What does branding yourself, your product or your business mean? In the world of advertising agencies, this is known as reputation management. These are fancy words for some of the same things that your parents instilled in you when you were growing up. Your behavior in the outside world should not be much different from that online.
- It matters what people think
When a potential customer is looking for your particular service or item, the majority of them are reading online reviews and checking out your website before taking the next step. The previous impressions that you have made on people will affect your future sales and leads. Customers are not afraid to post their experiences, both positive and negative, so be mindful of what is “out there”. Also try to view your website as the buyer and determine whether or not you would want to be a patron based on its offerings. Making a good first impression is crucial, so put your best online foot forward.
- You are who you hang out with
Do not get yourself in the position where you are ranking on the bottom with companies that offer services sub-par to your own. One or two negative reviews and a neglected website will surely place you in the “wrong crowd” category. Does your site offer minimal content and lack useful tools and information? Locate a company online that stands out and be like them, never settle for the less that what you are. Strive to be popular and not a wallflower.
- Be who you are and not everything to everyone
Often businesses think that the more they put “out there” the better; this is simply not true in the world of search engine optimization. Promote your business for what it offers and stay focused on that. For instance, if you are a Jeep dealership looking to generate pre-owned sales, you do not want to try to profess that you sell used cars in NJ. That statement is far too generic and will not pull in more customers; it will actually do the opposite. When a customer is searching on Google, they are very specific. The appropriate action would be to focus on “Used Jeep Wranglers in NJ”, when in fact, that is what you are selling, isn’t it? Be who you are and nothing more. Sometimes casting a wider net only brings in more garbage than fish.
- Do not overcompensate with things you know nothing about
When it comes to reputation, you want to be known as a trustworthy resource in your field. Sharing tidbits here and there about things associated with your business is ok, but try to stay on topic as it relates back to the business. When it comes to rankings, remaining relevant and consistent is the winner: every single time. Be cautious and check your facts before posting advice, data or resources related to your field.
Web design and search engine optimization can be tricky for some, but it is not rocket science. Sticking to the basic fundamentals we learned in grammar school could greatly help your business online.