Here are few free online reputation management tips available to help build, boost or repair a web presence for professionals such as lawyers, financial advisors, or those in the art world.
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The tips range from content creation, social media, search engine optimization (SEO), monitoring, and off-site suggestions.
- The first online reputation management tip is to try to remove the negative post, link, image or blog post. Frankly, however, it’s usually extremely difficult or impossible to remove content once something has been published but it’s still worth a try. Politely contact the author or webmaster and professionally state your case and request the item to be removed.
- Create a website; if you already have one, consider making another specifically for the negative term, i.e., your name or your business. This could be a huge undertaking, requiring excellent content, good navigation and images. But if done right, is one of the best ways to repair a damaged web presence.
- Writing a blog is probably one of the best solutions. Posting instructive and engaging articles weekly or very frequently is crucial. It is best to use a catchy title, have good images (don’t swipe them: purchase photos or use a Creative Commons image), use headings to break the piece down into easy-to-read sections, and insert one or two links back to your site.
- Don’t comment on negative content such as reviews on RipoffReports.com because it will only rank it higher. Tempting as it might be to tell your side of the story, this will only make things worse, so avoid it.
- A Wikipedia article is extremely useful and since it is highly valued by search engines, it will usually rank on the top of the first page of Google and thus is a powerful online reputation management tip. Creating one can be problematic, however. The entry must be truly noteworthy backed-up with verifiable outside sources. One approach is to focus on major recognizable accomplishments that can be documented, such as lectures, awards and published articles.
- Create a detailed whitepaper or thoroughly written informative document on a topic of your choosing, and then post it to a well-regarded site.
- An Infographic is a clear, graphic representation of an idea, and is a very popular way to share information. Generate an infographic based on a blog post
- Follow good, interesting and useful blogs, online sites, forums and communities specific for your industry. Check them frequently and commit to making one comment daily to show that you are a “thought leader.” Also be engaging. Don’t just say, “Good article,” which sounds “spamy,” but put some thought into the comment.
- Writing an article or blog post as a guest can be a very helpful but not as much as in the past—be sure to work only with blogs focused on your industry. Start by following topics that are appealing or relate to your business and eventually pitch them an idea for an article. This is a great way to get links back to your site as well.
- For business connections, nothing beats LinkedIn. As with any social media site, completely fill out the profile and make sure you include web site links in your contact information. An additional online reputation management tip: customize your URL with your name or business.
- Be very active on social media sites such as Facebook by posting good content. These should not be purely promotional but should be geared to engage with your friends. Add images, ask questions, and comment on other’s post at least once a day.
- Google is using cues from social media engagement more and more so after Facebook, Twitter is an excellent online reputation management tip. Gain good followers, put out helpful information, and link back to your site. Tweet consistently several times a day.
- One of the hottest platforms is Instagram. Creating an account and adding images weekly or daily can help with the suppression of negative links from showing up in searches. Curate images by focusing on a theme, if possible.