Monday, 12 March 2012

Online Reputation Management Explained

Online reputation management is the on-going and pro-active process of protecting your brand online. If done correctly, ORM provides cover from all angles so that any instance of negative press reflecting badly on your brand is hidden away and buried beneath positive or neutral material, whether that be in the first pages of the search engine rankings or when browsing through social media and social networking websites. Adverse material can come from an unhappy customer, an ex-employee, an internet ‘troll’, or even from a competitor looking to damage your reputation to enhance the amount of business coming their way.

Social Media and Reputation Management

One of the strongest approaches to utilising online reputation management is by means of social media/networking. The internet is heavily populated by social websites, and therefore relies on the participation of the general public to make up much of the content which is posted online these days. This can result in a scenario where your brand name is tarnished by one individual who holds a grudge after a small misdealing with your company. Often the best ways to counter-act such negative press is to fight fire with fire and utilise social media for your very own online reputation management campaign by setting up active profiles on authority websites and promoting them.

Search Engine Optimisation and Online Reputation Management

If your own website has a blog or internal pages at your disposal then it is good practice to make use of these assets and optimise them to rank for search terms which have negative results appearing for them within the search engine ranking pages. This can be achieved by a mixture of on-site SEO (optimising title tags, headings, alt tags and content accordingly) and off-site SEO by building backlinks. The technique of utilising SEO is good practice when the search engine results are already pre-populated with material which reflects positively on your brand.

Dominating the Search Engines with Media

There are many websites which have authority in the eyes of search engines and also give you the ability to upload and share various forms of media. The assets which you publish can rank if using your keywords within elements such as the title, the description, the content and the keywords. Some good examples of media you can create and publish include videos, articles/documents, images and eBooks.

Business Listings and Directories

Submitting your contact details to multiple business directories is another good online reputation management technique. One thing to be aware of is that some of these directories have the ability for the general public to leave reviews of the business, which could leave you open for further negative press, especially if you have an active internet troll looking to tarnish your reputation.

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