You’re forgiven for not fully understanding Online Reputation Management. It’s an extremely dynamic industry with hundreds of moving parts that can affect a campaign’s outcome. Moreover, as the way we communicate, look up information online or interact with each other and businesses is constantly evolving, so is Online Reputation Management. In the section below we tackle some of the most frequently asked questions (FAQs) related to Online Reputation Management (ORM) and try to provide exhaustive answers to each.

A customer could write a negative review about your products or services. And it could drive thousands of potential customers away from your business – never to be seen again. Online reputation management is about maintaining and enhancing your brand’s positive image online.

Perceptions due to a bad review, or a blog post criticising your services, could ultimately throw your business down the drain. You don’t want that to happen. You want to keep bringing in new traffic. To do that, managing your online reputation is key.

But upholding a strong brand identity, in a competitive market, can be incredibly tricky. Hiring the right online reputation management agency – could make all the difference.

Too often, online reputation management (ORM) gets confused with PR. But ORM, usually performed by a group of experts at an agency, is the process of executing strategies that influence the public perception of an online brand. This is done through several ways including responding to online criticism, working to solve the causes of bad reviews, and pushing negative search results down in Google. Through these strategies, perception of a brand can shift to a more positive outlook – which means more traffic, demand generation, and more sales.

Online reputation management pricing varies depending on the size of your company and your current reputation. Often, costs will come out to anything between £1000-£15,000 – with the exact figure you’re quoted dependent on just how much work needs to be done to improve your reputation. In some cases, not a lot of work needs to be done – it’s just that some edges need to be ironed out. In other cases, a drastic amount of work needs to be performed. The more negative search results you have, be it in the form of articles slandering your services, negative feedback on social media, or one-star reviews, the costlier changing that for the better will be.

The benefits of online reputation management are numerous. Changing the perception of your brand could mean the difference between hundreds of dollars of monthly revenue or thousands of dollars of revenue. Today, your online footprint is crucial to enlisting clients or partners to entrust you with their business. A brand that tells your story in the best light so that customers – retell that message online. In short, the reason why online reputation management is important is simple: your reputation is everything – and having a positive one will make a huge impact on your revenue.

In short, you can push negative search results down in Google. But the greater number of negative search results you have with authority, the more difficult it will be. Learning how to pull down negative search results on Google starts with building a positive set of links to your business, which help drive down all other search results. But it’s important to note that pushing down search results on Google is a one-sided strategy. You also need to learn what the root issue of these negative search results is. And from there, you can address it. Otherwise, the problem will continue to proliferate.

Often, instead of moving negative results down, an online reputation management company may be better off attempting to cull negative pages from Google’s search engine. This can be done in a few different ways. Firstly, an online reputation management agency can contact the webmaster of the relevant page and politely ask them to remove the result. This may be feasible in some cases, but in the case that the request is turned down, some content may fall under the Right to be Forgotten standards of removal by Google. If that doesn’t work, responding to the issue that caused the negative review, will create follow up content that indirectly helps push down the negative result from Google.

More than 90% of consumer buying decisions are influenced by online reviews. Naturally, this question is an important one. So, can you manage Google reviews – amongst other sites? The answer is yes. Online review management agencies use several different tools and methods to filter out negative reviews.
Unfair and fake posts can be removed under the Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations (2008), the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) guidance, and the Advertising Standards Authority guidelines.
Positive reviews can also be encouraged, through contacting previous clients with incentives for an honest review. Additionally, an online reputation management agency can take the steps needed to claim all the pages for your business on relevant review sites.

One month with an unoptimized online reputation means one more month with less traffic. It means there’s more chance that your online reputation will continue to grow for the worst. So it’s understandable that there will be a level of impatience about how long fixing your online reputation will take. We can start by answering how long it takes Google to remove search results. Usually, a few weeks at the most. But since online reputation management is largely predicated on pushing negative results down and improving online reviews, changing your online reputation can take time – you can start seeing positive changes in-between 6-12 months.

Online reputation management techniques are numerous. But typically, they fall under three overarching categories. First, removing Google results where possible. Second, pushing down negative results by building more SEO optimised pages. Thirdly, improving online reviews. Other than that, in the online reputation management process, your social media profiles will also be taken into serious consideration – as positive links from Facebook and Twitter, and other social media sites, typically rank higher. An online reputation management agency may also participate in online communities where your brand is mentioned so that people can build a better perception of your company.

Customers today are making purchasing decisions based on your online reputation. And your reputation can be partially crafted through your social media management. Whether you respond to questions about your business, engage with comments, and post strategic content – makes a big difference to how you’re seen by people online. And where are people spending their time online? On social media. An online reputation management agency can ensure that your brand responds quickly to all comments. As the longer you take to respond to a negative social media post about your brand, the likelier the post will be seen as accurate.