The reputation of your brand has a direct impact on your company’s success.
If someone doesn’t feel they can trust you, your products or services, there’s no way they’ll become your customer. This is why constantly monitoring your online reputation is an essential part of your digital marketing strategy.
But how can you keep track of what people are saying about your brand online?
There are plenty of free online reputation management (ORM) tools that business owners and marketers can use to stay on top of a company’s online presence. From effectively leveraging positive customer feedback to flagging negative mentions to perform damage-control, online reputation management tools let you proactively react to your audience’s feedback in real-time.
In this blog, we’ve compiled a list of the 8 best online reputation management tools.
Table of contents
What are Online Reputation Management Tools?
Online reputation management tools help businesses and business owners monitor their online reputation across many different platforms.
The most common types of ORM tools monitor customer reviews based on their experience with the company. These tools help brands identify and respond to both positive and negative reviews and customer experiences and solicit new reviews.
There are, however, plenty of other platforms that aren’t necessarily review-focused but are of great use to companies wanting to know what the public is saying about them. Most of these tools have functionality for monitoring mentions of the brand across review sites, social media channels, news sites, forums and blogs.
In addition to review-flagging and overall online presence-monitoring tools, these platforms interpret and analyse data to provide users with an overall picture of the brand reputation using sentiment analysis.
What are the Benefits of Using Online Reputation Management Tools?
Online reputation management tools give companies the chance to either capitalise on positive sentiment of their brand or, adversely, rectify negative user experiences and improving their reputation, as well as their rankings on search engines.
The most beneficial features of ORM tools are:
Review management and automation: Most ORM software comes with tools to monitor keywords and brand mentions, allowing teams to quickly remedy issues with unhappy customers when a negative review is flagged. These tools can also help gather positive feedback from customers with customised surveys that can be sent out automatically when purchases are made.
Reputation monitoring: ORM platforms can monitor various outlets where consumers may be active leaving reviews or comments about a business and send an alert when your company is mentioned. These results can be seen from a single dashboard, making it easy for business owners or employees to keep up with what’s being said about the brand.
Search engine optimisation (SEO): These tools can also help companies boost their website’s search engine rankings. Businesses with more reviews and higher rankings are favoured by local searches, which can give them an edge over their competitors. Brands can also use positive reviews in their social media posts, aiding in their overall SEO strategy.
The Best Free Online Reputation Management Tools
The first free tool on this list comes from none other than Google.
Google has a ton of free tools that business owners and marketers alike can take advantage of, but Google Alerts tops our list for online reputation management purposes.
Google Alerts allows you to set up alerts to receive regular emails whenever your company name, products, services, competitors (or any other topic you have an interest in) is mentioned online. You can set up these emails to come in based on your preferences: the moment the keywords are mentioned, once a day or once a week.
Setting up the account is easy (and free!) Just go to google.com/alerts, enter the search term you want to get notified about, click on ‘Show Options’ to narrow your alert to specific geographical areas, languages or sources, then click ‘Create Alert’.
Next up on our list is a personal favourite of ours, SEMrush.
SEMrush is a tool that allows you to monitor online mentions, sentiment scores and resource authority, among a plethora of other metrics.
Although we’re users of the paid version, SEMrush’s free subscription is still a pretty stellar (albeit limited) tool that allows you to do the following:
- Monitor online mentions, sentiment scores and resource authority
- Find mentions without backlinks
- Identify influencers
- Measure reach
- Track referral traffic linked to mentions
SEMrush’s analytics tools are also great for repairing your online reputation post-crisis, or even if you’re building it from scratch.
In it, you can use tools to develop a digital marketing and SEO plan by generating insights into your competitor’s organic and paid search results, link-building and digital advertising.
You can read more about SEMRush’s features and sign up for a free account here.
Übersuggest is a free tool that is wildly popular amongst SEO and content marketers in the industry and is mainly used in keyword research.
How can you use it when researching your online reputation?
As you may (or may not) already know, Google Autocomplete is a great source of information when it comes to your brand’s reputation online. If you type in your brand name on Google, Autocomplete results will appear in the search bar dropdown. There you can see the first impression your brand is making with your audience.
Übersuggest’s tool goes further, showing you variations of your Autocomplete results and sorts them alphabetically. These results can give you great insight into what users are saying about your brand.
HootSuite, most known as a social media post scheduling tool, also provides robust social media monitoring services.
The service works as a dashboard where you can run and maintain your entire social media presence and monitor the most important happenings in your industry in real-time. HootSuite allows you to manage multiple social media platforms on one dashboard (Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Foursquare, etc.), and you can filter social media conversations using hashtags, keywords, language, or region.
The tool offers in-depth analytics that gives you insight into how others are perceiving your content, allowing you to adjust your messaging to follow the attitudes of your audience. This makes HootSuite a great asset when it comes to including social intelligence into your overall social media and marketing strategy,
Sign up for HootSuite’s free plan here.
(*Note: Recently HootSuite changed their free version from allowing 30 scheduled social media posts to allowing only 5. We were pretty bummed to hear this but still think it’s worth taking a look at both their free and paid versions.)
Trustpilot is a consumer review website where users can post reviews of businesses all around the world. The site has nearly 1 million reviews posted each month, making it an important reference for consumers when making purchasing decisions.
Business owners use the site to connect with their customers, and the better your company’s ranks, the most trust you build with those you are and could potentially be buying from you. The site can also aid in standing out in search results because of its high domain authority.
With a Trustpilot account, you can automate your review collection process, gather feedback, respond to reviews, improve your organic search results, and boost click-through rates and conversions.
As with most of these tools, there is a free and paid version. To give Trustpilot a go you can register here.
Rankur is a tool for social media monitoring and management, online reputation management and brand protection.
The software allows you to monitor their brand mentions in over 53 languages, 252 countries, 250,000 news feeds and over 10 million blogs. You can also receive alerts when someone posts an online review about your company.
Rankur has several plans but their free plan allows for:
- Multilingual sentiment analysis
- Real-time monitoring
- 1 social dashboard
- 1 saved search (unlimited keywords)
- Analysis of 50,000 mentions/per month
- 2 social profiles
ImageRaider lets you perform a reverse image search to scan the web for websites that may be using your pictures without mentioning your brand. If any images are found they are indexed and you are sent an alert if they are inaccurately sourced or used incorrectly.
As with most of these free online reputation management tools, using it is easy. All you need to do is add the URL of the images you want to check or upload the files and the rest is done for you.
Complaint Search Box
A tool you likely haven’t come across yet is Go Fish Digital’s Complaint Search Box.
The site lets you search through more than 40 online complaint sites to quickly flag comments left online by customers who aren’t happy with their experience with your brand. The Complaint Search Box generates the text and link to these comments so you can address the problem at its root. Using a tool like this makes it easier to address any problems before they get worse.
Online reputation management tools can help eliminate hundreds of man-hours spent on searching up your brand mentions.
Using the free tools listed above will help you more effectively and efficiently monitor your brand’s reputation, react to negative and positive feedback and even boost your search engine rankings.
Dealing with negative reviews that are damaging your online reputation? Or simply want to get a head-start on monitoring your company’s digital footprint? Get in touch for a free analysis.