Today, technology shapes the way we shop, do business, or interact with brands and businesses. The necessity for online PR and digital marketing has grown rapidly as the world swings towards e-commerce and digital businesses. This is driving more and more brands to have an online presence. Hence, creating a robust online identity is no longer exclusive to large multinational organizations. And in such a digital landscape, online reputation management holds vital importance.
Ever since social media platforms got popular, maintaining a favorable digital reputation has become a challenge for businesses. Building a positive brand image is hard work and takes months or even years to establish. Yet, losing it is just a matter of a few lousy user reviews or negative feedback from a handful of consumers.
According to research conducted by Power Reviews, a whopping 97% of consumers read online reviews before making a purchase. Another study by Bright Local suggests that 84% of consumers consider user reviews as trustworthy as personal recommendations. This proves the damage that negative online reputation can do to your business. Not only will it scare away potential customers, but it will also cause your existing clients to doubt your brand’s reliability.
This is where online reputation management services come into the picture. A good online reputation management strategy should be an essential part of any marketing campaign. Hence, in this blog, we will explain everything you need to know about protecting your business’ digital identity.
What is Online Reputation Management (ORM)?
Online reputation management is the process of monitoring and boosting a person or brand’s reputation in the digital space. ORM combines several marketing techniques, such as digital marketing, social media, SEO, and PR, to achieve this goal.
Online reputation management agencies work actively to establish their client’s digital identities. They do this by attracting positive reviews and user opinions on the internet. At the same time, they also take care of the negative or damaging information that may harm their client’s reputations.
How Does Online Reputation Management Impact Your Business or Personal Brand?
Try to recall the last time you ordered food online from a new restaurant. What did you do before ordering the food? How did you find out about the restaurant? Did you check the online reviews when searching for the restaurant name? The answer, most probably, would be a yes.
Unfortunately, the importance of user reviews is not limited only to ordering food online. In fact, anything that has an online presence—an idea, a person, or a brand—is affected by user feedback.
As per a survey by Review Tracker, a staggering 94% of users stop buying from a company or avoid engaging with a business after coming across even one negative review. It sure does sound unfair, but this is how things work in the internet era.
Effective ORM can regulate the results that pop up at the top when a user searches for your brand’s name. It can push the positive opinions to rank higher while burying the negative links deep down. It can also help you monitor false and harmful information about your brand and handle it accordingly. The goal of ORM is to reduce the impact of bad reviews by actively generating content that maintains your brand’s positive image.
Moreover, a stellar online reputation is critical not just to entice your target audience. Search engines like Google and Bing also tend not to show businesses with a lot of bad user reviews on their first page.
What’s more, a poor online reputation also damages your chances of collaborations with other influencers and brands. This is because they would all conduct online research before collaborating or partnering with you.
What is ORM in SEO?
Well-executed ORM also has a critical role in your or your brand’s SEO (Search Engine Optimization). This is because the posts that rank higher effectively determine your online reputation for the most part.
That’s why it’s necessary to ensure that negative posts about your business do not rank higher in the results. This is where you need to combine your SEO and ORM strategies to bring out the best of both worlds. Generate backlinks, optimize your web pages, and reach out to different sites for guest posts to increase your traffic. All these can help you establish authority and credibility in your niche.
How to Deal with Negative Search Results on Google?
The following steps can help you deal with negative feedback about you or your brand on Google:
1. Remove or Delete Negative Links
You may directly contact the websites that spread fake or damaging information about your brand and ask them to remove it. If you can make a strong case for yourself, the website owners will most likely take these down. You may also take legal help or contact the DCMA.
2. Push Negative Links Down by Publishing Positive Press
If the first option fails, the next step is to push the negative links further down the search results. You can do this by posting and publishing more positive content about yourself. Through constructive content on well-known platforms and publications, you can increase people’s trust in your brand.
3. Stay Vigilant for Future Reputation Threats
The final step is to stay aware of future threats. Just improving your SEO and publishing authentic content is not enough. You must develop a fool-proof strategy to safeguard your online reputation for the long term.
