Building up a business is no easy feat. Aside from the financial aspect of it, it takes an enormous amount of effort and energy to run a company and create a respectable brand. Your products may be of the best quality, and your services may be next-to-none, but without a positive online reputation, your business may be nearly invisible.
Gone are the days where you could get by with an in-person word-of-mouth reputation, because thanks to the Internet, everything and everyone is online. People search for brands, products, and services online, and if your name doesn’t come up, your target customers may not find you. The solution? Create a reputation for your company online – but make sure it’s positive.
Here are some ways to help build up your brand or organization’s prominence online.
Create an online business card
Your web presence essentially acts as a business card these days. Instead of handing out a card with your information on it, people will just look you up online to see who you are and what you’re about. Your website (and social media profile) is a representation of your reputation, and you want to make sure everything about it is positive.
Your website should have an obvious and catchy domain name—something to help people remember you by—and the design should be easy to navigate. Your ‘about’ and ‘contact’ pages should be prominent, so it’s easy to learn about you or your brand and to get in touch with your company. Most importantly, the content should be interesting and of high quality. Using relevant keywords and speaking well to your audience and potential customers will help your search engine optimization (SEO) and list you higher on Google.
It’s just as important to focus on building your brand’s presence with technical SEO as it is to build your credibility with on-page SEO. Consider it like a networking event – your on-page SEO work is your reputation, and your off-page SEO work is like handing out your business cards. They work together to develop your trustworthiness and credibility.
Having a good backlink profile is a strong off-site SEO tactic, as it proves your site is credible and full of valuable content. Creating and earning backlinks from relevant websites should be a priority, and while you can’t necessarily directly control the number of backlinks you receive around the web, you can work to nurture relationships with other similar brands and continue to produce engaging and informative content.
Share your achievements
Credibility is everything online because it isn’t that far-fetched to get duped by a professional-sounding company. People need to trust you before they spend money with you, and people put their trust into companies and brands with experience and awards. If your company or brand has won an award or has been recognized for some kind of outstanding achievement, make sure to share it on your blog and across your social channels.
Share your values with a blog
Every brand holds some kind of values, and a blog is just the right place to share them with your audience. A blog that’s full of professional and exciting content makes your company look like an expert, as long as the quality of writing is top-notch (so no spelling mistakes!), and you’re speaking to your audience in a way they’ll understand (avoid technical jargon and overly complex words).
Be active on social media
Having active social media profiles is crucial these days. People who are seeking out information on your brand won’t just Google you and stop – they’ll find your company social media channels and browse through those as well. In some cases, they will go straight to social media and skip your website altogether.
Posting regularly and curating and creating quality content will help people understand what your brand is about, and will help build your reputation. Keep captions brief but make sure they’re informative and punchy. Image assets should be creative and eye-catching, not cookie-cutter – it’s easy to get drowned out amongst all the noise on the most popular social platforms like Facebook and Instagram.
Most importantly, respond to people’s comments and questions if they post publicly on your social pages. Chatting with your audience helps make your brand look engaged and interested in your fans, which helps build trust.
Reply to everyone who reaches out
Similar to how you should respond to everyone on social media, you should be replying to anyone who emails you with an inquiry or opportunity, regardless if you’re interested in said opportunity. Responding politely and promptly to people who reach out shows professionalism and respect, and is another way to build credibility and trustworthiness.