The Ultimate Guide to Online Reputation Management for 2020
Today’s digital world is a melting pot of opportunities, and this ultimate guide will teach you how to use Google Search and Online Reviews for improving your business or personal reputation.
Many people seek information about your brand or personality online. With that said, your online reputation is crucial to your business. You need to monitor, optimize, and continuously improve your online appearance for your company’s success. Simple actions can help you develop your brand, improve your reputation, manage negative reviews, create content, and own the 1st page in Google search. This guide will help you achieve all of these goals. Always remember, your reputation is your #1 asset!
To help you get started, I want to start with the what, why, and how of online reputation management and setting SMART goals.
Let’s dive in!
What is Online Reputation Management?
Online Reputation Management at its core is actively monitoring the web for mentions about your brand in order to address false or negative reviews or comments. Sounds pretty simple, right? Well, it’s not quite that. First, you need to build a good reputation which is a bit more complicated than just managing the existing one.
For example, when your online brand is still not famous and you enter your brand name (or personal brand) in Google — the online results can be quite disappointing. Maybe nothing comes up at all or what does come up doesn’t best showcase who you are. With that said, one of the main goals for building an online reputation is owning the first page on search. Once you achieve it — management is just the process of maintaining this reputation.
Why Do You Need to Manage Your Online Reputation?
It’s a good question to ask before starting implementing this guide.
We’ll state, briefly, the two reasons why you need to manage your online reputation:
- Online Reputation Management is an excellent alternative to PR because it is all about small actions. It is not worth a full-scale PR campaign but actually can prevent the need for one. With proper Online Reputation Management, you can protect your brand step by step, before the number of negative reviews can create severe damage.
- Online Reputation Management is also crucial for maintaining transparency and organic interactions. PR campaigns are not that effective anymore, as social media changed the rules of the game. Now customers are looking for direct interactions with the business through social media and review websites. One direct message or an Instagram comment can fix more than a high-scale PR campaign. It is especially important for small brands that do not have a huge marketing budget and still desire to improve their online reputation.
How to Write SMART Goals
It is crucial to determine for your brand what are your foremost personal goals.
I recommend you to follow SMART goal criteria, which refers to Simple, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, and Timely. It will help you to focus your efforts and increase the chances of achieving the final goal.
The final destination can be to own the first page in Google search or improve your domain authority to a specific number in a particular timeframe. I know, I know… now you’re probably asking what’s the domain authority and how to own the first page on google search? No worries, I will explain this in the next section.
Google Search Results
Google search is genuinely the most essential and fundamental thing you can focus on for improving your online reputation. It will take time, but we promise it is all possible!
- Step 1: Enter your business name in Google search (or personal name, if you’re world about your own image). But make sure you’re not logged into any Google Account, to avoid seeing personalized search results.
- Step 2: Analyze the results.
- Step 3: Fix all search results that include negative information about your brand. If not possible, create content, and request guest posts on other sites to cover up the negative range with your own.
Q/A: Google Search
How many pages do you own on the first search result page?
Ideally, you should “own” at least 50% of the search results (pages where you control the content):
Tip: Please make sure you’re active on all social media profiles, link to them from your website and other websites/platforms (it can be a guest post, paid article, etc.) These actions will help guarantee that your “own” content will appear on the first page on Google Search.
Does your website ranking in position #1?
If your website is not ranking in position #1, there are multiple ways to fix it:
- Improve Your On-Site SEO
- Add LSI Keywords To Your Page
- Monitor Your Technical SEO
- Match Your Content to Search Intent
- Reduce Your Bounce Rate
- Find Even Keywords to Target
- Publish Insanely High-Quality Content
- Build Backlinks to Your Site
- Track and Monitor Your Results
- Boost Your Click-Through-Rate
- Use Internal Linking
Tip: I recommend using Moz for SEO and backlinks. But if you do not have time for proceeding with all steps, contact us, and we will do this for you! For more useful tools, please visit this page.
Various websites for collecting customer reviews can affect your business. The research shows that 93% of consumers say online reviews impact purchase decisions.
Monitoring and managing online reviews will help you avoid negative consequences for your business.
The top 5 websites you should monitor:
- Google My Business
- Angie’s List
The latest research shows that 3.3 is the minimum star rating of business consumers would engage with. Make sure your business service or product has a higher than 3.3 rating.
Tip: I recommend using Mention or Podium for monitoring and replying to customer’s reviews. For more useful tools, please visit this page.
Q/A: Online Reviews
1. Are there some negative reviews appearing on the first page?
If there is a negative review or article about your brand appearing on the first page, there are two ways to fix it:
- Reach out to the customer that wrote this review or article. Try to communicate with the user and see if he agrees to change the content.
- Publish guest posts or paid articles on the websites with better domain authority than the website that has this negative content. If it’s not possible, the multiple articles over 2000 words with engaging content can help you to fix that. I know, it’s a lot of work. That’s why you have us!
Tip: I recommend using Hubspot or Hootsuite for posting all content published on the website to all your social media profiles automatically. For more useful tools, please visit this page.
2. How can I remove negative reviews from the first page?
If there are some negative reviews that receive substantial traffic, you may consider pushing them down the Google search page.
Note: These actions are needed only if your customer service did not help to resolve the issue, and there is a substantial negative outcome. In most cases, you can skip that.
There are a few ways to push down this negative review:
- Check all pages competing for the same query and see if there is something different about this negative review that stands out. Most probably this review has a backlink, while others don’t. Once you found that the reason is in the backlinks, check for the similar pages that can appear in the same query, but don’t have backlinks. Two simple links to the positive review should outrank the one with the negative review.
- Write content for a website with good domain authority (that accepts guest posts). Link the desirable review in the guest post. And after repeat the same a few times. Once it’s done, this should help to outrank this negative review.
Online Reputation Management isn’t just about removing all of the negative reviews or manipulating what appears in the search results. It’s all about the organic dialogue with your customers. Remember, that any negative review is possible to fix with a simple compassionate answer. Analyze negative reviews to improve your company’s service or product. With that said, there is only one way to improve your service — reading feedback from your customers.
The main suggestion to you is to monitor all reviews and use organic responses in comments on social media and on review websites. In 2020, the most valuable thing is authentic human interaction.
Don’t have time to do it yourself? Hire a professional reputation management agency to do this for you.
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