6 ways to improve your online reputation

 I recently wrote about the importance of your online reputation and how to determine what it is currently. Today I’ll give you some ways to improve your online reputation by using PR tactics to bury negative impressions. Including how I finally got just my name “Bonnie Harris” to show up first in Google. If you don’t think these will work, search for “bonnie harris wax marketing”.

Before you begin, decide how quickly you need to improve your online reputation. Remember, people with the same name as you can hurt it as well so if there’s a serial killer out there with your name, you might want to proceed with a  greater sense of urgency. For me, my main problem was an author named Bonnie
Harris who writes about parenting and is very popular. Not a big problem but I failed to hit the first page for just my name for a long time. As a solopreneur, sometimes people don’t remember your company name so this can be a problem. Here are some ways to improve your reputation quickly.

  1. Write press releases and distribute them via PRWeb or if you have the cash, one of the wire services like BusinessWire The business wire services will cost you a few hundred dollars, but if you need to bury something fast that’s the best way to do it. PRWeb is good but does not get picked up by as many high traffic sites. If you feel like you don’t have enough “news” to do a release, take one of your old     articles and submit that. “Bonnie Harris releases top ten ways to fire  your publicist” could be your headline, for example. Make sure the release is well-written and not a bunch of fluff. Talk about your upcoming speaking schedule, your quarterly results, your new office, whatever you can. And post it on PitchEngine as well, but don’t believe that will do much for search initially. Despite that company’s claim that press releases are dead, they still work much more effectively at increasing your search results, particularly if you invest in a wire transmisison. (PRNewswire is good too and does a bit more hand-holding if it’s your first time)
  2. Make sure you’re listed in as many social media networks as you can find, and focus on the big ones first. My first result is my google profile, and my Linkedin profile comes up as well. Also, I found that American Express’s OpenForum is an excellent network and often my account there shows up on the first page. Use Alexa to help you determine the highest ranking sites and hit those first.
  3. Guest post all over the place. Even older ones still show up for me in high rankings. Although it hasn’t sold me any business, my post on Current Mom is a huge asset for my reputation online, as are my Selling Books posts.
  4. On that note, do any press you can find. Get quoted in every article you can, particularly in higher traffic sites. If you can contribute your expertise, but it doesn’t directly apply to your business do it anyway. These will show you’re smart and help drive down bad impressions. Sign up for HARO to find these kinds of opportunities. It’s good to practice this type of thing anyway!
  5. This may be obvious, but make sure your site is optimized. If you don’t have good keywords and phrases that make your site come up continually, this will be a losing battle. You can hire a search engine optimizer, but a good web designer should do this for you on any new site. You can find a good web copywriter to help massage your content to help with this as well. Try a  new landing page if it’s too hard to refresh your copy.
  6. Blog. I can’t tell you enough how blogging helps your online reputation. It’s probably the biggest piece of mine – it shows not only my expertise but my sense of humor and my work style. If you do nothing else, set up a WordPress or  Blogger.com account and post at least twice a week.
This entry was originally posted on Thursday, April 7th, 2011
The Wax Blog (Wax Marketing Inc.)

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