What is Online Reputation Management and Why is Everyone Talking About It?
Everyone that has created a social media profile, website, blog, or has been mentioned in any other type of digital asset has an online reputation, whether you’re aware of it or not.
Online reputation management is the design, creation and management of all of your digital assets in order to control the way you appear across the web.
This goes for both brands and individuals. In order to check your current online reputation, all you have to do is open an incognito window and Google your name or your company’s name. (This is known as a “branded search”).
The first page results are your online reputation.
This is the information that people will see when they search for you or your brand, and the links that compose the first page of Google’s SERPS make up the nearly the entirety of your online reputation.
For many industries - especially e-commerce, travel and hospitality - online reviews are the most crucial element of your online reputation. Therefore, review management is an integral part of ORM for people and companies in these industries.
The difference between ORM and SEO
Online reputation management and search engine optimisation are intrinsically linked and share many methods because the goal of each is to manipulate Google’s algorithms to control the first page of search engine results.
However, they are different marketing strategies.
The main goal of SEO is to rank on page 1 for different keywords and search phrases in order to bring organic traffic to your website:
CornerPost Creative - SEO Results
The main goal of ORM is to be in control of every search result on page 1 when someone performs a branded search for your name or brand:
CornerPost Creative - ORM Results
Because it affects the public perception of you and your brand, ORM is an integral part of PR. If you don’t actively manage it, anyone can use public platforms to taint your reputation.
Both strategies are integral components of a successful digital marketing campaign. After all, if a visitor finds your company through SEO, chances are they will Google your name shortly thereafter to perform more in-depth research.
How to build or change your online reputation
The main elements that compose most people’s online reputation include:
- Your Website and Blog Posts
- News Articles
- Social Media Profiles
- Customer Reviews on Google
- Customer Reviews on 3rd Party Sites (TripAdvisor, Yelp, Booking.com etc.)
- Business Listings on 3rd Party Sites
In order to take control of your online reputation, you need to actively create, promote and update all of your owned or shared assets, as well as seek new opportunities to garner positive earned assets.
Publishing weekly blogs, occasionally updating your website and maintaining an active social media presence is enough for many brands to maintain a positive online reputation.
However, if online reviews are essential for your business, your job is going to be a bit more complicated.
In order to maintain a positive reputation, you need to have a positive review collection strategy, as well as a negative review response strategy.
Your job also gets a lot more difficult if a negative piece of news is published on a website with a high domain authority (as most news sites tend to have).
You then must launch a reactive ORM campaign aimed at removing the negative content, responding to it, or “burying” it (moving it to page 2 of Googles SERPS).
Who needs ORM?
Everyone who wants to have a say in their public perception should take at least basic steps to manage their online reputation.
Again, if your company relies heavily on online reviews, your investment in ORM needs to be much higher, as does anyone who is battling negative press.
Can you manage your online reputation yourself?
Creating business listings, maintaining active social profiles and blogging are the 3 steps that most people can manage themselves.
However, if you find yourself unable to take care of all these, or if your time is better spent on other projects, hiring someone to take care of them is a good spend.
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