Regardless of what you do or what your profession is, fixing your online reputation plays a crucial role. There are a lot of benefits of doing so, and at the same time, opting out of it can significantly have a huge impact on your business.
ORM or online rep management lets you take control of the information that can be searched online. This means that people who are searching for your name are given positive information about you. It is your responsibility to learn everything that’s been posted about you online and do something about it such as bridging the negative gaps, adding or removing whatever’s needed.
This way, you can find a job and that your potential employer would always find the right things about you, even if they’ve decided to do a deeper background check – regardless if it’s for a business, or if you wanted to do some online freelancing work.
Your reputation online is also essential for other things such as university applications, applying for a loan, registering as another country’s citizen, attempting to make a huge purchase, leasing an apartment, wanting to invest, applying for a credit card, or even before going out on your first date.
Reasons Why Other People Write Whatever They Want
When it comes to yellow journalism, the reason that it still exists today is that the media outlets have to be very careful with the way that they deliver the news, thanks to the libel and slander laws. Sadly, the Internet doesn’t follow the same guidelines and it’s not as strict as —-television and print outlets.
The CDA or the Communications Decency Act was first passed by Congress in 1996. This law was passed to make it easier to regulate obscenity and pornography online. Good and bad news, depending on how you look at things, this particular law shields Internet services and are no longer held accountable. A website’s hosting company, as well as the other people commenting, do not represent the writer and/or the website owner, which also includes reviews, feedback, libel statements, complaints, false claims, accusations, insults, and rip-off reports.
The freedom of speech is kept alive in cyberspace, but this also means that other people who abuse this feature are out there somewhere. Considering that there are so many anonymous attacks towards various companies, Google has come up with something and made sure that they prioritize registered users, leaving anonymous comments and attacks at the last place of search engine results. Additionally, Google also filters and removes cuss and other defamatory statements that come up in their search results.
Rep Management Defined
Before we go ahead and discuss what particular strategies are required to fix your online reputation, it is also crucial that you are aware of what rep management is all about.
Simply said, rep management is defined as the process of an improved status of your business whenever it’s been looked up online. This may include but are not limited to online reviews, search engine results, and even other websites generating high traffic.
A normal internet user and searcher can easily read those reviews about your company from using the search engine alone. Other funnels may also include blogs, social media platforms, and many others. This is why you must keep and uphold that good reputation.
Your Reputation: Why Does It Matter A Lot?
Quick fact: Did you know that there’s a high percentage of customers who check online reviews before they hit the buy now button? Yes – it’s around 92%!
This simply means that 92% of your potential customers will be able to check if your company has negative feedback and ratings. And if you do, this indicates that out of 100 potential clients, you’ll get 8 and lose 92 of them.
The process of online rep management aims to improve the way internet users see your business so that you will be able to reach more clients and even help in closing business sales.
Be Proactive In Monitoring Your Search Results Monthly
At least every month, do a quick search on your company name, according to Beal. If you’re a large company and if you’re appearing in the news more often than startups, do it more frequently. You can also use Google Alerts and set it up in a way that you add important keywords. This will help you get notified once a new content has been crawled and is already found online.
Looking through Google’s first page results isn’t enough. While the majority of customers won’t go through second or any other succeeding pages, you should always make sure that you look at pages 2, 3 and even 4, if possible, for any negative feedbacks, reviews, or content. Since Google’s algorithms change and we are not sure how these rankings may change overnight, these search results may end up on page one even before you could bat your eyelashes.
Take note of any negative content that you find on pages 2 and 3 and track these through a spreadsheet. These are threats and may go up on the first page anytime soon. In your spreadsheet, indicate the URL, the page’s status (whether you have control over it, you own it, or at least has any influence over it), and the title of the page itself. You may always want to indicate the content’s sentiment. Was it a positive, neutral or negative content?
Contact Google To Take Down A Website Or Page
As soon as negative content is posted online, you’ll find it a bit difficult to get rid of it. However, if you’ve noticed that someone has made a post that contains defaming or inappropriate images or content related to your business, you can reach out to Google and request that you take down the page from its listings.
For more information about this and for guidelines on a list of content that can be removed, read about Google’s removal policies.
You must understand that while Google has the power to remove content for their search engine listings, it is also your responsibility to reach out to the site owner and ask them to take it down themselves. While it may not show on Google’s listings, it doesn’t mean that it’s not posted online – it’s still there.
As soon as you’ve begun monitoring your online reputation, you’ll discover some negative comments and/or reviews towards your business. What is the best way to deal with it? If a certain user is upset about the service or product, respond and contact them and see if you can somehow resolve the issue. Remember – you don’t have to get mad, defensive and don’t even try to match fire with fire. Reach out and genuinely say you’re sorry and try to give them something to compensate for the bad experience they’ve had with you. It can be anything – a promise that it’ll never happen again, free products, services, or even a refund if possible. If you think that a specific user is an Internet troll, it’s best that you keep quiet.
Start Your Own Blog
Ever since blogs have been introduced, it has become a strong tool that literally allows everyone’s voices to be heard. Blogging nowadays has also been considered as a powerful platform to help businesses and people to build their reputation up, not to mention it can be considered as a powerful source of information. When it comes to owning search engine results, here’s what you have to do: own as many social media profiles as much as possible, in addition to your authority sites. When you have a blog that talks positively about you, whether it be a personal or a business brand.
Having a blog also gives you the opportunity to create and post authentic and unique content. For example, you may create a post that summarizes an interview that you’ve conducted with industry experts. You can publish this and spread the news through video interviews, podcasts, and even blog posts. This is considered to be authority content that you can be used on your website. The best thing about this is that your visitors will also be able to share this post with their friends, and at the same time, the experts you’ve interviewed are most likely to share this on their social media profiles as well.
According to Matthew Woodward, an SEO guru, search engines such as Google favors blogs because these blogs always have new content. Having a blog lets you create content and spread that valuable information that your clients can read. You can also use this blog to link to various social media platforms and profiles. This is also a great place to communicate with your readings by enabling your blog’s comments.
Is It Necessary To Get Reputation Repair?
Honestly, we simply can’t give you a basic yes or no answer to this. You can check this yourself by searching for your company name and see what Google results give you. If you find negative reviews and information in those results, there are higher chances that your potential and even current client-base will be able to read the same thing. If you think that it’s not a big deal and isn’t bothering, then you can just leave it as it is. However, if you care about your reputation, like what most businesses do, then you understand what this can do to potentially damage your company. It doesn’t matter if the negative content posted out there is true or not – many customers won’t be able to distinguish that, and they’ll immediately seek another company or service.
If you still have questions, don’t hesitate to click the button below to find out if your company requires reputation repair.