Depending on the type of industry you work in, or desire to work in, reputation management can vary. Online reputation management, otherwise known as ORM, is how both individuals and businesses manage their overall presence online.
ORM can be as simple as creating social media profiles or a custom website, however, ORM can also work to restore a damaged or ruined reputation. This includes a poor background report, negative search results, a lack of social media presence, and much more.
Whether you are working to better your own reputation online or your company, make sure you have a general understanding of how online reputation management works. Avoiding ORM can open you out to many external threats to better protect your public relations efforts.
Knowing How Search Results Work
When it comes to the internet, what appears for others is not entirely in your control. That is why you need to make sure that your company’s website along with your goods/services appear on front page for potential customers that are searching Google looking to buy.
It is important to stay up-to-date and well informed on the current algorithm(s). If you work in a competitive industry, knowing how Google/Bing/Yahoo ranks websites could give you a large competitive advantage. Make sure you time the time to sit down once a month to review the current guidelines.
Google does not manually visit websites to rank them, it is based on a number of metrics but most importantly, relavacy and authority. The more visitors a website receives the higher it will rank.
There are several downsides when working with ORM and Search Engine Optimization (SEO) if you are not well informed. You must keep in mind that Google looks for popular websites over websites that may actually provide more value.
For example, you could start a blog about social media marketing on a brand new website. This blog could be 10,000 words and teaches everyone from start to finish about social media. But, you will have a hard time ranking for this on Google since websites such as Forbes.com, NeilPatel.com, Wikipedia, Entrepreneur.com and NYTimes all appear on the first page. All these websites hold extremely high authority, this means if your article is truly great it may take months and lots of connections before your article comes close. Without the right connections or shares this can seem like a daunting tasks.
Many individuals and bloggers give up quickly after not seeing their content rank. By incorporating online reputation you could take your blog/website from zero to hero quickly!
Stop Clicking Out Of Curiosity
If you should ever come across something unsettling or negative about yourself or company on the internet, as tempting as it can be, refrain from clicking on it. Learn more about the do’s and don’ts of ORM.
Now you may just be curious about what the article talks about, however, by you clicking on it you are sending an alert to Google that you “find this article interesting”, this in turn increases that negative articles “authority” online.
The Power Of Social Media
If you are not using some form of social media the odds are, you are living under a rock. Statista.com is predicting that there will be a total number of 2.77 billion social media users in the year 2019 (2017: 2.46 billion users). Personal branding is becoming more and more popular in this digital era.
When dealing with your professional career you should have an active and up-to-date LinkedIn account. Most individual think of LinkedIn as a platform to share ideas and find jobs. People do not realize that customers go on LinkedIn as well when they are doing business. They want to know who they are giving their money to. It is advised that you post once or twice a week and update your status to reflect any current projects or accomplishments. In addition to LinkedIn, Twitter is another viable option if you are looking to grow your brand or presence online.
Nowadays you can literally make a living on social media through what users call being an “influencer”. These individuals’ work with brands to promote and market products through their accounts since they have a high number of followers. Building out your social media profiles can be just for fun, career driven or even a means of passive income.
Social media plays such an important factor for businesses’ today as consumers spend hours browsing Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Linkedin, and many many more platforms. The best part about all these sites is that they have great potential to rank on Google!
Protect Your Reputation
If you work online you already know there are 2 types of people. Those who shop honestly and leave great reviews and those who are out to tarnish your reputation by any means necessary. ORM is essential when working to maintain your brand through any type of crisis.
There are many tools online that can assist you (for free) when it comes to monitoring your online reputation. Apart from utilizing reputation services from companies like NetReputation.com, you can sign up for Google Alerts.
Google Alerts has become the best friend of many publishers and content writers nowadays. This simple yet effective tool pushes notifications anytime something is published online. You receive an email anytime a tracked keyword is found in a new article online. All you have to do is enter keywords to track.
For example, if your name is John Smith and you own a landscaping company in Orlando, Florida you could do as followed:
- “John Smith Orlando Florida”
- “John Smith Florida Landscaping”
- “John Smith Landscaping”
You should be tracking any variation of your name, be specific, or else you could be receiving notifications from anyone with the same name as you.
Google Alerts is one of the most dependable ways to monitor your online reputation and overall presence on the internet. Alternatively, you can also uses Yahoo Alerts, however Google has been known to be more effective and reliable.
One of the most useful tools when it comes to monitoring your photos online is an application known as Image Raider. This will keep a close eye on your images to make sure no other sites are using them without your permission.
This is extremely useful on sites like Facebook or Instagram as users typically share lots of pictures on a daily basis. Fake profiles are created without being vetted, people refer to this act as “catfishing”. There may be multiple accounts using your images, it is smart to audit your social media presence annually. Images are tracked across Google, Yahoo and even Yandex (Russian Search Engine) by using Image Raider.
Wrapping up ORM
When it comes to managing your online reputation there is lot of information you can control as well as fix. If you are currently struggling to better your online presence, start by having a reputation assessment done by a professional. Let these general rules of online reputation management guide you to bettering yourself online.