Building a good reputation is essential for any business or company or organization to thrive successfully as 25% of a company’s market value is associated with the reputation it has. A company’s reputation can also, be likened to its brand image. The success of a brand is greatly determined by the kind of reputation it has built over the years and how customers or clients perceive the company. Generally, reputation works both ways—offline and online. In this article, we would be considering the essence of building an online reputation and how it can affect your business or company.
What is Online Reputation?
In no technical approach, online reputation is what people see first when they check up your company online; either through search engines or social media. The information they receive on the first approach would determine their impressions and willingness to cooperate with your company afterward. Online reputation goes beyond websites popping up on search engine results, but also, social media accounts, review platforms, and online forums. Basically, any online platform that brings people in touch with your company. Studies reveal that about 90% of potential customers or partners would first run a quick online search on your business to receive necessary information before doing business with you. It is then, key for any intending successful business to dedicate more efforts in the aspect of building an online reputation as well as other parts of the business. The act of doing this is called online reputation management (ORM). ORM is centred on building and enhancing a company’s online identity to maintain an appealing appearance to the public.
Types of Online Reputation Management
Search Engine Reputation Management Social Media Reputation Management
Search Engine Reputation Management
Search engine reputation management has to do with the monitoring of online information that goes public about a company. For company-owned websites, it is easier to control the kind of content the company puts up to engage its visitors or customer. But for secondary review platforms that mostly reveal customer’s perception of a company or product, it is quite difficult to control what happens there. The good news is that with SERM companies can not only monitor public online information about them but also control negative reviews or impressions about them. Negative reviews can either be as a result of poor services by the company or a tactic from its competitors. Your company can either politely ask the poster of the negative review to kindly take it down or directly engage the SERM.
“Search Engine Reputation Management (SERM) refers to constant monitoring and influencing of the overall public impression that a company has online.”
SERM works by taking out negative reviews about a company online and replacing them with something more appealing; this process is called SERP (search engine result page) Cleansing. To clean out negative reviews from search engines, a company can either engage the use of Search Engine Optimization (SEO), Press optimization, Blogging, and Paid Search Marketing. The SERP Cleansing has to do with “cleaning” the first pages of a search engine result. To do this, the company must optimize at least the first ten search results on the company’s name then consistently publish positive content or reviews about the company using the same keywords as the negative reviews and articles. By optimizing and uploading new content, the company would be able to push or “hide” the negative articles in the other search engine pages. At least 95% of search engine users do not go beyond the second search engine page.
For example, if your company has a negative online review and a search engine (maybe Google) picks it up—this would obviously affect the business—you can optimize and offer the search engine a better replacement (article or review) using the same keywords for the negative article or review. That way, only the positive content would appear on the first and/or search engine page, pushing the negative content way behind.
Ways to Manage Search Engine Reputation
Engage the use of SERM monitoring tools: Search engines like Google makes provision for companies to manage their SERP by setting up ‘Google alerts’. The purpose of this is to help companies search for keywords relating directly or indirectly to a brand or company; this can happen daily, weekly, or monthly. These keywords usually revolve around a brand, company name, product, or other related target keywords. By using the Google advanced search, you will be able to track social media or any online mentions about your company or brand. The purpose of using a SERM monitoring tool is to stay updated with recent online happenings that directly concern your company or brand, and seek the best possible ways to address the matters that arise.
Improve SEO: Search engine optimization is very strategic in promoting your company’s search engine reputation. Search engine results reveal the most relevant information on a particular website or webpage. It also determines the high ranking of a company’s search result on search engines. By optimizing your company’s webpage, you would be able to top the search result list. To rank higher, there must be existing relevant content online that contain relevant SEO keywords that would help in setting the information you would like your consumers or visitors to find about your company in search results.
Use the SERP Cleansing Technique: The SERP Cleansing technique works closely with optimization. The purpose of SERP cleansing is to ensure that the first search engine page that pops up about your company carries positive and relevant information. And every negative content is hidden in the other pages that only a few people visit. Promote Positive Content: Create a blog for your company’s website where positive content would be promoted. It would also serve as a primary source of information about your company. Through a company-owned blog, affiliate websites or blogs, and other partnering online platforms, your company can easily promote positive content through multiple sources. If possible, ensure that these websites and blogs also rank top on the first SERP page related to your company.
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