What is reputation management?

Blogs 15 Feb 2018

This blog explains reputation management, what you should know about it, why it’s important, and when you might need it as well as processes and strategies to consider.

Ensuring you have a good business reputation is crucial today, especially online. Reputation management provides a way for you to achieve this for your company.

Explaining reputation management and why it’s important

Reputation is fundamental to every business – what people expect from it and say about it. Reputation management involves processes to effectively manage a business’ reputation. Originally a PR term, the growth of the internet has given reputation management an online focus. Also known as online reputation management (ORM), it’s the practice of attempting to shape a company’s public perception online.

So why is it important?

In today’s evolving, interactive and digital world, with the continuous growth of the internet as a tool for voicing opinions and reviews, what people say about your business and brand is more important than ever.

More people now comment online or post reviews about the companies, services and products they use. And users are greatly influenced by what they read online, whether that’s on public adviser sites, forums or social media channels, such as  Twitter and LinkedIn. So making sure you have a good reputation, not just in business but online too, is crucial to ensure the perception of your business is positive when people search for it.

When you might need ORM

You can’t please everyone in business, and there are different times you might need online reputation management to help your company. This includes if damaging content appears on search engine results pages that are related to your business. For instance:

  • Bad reviews from unhappy customers about their experiences with your company
  • Damaging comments about your business from users, customers or unhappy staff
  • Negative content written about your brand
  • You could also use it to control the presence of your competitors or unauthorised distributors, like those with a similar website name to yours

While you can’t really get rid of problematic rankings or content altogether, good ORM is about replacing the negative search results with positive ones. By doing this, the problematic pieces can be moved down, or off, the most important search page – Google’s front page. This means that with good ORM you can control your brand presence on key search engines and create more positive listings when people search for your brand online.

Processes of reputation management

There are different stages of reputation management that can be used to build and maintain a good business reputation online. This includes:

Repair – Looking at where the issues are affecting your reputation and repairing the damage.

Rebuild and recuperate – Using search engine optimisation (SEO) and PR techniques, including  posting blogs and distributing press releases, to rebuild your online reputation and bury negative stories and content further down search engine results pages.

Maintain – Continuously monitor SEO to ensure good ORM is maintained.

Online reputation management strategies

There are different online strategies that can be used both on your site (on-page) and away from your site (off-page) to improve your business’ online reputation.

On-page strategies could include:

  • Removing blogs on topics irrelevant to your business
  • Creating links to each page of content to strengthen internal links
  • Creating a site page dedicated to all positive reviews about your company
  • Refining technical aspects of site pages, like meta titles and meta descriptions to better match how your audience search
  • Changing your site’s page structure so content that’s hidden deep in your site becomes more accessible

When done well, such strategies can strengthen your website and how it’s perceived by search engines, ensure it’s more relevant to your business, and make it more visible and accessible online.

Off-page strategies could include:

  • Building links from your site to all positive content about you brand that’s live on third-party sites
  • Creating new content by writing blogs and features for business-relevant bloggers and authoritative sites, with links to your website
  • Putting together a PR campaign or distributing press releases to the media about your company news and developments, with relevant links to your site

When done well, such strategies can result in more positive high-quality content and links about your brand, strengthening your SEO, online presence and authority.

Helping you build the best reputation for your business

Reputation management is one important area to consider when it comes to building and maintaining the best reputation for your business. Knowing how to handle a PR crisis, so that your company is  seen in the best possible light, even during the darkest of times, is also key to keeping your reputation positive. You can learn more about this in our helpful guide, What to do in the event of a PR crisis.

With our expert services in PR crisis management, we can provide you with the advice and support you need to handle a PR crisis effectively, maintain a good reputation, and get back to running your business as quickly as possible. The membership service includes access to:

  • Advice on your media communications, such as how to put together a press release and send it out to the media
  • Phone advice on how to deal with, and mitigate, negative publicity
  • £10,000 of insurance to assist you during a major PR crisis

Affordable PR support you can count on in a crisis

Protect your reputation with FSB PR/Crisis Management. Professional PR advice for small businesses, with specialist crisis communications support and insurance of up to £10,000 in the event of a major public relations crisis.

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