5 Easy Steps to Create and Manage Your Online Reputation

Controlling the way the world sees you is far easier than you might expect. By taking specific actions, you can manage your online reputation and create a consistent brand and image that bridges both the online and offline world. Crafting your message and delivering it to the world online is just another component of marketing. Some would argue that it is one of the most important business strategies you can use.

Use these 5 easy steps to start building your online reputation:

Step 1: Assess Your Current Reputation

Start by doing a thorough assessment of your current online reputation. Conduct searches for your full name, company name, brand or other key phrase in Google and other search engines. Focus primarily on the first 2 to 3 pages in Googleís results. Put this information into a spreadsheet, listing the urls, position in results and your comments on whatís in that url.

Step 2: Identify Changes Needed

Look through each of the results on your spreadsheet and identify things you want to change. If there is anything negative, mark that as a priority to either delete or push down farther in the results. For results that contain key information you want to promote, mark those as items you want to move up in the rankings.

Step 3: Determine Your Best Arenas

Now look at what is showing up most in your results. Are your highest ranking  urls from Twitter and Facebook? Maybe you show up more on a personal blog or in YouTube videos? If so, these are the types of places where you can publish more information about yourself and influence your reputation. At the same time, be sure to identify places where your target audience hangs out. You want to be seen and heard in the places that are most important for the type of reputation you want.

Step 4: Create a Reputation Strategy

With information about your current reputation in hand, you can now craft a strategy for building the image you want. Focus on both the what and the where of your content and message. What type of content will serve you best? This might include blog posts, press releases, articles for directories, tweets, Facebook pages, or interviews. Then decide where this content will be published and how. This might include which social networks to focus on, high traffic blogs, news sites, your own blogs and video sites.

Step 5: Start Building

The last step in building your online reputation is to follow through on your strategy and start creating your content and promoting it in the search engines and elsewhere with SEO techniques. Be sure to have your name, brand or company listed as the author on each item published, so that you get credit for it. As you create the content that will influence your reputation, continue to monitor search results online. Track your progress and keep tabs on all mentions of your name and key phrases so that you can quickly respond to anything negative.

Once you have assessed your current online reputation and have a firm strategy in place, you can easily take control and manage the way you are seen on the internet.  Keep your message consistent across all your content and you will be building a solid base that will help you both in your business and personal life.

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