Online Reputation Management is more than just cleaning up search engine results and burying negative news articles. It’s a long-term strategy that showcases your company’s most positive content and builds immunity against harmful narratives.
What is Online Reputation Management?
Search engine reputation management controls a brand’s search results by influencing both rankings and searcher behavior. However, a successful program is so much more than just search engine optimization. A corporate reputation management strategy also combines public relations tactics such as press releases with targeted outreach to promote your brand’s positive online reputation. The three most critical phases of a long-term strategy are brand protection, crisis management, and ongoing digital reputation monitoring.
What we can do for you:
- Ensure that your online search profile reflects your company or personal brand.
- Eliminate brand ambiguity from Google search results.
- Protect your name with a positive, authentic online presence.
- Establish yourself as an authority on the internet and across social networks.
- Leverage a network of online relationships to build trust and credibility.
- Identify and address staged competitor attacks.
- Professionally respond to negative and untruthful claims
ORM is not a “get out of jail free” card or a quick fix for bad press. It’s a means of showcasing your best accomplishments and taking control of your own story. It’s also a critical strategy to mitigate reputational risk before an issue arises.
Why is Digital Reputation Management Important?
Online reputation management is important because your search results may not be reflective of you or your company. Seeing as 70 percent of employers now look up an individual’s social media when screening potential employees and 65 percent of people trust online search results more than any other source of information about individuals and companies, leaving your search results up to chance just doesn’t cut it anymore.
If you sell quality goods and provide excellent customer service then your business probably earns plenty of positive reviews. Unfortunately, uncontrollable events and staged competitor attacks can still give your company a negative online reputation. The result can be anything from potential customer loss to ruined business partnerships. An expert reputation manager will address potential problems up front. We can put you in a better position to prevent and recover from damaging content.
Bad Things Happen to Good People
Sometimes a poor online reputation isn’t your fault. Perhaps you have the same name as a criminal. Maybe your company was falsely accused of a crime or your business got caught up in a political debate. Even companies with thousands of positive reviews can be harmed by a few negative reviews on a highly-ranking website. Having a negative reputation is more common than you might think. Surprisingly, almost half of US adults say they have a negative search landscape. What’s worse, negative content can remain in your search profile even if the accusations are false.
As the most experienced reputation management company in the world, we will help you preserve the hard work you’ve invested in your business or personal brand.
Online Records Last Forever…
…or at least they can last for a very long time. Content can be nearly impossible to take down once it has been cached or archived. Even if you remove a negative post from one site, other domains may have already syndicated it. This can have a ripple effect through your personal and professional life.
We offer customized digital reputation management services for high-profile individuals to protect you from damaging information. Our experts will work to strengthen and promote a positive reputation that becomes permanently ingrained in your digital profile.
Online Reputations Have Offline Impacts
One of the first things people do when they hear about a business is to look them up online. Sadly, what people find on Google, LinkedIn and social media can have a real-world impact.
Unflattering articles and poor reviews may affect business deals, funding opportunities, revenue, hiring, and retention. A CEO’s reputation is now just as important as the company’s online image. Bad press can also jeopardize your ability to run for office, chair an organization, or sit on a board.
Our personal lives are equally vulnerable to negative online content. Celebrities know this more than anyone else. You may find it more difficult to apply for credit, land a job, or possibly start (or save) a relationship.
Common Online Reputation Problems
Search engines aren’t out to ruin your name; they’re designed to serve users with the most relevant information about a topic. However, negative search results are much more likely to dominate your Google rankings if you don’t manage your online presence. To suppress unwanted narratives, you’ll need to continuously create and promote positive content. What are the biggest threats to your reputation?
Most consumers now visit online review sites to learn about products and services before making a purchase. But what happens if potential customers discover complaints about your business? Negative reviews on Google, Yelp, and Ripoff Report cost businesses hundreds of billions of dollars each year. Further, many of these reviews may be faked by competitors.
Not all businesses have unique names. If your brand name is also a common word, you could be left out of your own branded search entirely. As a result, it’s harder to own your search landscape and customers will have a difficult time finding your website.
You may have a spotless reputation, but people who share your name may not. These unfortunate cases of digital identity confusion could mean someone else’s social media accounts, inappropriate photos, and criminal activity could appear in your personal search results. Our internet reputation management firm has the expertise to help you put your best foot forward.
