Last Updated on March 14, 2023 by Allen
Online business reputation management is a crucial process of protecting your business integrity and brand image on the internet! The internet, today, has become an incredible global community that can make or mar the reputation of businesses, and consequently influence their number of sales. Thus, as a business owner, it is important that you manage your business’s online reputation properly, to enhance your brand image and convert more prospects to loyal customers. This definitive guide has been prepared to help you understand online reputation management properly.
What Exactly Is Online Reputation Management (ORM)?
Online reputation management is not just simple online social monitoring, as most people think. It is a comprehensive, deliberate process of managing and protecting your business’s reputation from harmful and destructive comments, reviews, and posts. When negative feedback about the services your business renders are posted online, they eventually find their way to prospects searching for your business, thereby hurting your brand and affecting your sales.
Therefore, you have to take necessary measures to manage your business’s online reputation appropriately, and protect yourself from malicious contents or negative comments about your services. These negative feedbacks can be either from a disgruntled customer, aggrieved employees, or unscrupulous competitor.
Why Does Your Business Online Reputation Matters?
The internet has changed from what it used to be a decade ago when businesses rendered their services to passive customers, who had no way of expressing their complaint or appreciation about the service received. Today, business websites are no longer static brochures, but platforms where businesses and customers actively interact. Customers can now leave feedbacks and reviews on your website and other review platforms about the quality of the service you rendered.
Thus, as a business owner, it is essential to have absolute control over what is being said about your business online. These days with advancements in technology, there are many ways to conduct searches. Anybody from a prospective customer, stockholder, a journalist or even your competitor, can utilize enhanced search results and find something defamatory that can harm your business.
Have it in mind that search engines make use of relevance and not quality as the primary criterion in ranking. Thus, the negative comments written about your business may rank high on search results and become relevant; influencing the actions of prospects searching for your business online. Online business reputation management serves as a defensive technique against destructive web elements that can damage any business.
How Online Business Reputation Management Works
Effectively managing your business’s reputation requires you to carry out specific action online that will reflect positively on your brand image. Outlined below are some of the steps you have to take to make your online business reputation management work. You can also Download Our Free Comprehensive Reputation Management Checklist Here!
- Create the right presence
To take charge of your internet presence, you need to have a significant and professional presence on social media, such as Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter pages, as well as a business blog or websites. It is not enough that you have a presence online, you should also be active and regularly engage positively with your customers and prospects. This is to build their trust in your services.
- Optimize for Search Engine
Prospective customers don’t usually check all the search result when searching for a product or service on the internet. They, often, don’t go beyond the first page. Optimizing the content about your business for search engines will help you rank high on result pages and improve your reputation. Effective search engine optimization can also help display positive feedbacks about your business on relevant search engine result pages.
- Respond To All Feedbacks
Aside from responding to feedback on your website and social media pages, you should also search and respond to online reviews and ratings posted on other online platforms, such as Yelp. Also, you should respond to both positive and negative reviews professionally. This will show prospective customers that you care about the kind of service you render your clients.
- Evaluate Your Online Reputation
There’s no strict rule in determining whether you have an “excellent” or “awful” online reputation. However, you should evaluate your online reputation regularly, to make sure that your business is presented in a positive light online. If the top 10 search results for your brand include listings that are either negative or have nothing to do with your brand, you need to improve on your reputation, before your reputation hurts your business.
Launching Your Online Reputation Management Plan
When planning to manage your online reputation, there are several steps you need to take to be effective. Outlined below are some tips to guide you in launching an effective online reputation management plan.
- Assess your online reputation
Start by analyzing the existing online reputation status for your business. Ensure you carry out the assessment anonymously, to get the most accurate result. Be sure to log out of search engine accounts and disable personalized search. Use organic search to find out what people are saying and what content has been associated with your brand. You can conduct multiple searches using relevant keywords. Use your company name and product name, and look out for the first few search engine results.
Also, when assessing your online reputation, don’t limit yourself to web pages on Google. Your online reputation includes any content on any search engine. Conduct an extensive search on Yahoo, Ask, Bing, and Yelp too. You should also monitor what is being said about your business on social media. You can use effective social media tools, such as HootSuite, Review push, Buffer, TweetDeck, etc.
- Understand the change that’s required
It’s essential to create an excellent and constructive reputation before been faced with misinformation and defamatory issue. During your assessment, check if all the details are correct. Take note of places where you can make changes. If your business has a somewhat negative online presence already, it may be a good idea to filter out the noise and examine the first changes you need to make to change the status.
- Create an Effective Plan
As soon as you are done assessing your business and highlighting the changes that need to be made, decide on the right sources to include in your online reputation strategy. Decide on whether you need to create more content, or change your marketing strategy to enhance your online reputation. Usually, an effective online reputation management plan must include, engaging customers on ideal online platforms, creating quality contents, and marketing opportunities for expanded reach.
- Start Building Your Reputation
Online business reputation management is a continuous process. Thus, the creation and launching an effective reputation management plan should be done regularly – from fresh content creation to regularly updating information on listing sites and encouraging new customers to leave positive reviews. Once you’re active in monitoring your brand’s presence, you’re already prepared to deal with any new situation that may need your attention.
In conclusion, online reputation management is designed to sustain the stability of a company. It serves as protection against defamation and most importantly, improve your website ranking on search engine results and convert more prospect. However, it can be a stressful process, which may be overwhelming to handle on your own. Rather than avoid it, you can hire a reputation expert or purchase a quality reputation management software to help with the process.
Review Dingo is a leading online business reputation management company that provide businesses with outstanding reputation experts and high-quality software to help build a positive online reputation that will attract more prospective customers and increase sales. We are available 24/7 to help ensure that your business image online is reflected on positively. Contact us today to learn more!