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How to manage your small business' online reputation?

The reputation of your small business online can contribute to your sucess or your failure. It is thus highly important to manage your SMB's reputation, especially online. Often times, it takes years to build an excellent reputation, but it can be damaged in just a few minutes. In this article, we help you discover the 5 essential steps to undertake to manage your online reputation.

Your domain name

To start off with, you will need to have a professional website with a great domain name. There are many options and choices out there, but you must be smart and buy a domain name that is closely connected to the field that you are working in. This will prevent your competitors from taking these domain names, and help you appear in the first search engine results. This might seem totally benign, but in truth the domain name will help you manage your online reputation.

Use Google for help

Google is the most used search engine, worldwide. It would be wise to use it to manage your small business' online reputation. To see how your reputation is doing, simply enter your company's name or your own name. You will see everything that has been published about you, positive or negative comments, etc. This will help you see your online reputation and what you need to work on.

If you'd like to get automatic notifications when there are comments or articles that cite you or your small business, you can set up Google Alert. Simply tell it your name and the words it should monitor and it will notify you immediately. You will quickly be aware of everything that is said about you, about your activity and about the products you offer. It is then much easier to act accordingly.

Be present on social networks

As you know, social networks are a very practical tool and you must take advantage of them to build your SMB’s online reputation. Many people are present on social networks, and it is a resource for your business’ development. Whether it's Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn or Google+, you have to position yourself on social media that is the most important to you, if not all.

If you do not have the time, hire a Community Manager who has the skills necessary to manage all your social networks, and thus develop your business, as well as your online notoriety. Obviously, you can also manage your social networks, if you have the time. In this case, we recommend that you publish new articles every week so that you can be active on social media, communicate with your customers and potential customers, and also promote your business.

Obviously, choosing which social media to use is made according to your field of activity, some have no utility for some small businesses.

Have your own website

If you don't have a website yet, if is highly important to make your own professional website to manage your online reputation. You will be able to publish all the information that you consider important, and group it in the same place. In addition, here you will have the opportunity to talk about yourself via a small description and introduce links to your social media. This website will also allow you to evaluate the traffic of the latter, and thus manage your reputation. If you see that your website has low traffic (i.e. not many visitors), it simply means that your notoriety and visibility are also low.

Create a blog

Blogs are very trendy, they allow you to provide a number of content and insights. It's a great way to help you manage your online reputation. The blog is part of a strategy you need to set up within your company. This blog can allow you to create articles related to your activity, without necessarily promoting your products or your small business' particular activity. Do not hesitate to share tips which will allow you to place yourself as an expert in the field, and thus attract traffic. This will help increase your visibility and notoriety online.