Let's do a little exercise; use Google to search for your brand, company, product, service offering, your name, your address or your mobile number. What do you see on the first page of search result listing?

Does it convincingly describe who you are? This is important because what you just saw is what people who are looking for you, your brand or services will see when they make a search on Google, Yahoo, Bing or Social Media. You should know that a customer buying process usually starts with an online search and your online reputation will go a long way in making them trust that you can deliver on your value proposition.

It is no news that organizations, individuals, and brands are leveraging on digital marketing techniques to promote their products and services online. Some of these organizations have even gone a step further by making the buying process easy for their prospective customers. This they do by providing e-commerce and online payment features. Some even attempt to kill buying objectives that may arise by providing real time live chats that immediately respond to buying objections prospective customers may have. To make it easy for the prospective customer to reach them, some features like "click to call", " click to chat on WhatsApp" makes it easy to communicate using channels that a very familiar to the customers. However, one major buying objection that is very difficult to kill, especially for start-ups, small businesses and medium sized businesses is trust related issues.

In reality, People do businesses with People they trust can deliver on their promises. Your ideal customers are not interested in your brand, in your service offerings, or in your product or its packaging. They are interested in what your product or service can do for them. And your online reputation will go a long way in assuring them that you can be trusted to deliver. The internet provides a platform that gives its users the ability to be anything and anyone they want to be. This unique characteristic of the internet poses a threat to the success of online businesses but it also provides a great opportunity to write your own story, generate trust amongst your target audience and ultimately improve your online reputation.

Online reputation management is a deliberate process that requires you properly tag your online assets like websites and social media profiles with the information(usually referred to as keywords) you want your customers to see when they search. Sometimes, you have to deliberately remove or manage all negative content your brand, company or personality have been associated with.

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