The Do It Yourself Online Reputation Management Guide

by Stuart McHenry March 25, 2013

Most of us love the advances in technology that allow us to have whatever information we want at our fingertips with the pressing of a few buttons. This is helpful, but it can also work against us. We can get or send information about whatever we want with the pressing of a few buttons, others can do the same. And while ruining the reputation of someone else or that of a business may not enter your mind, that does not mean that someone would not do this to you. You must aim for proactive reputation management.

Because it is all too easy to find yourself battling misinformation and damaging comments online to salvage your online reputation, it is important that everyone in these times know how to manage their online personas. Four major things you can do to manage your online reputation are:



1. Do an online search to see exactly what is out in cyberspace about you


It is virtually impossible to fight against what you do not know exists. Do a search on yourself and examine the results that come up about you, especially on the first page, although you should look beyond to the subsequent few pages also. Look at the online references that are tied to your name. Chances are, you will see some things that you wish were not visible to others.

This is one main reason why you should closely monitor what appears about you online. Make an effort to stay of out online arguments that may reflect badly on you. Also, make sure when you attend events in your personal life that you talk to your friends about clearing all photos they want to post of you online before they do it. It may not be fair for your personal life to be up for examination, but if details about it appear online, they are fair game for anyone who discovers them and take major reputation management effort to erase or downplay.



2. Set up blogs and other affiliated accounts


As you are able to, you should set up blog accounts in your name and purchase any domain names that are available in your name and common variations. This prevents someone else with the same name from purchasing these hubs that can appear in search engines with searches of your name. You would then control the content on these blogs and sites and they can be vehicles for promoting the positive information you want to come up about you. Also, writing blog posts using relevant keywords gives you a venue for providing consistent posts that search engines can search from.



3. Write high quality articles that are relevant to your industry


The more positive, high-quality content about you in cyberspace, the better. Search engines use all types of information when generating search results. Guest blog posts, interviews of you done by other sites, and even articles that you write can show up in searches. The key to maintaining a positive internet presence is in making sure all the good stuff floats to the top. This is key in your goal towards reputation management.



4. Let your social media accounts work for you


Posts you make to your social media accounts that are in your name also appear in search results. Make sure to use these accounts regularly and to post items that position you in a positive light. This is not to say that you should be someone who you are not in hopes of tricking the search engines or the people performing searches about you. However, your social media accounts can be used as positive promotions for the image you want to create online.



5. Make sure to adhere to a positive online code of behavior


You should never do, say, or post pictures of anything that could come back to haunt you. Once you make these posts they can live forever and you want to have many more positive search results coming up for you than negative. Managing your online reputation begins before you are likely aware that you are being watched. A simple mention by a friend of something you said or did can reflect on you with negative reputation management results. And a picture of you engaging in questionable behavior can literally speak a thousand words.

What will those words say about you and the type of person you are? Make sure the statements are those that you want to live with because they will live forever in cyberspace.

Stuart McHenry
Stuart McHenry is a US-based SEO Consultant focusing on link building, content marketing, local SEO, and reputation management. Follow Stuart on Twitter @smindsrt

Leave a Reply