Self Scouting Your Business Reputation

Football coaches say they are “self scouting” when they look at their teams with a very critical eye – as if they were opposing coaches breaking down the strength and weaknesses of their team. You can do something like that by taking a critical and realistic view how your business appears on the Internet.

Let me show you what I do when I look at a business for the first time. I do two types of Google searches. (Google represents the vast majority of searches so it is the search that we always focus on, at least in the initial analysis.) Let me tell you what these searches are and what I am looking for.

First, I simply search the business by its business name. Is the first listing one the business controls? Is the website showing first? What is the nature of other search results mentioning your business? Check to see if your Google+Local profile shows up, assuming you have one. Check for websites with your reviews. How are the reviews?

Then click on the “Maps” tab to see how you are displaying in Google Maps. Determine if the information is accurate, and if the listing needs augmenting in any way.

You can dig a little deeper on your business search by searching only using your business phone number, and then searching using only your street address without your business name. Sometimes these types of searches render interesting or unexpected results.

Another related search would be search the names of partners or principals in the business. This is important analysis for things like medical practices, law firms and similar profession groups.

The purpose of this first type of search is to see how the world sees you when your business is the specific target of a search. How is that first impression? Remember, on the Internet you only have seconds to get a positive reaction – or a negative one. And once a prospect is lost, they are probably gone for good.

The second type of search is a more general search of businesses similar to yours – ones offering the sames goods or services. First, determine the “keywords” searchers would use. Theses are the words you would expect them to put in the Google search box. Now, who shows up? Do you? The important money making spots are toward the top of the first page? Is your business there? How are your competitors doing?

Are searches going to find you? And if they do, how do you compare on first impression to your rivals?

Finally, hit the “Maps” tab for these searches. Note how your business displays, and where it displays.

Are you happy with what you have found by self scouting? Is it time to do something about it? If so, get a hold of us today!

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