For an online reputation service to do its job, it has to monitor opinions expressed online. Some companies do manual searches of the common complaint websites to find out what is being said about you, with the top online reputation services going a step further to read the complaints and identify common issues. Most services employ monitoring software that they develop in-house or buy commercially. Others have computer labs for automatic searching and clicking in order to influence the ranking of websites.
Reputations are important, possibly even more so online, where anyone can make a judgment based on whatever information shows up on a web search or social media site. Online reputation management services have the tools to help repair a damaged image, build a positive one, and give you the training and help you need to continue to monitor and bolster your reputation.
While reputation can be influenced by a concentrated program, that alone may not be enough. For example, an online reputation company may do a brilliant job of promoting your good reviews, but if your business doesn’t fix its customer service problems, the problem will continue to surface.
Other variables influence this as well. For example, your website may have superb SEO, but if the website complaining about you has better SEO or a great social media presence, it may rank higher than yours. Therefore, it’s prudent to go into online reputation management understanding that it should be one tool among others for improving your company.
Should your brand run into a crisis situation or a reputation attack, online reputation management companies have PR tactics to help repair your image. These plans include writing press releases, putting out social media statements and booking interviews when necessary. All of these PR plans are designed to help stop the spreading of the negative content about your brand and start rehabilitating your image.
The second step is to manage all of these reviews. You want to know when new reviews come in so you can respond to each accordingly. For negative reviews, you want to find ways to correct the issues that caused the customer to leave a negative review. For positive reviews, you want to thank the customer for their kind words. Quickly responding to your reviews shows others that you care about what your customers think of you. Also, analyzing trends in your reviews can help you improve your business operations.
Online reputation management services can handle all of your social media. This work includes creating profiles for your brand on all of the most important social networks and keeping those profiles up to date with engaging content. They can also monitor these social networks to see what others are saying about your brand.
It’s one thing to create all of this content; it’s a whole other thing to make sure the search engines recognize it. Online reputation management companies make sure all of the content has the proper SEO, which includes making sure the proper keywords are mixed in with the content, the headline is correct and the metadata is perfectly optimized. Reputation management services also work with the content to build links among these venues and any articles mentioning you. Backlinks tell search engines like Google that the information is important to readers.
One of the most common tactics is to flood the internet with positive content about your brand. The trick is to get as much content that promotes you and that you can control on that search engine’s front page as possible. To this end, most online reputation companies create content such as microsites, articles, press releases or videos.
The best business reputation services concentrate on the aspects that will most help your site. For example, a travel agency specializing in honeymoons might benefit from a honeymoon-focused microsite, while a company changing management might bolster its reputation with press releases and interviews with the new CEO.
The first step most online reputation agencies perform is an analysis of the current state of your business’s online image. They scour the internet for mentions of your brand. They look at the state of your website, blog postings and consumer reviews. They research both the good and bad being said about your company. They also take a close look at what comes up when searching for your brand. The goal is to have all positive content on the first pages of search results. The more negative results found at the top of the search results, the more work needs to be done.
After the analysis is complete, online reputation management companies put together a proposal outlining the strategies and tactics they think need to be done to meet your reputation goals.