Have you ever googled your business name? What’s the first thing you saw?
Online reputation management (ORM) has become a true buzzword recently, but there are still numerous misconceptions about it. ORM is complex and contains a wide range of practices that shape the public perception of your brand. And, apart from your branding efforts, they may also impact your SEO.
Let’s see how ORM is redefining the digital marketing landscape and how to get the most out of it.
People are Talking about You
A decade ago, marketing was done in a completely different way. Building a site and investing in some basic SEO practices was enough for you to put yourself in front of your target audience. However, with the rise of the World Wide Web, the number of your competitors has also grown. And, with it, the way people perceive brands has changed. They don’t trust branded, self-serving content anymore. Instead, they rely on online reviews.
For example, social networks may boost your SEO significantly. Alongside business review sites and blogs, they give your target audience the voice they need. They serve as gigantic online diaries, where customers can express their opinions of brands. And, if you think your business is too small to become a matter of debate on social networks, you’re wrong.
Make sure you stay on top of your brand or product mentions by setting up an alert for your brand mention. You can use tools like Google Alerts, Mention, and Ahrefs Alerts, as well as social media monitoring tools like Social Mention, Hootsuite, Topsy, and Talkwalker.
Apart from letting you give instant feedback, these tools also allow you to determine the sentiment created around your brand. If it’s positive, then you’re golden. However, if it’s negative, this is a clear indicator that you need to improve your strategies to boost customers’ satisfaction.
It’s Important what Appears on Google when People Search for You
Have you ever googled your business name? What’s the first thing you saw in the SERPs? If it’s not your site, then you have a problem. From the viewpoint of SEO, this means that your domain authority is low, your site hasn’t been indexed, your backlinks are not authoritative, or you’ve been penalized by Google. You need to audit your site and start optimizing it for search engines.
Why is showing up high in the SEPRs important? Your site serves as your online portfolio, boosting people’s awareness of your brand. If they bump into some negative reviews or inaccurate information about you first, they may decide not to buy from you.
Other results on the first page should also be owned by you, such as your Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube or Instagram accounts. Make sure your profiles are active, link to them from both your website and third-party sites.
Negative Content about You may Ruin your Reputation
Negative content about your site may severely hurt your online reputation. Is there a way to remove it and show positive reviews only? No, as it’s not ethical. According to The Universal Declaration of Human Rights, “everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression.”
So, what types of negative content are there and how to deal with them?
Getting your site featured on major review sites and directories is great. But, if your site gets criticized, this may affect your sales significantly. Platforms like Pissed Customer are a great option for this form of reviews. However, you don’t have to worry, as SEO can help you here:
Work with your SEO agency on building a well-structured link building strategy, focused on building links on high-authority sites continuously to push negative reviews down.
Remove negative reviews. If the purpose of a review is to ruin your reputation rather than provide feedback, you can request the removal of this comment. Of course, this should be done only if the review is subjective or contains defamatory language.
Articles that put your brand in a negative context
You need to analyze your backlinks and see whether there are any articles mentioning your brand negatively. If there are, pay attention to what they’re saying about you. If there are any outdated information, false data, or inconsistencies in that post, you could simply reach out to the webmaster and ask them to make the changes needed. Of course, if the blog post is based on actual data and tackles real problems, make sure you first fix the problem before you reach out to the webmaster.
Alternatively, you can always target popular branded keywords and create content around them to outrank negative content for these keywords.
The Growing Importance of Transparency
Today, many brands are making their interactions with customers honest. And, transparency has become a key segment of your ORM strategy. It lets you nurture stronger relationships with your target audience and build trust among them. What does this really mean?
Talk about your products and services openly. If a customer addresses a certain problem about your products, admit the mistake and tell how you’re going to fix it.
Make communications personal. Invest in a multichannel communication with your customers to make the interaction smoother and give real-time feedback.
Ask your customers for feedback.
Ensure your answers are polite, even if the customer feedback is negative. By showing that you appreciate customers’ opinions, you position your brand as professional and customer-oriented.
Over to You
Managing online reputation doesn’t mean you should remove negative comments, especially if they’re data-backed and unbiased. Your goal is to track your brand mentions to understand what your target audience thinks of you, boost their experience with your brand, and turn them into paying customers.
Hope this helps!