Lack of information
A lack of online information about your business is almost as bad as a negative result landscape. Your company will appear untrustworthy and inexperienced if potential customers can’t find any information about you. You’ll also be leaving the door wide open for negative content to fill the void.
Embarrassing Photos & Videos
Compromising photos come in all forms. Your reputation can be damaged in an instant when an unprofessional picture is posted to a friend’s social media profile, leaked to the media, or scraped by a mugshot website. Unflattering photos and videos appearing in a Google image search might cost you your job or business. In some cases it may be possible to remove images from Google results, but only if the photos violate Google’s guidelines.
Building a Good Reputation with Positive Content
Our unique Online Reputation Management service offers complete coverage to help you groom your digital presence and restore your reputation. We are experts in on-page and off-page search engine optimization (SEO), which is the practice of creating content strategically, taking into account factors such as keywords and links, so as to gain maximum visibility for you or your brand. Therefore, we understand what it takes to rebalance your search landscape. Let us help you build and execute a strategy to get you there.
If you aren’t quite ready to make a decision, there are several essential steps you can take right away to improve your reputation marketing strategy. These tactics are only a small component of the complete strategy we can help you execute at enterprise scale.
Expand your digital footprint
Assess your search landscape from an objective standpoint: Take a look at the content populating your current search results. Be sure to first sign out of your Google account so that doesn’t influence your search, then plug in your own name or the name of your company to take a peek at what people see when they look you up online. Focus primarily on page one of your Google results, since 93 percent of people don’t leave the first page of an internet search. Learn more about how to Google yourself here.
Claim all of your online properties and web pages: Whether or not you plan to manage accounts on Foursquare, Pinterest, Tumblr, or other social networks, you should at least claim the accounts before someone else does. Not sure where to start? Try using KnowEm to discover unclaimed accounts. Many brands have discovered counterfeit profiles publishing harmful content under their names. Furthermore, you may end up having to buy the rights to an otherwise free profile in order to silence the rogue account.
Use your social media accounts: While you don’t have to regularly post to all of your accounts, expanding your social media presence by setting up profiles with images, logos, and business information is a good start. You should also commit to being active on any networks that make sense for your brand.
Showcase your expertise
Write and promote your own online content: If you don’t have a blog, consider starting one. WordPress is a free and easy place to share blog posts that tell your story. Google prefers active and relevant content, so keep your blog updated regularly and encourage comments on your posts as well as on all your other social media to signal to search engines that this content should be clearly visible.
On the other hand, avoid “keyword stuffing” — cramming in as many keywords as possible — as this can have an adverse effect and actually push your content further down. Another good way to get your site in trouble is “cloaking,” or attempting to boost your rankings by presenting different content to search engines than to users.
Become an authority by writing guest posts: One way to expand your digital footprint and display your knowledge is to write guest posts for other websites. These articles shouldn’t be about you, but they should be credited to you so searchers can find them.
Improve your visibility
Consider paid and earned media: Traditional marketing tactics can also help boost your visibility and reputation. Good old paid media like commercials and pay-per-click advertising can draw positive attention to your brand. Earned media coverage, which consists of organic word-of-mouth, articles and unpaid reviews, is a bit more difficult to obtain. However, it can have a powerful impact on your online reputation.
Link to your most positive online results: Promote articles about your brand’s corporate social responsibility and other positive initiatives by linking to it from highly trusted and authoritative sites. This will send a clear signal to search engines like Google and Bing that this content is relevant and popular, and it should rank higher as a result.
Monitor for trouble
Sign up for Google Alerts: Monitor brand mentions (good and bad) by setting up Google Alerts. You’ll be notified whenever someone mentions your name or brand so you can react quickly. Alternatively or additionally, you can also sign up for the aptly-named Mention, another tool used to monitor everything said about you on the internet in real-time and in 42 languages.
No matter how you dice it, keeping a handle on your online reputation is a necessity whether you’re hoping to advance your career or run a successful, profitable business. Ignoring your search landscape is no longer a luxury many can afford without disastrous consequences. If you’re interested in enlisting help to develop an ORM strategy, contact us to speak with an expert reputation management consultant.