Search engines have put power into the hands of consumers in more ways than we often consider. Not only can people now find almost any product they could ever require in the click of a mouse, but they can also run a quick background check on any company they might be considering buying from " essentially a search around the name of a company, particularly if its one theyve never previously heard of.

So what shows up on Googles first page for your brand?


The first couple of results are likely to be your own website and perhaps even social media profiles. But what else is there?

Fact is, there could be a host of uncontrollable content around your brand on forums, review sites, blogs, Twitter, Facebook, etc..

What can you do to ensure that your online reputation is a positive one?

Be Aware

Search your brand terms regularly and sift through the results to ensure you are actually completely aware of what people are saying about you online.

Do this at least once a week.

Social Media

Have a strong social media presence.

Dont limit it to one channel. Use Twitter, a Facebook page, Youtube, LinkedIn; even Quora.

Signing up isnt enough. For your social media channels to show up in search engines, youll need to be active on them.

Encourage Clients to Talk About You

Encourage satisfied customers to spread the word on their social media channels or blogs as well: It doesn't need to be disgruntled customers who take to forums.

Respond Appropriately

If someone comments negatively about you on a blog or forum, sometimes its best to respond. Leave a public comment inviting the individual to contact you personally to resolve the matter. This shows anyone reading that you take complaints seriously, without you having to deal with what might be a private matter in a public forum.

Online reputation management isnt about hiding negative feedback " its about building a strong presence online and engaging your potential consumers, as well as taking public complaints seriously.