Online Reputation Management FAQs
Updated: Mar 30, 2019
In this post, we will try and answer some of the Online Reputation Management FAQs - frequently Asked questions (FAQs) our customers ask us all the time about their online reputation and how to monitor, fix and manage. Your online reputation is very important to the success of your career or company. Bad online reputation have ruined businesses and people's lives and while it is manageable, most people have no clue how to repair their reputation online.
Online Reputation Management FAQs | Online Reputation Management Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs):
Q: What is Online Reputation?
A: Your online reputation is the collection of all the search results (web pages, blog posts, news articles, comments, videos, pictures, social media posts, etc) about you or your company that show up on the search engine results pages when your name is searched online. The content of these results will give an impression about you. This impression could be positive, negative or otherwise neutral. The impression someone gets when glancing through these search engine results about you or your company is defined as your online reputation. Read more here: What is your online reputation?
Q: How do I avoid a negative or bad online reputation in the first place?
A: If you own a business, the best way to avoid a bad online reputation, is to be honest with your customers and offer a great customer service. Whenever you get in a situation with a disgruntled unhappy client, address their issues, be super nice and offer them a refund if they wish. Think like Costco.
One good example about Costco is their electronics return policy. Costco offers a no-questions-asked 90-day return policy on electronics like TVs and laptops. However, if you walk into Costco six months after the purchase of a laptop, they will return it and refund your money without argument. Costco treats it's customers like family and you should do the same. Think long term and stop looking at your feet.
Customer retention strategies and honesty wins the game. Whenever you encounter a happy customer you should politely ask them if they could possibly go online to one of the review sites (be specific and give them a link to the reviews site), and submit a review about your business. Never tell them what to say. Happy customers will give genuine online reviews that will make you look good.
If you are an individual, be honorable and stay out of trouble. Being sociable, honest, friendly and a law abiding citizen will at least avoid you a bad reputation online and in real life. Talk to your teens about how being reckless can damage their future. Tell them that whatever they post online today will stay there for years to come and can hurt them.
Q: What should I do if my online reputation is already tainted and negative?
A: If your online reputation is already contaminated with negativity then you must act immediately. Do not ignore the matter and stay passive as the situation will only worsen. Before you attempt to do anything about your bad online reputation stop and think. Do you deserve this bad reputation? What did you do to deserve such bad publicity? Reiterate and recapitulate. Go in front of a mirror and face yourself. This is How to Repair Your Online Reputation.
Sometimes it might not be you that did anything wrong to get the negative publicity. It could be peers who are jealous for example, it could be defamation, slander or simply false and misleading information. Whatever the reasons for the problem, fixing it requires getting to the roots of the issue. Once you understand why you are being targeted and portrayed as a disreputable and not trustworthy person or business online, then you will be able to think how to fix this predicament.
The best remedy to a bad online reputation is to fight back with love. If the negative comments or information is true, engage online and admit your wrong doing and apologize sincerely and offer to fix what you have damaged. If it is untrue and slander, defend yourself. By keeping a close eye on your name online via search engines regularly, you will be able to deal with such situations as soon as they arise. Ignoring these negative pieces of content, will make it look worst and it will be much harder and expensive to repair in the future.
Q: What If I can't fix my online reputation myself?
A: If your online reputation is totally tainted and there are many bad and negative content about you or your company online, fixing the problem yourself is not advised. It takes professional Online Reputation Management Companies with in-house experts that have years of experience to help re-establish online reputations. Your best bet is to hire a professional online reputation management company to help you with damage-control activities to help restore your online good-standing and reputation. A Primer on Protecting and Repairing your Online Reputation.
Q: How do I choose the best online reputation management company?
A: The space is saturated with many online reputation management companies with different offerings. Many of these reputation management companies make the offers sound so good to be true. We are not magicians, and therefore exaggerated offerings are a good sign that you are dealing with a company that will take your money and under deliver. You have to understand that patience is truly a virtue when it comes to altering what search engines say about you or your business.
To hire a sound reputation management service please note the following:
1) Customer service: On your initial call with the representative you have to learn how sincere they are about repairing your online reputation. Do they care? Usually no reputation expert can advise you on the matter before doing thorough research on your name or company.
2) Time Frame: Any company that promises quick results (10 days or less) is untruthful and misleading. Sure we can get a new web property crawled and listed on google in 24 hours, but to rank high on the first page requires a lead time no less than 4-6 weeks. If the offer seems to be a one-size fits all then you need to re-evaluate and move on.
3) Ethical Practices Only: If the representative tries to win your business by suggesting unethical techniques, run. Google and the search engines are becoming smarter by the day, and all unethical and black-hat practices are eventually caught and your bad reputation will remain the same. I am sure you will feel even worst once you have lost your money.
4) Exaggerated Claims: Some of the reputation management companies tell their prospects that the reason they can achieve quick and superior results is their connection to insiders at Google and other search engines. If you believe such a claim, you deserve to loose your money!
Other exaggerated claims include the promise to delete all the negative content from the search engines. Sure there is a mechanism that is followed to remove some of the results, but it takes time, very expensive, never guaranteed and, the success rate at best is 15%.
5) Cost: It takes real human resources to achieve positive reputation success online. Real thought leaders must contribute to your reputation-project in order to repair and salvage your current situation. Make sure that the company clearly declares the amount of hours included in your package. 60% of the time needed to fix your reputation is content writers developing copyright materials about you. The remaining 40% of the time is for lower-level employees doing redundant work and link building tasks. If you think few hundred dollars can clear your name and restore your reputation online, you are in for a big disappointment.
Q: Once my online reputation and Image are cleaned up, what is next?
A: Many customers, once the reputation is fixed and their image restored by suppressing negative results and showcasing positive ones on the first and the second search engine results pages (SERPS), feel they no longer need the services of the Reputation Management company that helped them restore their good standing. That could be true for many customers; however, for many companies reputation management is work-in-progress. Your business might need reputation monitoring services to keep an eye and act proactively about any new possible developments.
We will be updating our Online Reputation Management FAQS | Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) regularly, if you have other questions, please contact us and let us know.
We also invite you to read our Blog post about Internet Reputation Management Statistics.