November 19, 2020

What is Online Reputation Management? [5 things you need to know]

Reputation is everything – and every organization has one! Whether your company’s reputation is good, bad, or somewhere in between depends on a few things. Some of the top ones that inform an online reputation are brand content, reviews, interactions between brand and users, and activity. 

So – what is online reputation management? Put simply, it’s the process of influencing a brand’s online reputation by changing how users view the company. One of the best ways to accomplish this is to increase the visibility of positive content while working to minimize and resolve any negative or false feedback. 

Professionally respond to ALL comments and reviews (yes, even negative). 

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. A quick reply also discourages already frustrated users from posting even more negative content and permanently impacting your brand reputation. 

Every time your brand responds to users, whether on social media platforms or review sites, the response should always be professional. 

Addressing Negative Feedback

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 users know that you’re interested in resolving the situation, you’re more likely to be able to prevent negative publicity and rectify their consumer relationship!

Another tactic that can be incredibly useful when responding to negative feedback is by following up privately with the unsatisfied party. See if you can fix the situation and discuss having the individual remove the negative review (or at least amend it). Personal attention can go a long way when there’s a misstep.  

Addressing Positive Feedback

When replying to positive feedback, the same level of professionalism and empathy is necessary 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 reads reviews before purchasing products and services. How you respond to users today will continue to impact how potential consumers view you tomorrow and for years to come!

Eliminate brand ambiguity. 

Ideally, every small business wants their website to show up first on search engine result pages for their company name. Unfortunately, this isn’t always the case – especially if your organization shares a similar brand or name with other companies. 

The best way to monitor your search results and reputation is through incognito mode. This way, you’re eliminating all of your saved data so you can see what users are seeing when they search you. If your brand isn’t showing up first on the SERP, the next step is to begin an aggressive organic campaign that highlights your brand. 

There are a few different things you’ll want to do here. First, you’ll want to go ahead and do keyword research that pertains to your company and your industry specifically. Figure out which keywords are the most important for you and gear all of your content and SEO towards them. Even if it takes a while for you to show up for your brand name, you’re more likely to show up in SERPs for your niche.

For example, if we weren’t ranking for Pink Dog Digital, we’d start looking at our name with a combination of other keywords and working on ranking for those. “Pink Dog Digital ORM Management” might be a good one for us to search and optimize for.

Next, you’ll want to focus on gathering as many Google reviews as possible. Google weighs its reviews heavily when considering which pages to move to the top of both SERPs and the map pack. Online reputation management software can help you keep track of these reviews and even bring more reviews in to help you improve your online presence.

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, or visit us on the web at

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