When you think about online reputation management, most likely you think about ways to clean up your search results. Maybe some one wrote a bad review of your restaurant or a “scam alert” website has written some harmful things about your dental practice and you want to clean up your search engine results so that the people who are searching for you online will form an opinion of you without being influenced by inaccuracies and negativity.
But reputation management isn’t just about the search results. Your online reputation carries over onto your website as well. It doesn’t matter how well you clean up your search results. If your site visitors don’t feel safe when they visit your site, or if your landing pages don’t boost your authority in their eyes, your reputation will suffer. Not that you won’t have a great SERP, but that your site visitors will bounce away from your site because they don’t trust you.
However, these on-page factors can be fixed. And it’s usually much easier than cleaning up your SERPs. In fact, here are a few ways that you can achieve a better online reputation by concentration on your on-page elements.
1) Give them what they want
First and foremost, follow through with your audience’s expectations. If they are searching for your name, they are probably searching for information about you or your company. They don’t want to know about your sales, your deals, or other information you want to tell them. They are looking for YOU. So give them what they want.
There is nothing that will kill a site visitor’s confidence in a website more than clicking a link that promises one thing and then receiving another. That’s when you lose your audience and your customers. So, make sure that people can find what they are looking for easily and that you meet their expectations.
2) Design for authority
When was the last time you landed on a page that looked poorly designed? How did you feel about the company or the individual whose page it was? You probably thought they were spammy, amateurish, and untrustworthy. And that’s what your site visitors will feel about your website if you haven’t designed your site to look authoritative and trustworthy.
Make your design clean and well organized. That means clean lines, organized information, clear navigation, and more. For example, make your contract information prominent, highlight your awards, and given them a reason to trust you through the sentiments expressed in your headlines and website copy.
Lastly, feature social elements that display a healthy number of people who “like” your website and products or people who have tweeted positively about your service. All these things will help boost customer trust in your website and you.
3) Connect with your audience
Today it is not enough simply to fill a need. Savvy online customers today want to feel like they can connect with you or your brand. Tell your story, let your personality shine, and give your site visitors easy access to resources and the information they’re seeking.
When your audience can see your company personality and feel like you are more than just a cold website among millions, they’ll build confidence in you and help you build a positive online reputation.
Lastly, test. And then test again.
Creating your website is only the first step to creating a trustworthy image. Once you have the first version done. Test different elements, buttons, pictures, navigation, and more. Hopefully you can find out which elements of your web design are encouraging site visitors to explore further and which are impeding them. As you test your site, be open to changing elements and creating a site that fully engages your audience. Help them build trust in your site and they’ll come away with a positive view of your site and your brand.
When you can build a site that has a clean search result page and builds a positive reputation on-page, you’ll have a winning combination that will create a fantastic online reputation.