9 Steps for Building Your Business’s Regional Online Reputation

If you’re keeping up with the growing trends in branding, you probably know that everything to do with branding sprouts and develops online. From Google My Business to SEO, to personalize email campaigns, to local community impact programs, and on and on. It’s all about building an online reputation. It’s the culmination of your work to get your business not just noticed in your local market but to make it stand out as the best quality and most reliable of all the options.

Sounds hard? No, it’s actually not, at least not compared to the measures small business owners had to take just a generation ago. Those were incomparably more expensive and time-consuming and much, much less consistently effective than simply making a smart investment in your online operations. Marketing has come a long way in the past 15 years to make life more convenient and profitable for entrepreneurs.

Ultra-Convenient Modern Marketing 

Business owners of old lived in the days of newspaper, magazine, radio, and TV ad saturation, snail mail ads, billboards, vehicle wraps, mall kiosks, hand-distributed flyers, and human directives. (That last one means having a live person stand outside your business, possibly in a rabbit, bear, or Batman costume, etc., waving a sign and beckoning passersby to come on in and see what you’re offering.) 

Sounds rough? Yes, it was. By contrast, now you just need a good SEO guy or gal to implement important recommendations on how to boost your online reputation to attract maximum traffic to your website. That applies to every local market in which you want to operate and grow. 

What Does “Online Reputation” Involve?

The process of online reputation building per se is less broadly familiar among small business owners at this point than other critical cyber-marketing methods. But, it just amounts to a comparatively uncomplicated set of SEO steps. And, it can make the difference for commercial pavement sweeping business owners who are poorly represented in their markets due to insufficient or incomplete site, social, ad, ratings, reviews, quality backlinks, and/or other setups for search engines.

How to Build a Stellar Online Reputation for Your Business

First, unless you or someone on your team is very proficient with web analytics, you should strongly consider getting some professional help to make the necessary changes to your overall web presence. Your general web profile consists of many elements that are too many and far-flung for you to locate them all efficiently and methodically figure out how to counter them effectively.

Just some of the components of your personal and business reputation include customer reviews, star ratings, social media comments, legal documents, photo images, news articles, and much more. To see where you stand and devise a strategy to recover from negative or mundane impressions cast on your company across the internet, you’ll need to identify all the negative entries and counteract them abundantly.

After you succeed in cleaning up your image online, you’ll need to sustain and build on your new reputation as it evolves through being continuously collectively redefined by others. You need to ensure that you stay out ahead of issues and present your business in its best light when important prospects come to the Google search field to look for a local provider of your kind.

9 Steps to Building a Winning Online Reputation for Yourself and Your Business

The steps you need to take to improve your company’s online reputation are practical and straightforward. Nothing fancy. And, there’s really very little involved that you don’t already know how to do. But, get help with those tasks requiring web technologies that are unfamiliar to you. 

Here are the 9 essential steps to developing the strong online reputation you need to maximize your ROI in the short term and grow your business over time:

1. Monitor your online reputation.

Use web monitoring tools (like Brand Grader and other types) to learn what’s working and what’s not working for you in blogs, review sites, forums, news sites, social platforms, on your website, influencers’ pages, etc.

2. Create an online review strategy.

Online reviews are often the first thing people see on the first SERP when they Google your company name. But people usually only leave a review when they want to complain to the world about a bad experience. To prevent mad customers from defining your hard-working team, take steps like enhancing presentations of your official profile, monitoring review sites, responding to negative reviews, etc.

3. Keep your promises and be consistent.

Honoring your word with everyone you deal with, including employees, vendors, neighboring businesses, customers, and industry peers is the right way to build a stellar online reputation. If you’ve promised someone you’ll resolve an issue, meet a deadline, etc., following through every single time is the key to defining your business and yourself for the world around you.

4. Publish engaging, high-value original content.

Establish yourself as the go-to local expert in your industry by showcasing your knowledge, insights, and opinions. Help others by providing industry thought leadership. You may opt to conduct webinars, podcasts, videos, and even online courses. Publish blogs and guest blogs. Give interviews, engage on social platforms, and collaborate. Offer input on reputable sites, in online communities. And, of course, engage with your local community offline.

5. Interact with your network.

Develop relationships with potential customers, employees, mutually helpful peers, influencers, and others by engaging on social platforms like Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, and others. Join forums and other industry groups interacting online. Ask questions, and offer advice, feedback, referrals, etc.

6. Connect with influencers who have excellent online reputations.

Influencer marketing has proven to be effective. Major brands generate substantial revenues by working with bloggers on retail campaigns. People naturally prefer to use brands recommended by experts they’ve grown to trust. Reaching out to their audiences extends your marketing reach, and having their endorsements gives you credibility with their large audiences. You can even gain some boost in likability by association.

7. Encourage others to promote your brand.

Make it easy for your customers to leave a review. Implement easy-to-find-and-use prompt buttons on your website, and encourage satisfied customers to review their experience with your company. Cultivate an internal business culture that includes employees helping to recommend their team’s performance and otherwise promote the company.

8. Publicize your personal and business achievements.

This is no time to hide your light under a proverbial bushel. Share the news of all of your company’s awards, acknowledgments, reviews, civic involvement, new endeavors, etc. Also, share your personal achievements as well as your family’s and team members’ achievements, if acceptable.

9. Track your competitors’ online strategies and reputation too.

Whatever you do to upgrade your online reputation, let’s face it — you and your commercial sweeping company will forever be evaluated relative to your strongest competitor. The question for your target audience members will always be about who they like better: you or your competition. So, you need to understand what the competitor is doing right or wrong. That enables you to learn from their mistakes and reverse engineer their successful strategies.

Go the Extra Distance to Reach Your Growth Goals! 

So, that’s the picture of the new world of marketing for small business and big enterprises alike. It’s a better place to start and grow a great company than the environment of the now distant past. It enables much broader coverage with a lot less physical legwork and financial investment than acquiring and implementing enough of the more primitive historically required resources.

Properly managing the impression you’re creating with your company’s daily service and your strategic actions is the extra mile you must now go. It’s the final leg of your journey toward steadily generating the level of positive local response to your business efforts that you need to grow your company and enjoy the success that you and your team are working hard to achieve.

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