Submit post
Go to Blog

5 Best Practices for Effective Online Reputation Management

Malcom Chakery
5 Best Practices for Effective Online Reputation Management

The Internet provides consumers with powerful resources to use in order to research companies before deciding to do business with them. Before buying a product, one of the first things that many consumers now do is to check Google to see what their peers may be saying about this business or product. If a user sees anything negative, he or she may have second thoughts about making the purchase.

In other words, online reputation now has now become one of the biggest decision-making factors in the purchasing funnel. If your business has a poor online reputation, you may be losing customers before they even get to your page. Your online reputation is now every bit as important as your word-of-mouth promotion.  Some consumers may exclusively look online to make a judgement about a company or product's level of quality and reliability.

Blogs and reviews allow consumers to inform others and to recommend products. Neither of those things is bad; however, they also offer consumers a great deal of power. If someone wants to damage a company's image, the Internet offers a variety of ways to do it. Anyone from a spiteful former employee to a competitor can do significant damage to a business's reputation.

Why is Online Reputation Management So Important?

In the modern business landscape, people source goods and services using the Internet. Companies also use it to conduct background checks before hiring workers. The information found online will help to inform the first impression of an individual or of a brand. It is therefore essential that this information be positive. That is where online reputation management (ORM) comes in.

The need for reputation management on the internet should not be underestimated. Companies can lose millions of dollars per year in sales because of negative comments that show up on the first results page of a Google search. If business or individual does not take steps to protect their online reputation, they could find that the most visible online references to their brand reflect poorly on it.

5 Steps to Improve Your Online Reputation

1. Understand that Negative Content is Unavoidable If you are in business for long enough, at some point there will be negative content about your brand posted on the Internet. It may come from a customer who was impossible to please, or from someone who just had a poor experience. No matter how good your customer service typically is, you will have to defend your reputation eventually.

Many businesses wait for the negative information to show up before taking action. This is a tactic that often backfires. Whether your business is established or relatively new, you should be actively influencing how your business is seen online. This is important even if your reputation is presently a good one.

2. Choose Your ORM Solution The options for improving a company's online reputation are to handle it in-house or to outsource it to a reputation management firm. Whichever is chosen, it is important to understand that online reputation management is not an easy task and most companies will not have the experience or resources to handle it themselves. If it is outsourced, it is important to make sure that the firm hired to do the job does it in the right way. This includes avoiding any of the tactics that Google frowns upon.

3. Discover the Cause of Any Negative Comments Find out what the complaints are and whether they are legitimate. If there really is a problem, then steps should be taken to resolve it. Once the problem is fixed, it is time to move on to reputation management.

4. Respond to All Comments Whether positive or negative, all comments should receive a response. While customers often feel motivated to spread word of a good experience, they are often highly motivated to share the bad ones. Ignoring their comments can do tremendous damage to your reputation. Not responding to online comments may be just as damaging as not responding to emails or phone calls.

5. Build a Good Reputation ORM is similar to search engine optimization in that the results will not be immediately visible. However, with patience it is possible to minimize the visibility of negative content and replace it with positive content. One way to do this is to provide helpful, informative content to customers. This allows a company to be viewed as an authority in its field.

Be Vigilant!

In today's reputation-focused world, it is important for a company to do everything it can to protect its brand on the Internet. This includes brand-monitoring and handling issues the right way. The other options a company has include public relations campaigns and developing a stronger social media presence.

Like this post? Follow us on RSS and read more interesting posts:

Malcom Chakery helps businesses improve website design, linkbuilding and SEO strategy, content marketing and user experience. Learn more at Get in touch with him on Twitter @chakery , LinkedIn or Google+ for more articles like this! Malcom’s last article for SEMrush was “Google: More Searches on Mobile than on Desktop."
Share this post


2000 symbols remain
really great information..Thanks for sharing your thoughts with us.. Really I have learned lot of things from this article. I loved it. Keep on sharing more article.. sem tips are played key role in online reutation.
amit sharma
#3 Discover the Cause of Any Negative Comments- If negative link is appearing in Search engines' searches then it means there is very less chances to get it removed now. So knowing the cause of actual reason is not effective then. It would be great if someone plans to take it down with making other high authority profiles for searches.

#4 Respond to All Comments, is never a recommended approach for managing online reputation. It would be better if someone takes time to make a plan and post a comment against a negative comment if required but with wise planning.

Thanks for sharing this content but we felt these were few things that should be elaborated.

Thanks again.
The exception to #4 is when the negative comments are on a negative review site like Ripoff Report or Pissed Consumer. For one thing, these sites and the people who visit them are heavily biased against you, and you will never "win" on their site. More importantly, every single comment will help raise the post in search results. Even if you have a good response, what's going to show in the search results is a bad-sounding site name and an even worse title and excerpt.

Far better to ignore the negative oriented sites. The risks outweigh the benefits.
like this?
Exactly. Even worse was the one I saw where someone decided to get even, they'd post a Ripoff Report about the other person. That person, in turn, filed a couple more Ripoff Reports AND on Pissed Consumer, Complaints Board, etc. Those are a no-win situation. Stay out of the muck.
u did notice the connection to the author..right?
Malcom Chakery
I get the connection and the no-win situation. Some people hold grudges and even after the situation has been settled they just can not seem to let it go.

Send feedback

Your feedback must contain at least 3 words (10 characters).

We will only use this email to respond to you on your feedback. Privacy Policy

Thank you for your feedback!