November 19, 2020

What is Online Reputation Management & How Does It Work?

What is Online Reputation Management? 

Every brand has an online reputation that is defined by how consumers see the company. An online reputation is impacted by brand content, consumer opinions, interactions between brand and users, and online activity. 

Online reputation management is the process of influencing a brand’s online reputation by changing how users view the company. This is accomplished by increasing the visibility of positive content while working to minimize and resolve any negative or false feedback. 

Professionally respond to comments and reviews. 

When a customer asks a question or writes a review, brands need to respond promptly and professionally. This is true for both negative and positive feedback. 

Online reputation management best practices suggest responding to user feedback in twenty-four hours or less. This helps to show customers how much you value them and prevents them from being angry or frustrated. This also discourages already frustrated users from posting even more negative content and permanently impacting your brand reputation. 

Every time your brand responses to users, whether it is on social media platforms or search engines, the response should always be professional. 

For negative feedback, it is crucial that companies respond with sympathy and concern. It can be tempting to ignore or discount negative comments, but this can result in even more negative attention. By letting them know you are interested in resolving the situation, brands are able to prevent negative publicity and rectify their consumer relationship. 

When replying to positive feedback, the same level of professionalism and empathy is needed to strengthen the relationship you have with the consumer. Start by thanking the user for their kind words and invite them to try other products and services they might like based on their previous purchases. 

Replying to positive reviews is also a great way to show potential future consumers the type of company you are. Almost every online shopper read reviews before purchasing products and services. That means, how you respond to users today might continue impacting your online reputation for many months and years. 

Eliminate brand ambiguity. 

Ideally, every small business wants their website to show up first on search engine result pages when searching for their company name. But this is not always the case when you share a similar brand or name with other companies. 

The best way to monitor your search results is by using incognito mode to search your company name to see what users see. If your brand does not show up first on the SERP, the next step would be bidding on keywords and phrases that would secure you that top spot. 

When bidding on keywords, steer clear of irrelevant words or words with ambiguous meanings. Instead, focus on branded keywords and specific long-tail phrases. This will allow users searching for your brand to easily find you online, while also preventing your website from showing up for irrelevant search queries. 

Every keyword or phrase that does not apply to your brand or products should be added to your negative keyword list. When running paid search campaigns, negative keywords prevent ads from displaying for specific searches. Not only does this save money, but it also ensures your website is only being shown to users that are interested in your brand and content. 

Brands can also eliminate brand ambiguity through organic search methods. By creating clear and concise website copy, search engines will better understand your content and properly rank your website for relevant searches. 

Maintain a positive online presence. 

While few and far between, negative SEO attacks still happen in the digital marketing world. These attacks often involve hacking your website, creating fake social media profiles, plagiarizing content, and building spam links to your website. 

Any small business can fall victim to a negative SEO attack – it could stem from a disgruntled ex-employee, unhappy customer, competing company, or even a member of your team on accident. 

To prevent irrevocable damage, it is best to have an online reputation management strategy in place. 

The first step is tracking down the source of the attack and working to take it down directly. If it came from one of your company’s accounts, delete it immediately. If it came from a customer or employee, ask them to take it down and try to resolve the situation in private. 

If you are unable to identify the source, try directly contacting the platform it was posted on and request it be taken down. Social media platforms allow users to report fraudulent accounts or even take legal action against the user. Brands can also report spam links and malware to Google WebMasters, and learn how to fix the issue. 

When dealing with a spiteful Internet troll, it is always best to proceed with extreme caution – you do not want to risk making the situation even worse. To avoid further retaliation, sometimes it is better to bury the negative attack with positive SEO. This can be accomplished by consistently building and optimizing high-quality content and regularly engaging with communities on social media platforms. 

If you would like more information about online reputation management, need help implementing online reputation management strategies, or other digital marketing services please contact Pink Dog Digital at (410) 696-3305, email us at info@pinkdogdigital.com, or visit us on the web at www.pinkdogdigital.com.

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