Monitoring your business credit file and improving your reputation has never been easier than it is in the digital age. Credit files are easily accessed and created online—as are resources to improve your business’s reputation. Maintaining an accurate and positive online presence is important for many businesses. More and more, customers, suppliers, and creditors are going online to find products, services, and business credit information.
For small businesses in particular, a strong Internet presence can be instrumental in the success of a business. Even businesses without a website can have their business affected by online reviews and comments. Restaurant reviews on Yelp! are one example, as is seller feedback on Ebay and Amazon. However, the scope and impact of online reputation extends to almost every industry at this point.
Monitoring Your Business Credit Report
Credit monitoring is crucial to ensuring that credit information about your company is accurate and positive. Bad credit can sabotage a company’s ability to secure financing, and find new business partners. That’s why using credit monitoring tools and services like those available from Dun & Bradstreet can help address inaccuracies, and fix blemishes in your credit report.
Business credit bureaus only have access to credit history information you choose to furnish, so make sure you keep them abreast of your credit activities. Otherwise, a business can establish great credit without anyone knowing about it.
Online Reputation Management for Small Business
Businesses can use complaints and concerns that crop up in customer reviews to address flaws in their products, services, or delivery, and even make amends with particular customers. Businesses can also pro-actively encourage customers that have had positive experiences to improve their reputation on various sites. One way to encourage this is by providing incentives for those who review their services, or by simply requesting that they take a minute to do so if they’ve had a good experience.
Beyond this kind of reputation management, there are also ways for a business to gain more exposure online via search engines. The process of “Search Engine Optimization” (or SEO), plays to search engine algorithms to make it more likely that a company’s website will appear when someone searches for particular keywords.
Search engine users are more likely to click on results that appear near the top of the page, and with more people than ever using online search engines to locate businesses and services, this is increasingly important. When the volume of searches for certain keywords is especially high, ranking well in the search results can have dramatic effects on conversions, exposure, and overall reputation as a credible business.