The REAL Cost of a Bad Reputation

In the digital information age, it’s not incredibly difficult to find information on the Internet, and the majority of the public now turns to search engines and other online resources to make informed decisions about business practices, hiring potential candidates, and even their social circles. Reputation Management ValueUltimately, this is a tool that can do wondrous good, but the problem is that there’s not much standing in the way of users posting fallacious, slanderous, or outdated information.

Whether it’s a newspaper article about a criminal charge that occurred when they were young or a disgruntled client making racket about a deal gone sour, there are numerous ways that someone’s individual reputation or that of their business can be misrepresented online. With such a heavy emphasis being leveraged on having a good online presence, these types of reports can be damaging.

The Value of Your Online Representation

As a business owner, if you’re not investing in your own SEO marketing strategy and actively putting your best foot forward in terms of your online presence, you’re making a mistake in and of itself. Many people worry about not being found by the search engines at all, leading to a loss in sales from that particular medium, but this should be the least of your worries.

Google is viewed as an authority, and as the saying goes, first impressions matter. Therefore, even if you are being recognized by the search engines, any possible consumer could get turned off if the majority of your rankings are being filled by negative information. Would you buy from a fast food chain where the first result on Google was about a recent E. coli outbreak?

The Importance of Knowing Where You Stand

Reputation Where You StandImagine a consumer searching for a company stumbles upon a poor review on a social media site or a complaint lodged with the BBB. It doesn’t matter if it was from an ex-spouse that just wanted to tarnish your reputation out of spite or if the person in question had simply come to an honest disagreement about the deployment of services. These are the things that are representing your brand, and a user is viewing those claims without any context. Each time that someone is attempting to reach out for your service or find out more information about you as an individual, these search results are driving potential opportunities away.

Many people make the mistake of thinking that they don’t need to consider their online reputation since they hardly post photos of themselves or broadcast their personal opinions on the Web. This is an outdated way of thinking, and it pays to be proactive. What if a person with the same name as you was associated with a knitting association? If they show up in the search results above your own sites and positive reviews, you’re already losing sales. There’s no reason to give this avenue of advertising less weight than others when its scope is much wider. In effect, you shouldn’t be satisfied with a neutral online presence. It’s time to take charge and make the Internet work for you, sending you leads and giving you a higher chance of achieving sales conversions.

Protect Yourself and Your Business

Watch Reputation ManagementIt’s completely possible to put your marketing tools to work and combat the negative information that’s out there. Having a professional bio, a clean website, a professionally constructed LinkedIn page, and a Twitter or blog that characterize you the way you want them to are all good ways to ensure that you’re appropriately represented online. However, sometimes these strategies may not be enough to fully address the potential issues that are out there.

You need to do what you do best, and it’s impossible to keep a watchful eye on every single search term you rank for and all of the websites that could contain damaging information about you or your business. However, by utilizing an online reputation management company, you’ll have the benefit of skilled professionals on your side, analyzing how you’re represented online from every angle possible. Here at BrightPast, we have a number of tips, tricks, and resources at our disposal to make sure you’re completely covered. It’s not a matter of erasing damaging information but simply pushing it off of the first page and out of the sight of the typical Google user.

Article by George Eblacker