It used to be that you only had to worry about your own web site(s) when it came to your online reputation… not so any more! Try doing a search for your business specifically or search for your type of business in your geographic area. You’ll likely be surprised by the results.
These days, search results returned include not only your web site and blog, but will often include a link to entities such as: Google Maps, Yelp.com, SuperPages.com, as well as many other locally or industry focused sites. Did you even know such things existed? Do you know if your business is listed?
These sites take it one step further too. They let people post reviews about your business, often with no verification that they are or were an actual customer of yours. To make matters even more complicated, people often wait weeks or months before posting a nasty review about your business. Good luck finding them to even try to rectify the issue!
So what is a business owner to do? Don’t we all have a million other things we’re already managing on a daily, weekly and monthly basis? How can you possibly get a grip on this brave new world? You can start by claiming your business on some of the major local web sites. If you have not claimed your business on Google, do it now! If you advertise in any of the yellow pages, make sure your online information is correct. If you serve the public, I’d recommend checking out Yelp and InsiderPages and see what, if anything people are saying.
Managing your online reputation is incredibly important. Especially today when more and more people are sharing their views and reviews via local web sites and social media outlets like Facebook and Twitter. Getting control starts with knowledge – find out where you’re already listed and claim your listings.