Your online reputation is your first introduction to many of your potential customers. You don’t want to start out on the wrong foot or give potential customers the idea that your company is something that’s not. You must create a clear representation of how you want your business to be portrayed. The key is to keep things positive and put in the work required to establish a good online reputation.

Clean and Professional

Everyone knows the basics of what a good website should look like, clean and professional. Although you may want to use your favorite pattern, color scheme or font, ask yourself if it looks professional and appealing. Make the necessary changes to fit your brand and how you want your business to be portrayed. It’s a good idea to always have your customers in mind and to make it as easy for them to use as possible. Make the language clear and the copy simple, but still get your message across in a creative way. Avoid using pop-ups and annoying ads all over the site, that may deter potential business. You want to create a visually appealing space that meets all the design requirements and will have your current and potential customers coming back.

Blog Often

Write high-quality blogs regularly. Start by creating a list of keywords covering every topic related to your industry. Then, break those topics down into subtopics. Create a post about each subtopic that is informative and that your target audience will want to share with their friends. Use unique photos and images to make your points visually. Most people skim internet articles, so use subheadings to tell people what you are discussing. Promote your blogs on social media at the time of day that your customers are most likely to see them. Blogging helps you control the first page of Google when someone searches for your business.

Be Active on Social Media

Something that is so vital to survive in the business world today is to be connected on social media. Facebook is always a good option to use, but also consider which other platforms your target audience is using and establish a presence. Social media is the way to interact with your customers. After all, they are the ones that use your products, are your best source of word-of-mouth advertising, and can be your strongest advocates if something goes wrong. Use a social listening tool to see what others are saying about your company. Then, join those conversations when you can. Customers will appreciate that you are taking an active role in managing the company.

Business Reviews

One of the your business’ saving graces is business reviews. You’re more likely to receive feedback if you send customers a link to a review platform. You will want to claim all the business review sites you can, however, one of the simplest to use is Google My Business. Claim your Google My Business account. Send customers a link to it when they are likely to be happiest with their purchase. Respond professionally to positive and negative reviews. One of the advantages of using Google My Business is that it will usually show up on the first page when someone Google’s your company name. You can also make your Google My Business listing look more professional by adding photos of your products or your business. You can also add blog posts to Google My Business.

Become an Industry Insider

You have developed expert opinions on many different topics within your industry, but you need to share your views so that others know what you are an expert. Start by joining social media groups in your industry. Then, make meaningful comments that others will find insightful or helpful. Find out which industry journals allow you to contribute articles. Write and submit to them often. Watch the national and international news. When a story relates to your industry, contact your local journalist and explain the significance of the story to the community where you live. Then, offer to be a local expert on the topic.

Provide Great Customer Service

Your main focus should be to provide excellent customer service to your customers. Become a servant leader by offering your customers more than they expect. One way that you can do this if you are an e-commerce business is to make sure that your items are packed securely and shipped promptly. Offer great products at a reasonable cost. Provide easy ways for customers to contact you. Use your website and Google My Business to get people into your physical location if you have one. Make sure that each customer is warmly greeted when they enter your site. Make it a point to provide excellent customer service without being overbearing. Then, be sure to thank them for coming in when they are ready to leave. Even if you did not make a sale, they will remember your excellent customer service and be more likely to come back again. If you know where they can get the item that you do not carry, then call ahead to make sure that the store you’re recommending has the item in stock.

You build your reputation a little at a time. It starts by focusing on being helpful to your target audience each step of the way. It ends with being genuinely grateful for the gift of customers considering your company. Along the way, you will build up your reputation by helping others feel empowered by the service that you provide them.

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