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One of the most important resources of any small business is its reputation. With the internet's web spun worldwide and consumers continuing to enjoy unlimited access to information and freedom of online expression, reputation management has become your online public relations representative. What is "Reputation Management" and how important is it to your small business? What methods or tasks are implemented and can small business owners manage the process themselves?

What is Reputation Management?

Well before we get into what reputation management actually entails, let's justify its importance. Have you ever "Googled" yourself? One standard method for finding information about people, products, services or about a company is not that difficult. Most people have discovered that it is as easy as

  • Going to google
  • Typing a person, product, service or company into the search field
  • Clicking the search button
  • Your Done

    The result of these types of searches is the foundation of reputation management. Although to most it might go un-noticed, your small business identity is being established through online content. What is written and / or posted by others in websites, news, press releases, blogs, social media the list goes on and on, in a nutshell virtually defines your business, literally.

    Reputation management is the process of identifying and managing your online content, or content that is directly related to your business. The basic areas that reputation management refers to are as follows:

    1. Finding out what people are saying about your business.
    2. Creating a persona, brand image or a perception that accurately displays your business.
    3. Defending that image.

    Unfortunately with with the freedom of expression so easily shared online and the increase of so many consumer complaint websites it might be harder to keep a clean cut reputation online. Take in to consideration that most satisfied customers will not write reviews if not actively doing so already. But some consumers will go out of their way to share their disappointments in a product or services. Even if your consumer satisfaction is 99%, that one percent unsatisfactory rate if they were to go out of their way to let it be known, could potentially hurt your online image and thus revenue.

    Managing the Process

    Assessing your identity, building your personal brand an managing your online reputation can be very time consuming especially if you are new to search engine optimization. Some of the components include:

  • Constant Search Engine Research
  • Website Development
  • Search Engine Optimization
  • Blogging
  • Participating in social networks
  • Posting articles
  • Issuing press releases

    As a small business owner, you may not have the time or the resources to take on a challenge of Reputation Management head on. As a business owner it is more feasible and often more effective for a small business owner to manage their online identity but with guidance to ensure that the time invested is well spent with a viable outcome. It is always best to hire someone with some online personal relation experience.

    For more information contact a SEO Los Angeles Services Reputation Management Consultant.