There are numerous ways to build your online reputation.

Even without a web site you can create an account at G+, Facebook, YELP, and other review sites to have your customers leaves favorable testimonials there.

Top sites to start with:
- Linkedin
- Facebook
- Twitter
- G+

While these profiles tend to rank high on their own, it's important that you build them so that they are optimized for search engines. This part can take a good amount of time.

Once your web site or blog is established you can go to those accounts and add your URL, which will be a high value inbound link.

Get into the habit of asking your clients to leave a testimonial about you online - with a positive review.

Reputation management is about controlling how your business and your products and/or services are perceived, and then maintaining a positive reputation for your business as a whole and for your brand. It is about protecting and maintaining reputation.

#1 Monitor your reputation - Search for your business online regularly and monitor how you fare in search results and what any feedback is. Understand what you can control and either adopt the services of a reputation management company or go it alone with apps such as Google Alerts, Social Mention or our Review Monitoring service.

#2 Focus and be aware - Ask clients and people who contact you how they heard about you. Get them to be as specific as possible. Was it the search engine or a friend, or _____? This just takes a couple of minutes but will make a big impact on understanding and planing your marketing.

#3 Create quality content - Write content your customers want to read, not just self-promotional copy, which is a turn-off. Think about reciprocation and engage your customers rather than constantly adopting a direct sales approach.

#4 Be social - Use the social media platforms, as an effective way to shape your company and brand reputation. Don't aim for instant results but take time to build up a genuine profile and create content that resonates with your target market.

The only way to remove a negative comment is to bury it with positive comments, so build your treasure of good reviews from day one.

#5 Start a blog - A blog is a great vehicle for getting information out and into the news feeds, especially when you use, about your company or even drawing in customers with useful tips and observations. You can establish yourself as an industry expert too which gives your business greater credibility. It's also important to update your blog regularly to add to your professional image.

#6 Encourage reviews - yeah we are saying this one again, feedback is valuable. It shows you who is interacting with you and gives you essential insight into your reputation. Reviews should be welcomed with open-arms, as nearly 90% of review readers believe what they read online according to a recent study. Don't be tempted to pay for good reviews either, as this breaks the terms of service of many directories and can result in long term harm to your visibility on their site! You can also turn a negative response into a positive by reacting in a professional way and not by being defensive.