Our online reputation is something that we should all be monitoring on a regular basis. If you have never checked yours or it’s been a awhile since you checked, the first thing you need to do is an assessment.

Sit down and take a minute to answer the questions below:

  • What do prospects see when they search for you online?
  • Is there information out there about you that could damage your reputation in any way? Are there any pictures on Facebook or Google+ that you wish you’d never agreed to taking?

These are the questions you want to regularly ask yourself to make sure you keep your reputation clean.

To find out exactly what others see when they search for you online, use the techniques below:

Use Google Alerts.

I’ve talked about Google Alerts before because you can use them for lots of reasons. Here you want to create an alert for your name, your company name, and even keywords specific to your business. Once you set up alerts you will receive an e-mail daily or weekly with results (if there are any). This is a great way to monitor if anyone is mentioning you or your business, as well as keep up-to-date with what’s happening in your niche. If you discover someone is talking about you or your company, you can be sure to comment.

Check more than one search engine.

Google may be the most popular search engine but you shouldn’t focus all of your attention in that area. Some people use Bing or Yahoo. Using the keywords you want to rank for, search each engine to find out what others are finding out about you. Do a search for your name and your company name.

Look past the first few pages.

Typically, when we do any type of search online and start reviewing the results, we don’t go past the first 3-4 pages. Search for your business name, product names, your brands, and usernames and dig deeper than you usually would to see what you find. This will give you a clearer picture of what others see when they search as well as let you see the things you’ve posted about yourself that you may want to update or delete. You may find a lot of times that we post about ourselves can be the most damaging to our reputation.

Don’t forget to check social media.

People search social media for information almost as much as search engines, like google. Here you also want to try searching for keywords, your name, company name, product name and more on each social media network. Searching social media on a regular basis is another effective way to keep up with what’s happening in your niche as well as find out if there is any chatter about you and your brand. We all know that social media has become very important when it comes to our reputations. Some employers are even beginning to check applicants social media profiles prior to offering employment. We want to monitor what others say about us, but we also need to be more cognizant of what we’re actually posting about ourselves.

Before consumers spend their cash, they will most likely research the product and company they are buying from (don’t you?). This means you need to make sure your reputation is clean. Delete, bury or update any potentially damaging results.

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