Reputation has long been considered an essential ingredient for business success, and it’s something that almost every profitable business has had to consider at some point. If you run an internet business, then it’s even more important. The internet has thrown up all sorts of opportunities for community engagement – and this means that if your business is entirely online, then you’re in exactly the sort of place where people are likely to be reviewing you day in and day out. Reputation, then, is key. Here are some ways that reputable online businesses are choosing to preserve their good reputations on the internet.
Online Review Sites
Taking a look down Yelp, Trustpilot or a similar site reveals thousands of businesses all getting reviewed by customers – and thousands more customers there posting them. At first glance, customer experience reviews may seem like something that’s reserved for offline businesses only – but that’s not the case. With so many online businesses now offering platform-based services that are deeply linked to real-world businesses (such as Uber, which is simply a platform business linking customers to drivers through the internet), the lines between offline and online are blurred – and it could well be the internet business that gets the bad rep when things go wrong.
Maintaining a presence on review sites is therefore crucial. You could, for example, consider designating a staff member to monitor these sites, and responding to posts on there as and when they arrive. If you run the sort of internet business that can cripple your customers if problems arise, such as website server provision, then ideally you need to invest heavily in this sort of reputation damage control – and have someone on hand to monitor sites such as Stack Exchange, Reddit and Twitter in case instant responses are needed.
If you’re an online business rather than an in-person one, then it’s likely that you won’t have the normal marketing channels – such as local newspapers or a storefront on Main Street in town – open to you. Instead, you might need to rely on search engines like Google – a process known as search engine optimization (SEO). Building enough of a reputation to appear highly in search results can be achieved, though, and one way to do it is through guest blogging services. By guest publishing content that links back to your internet business’s homepage on influential blogs and websites, these content marketing intermediaries can really transform how Google ranks your reputation.
Building reputation if you’re an online business is something that’s easier said than done. Everyone is a commenter and a reviewer in the internet age – and when your business is an integral part of that online world, it can quickly become risky. However, with options such as staff investment, content marketing, SEO and more at your disposal, there are plenty of ways that you can enhance your online reputation and ensure that your business continues to benefit from the internet – rather than end up harmed by it.