Table of Contents
- The Impact of ORM on Digital Marketing
- Analyzing Your Online Reputation
- Improving Your Online Reputation
Online reputation management (ORM) is a crucial aspect of digital marketing that focuses on monitoring and improving a business’s online reputation. It involves analyzing how potential customers, reporters, or partners perceive a brand, its people, or its products/services when they perform a Google search. The goal is to ensure that the online presence of a business works in its favor rather than against it.
The Impact of ORM on Digital Marketing
ORM plays a significant role in digital marketing because people often judge a company based on what they find on Google. Studies show that around 95% of consumers read online reviews before making a purchase, and over 81% of people check Google Reviews before visiting a physical business. Therefore, the online presence of a business can greatly influence customers’ perceptions and their decision to engage with the company.
A negative online presence or the absence of an online presence altogether can have a detrimental impact on a company’s success. Whether it’s closing a business deal, forming partnerships, or interacting with reporters, a strong online reputation is essential.
Analyzing Your Online Reputation
To make improvements to your online reputation, it’s crucial to analyze your current online presence. Here’s a checklist to help you gauge your online reputation:
- Google your business name, employees, or product name and examine the first five listings.
- Are you among the first five listings? If not, you need to work on your search ranking.
- Are the links or reviews you see positive? Ensure that your initial impression on Google is as positive as possible.
- Is there evidence of thought leadership or industry expertise? Look for articles where you have been quoted, local news mentions, guest blogs, etc.
- Are there any ORM fires that need to be addressed? This could include legal troubles involving an employee or negative reviews on platforms like Glassdoor.
Check your Google Business Profile:
- Does your Google Business Profile exist?
- Is the information accurate? Double-check your name, address, phone number, hours, etc.
- Check your brand’s social channels.
- How many followers do you have on each platform?
- When was the last time you posted? Are you posting consistently?
- Do you respond to comments and messages in a timely manner?
- Does your content accurately represent your brand?
- Check what others are saying about you on social media.
- Search your hashtags, location, and brand name.
- Are people talking about your business? If so, is the commentary positive?
- If there are negative mentions, do your social fans come to your defense?
- Check review sites.
- Review your Google reviews. Do you have any? What is your star rating? Are you responding to reviews?
- Review your Facebook ratings/reviews. Are customers recommending your Facebook page? Are you responding to these posts?
- Check other review sites like Angi, Yelp, and TrustPilot.
- Search for your brand name plus reviews on other online review/recommendation websites.
- Check Glassdoor.com to see how your reputation is perceived by past and present employees.
- Explore third-party comparison sites that review products and services in your industry to see how you rank against competitors.
Improving Your Online Reputation
If you find that your online presence needs improvement, here are some steps you can take to enhance your online reputation:
1. Claim everything
Claim your presence on various online platforms to increase your visibility. This includes claiming your business on search engines like Yahoo and Bing, creating a Facebook Business page, claiming your business on review sites like Yelp and Citysearch, and creating a LinkedIn company page. Even if you don’t plan on actively using certain platforms, it’s important to claim your name to avoid confusion.
2. Set up reputation monitors
Preventing reputation issues is easier than resolving them. Set up online monitors, such as Google Alerts, to stay informed about potential problems before they escalate. Consider investing in a social media listening tool to monitor real-time conversations about your brand.
3. Empower your team to protect the business
Develop a strong social media presence for key stakeholders within your business, such as founders, owners, and executives. People often associate businesses with the individuals behind them, so having a positive online presence for these individuals can benefit your overall reputation.
4. Increase your search ranking
If your brand is not appearing among the top search results, you may need to improve your search engine optimization (SEO) efforts. SEO helps improve your organic search ranking, making it easier for potential customers to find you. Consider implementing a content strategy or blogging to increase your online visibility.
5. Coordinate public relations events
If your online presence is lacking or if negative content exists, consider planning strategic PR events to showcase your business in a positive light. This could involve supporting community causes, partnering with reputable local organizations, or highlighting innovations within your company.
6. Hire an online reputation management professional
If managing online reviews and customer service becomes overwhelming for your team, consider partnering with an agency or professional who specializes in online reputation management. They can help you manage and respond to online reviews effectively. Additionally, they can assist in launching review campaigns to gather positive reviews from your existing customer base.
7. Work with a social media manager
Engaging and responding on social media is crucial for growing your business. Consider hiring a social media manager who can handle your social media presence, engage with customers, and respond to inquiries and comments in a timely manner.
Online reputation management is an ongoing process that requires consistent monitoring and upkeep. Analyzing and improving your online presence is essential for the long-term success of your business. By implementing the strategies mentioned above, you can enhance your online reputation and ensure that your business is well-regarded by potential customers, partners, and the public.