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5 Online Reputation Red Flags That Are Losing You Money (And How To Fix Them)

The following exerpt from Forbes, highlights the need for companies (and employees) to establish a strong online brand and reputation.  The Internet Age has, in fact, resulted in an important side-effect of the need for management of online reputation and customer reviews, which have become one of, if not the most important asset for nearly every business.

In the pre-Internet days, what people could learn about you and your company was pretty limited. We’re talking Yellow Pages and word-of-mouth type of limited.

Today, the buying process couldn’t be more different. And look, I get it. It can be uncomfortable to admit how much your business is affected by its online reputation, especially if what’s out there is irrelevant or negative.

But the fact is, your online presence does matter. If you’re in a client or investor-facing role, networked recently, or gave out your business card, you should absolutely assume you’re being Googled. Not only that, but clients, employees and investors are making decisions based on what they find online.

 Each of the following online reputation red flags can have a negative impact on a business’ bottom line. See which ones apply to you and then follow the included tips to help mitigate their impact and get your business back on track.

You Have Negative Search Results

When it comes to your digital reputation, search results are really just the tip of the iceberg. But they are worth your attention because they offer a first impression about you and your business. That’s nothing to sneeze at: 65% of people see online search as the most trusted source of information about people and companies.

Yelp App for iPhone
The Yelp Inc. application is seen in the App Store on an iPhone. Photographer: Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg
 Unfortunately, negative online first impressions are incredibly common — nearly 50% of US adults who Google themselves say the results aren’t positive.

How is that possible? Well, consider the fact that anyone can say anything about you online without getting in trouble, whether it’s true or not. That includes disgruntled clients, someone you fired, or someone you used to date. The problem compounds when you realize that everything we do is now recorded online forever, including old lawsuits, negative press, and the like.

The latest research shows that businesses risk losing 22% of business when potential customers find one negative article on the first page of search results. That number increases to 44% lost business with two negative articles, and 59% with three negative articles.

Read Entire Article on Forbes.com

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