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There is a lot of talk in the business world about Yelp lately.  But what is Yelp?  The definition of Yelp suggests the idea of yelling . . . and the truth is, Yelp (the website) may be just that for your business.  So, what is it about Yelp that could garner so much attention for your business?  Here is a guide to understanding Yelp:

What is Yelp?  First, it helps to understand that Yelp is a new kind of social networking site, centered on customer reviews of local businesses.  Anyone can post a review on Yelp, and anyone searching the web can use Yelp to find and evaluate local businesses.

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There is a lot of talk about online reputation management in board meetings these days.  It seems that as soon as businesses jumped on the web and social media marketing wave, the Internet evolved into an even more complex organism, now requiring a deeper look into marketing in this ever-evolving world.  It is no longer enough to establish your Internet presence.  Now you have to manage it: you MUST protect your reputation.  Why is online reputation management so important to your business?  Here are the things you should know:

The Statistics.  Studies show that 90 percent of all consumers use the Internet research businesses when searching for services or products they are interested in.  Regardless of the size and scope of your business, you simply cannot ignore that sector if you want your business to stay afloat.  Even more, over 99 percent of Internet users never get past the first page of search engine results.  They pay most attention to what they see at the top . . . and if you are not at the top, or if the top search results are not complimentary to your business, you are missing out – big time.

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Your business’ online reputation is, quite literally, a matter of life and death . . . for your business, that is.  If you lack the time, patience, or know-how to manage your online reputation properly, then you owe it to your business to put the job in the hands of those who can do it well.  Fortunately for you, there are a number of companies that specialize in doing just that.  Unfortunately for you, they are not all created equal, and it may be hard to sort the good from the bad.  Need help?  Here are some tips for what to look for before you hire a reputation management company:

Services offered.  Different businesses need online reputation management for different reasons.  Identify what you want to accomplish with your reputation management (whether it be moving your business website further up search engine rankings or countering negative reviews, for example), and then ask potential companies what they specialize in.

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In today’s business world, online reputation means almost everything.  As a matter of fact, online reputation is so important that many businesses are now opting to hire firms that manage their online reputations.  If you have decided to take that all-important step, then you may be wondering what, exactly, the company you are paying the big bucks to will be doing.  Here is a guide to what to expect out of your online reputation management company:

Search engine rankings.  One of the primary goals of any reputation management strategy is to control what is on the first page of search engine results when someone searches for your business.  This is no small task, considering many SEO specialists might struggle to land just one spot at the top of page one.  However hard it is, it is important that you control what potential customers see when they search for you . . . and that means monopolizing that first page.

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These days, your business’ online reputation can make or break your business success.  People talk – whether they are unhappy or happy with your business – and talk spreads like wildfire on the world-wide web.  It’s not effective to stay impartial, “take the high road,” or turn the other cheek when it comes to handling things others say about you on the Internet.  As a matter of fact, being anything less than proactive about your online reputation can be downright dangerous to your business, as you can guarantee that if you don’t create your online reputation, someone else will . . . and that power could be very destructive in the wrong hands.  The first step to protecting your online reputation is monitoring it.  Here are five ways to monitor your online reputation:

How Sociable.  Register each of your social networking accounts with this program and it will tell you how relevant your pages are in relation to your competition, and then use that information to improve your online reputation.

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