Maintaining your reputation as both an individual and a business has become essential today. “When looking for a local business, 97% of people read online reviews” (BIA Kelsey). The fact of the matter is that online and offline have almost merged together. And so, it is only logical that your online reputation can influence your real-time status and business. This is why you, as a developing moving business, need to pay close attention to any harmful or potentially negative reviews. And this is where the appeal of top-quality online reputation management (ORM) comes into play. So, here are some guidelines to help you along the way.
Why would you need online reputation management?
Most of you might be wondering why even bother with managing your online reputation? Especially when the focus today is on search engine rankings or any informative technology that will put you on the map? Well, contrary to popular belief, the problems that bad online publicity can cause don’t just fade out. Instead, they can cause long-term damage to your business and to your existing and potential customer base. After all, online reputation mismatches are not technology problems – they’re human problems. But, how can online reputation management actually influence your moving business?
Negative online content clean-up
Making a Google ranking comeback for a website infected with stained online reputation will take time. You might even have to put compensation measures in place for your customers. Along with this method, there are others that growing businesses and established brands practice. Charities, donations, public events, sponsorships, video and social media messages – these are just some to name a few. But it still takes time, depending on the initial damage.
It is the driving force behind online businesses
Customers today directly rely on reviews before they make the decision to hire anyone. And if they come across a single bad review related to your company, it will already influence them with doubts. However, with good and preemptive online reputation management measures, you can prevent this from happening. This can ultimately mean the difference in the final choice between your company and the competition.
Bad online reputation management can lead you into an abyss
A pile of negative reviews is professional suicide for a small business or startup. On the one hand, bad comments can lead to a higher click-through rate, which Google values. But on the other hand, the last thing you want is a spot on the first page as that “company no one should do business with“. With each bad comment that you let slide, you’re digging a larger hole for your business to fall in.
It enables you to build and strengthen your online footprint
Proper and continuous online reputation management can help build you build a strong online presence. After all, you cannot hope to establish your brand unless you first have a solid foothold online. Think of reviews as referrals that rise online visitor awareness. Hence, you can expect higher click-through states, which results in higher conversion rates and more clients.
Is ORM the same as SEO?
There are certain similarities that you can find between online reputation management and search engine optimization for movers. However, they are essentially different in terms of focus and goals. SEO comes down to placing a website on the first pages of search results, whereas ORM focuses on controlling which websites appear in the search results. And these are two completely different tactics and measurements for success. Here are some basic examples:
- Multiple targets. While the focus in SEO is pointed towards that 1st place on search results, ORM goes in a different direction. The position of your website on that first page is not as important as controlling what gets on the page.
- Displacement versus promotion. SEO serves to promote all pages on the website towards the top of the results. Online reputation control looks to replace misleading information with quality and reliable content. Hence, ORM displaces certain pages.
- Lack of virality. Unlike in terms of SEO, a viral website is not always necessarily a good thing from an ORM perspective. Yes, virality leads to a high number of online visitors. However, those visitors also boost the popularity of the website. And this makes it harder to remove any potentially hurtful content or reviews.
- Keyword focus. The goal of SEO is to ensure that any search of relevant terms for your business leads people to your website and company. Online reputation management focuses on keywords that have a reputation impact. Hence, the goal is not to attract people so much as to ensure that the information they find is relevant.
The values of reputation management today
Online reputation handling can be a relatively simple, straightforward process, or it can be complex and multifaceted. Regardless, most ORM campaigns follow a few general rules:
- Search results are algorithmically generated. So, in the end – it comes down to calculated data and educated guesses from search engines and social media platforms.
- Popularity over accuracy. There is still no algorithm that can tell whether or not certain information is accurate. This is why online reputation is often defined by B-rated popular news and articles.
- Don’t click. Avoid making multiple visits to the same page and sharing it with friends via social media or other websites. This can reflect the page as relevant, even though it isn’t in most cases.
- Don’t engage with trolls. So, if someone attacks you online, you should never add fuel to the fire. This only attracts more attention, which makes the information appear relevant in the eyes of search engine algorithms. It’s better to fight their taunts with radio silence.
- Get your story out there. You always need a solid base of positive, accurate content to improve your online reputation. And this is something you should rely on SEO expert help for – blogs, videos, citations etc.
- Use social media. With social media, you control the content they display, so they can make a big difference to your online image. Plus, they also add value to search results.
- Online reputation management through protection of privacy. Make sure to monitor the information that people post about your business online. Avoid hijacking of your reputation by avoiding subscriptions that share your personal information.
- Assume everything lasts forever. And for the most part, it actually does. So, the last thing you want is a permanent mark on your online record. Because no matter how old or outdated certain information is, it can still pop up as relevant on search engines.
Food for further thought on the topic
Once you comprehend the influence of online publicity management, it will be all the easier to achieve success with your business. And one of the many ways to boost your profit and business is by clearing any negative comments about it. As a result, you can also prevent Google from giving relevance to false news and reports, hence saving your brand. Finally, in order to reach your long-term goals and improve your online presence, you need optimal web visibility. And online reputation management is one of the movers’ marketing tools that can help you do just that.