make light on Google. If your company has an issue concerning operation management, such as slow service in the case of a restaurant, then it’s time that you listen carefully and do something about it. Your high-tech water bottles that were created to put an end to reckless dehydration have a loose cap? Work to fix it and let your audience know that they’ve been heard and changes are on the way. Always respond positively, some critical comment truly can be received as constructive feedback.
Tip #4: Be Original and Start a Blog
Do you smell a hint of the sarcasm there? Although it may seem as though everyone in their right mind is starting a blog nowadays (i.e. a front for being totally unoriginal and lost in a massive sea that makes up the blog sphere), starting a blog means that you have decided to regularly post new content. In turn, Google does see blogging as original since the author has the opportunity to address various topics of concern (refer back to Tip #3), behind-the-scenes footage of your team pow-wow sessions and interviews with industry experts.
Tip #5: Remind Customers to Share Positive Reviews
If you are confronted with a customer who raves about your product, this is the chance to politely ask them to write a nice review on your Facebook or TripAdvisor page. Whether you own a brick-and-mortar or online business, make the signage clear that you’d love for your customers to make their positive experiences be known. People love helping out local businesses, but sometimes they just need a gentle reminder to take action.