The first thing that most of us typically do before we meet potential business associates or sign up for a service from a company is to conduct research through online searches.
This is also what many people will do before they will even consider working with you. This may mean that you are losing potential business or career opportunities without you even knowing it due to what is showing up online when it comes to your business.
Your reputation online is a vital element when it comes to your own personal brand. When your reputation is protected, you are able to secure your brand. In addition, successful businesses or careers are only reinforced by an unshakable brand foundation. Below are five easy tools that you are able to use in order to safeguard and monitor your reputation online.
- Conduct Your Own Google Search
Searching for yourself on Google is the first step you can take to protect your reputation, and it is important to do this often (once a month at least).
If a search result is harming your reputation, you are able to contact this site directly where you can request to have this content removed. It is possible to reach the people you are looking for when you click on either their contact or privacy page. There might not be a guarantee in place that these sites will agree to remove this content, but is worth your while to try.
If you are not able to get adverse content removed, the next step is to focus on creating new and updated content which will rank higher on the Google search results. This is possible by:
- Sharing articles on Google+ and Blogger (Google’s blogging platform)
- Updating your Twitter and Facebook profiles
- Creating SEO-Friendly LinkedIn profiles
- Uploading videos on YouTube
- Use People Search Tools
You can benefit from tools like whitepages.com or pipl.com to conduct detailed searches when it comes to your name. Look to see if your address, phone number, and your Date of Birth comes up. If this information appears, it becomes a harder task to go about protecting your identity.
These sites collect information from several other websites, and they typically provide links so that you can contact each source directly. Taking the time to contact each of these sites and asking them to remove information about you is worth your while. If you don’t have the time and want a business to help you with reputation protection then click here.
- Setup An All-Inclusive Google Alert
Google Alerts provide you with notifications of stories as soon as they occur linked to your personal name. To set yourself up, go into Google Alerts and simply follow the guidelines. Set up alerts for your name and if you own a business, set alerts for the business name too.
- Do Not Allow Anyone To Tag You In Images That May Damage Your Reputation
Tagging does not only relate to pictures that you find embarrassing. In some cases, a well-meaning friend may tag you in images of the person partaking in behavior which should remain private.
If you discover that you are tagged in a picture you do not want public, ask this person to remove this tag immediately, and request that they rather not tag you in anything again. You should also go over the privacy settings on any social media platform to make sure any personal information will only be shared with people who should be seeing it.
- Think Carefully Before You Post Anything
I am always telling my clients that “ What you decide to share online will stay online forever”. Before you click on the “comment” or “share” button make sure your actions are aligning with your specific brand. It is unwise to post on any of the social media channels when you feel sad or angry, regardless of what type of privacy settings you use. Also never post negative comments when it comes to customers, business associates, or coworkers. To ensure your brand remains strong, also conduct a spell-check for every post and comment. Finally, it is important that you realize that anything that you post online is what you are showing to millions of people.