How to Do Online Reputation Management?
An effective ORM strategy can have several elements depending on your industry and business model. Here are the five most productive ORM strategies that you can use:
1. Track and Monitor Your Current Online Reputation
Before you do anything to build or repair your online reputation, you first need to know where you stand currently. The easiest way to find this is to do a Google search with your or your brand’s name.
Identify the keywords that best represent you or your brand and evaluate the search results. Assess what sort of brand image these results reveal and in which areas your reputation needs a boost.
2. Be Responsive on Social Media and Review Platforms
Social media platforms are probably the best place to create the image you want for your brand. So, be active on your business’s social media accounts and curate content to convey a positive outlook.
Moreover, it’s also critical to engage with your users and clients—both existing and prospective. Respond to their reviews and answer their queries. According to a survey, almost 89% of users read businesses’ responses to reviews. Another survey by Clutch found that 83% of users commenting on social media expect a response from the business within a day.
3. Prioritize White-Hat SEO
One of the most critical factors affecting how people perceive your brand is how you approach them. Paid recurring advertisements and shortcuts like black-hat SEO generally leave a negative impression on consumers’ minds. Instead, prioritize using white-hat SEO techniques. These include strategies like on-page SEO optimization, backlinking, implementing target keywords, etc., to gain organic traffic.
4. Publish Articles on Reputed Publications
What better way to establish your brand identity than to get featured in reputed publications with thousands of dedicated readers? Doing so increases your visibility, relevance, and prestige in your industry. It helps you present yourself or your business as an authentic and trustworthy source. This, in turn, can help convert readers into potential customers.
5. Seek Professional Assistance
Creating and implementing an effective ORM strategy all by yourself can be quite a task. Hence, working with a professional ORM agency could be the best way to go. Entrusting the experts with your online reputation can often create better results than working on your own. ORM agencies like Digital Nod have years of experience and industry knowledge in building and preserving a business’ online image. They can help improve how your brand is perceived by your target market.
Benefits of Hiring an Agency for Online Reputation Management
Although it’s not impossible to manage your online reputation by yourself, experts recommend enlisting a professional agency. Hiring a reputed ORM agency comes with many advantages:
1. Save Time and Effort
Getting together a dedicated ORM team from scratch is not a simple task. From interviewing candidates to assigning job roles, formulating a strategy, and managing the team—all of this consumes a lot of time and energy. However, you can rid yourself of all these responsibilities when you hire an ORM agency.
2. Leverage the Experts
When you partner with a professional ORM marketing firm, you rely on the experts to handle your brand’s reputation. These professionals have established industry relations and the experience required to curate a positive brand image.
3. Get Access to Exclusive ORM Tools
Professional-grade online reputation management uses several high-end marketing tools and analytics. Unfortunately, these subscriptions can prove too expensive for a business to obtain independently. Some of these tools are also quite exclusive. However, reputed ORM agencies already have these tools at their disposal. And when you work with them, you get the benefit of these exclusive tools and techniques as well.
Contrary to common belief, working with a top ORM agency is actually more cost-effective than conducting ORM by yourself or an in-house team. Leading agencies like Digital Nod offer guaranteed and highly-affordable ORM solutions. With these services, you can have a stellar online image while also saving revenues.
How Long Does Online Reputation Management Take to Work?
Unfortunately, there is no definite answer to this question. ORM efforts can show results in a few weeks, or they may take several months. However, you can usually expect to reap positive results from an effective ORM strategy within 2–4 months.
Therefore, it’s clear that online reputation management is at the heart of every successful digital business. It helps you build a positive brand image, allowing you to put your best foot forward in the digital sphere.
Digital Nod is an industry-leading online reputation management agency. Over the years, we have helped countless brands and public figures clean up their online reputation. We are always on our toes to help our clients maintain a positive brand identity. Whether you need to monitor online reviews, tackle damaging propaganda, or neutralize a reputation crisis, we are here to help!
Contact us today to get the best quote for building a shining and flawless online reputation!