Did you know that your online reputation has a direct influence on, and can improve, your SEO?
With every other backend improvement you can make to your website, it might not be enough without this. An absence of an online reputation may cause your website to not be featured in the top pages of search results… especially if you’re a local shop.
And since the goal is to be seen, you have to put some work into this area.
“But what if I’m just starting out and don’t have customer reviews? How can I develop my reputation?”
Believe it or not, there are other things you can do for your online reputation. Reviews are a key component that contributes to this, but there’s plenty of other actions that you can start with and should continue to do.
Improve your Online Reputation for SEO
Remember when we mentioned linking to your social media accounts is different from other links on your website? Your reputation is where it comes into play instead. Much like how not updating your website will make it be considered stale (due to inactivity), the same measure applies to your use of social media. If you’re successful on social media, then you’ll bring more traffic to your website and Google will know this!
Behind the scenes, what counts here is the amount of traffic that social media drives to your website. This is measured separately from traffic coming in organically (from search results and directly typing in your web address), and so it builds your reputation.
We think it goes without saying, but we’re not talking about your personal accounts here. Unless, of course, you use your personal accounts for your website. There’s actually a good reason why you shouldn’t use your personal accounts for this though, so do so wisely.
How you use social media is up to you. Despite what is believed, Digital Marketing experts will be the first to tell you that you don’t have to post every single day. All that really matters is the actual content (image/video quality, copywriting/storytelling, calls to action), and sticking to your schedule.
When it comes what platforms to use, that actually depends on trial & error and figuring out which ones reach your ideal audience. The most popular ones which may work for others might not be ideal for you. Use all of your choices as a testing ground then decide which to stick to.
We’re coming back to Links again but in a slightly different way. Did you know that also having external links that send traffic to your website builds your reputation?
Linking is a two way street and that’s why a website is best optimized by having both internal and external links. It’s like “paying it forward” in an online sense to share others. Being featured and showcased on other websites builds your reputation. Think about it – it’s a way of showing “I’m good enough to be featured on ___”. And let’s not forget it’s yet another source of traffic to your website which makes it look even better.
In addition to driving traffic over from social media, having other sources that drive traffic to your website builds your reputation. And the more traffic that goes to your website, the quicker it will climb up in ranking within search results!
No matter what industry you’re in, you can find ways to accomplish this. Look for networking groups or directories, magazine/article publishing sites, trade show events, and anything of involvement that will feature you.
We touched on why you should have a Google Business Profile, but there’s more you can do. Having your Profile on Google is one immediate boost, but you can also set up a Bing profile. This just lends more credibility to your website, and immediately displays more information about it when the search results (on that platform) show you. These are two major sources for profiles that matter, but the more you can find and create, the better!
Having these profiles is an immediate showcasing of your business as a whole. In a more basic sense, it looks more professional when this is available.
Think about when you look up your favourite store in an internet browser. You’ll see the website across the top search results, and the profile right beside it. This profile immediately tells you the contact information including hours they’re open, and is supported by the reviews from customers. This is what you want to have for your website as well.
Speaking of reviews, let’s make sure they’re not forgotten because they are another key component of your reputation.. in every sense of the word.
When you start getting customers, ask them to give you a review. Sometimes it’s easier said than done which is why this can be achieved in a variety of ways. You could offer a small promotion in exchange as an incentive to make sure people do it. Customers that are clearly very happy about their experience are the ideal target because they’ll be willing to do this for you; so keep these requests for those customers.
Asking every single customer if they would leave a review can sometimes come across as “needy”, so you might not want to create this kind of public reputation off the bat.
If you’re just starting your business, you can take on pro bono clients to gain both experience and reviews. Many people do this to shape their offerings and begin to build their public reputation via word of mouth. Think about why many product-based companies send out free items for testing, all to gain reviews. Most may be under the guise of testing the product itself.. but if it’s a good product, they’ve immediately gained a happy & loyal client base!
Reviews can be obtained through a number of means. Having testimonials submitted and displayed on your website can be the only way some people see them. But let’s not forget how valuable reviews are wherever they can be found.
All of these measures, even if you only start them, will help you to improve your SEO along with your reputation. It’s a joint effort to not only improve your website’s ranking but also how the public immediately perceives you. This alone can make or break a business, which is why it shouldn’t be forgotten even if you aren’t in need of improving your SEO.
Do you need our expertise to improve your SEO and create your online profiles? Be sure to check out SEO and related services!
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