What Do Online Reputation Management Companies Do?

Remember when Joan Jett sang, “I don’t give a damn about my bad reputation?” 

That may be true for rock stars, but businesses who want to thrive and survive must care about their online reputations.

That includes everything from Google reviews to social media comments to Glassdoor reviews from employees to social media mentions. Online review picture


A company’s online reputation can be harmed fast and easily

Customers can complain about goods or services easily on a multitude of websites, some of which, like NextDoor, don’t even require people to use their full or complete names. One study found that when people are allowed to leave anonymous online reviews, they skew to negative and mean. Some platforms, like Google, do what they can to make sure people are using full and real names.

But other websites, like Glassdoor, boast that they allow anonymous reviews. They do so because they want current and former employees to freely post information about their jobs, including pay, without fear of retribution. But this allows disgruntled employees to share their opinions and experiences, which can make filling open positions even harder, especially in this tight labor market. You can always flag reviews that you think are unfair, or violate a company’s review policies. But this can be time consuming. 

People also, of course, can mention your company on social media. These are harder to monitor by eye.

That’s why companies often hire third party vendors, like us at SEO Design Chicago, to monitor their online reputations.  We specialize in monitoring, improving, and protecting a company’s online image. In this article, we’ll delve into what best digital reputation management experts, like us, do.


Online Reputation Analysis

Our first step in reputation management is a deep assessment of a business’ current online image. We use a variety of tools to assess what people are saying about you on social media. We look at the quality and quantity of your reviews on websites such as Amazon, Google, Yelp and others. This assessment helps us identify any negative content about you or your services/goods.


Strategic Planning

Once the assessment is complete, reputation management experts devise a strategic plan tailored to the company’s specific needs. This plan typically includes a combination of tactics aimed at improving the company’s online reputation, such as content creation, search engine optimization (SEO), and social media management. Our strategy includes suggestions about what to flag for removal, what to respond to calmly and how to “push down” bad reviews by adding more good reviews.

Remember that you don’t need perfect reviews. In fact, when some people see 5 stars everywhere, they’re suspicious. So a few negative ratings won’t hurt – especially if it’s just star ratings without any long narratives. Unlike you, we’re just looking at the facts. When you read negative reviews about your business online, you want to likely “fight” to defend yourself. We’ll “fight” too, but we’re not as emotional. So our tactics aren’t to argue with the poster. We’ll “fight” by flagging reviews that violate policies. 


Content Creation 

Content is a powerful tool in reputation management. Great businesses create blog posts, articles, videos, infographics, and more. By optimizing this content for search engines, they ensure that it ranks higher in search results, pushing down some websites that include negative reviews, especially those websites that don’t always get a lot of traffic. For example, if you are a small business, you may have a few reviews from current or former employees on Glassdoor. If you don’t have a lot of fresh content on your website, Glassdoor  may rank above your website in search results. If you put more content on your website, you’ll rank above Glassdoor eventually. People often click on the first website they see in search results. So you want the top spot, not a website that has negative reviews. 

Cool content is also often shared on social media. You want people talking about your brand this way on social media, not bad mouthing you. So the more cool content you create, the better the chance that hashtags about your company online will be positive, not negative.


Review Management

Monitoring your online presence isn’t a one and done activity. Online reviews can swiftly appear, and do long lasting damage if they aren’t rectified. Reputation management firms actively engage with customers, respond to reviews (both positive and negative), and work to resolve issues when possible. 

Managing in real time is key. When someone posts a negative review, other customers take note – positively – when a representative of the company replies in some way, even if it’s just to tell them who to call or email. It’s best to have third parties handle this, as owners or employees can naturally get defensive and want to argue their side of the story. When we respond to you, we’re able to stay calm but direct them to you for a deeper discussion. Review management picture


Social Media Management

Social media posts can get away from you fast if you aren’t monitoring mentions of your brand. Reputation management companies like us use the latest software to monitor conversations that mention your brands. We also can respond to comments and inquiries promptly when someone leaves a comment on your official social media platforms. 


Search Engine Optimization (SEO) For Existing Website Content

You want to make sure that your own website, and the best digital content you have about your company, appears at the top of a search results page. Search engine optimization is the use of techniques to ensure that positive content ranks higher in search engine results, making it more visible to potential customers and pushing negative content further down the page. We’ll restructure your existing website to make sure it’s fully optimized for search engines. This means we will:

  • Make sure your site doesn’t have any 404 errors
  • Make sure your website loads properly
  • Make sure you that your site is indexed in Google and isn’t being blocked by robots.txt
  • Fix broken links
  • Make sure each webpage has titles and subheads
  • Write meta descriptions for each page on your website


Crisis Management

In times of crisis or when negative information starts to go viral, we employ crisis management strategies. We, in addition to our 30 content creators (many of whom have PR and journalism experience) work to mitigate the damage by crafting and disseminating a carefully planned response to address the issue and regain control of the narrative. It’s essential that in times of crisis, a company responds promptly but thoughtfully. Saying or doing the wrong thing can actually garner more unwanted attention. When companies try to respond to crises on their own, their emotions usually get in the way. In an effort to defend oneself, it’s easy to be too aggressive in your response. Third party vendors, like us, remain calm and level headed. 


Trend Watching

If we keep seeing the same complaints or comments in reviews, we will notify you and suggest ways to fix the root issue. Sometimes, negative complaints contain kernels of truth. Think of it like poisonous plants in a garden.  Rather than let the root of the weed continue to spread, we’ll suggest ways to remove the root and replace it with a healthier plant. Your garden, like your business, will thrive eventually. picture for online reputation management


Why You Should Trust Us

Obviously, you don’t want your online reputation management service to do anything to harm your reputation. You can trust us. In addition to over 10 years of experience, you can check out our online reviews. Notice that we don’t have bad ones. Sure, we’re awesome but it’s also because we know what to do to minimize unhappy customers. We flag reviews when they violate policies. We run a blog so that our website appears high in search engine results. 

Don’t worry that we’ll do something to make the situation worse if you have a PR crisis or recurring bad reviews. We’ll talk with you before doing anything. We’ll also keep our discussions 100% confidential. So you don’t have to worry about anything we discuss “leaking.” You’ll talk only to our top executives, and they won’t violate your trust. 

You can even see that in our case studies, we don’t name companies. We do this strategically, because we don’t want any of your competitors to know how we’ve helped you, what your internal problems are or were, or to get any free advice. 

Call us today to discuss how we can help you. 

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