Often reputation management is not high on the list of marketing priorities and may well be something you come back to only when you have to, such as when managing a complaint and so on.
But in fact, reputation management should be what you revolve everything around, from your marketing to your business itself. Not only will it improve the effectiveness of your marketing efforts by helping you prioritise what’s most important for your business, but it will also help you improve the way you work and the service you provide.
First, let’s lay out what reputation management actually entails and then we can understand how to build our business and marketing around it for the best results.
What is Reputation Management?
Reputation management or rep management is the practice of monitoring and influencing public perception of an organization or individual person or organization, generally by using online, sometimes offline, platforms to promote positive information about that entity, over negative information.
SEO reputation management (also known as online reputation management, ORM or e-management) is entirely based online, where the focus is on increasing the authority of a website by providing useful content, earning links from other related authoritative sites, and creating strong social engagement to drive trust signals to the website.
Originally the term ‘reputation management’ was more frequently used in PR, but with the internet and social media being so prevalent in modern-day living, managing the online perception of an individual or a business has become a core part of every reputation management service.
How Reputation Management Impacts SEO
As mentioned above, your online reputation management comes down to raising your website’s authority online and increasing trust in your site. This is done by creating topical relevancy and acquiring natural links from other websites in your niche or in your local area, to prove that you are a trusted and respected business. For instance, you might acquire a link from a local newspaper after you are involved with a local community event, or if you are in a specific industry you might get a link from a safety or quality standards association in your niche.
As well as getting these relevant authoritative links to boost your own site’s authority, social signals play a huge part in showing Google that you are popular as a brand, encouraging them to serve your website over other brands in the search results. Lots of SEO’s in the industry have tested and proven the value of social signals to improve website SEO, and when it comes to reputation management, social media plays an integral part outside of SEO. Giving an opportunity to interact directly with consumers, receive positive feedback and proactively react and respond to negative comments. You can gain insights into your customer behaviour and market directly to other social users.
Lastly, SEO reputation management comes down to becoming an authority online and within your industry. Creating meaningful and valuable content, crafted around topics and keywords that users are actively searching for, being a thought leader, and delivering consistently will help you gain, secure and keep an excellent reputation, both on and offline. Creating a reputation management program with your SEO and online reputation at the centre means that you can future-proof by building a strategy that will stand your business and your website in good stead.
Why Reputation Management Should be a Marketing Priority
However you choose to market to your customers, one thing that is inevitable is that potential consumers will look you up online. Your digital footprint speaks volumes about your brand, and a poor one (or perhaps even worse, a non-existent one) could drive them away to one of your more active competitors. For instance, big brands will take over the first page of the search results, and if customers search for your brand, the first thing they should see is your website, social media and your Google Business listing on the right – hopefully showing reviews.
These reviews are also a key snapshot of your online reputation, along with being an influencing factor in how you are ranked in the search results map pack. With 2/3 of consumers worldwide trusting these online reviews implicitly when making purchasing decisions, and more consumers referencing reviews when deciding whether to buy from your business, if you’re not raving about reviews, you really should be!
Reputation management, especially online reputation management, can be a powerful asset for your business: helping you connect with your customers and provide better experiences for your customers.
How can we help?
Your reputation management should form a part of your wider digital marketing strategy to achieve consistent and sustainable growth for your business. If you need a hand or would like support in the planning and execution of your marketing plans, get in touch with our team of experts.