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The Importance of Online Reputation Management

The Importance of Online Reputation Management


Roque R
Roque is a seasoned online marketing expert with over 20 years of experience in the field.

Negative online content, or bad online reviews can make or break any person or businesses online reputation, regardless of their tenure as a reputable company, or character as a person. Complete strangers can sing praise or spread harmful negativity about a person or company with little effort or thought, and is why the business of online reputation services are so necessary.

What is Online Reputation Management?

Online reputation management, or ORM, is the process of managing and maintaining the public perception of a brand, business, or person online. ORM can include responding to negative comments, creating new online content, gaining positive reviews, and monitoring brand mentions.

Why is it needed? 

The need to manage online reputation stems from the ease in which information and opinions are published and spread across the internet. Whether its businesses or individuals, both are vulnerable to the spread of defamation or negative online content. Through reputation management strategies and monitoring online reputation, people and businesses can not only protect themselves from reputation threats, but completely reshape their online presence.

Ranking In Search Engines

In todays day and age, a person or business’s reputation is defined and judged by what is found online. Without a proper strategy or online reputation management agency in your corner, the real life consequences of a neglected digital presence can be life altering.

So how do people conduct research online? They use search engines like Google and Bing. Having negative content pop up under a Google search for a person or business is a sure way to know when Online Reputation Management is needed. If left unattended, negative content will remain visible to the public, and potentially spread to other mediums, further damaging the subjects reputation.

Online Reputation Management can also be used in a proactive manner to not only boost your current online reputation on search engines, but to protect it from any potential harms in the future. This is especially important for businesses who wish to outperform their competitors and become more visible online to attract new customers.  Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is a practice online reputation management services use to help businesses specifically look better on search engines by targeting their niche audiences and what they may be searching for.

Ranking in search engines is a complicated process with many things factoring in to how and where content will rank on a search engines result page. This is where SEO and strategic reputation management comes into play, and is also why hiring an online or internet reputation management company is such a common practice.

Posting relevant content on reputable websites is one of the many important steps in ranking highly in search engines. Google will read through content to decide whether it is worthy to rank under the key terms being targeted. They will also take into account the platform the content is published to, if its popular, trustworthy and consistently viewed by the online public.

SEO is a very complicated field, but an integral part of the online reputation management process.

When it comes to online reputation management, there are two different categories; personal reputation management, and business reputation management.

Personal Reputation Management

Online reputation service for individuals helps people take control of their online presence and defend their privacy from false narratives that can spread across the internet.  Negative, and defamatory content populating the internet can have catastrophic effects on peoples family lives, and professional lives if not properly dealt with using digital reputation management strategies.

Though every persons situation is different, and tactics may vary, some common strategies for personal reputation management include:

  • SEO optimized content creation
  • Article and blog publishing
  • Social media maintenance
  • Extensive online reputation monitoring
  • Negative content removal

Threats to a persons privacy and reputation are unfortunately very common in todays age given the nature of the internet, social media and online search engines. That’s why online reputation management exists, to help people take control of their online narrative and fight back against defamatory content.

Business Reputation Management 

Business reputation management, or company reputation management helps businesses or brands in many different circumstances protect and improve their online presence. Whether a company is dealing with negative reviews, social media posts, news articles, or the business is just lacking an online presence, online reputation management can mitigate any impacts to their bottom line.

Similar to personal reputation management strategies, each reputation management for business will vary depending on the situation. That being said, here are common strategies used for companies in need:

  • Business listings audit
  • Review Management
  • Social Media Campaigns and Maintenance
  • SEO optimized content creation
  • Website Optimizations
  • Negative Content Removal

Whoever a company’s reputation manager may be, the practices of online reputation management should be considered and utilized to help stand out from competitors, drive more sales, and protect from reputation threats.

Online Review Management

Managing online reviews falls under the larger umbrella of online reputation management

Unfortunately, the ugly truth is as follows: dissatisfied customers have the ability to share their negative feedback instantaneously to the entire internet through social media and review platforms such as Yelp. 90 percent of consumers will read online reviews before they visit a business – this fact alone speaks to the importance of need  review management within your reputation management strategies. Furthermore, 88 percent of consumers believe that online reviews are as trustworthy as a personal recommendation, which becomes a cause for concern when you have a disgruntled customer leaving false and damaging reviews.

One negative online review has the power to deter about 30 customers from using the business, this further solidifies the need for positive reviews being prominent online for potential customers to see. To contrast this statistic, it has been determined that an increase of one star on a rating can provide a boost of anywhere between five and nine percent in a business’s revenue. Boosting a business’s rating to a five-star profile should be the goal for all business owners, this shows potential customers that a business is reputable and responsible. In order to obtain a Google review rating, a business must have a total of five unique reviews from individual sources.

If the need for accurate online reviews and a proper Google rating isn’t clear yet, consider this fact: approximately 92 percent of consumers say that they will use a local business if that business has a rating of at least four-stars. Additionally, 72 percent of consumers say that positive reviews make them trust a business more. So, what does this mean to you? A four-star rating and positive reviews immediately give you access to consumers that already trust and value your business. Consumers are likely to spend 31 percent more on a business with excellent reviews, so ensuring your reviews are meaningful is in your best interest.

The average consumer will read about four online reviews before they feel they can fully trust a company, the key messaging here is that consumers are heavily influenced by reviews – regardless of where the review is found.


Review Management Process

To mitigate the effects felt from a negative review, an online reputation campaign will actively follow up and engage customers to ensure their reviews are accurate and fair to the business. Managing your online reputation and reviews comes down to strategic thinking and a well thought out plan that addresses every platform that a review could be found on. The plan must help you to cultivate positive reviews, deal with negative reviews and  involve a system of analyzing feedback to see how you can improve your processes and products.

Content Removal

The removal of negative online content is something certain reputation management companies specialize in and is included amongst the many different types of services reputation management can offer. Removing content from the internet is no easy task, and is never a sure thing. But when successful, can bring great relief and benefits to anyone suffering from negative content populating the internet.

The best content removal strategies focus around building a case as to why the content should be removed, and then contacting the site owner to make a case for the removal. In some instances, site policies can be used, and even legal resources to have the content in question deleted. The success of content removal really hinges on the resources available and the expertise of the person performing/attempting the removal. That is why there are reputation management companies that specialize in the removal of negative online content as one of their core offerings.

Make Reputation Management a Priority
Properly managing your online reputation takes measures intended to protect and enhance reputation for business and individuals.  A comprehensive plan will involve a system of responding to and countering negative content, which is an area of expertise that any online reputation management company will understand – this is not an easy task to complete and without proper care could escalate the situation into something much worse than a single review or harmful news article.

There is online reputation management software available to many reputation websites and reputation management companies that along with their expert strategies can help you gain a through understanding of where your reputation stands before committing to any services.

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