While hiring an outside company may be the most accepted scenario for online reputation management, it can be done on your own for no money. Without the financial backing or budget line item for this necessary action, it can be difficult to ensure that your online reputation is protected and successfully grown. It can mean a lack of commitment and that can be discouraging. But for those small businesses, or the one man operations where there isn’t really a budget line item for anything at all, it can still be done. It just takes some time and effort and a little research so that you can be sure you are doing all the necessary things to protect your online reputation. It is important to manage because it will determine and dictate who sees your site and how they find you. It will determine where you come up in search engine searches and what words will work for others to search for and view your site. There are several online reputation management companies and consulting firms that have blogs that help to keep people up to date on the newest tactics and the necessary actions to ensure it is done correctly, but many companies don’t have the staffing hours and the focus or man power to get the job done, and so they end up hiring out a consulting firm anyway to get the job done. But for those smaller organizations or those who want to keep up on their own online reputation management, there are things that you can do on your own that won’t cost any money. And these are the same things that the consulting firms will do for their clients, so they work in the same way.
One of the first things that you need to doing is regularly searching for yourself or your company or blog. Set up google alerts that will inform you whenever you are mentioned across the web. This will help you to be proactive at dealing with anything negative, and also give you the opportunity to high light and link to anything that is positive. The more you mention it and link to it, the better for the search engine formulas. Another piece of online reputation management is the creation of positive content for your business. It is this type of word of mouth that will really help raise your results, create a positive image of you on line, and drive potential customers or readers to your site. The more content that you create that links to your site, the better. This is all about words and links, and it can be done however you think is best. Continually adding key words to the back end of your website is also a great way to ensure that those key words will bring up your site, and that they will also help you to come up in areas that will solidify your brand and build your image in the eyes of your customer. This is exactly what online reputation management is all about.