In today’s online world, we all leave a digital footprint. Between social media profiles, third party real estate websites and other digital media, it’s critical to effectively manage your online reputation.
When looking for a local business, BIA/Kelsey reports that 97% of people read online reviews and according to the annual Local Consumer Review Survey from BrightLocal, approximately 88% of consumers trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations from real people. As you can tell from this data, it’s absolutely critical to effectively manage your online reputation and make sure you know what’s being said about you on the Internet.
Research from ReputationDefender finds there are generally four categories of online reputations that most people fall into and each one has its own advantages and vulnerabilities. These four categories include:
- Sparse online presence. Most or all of the sites in your search results are automatically generated listings. Like whitepages entries, you do not control many of these sites and you have a low search volume for your name.
- Professional presence. Most of your results are about your business or professional life, you control some of the results, and you have low to medium search volume.
- Mixed messages. One or more prominent results are critical or misleading, you control some sites in your results, and you have low to medium search volume.
- Under attack. You have significant critical search results, very little control over the top sites, and a medium to high search volume.
Ideally, you want to achieve a professional presence so it’s easy for people to find you and most of the results they find are about your business. These results are also easy for YOU to control! They are your website, social media accounts, and third party profiles as opposed to general directory listings.