Online Reputation Management

What if you just Googled your business name and saw something there that didn’t please you. Negative reviews or comments shown on on Google, RipOffReport.com, Yelp or some other reputation site. Is this something to be worried about?

YES! In a recent survey performed by Cone, a brand marketing agency, results show that 80% of those interviewed have changed their purchase decision based upon a bad review they read, up from 68% in 2010.

So what do you do about this?

This is where a company experienced in Online Reputation Management becomes invaluable, but what exactly is Online Reputation Management?

Online Reputation Management is the act of monitoring, addressing or mitigating search engine result pages or mentions in online media and internet content. Online Reputation Management primarily involves tracking what is written about a client on the Internet, then utilizing sophisticated online and offline techniques in promoting positive and neutral content, while at the same time pushing down those links the sponsor (in most cases business or individuals) may not want to show when their name is searched.

The primary goal of Online Reputation Management is to move already highly-ranked negative posts off the results pages so that they are seen by fewer people, thus creating a more positive results environment for the sponsor of the effort. Online Reputation Management is the specialization in prevention and repair of online reputation threats, and has less to do with directly promoting businesses.

The term arose from a recognition of the importance that influencing how someone or something is perceived based on an internet search has to a business. As the amount of user-generated content on the internet grew, it began to affect internet search results more meaningfully, and the desire to change those results naturally followed.

Online Reputation Management is related to search engine optimization (SEO) and uses many of the same techniques. However, their goals differ greatly.  Common Online Reputation Management techniques include online promotional activity through new content creation, involvement in the social web sphere (through forums, blogs, social networking), promotion of existing positive content and building social profiles. Traditional websites and consumer reviews are also monitored. The material monitored can include both professional journalism and user-created content such as blogs and blog comments. More difficult, but nonetheless relevant techniques can include fOnline Reputation Managemental “take-down” requests to try to convince site managers to remove negative content, and finally, litigation.

Proactive reputation-building techniques can include responding immediately to public criticism stemming from unannounced changes to a product’s capabilities and features; offering free products to prominent reviewers; and writing positive comments and reviews in the guise of customers posting to online forums or review sites. However, most sites attempt to screen out such covert plugs, and rate their contributors based on how highly others value their contributions.

This is where an experienced Online Reputation Management professional comes into play. The knowledge and ability to effectively push negative content off  the search engines and review sites in a way that appears natural and will be approved by site moderators and consumers is vital. This involves a complete analysis of the current online reputation status of your firm or brand and a plan of action to eliminate the negative comments, as well as an analysis of the current customer service issues that caused the negative reputation in the first place.

If you are concerned about your online reputation or have found negative reviews and comments about your business we can help. Contact us from the link below to get your free, no-obligation consultation and review of your current online reputation status.

Contact Zurich Media Group