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If you plan on running a business for long, you best make sure that you're working towards building a solid reputation. If not, other businesses and customers in bad moods will eat you alive. Not that you're going to be totally despised, but it's just the facts of life. You must absolutely learn how to manage the reputation of your business.

Host contests to help bolster your reputation. This is especially important if you have received a bad review. A contest will create a lot of positive information about your company which can help increase your company's exposure online. This technique will also help raise your page rank on Internet search engines.

Have a portfolio of websites you can optimize with search engines. It will seem natural to try and make your business website the number one search listing for your business name, when used as a search query. However, do not stop there. Try to have ten of your business web pages become the top ten search results for your brand name. Block everyone else out.

Monitor your online presence. A negative comment concerning your company can appear at any time. Do not let negative comments reach the top when people are searching for your company. Try to do this a couple of times per month.

If you are going to use anyone's ideas, you should always make sure to give them credit for that. Everyone out there can learn a little from others, so giving due credit will show people that you don't think you are above that. This is a great way to earn their respect.

Try Googling yourself to see what type of information comes up about you. If there is a lot of negative feedback, you can use this to better yourself. In the event that you notice any discrepancies, you should do your best to correct them. You wouldn't want any misinformation to damage your reputation.

Write articles on other sites for a better online business reputation. This can help many people see you as a professional. End your articles with your name, company, and a link back to your website. Where you write will depend on the purpose of your business, your niche, and your target audience. Try to keep the content as relevant to these items as possible.

Counteract any negative online content on your company by contacting its creator. If there is ever any negative content when you do a search of your company, try contacting the reviewer, blogger or whoever posted it as soon as possible. Ask them if there's anything you can do change their negative sentiment to a positive one. If they are unwilling to do so, write a comment(if possible) with your side of the story.

If your company has a negative review online, do not overreact. One of the worst things a company can do is respond to a negative comment or complaint with anger. Also, do not try to retaliate against whoever posted the complaint. These types of reaction are not going to solve the problem and will only draw more attention to all the negativity.

Make sure to read the bad reviews of all of the companies that are in direct competition with you. This will give you a good idea of things that needed to be avoided to keep customers happy. While there is nothing that will suit every customer, this will definitely help you find a happy medium.

Knowing your customers is a good way to protect the reputation of your business. Be sure to talk and poll your customers. Find out what they love and don't love about your company. Being aware of what they love will help you talk about those things. Knowing what they dislike gives you the chance to address it or fix it. It also makes you more prepared in case your reputation is attacked.

Have a plan available to deal with individuals who post numerous poor reviews with the intent of harming your business. It is better to have a plan and never need it than to find yourself the victim of such an attack and be unaware of your rights with no idea on how to manage the situation.

While it is tempting to create profiles and pages on every social networking site available, don't do it if you don't have the time and resources to keep all those pages current. You'll look incompetent, lazy and possibly damage your reputation if a potential customer discovers your poorly managed, out-of-date content.

Often when you purchase a .com domain name, you are offered the option to purchase the name with .org, .net and .info suffixes as well. It's smart to do this, and it's even smarter to develop these into related sites rather than simply having them all end up on your main website. If you have several different sites with high quality, pertinent content about your niche, it will help establish your authority and build your reputation online.

A crucial element in reputation management is claiming your brand name, especially on the Internet. Make sure that no other business or individual is able to use your reputation to enhance their own agenda or to discredit you. Use only one name across all your online venues, including social media, and secure any obvious variations of it that a competitor could take advantage of.

Participate in projects that benefit the development of your community's economy. Being a sponsor of a community program or a donor of an urban renewal project will bring more exposure to your company name. Your contribution to your community will make a positive impression, and your reputation will improve because of it.

Time to turn on the ignition switch and get these ideas into action. Making sure you have an upstanding reputation within your industry is what it's all about. Now that you have this advice, you have some things you need to be doing. Keeping your business image where it should be keeps those customers coming to your place.