In the modern business world so much of what matters now happens online. The internet, advances in smartphone tech, and changes in consumer shopping habits have all made this true. When you also factor in blogs and social media, it is key to see why what happens online matters so much now.
The issue that some companies can have is protecting their reputation online. With anyone being able to post critical reviews, comments and articles about your business digitally, it can be a challenge to do this.
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Online reputation management – what is it?
In a nutshell, online reputation management is the process of protecting your organisation’s online brand image. Many consumers now will simply search for a company on Google to find out about it – and they believe what they see. Very often, this involves not getting past the first page of results!
It is important to protect your online image so that your business is not negatively affected by false accusations, historic incidents that have been dealt with, or just plain lies. By taking steps to protect your online reputation, you are making sure that the truth about you now is what consumers see.
How does online reputation management work?
As this is a process that happens online, the work that needs to be done around it also happens on the internet. The first step usually is to perform a thorough online search to see the extent of the harm to your reputation there and the exact causes. Is it a few bad consumer reviews on a site such as Trustpilot or a scathing blog article that has got traction?
Once you know exactly what is harming your online reputation, you then need to take steps to deal with it. The first step for bad reviews or outdated information in articles is to contact the source to resolve them there. While it can be impossible to remove the causes altogether, you can try to make sure that they do not show up as much in the search engine results. This often involves working on popular keyword searches in your sector so that you can boost positive news about you related to these.
This is quite a specialised task though, so many businesses will choose to use an external online reputation management company. ReputationDefender is a solution that many UK businesses turn to for just this reason.
One fix may not be enough over time
One key thing to note around fixing your online reputation is that it must be monitored into the future once complete. This is because the negative sites or reviews may suddenly gain more authority or be ranked highly if a search engine algorithm changes. If this kind of thing does happen, then it can see the offending online URL begin to show up and damage your reputation once more.
Protect your online reputation
A positive online reputation is essential for any business in the modern world and this also includes contract management. This is because it is what most people see and believe about you. Very often, one single incident from years ago or one unreasonable review can have serious consequences for your company. Online reputation management is therefore key to fix this quickly.