A positive web presence can do wonders for you, especially if you have a business that you’re trying to promote online. While the technicalities of maintaining an online reputation may differ from those of keeping an actual reputation, the principle is the same—people form impressions based on the things they see about you online, and this can significantly affect the way you interact with people.
This is especially true for business owners. Customers only purchase products and services from entities they know and trust. In addition, the way we share information on the Internet (word of mouth, online reviews, re-Tweets and reposts) increases the likelihood that whatever impressions people form of you, a lot of other people may get wind of them too. People can simply type in your name or the name of your company, and a search engine provides them everything the Internet says about you. It’s a scary prospect, but one that you can twist to your advantage.
Keeping up a good online reputation matters as much to potential clients as an actual reputation does, so invest in increasing your positive web presence. It doesn’t even matter that you’re only trying to appeal to a very specific niche; there’s a good chance these potential clients are looking up services like yours on the Internet.
Manage a blog
Come up with content that speaks to people on a personal level. It helps establish rapport between you and your prospective clientele. Regularly updating your blog also keeps your SEO running tip top.
Check online reviews
Yelp and TripAdvisor are big names in the online review world, and you’ll need to check out what people say about you here. Keep in mind that the rating of your establishment will influence the impressions of others as well, even though they haven’t yet availed of your services.
Get into social media
Everybody’s on Facebook these days. Take advantage of the expansive audience available on social media. There’s nothing like alerting people to your existence via your own fan page. Join groups, discussions, and forums on other social media sites, just to get your name out there. Interact with similar businesses and know what the industry is like these days.
Social media is great. Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Google+ can have positive effects on your online presence. Still, nothing beats a website that you can fully manage on your own. Your business website should be a place that talks in detail about your products and services. A website also screams credibility, and can give an air of legitimacy to your business—something that customers are big on.
If you’re just starting out, a website can give people all the information they need, right off the bat. Also include your website some information about the people behind your company, on top of timely, relevant content that they could use. Using search engine optimization techniques helps too, so look for keywords you can use in your content to increase page views.