Online reputation management (ORM) is the practice of crafting strategies that shape or influence the public perception of an organization, individual or other entity on the Internet. It helps drive public opinion about a business and its products and services.
ORM seeks to increase visibility, improve positive sentiment, diminish negative sentiment, remove unflattering content, and increase affirmative content. Usually, it’s a combination of all of the above. At its most basic, ORM is defined as using positive content to “push down” negative content about yourself or your business so that it doesn’t appear on the first pages of search listings.
Historically, reputation management has been an offline pursuit. Not so much today, when brands are built—and potentially destroyed—via their online images. Today’s online reputation managers use social media monitoring, sentiment analysis, content strategy, search engine optimization (SEO), and public relations outreach to achieve and manage their reputation goals.
They also use various reputation management tools to monitor brand sentiment, conduct research, design programs, and execute them. It’s common practice for ORM professionals to use more than a dozen tools in conjunction with one another.
Reputation strategy: A well thought out strategy is the first step in conducting an effective ORM plan. After all, it’s difficult to end up where you want to be if you don’t have a map for getting there.
Social media monitoring: The things that are said online about you or your company matter. It’s nearly impossible to monitor all social media mentions on your own though, which is why many turn to monitoring software to scan social media pages for mentions and reply as needed.
Search engine monitoring and protecting search results: The first few links—even the first few pages—that come up when someone searches for you hold a lot of weight when it comes to your image. Here too, monitoring software can help you track mentions and stay on top of your portrayal in search engine listings.
Review management: According to a 2016 consumer review study, 90% of consumers will read less than 10 reviews before making their ultimate decision about whether to use a business’s services or not. It’s crucial to track and respond to your reviews. Fortunately, there are tools that can help.
Webpage removal: There are a lot of websites out there that attempt to do you harm. Some of them make serious efforts to destroy companies who are on the receiving end of negative reviews, and they’re often the first pages that will come up when someone searches for you.
Wikipedia monitoring and editing: If the entire web encompasses the story that is told about your or your business, Wikipedia is sort of like the bio on the back page, holding the power to keep someone from opening your book at all. You’ll need a dedicated strategy for keeping your Wikipedia page up-to-date and on point.
AutoComplete editing: Google AutoComplete is the tool that finishes your sentences in search boxes. If someone searches your name and AutoComplete pulls up the term “complaints” or “scam” or “bad reviews,” it’s probably the first place a searcher will go. You’ll need to actively change AutoComplete associations to avoid potentially unfortunate search terms.
1. Remove Complaints Board - $5,000 one-time
2. De-Index Ripoff Report - $20,000 one-time
3. Protect Search Results - $2,000 per month and up. Limited time.
4. Remove a YouTube Video - $10,000 one-time
5. Suppress New York Times - $5,000 per month. Limited time.
6. Suppress a Minor Blog - $3,000 per month. Limited time.
7. Build an Executive Reputation - $5,000 per month. Limited time.
8. Clean Search Results in Arabic - $10,000 per month. Limited time.
9. Radically Alter Search Results for a Company - $20,000 per month. Limited time.
Real reputation management is complex. As mentioned above, some negatives can be removed completely, usually for a fixed price that ranges between $2000 and $8000 one-time. Most times clients need a web of content created in a very specific way to move bad search results somewhere else. These types of campaigns take more time and more resources.
When a search result or web page cannot be removed, it must be suppressed or at least diluted in search results. Dilution usually involves creating a counterpoint in search results to a negative story. This is radically different than SEO and the steps involved begin with sentiment related research to find out what makes a certain search result page "tick". A typical suppression or dilution project looks like this: Research
True reputation marketing campaigns are sophisticated and involve quite a bit of research to get right. Packages don't work, more on that later. To do research right takes experts in SEO, content management, development and project management.
From research we create personas of similar entities to get an idea of what people and search engines want to see. Our objective is to actually improve search results not only for our clients, but for people performing a search for them. We want to make Bing, Yahoo and Google's results better. It is the only way to generate results that last. That quality takes resources.
Content is one of the big costs in a reputation management program. To save money most online reputation companies cut costs by outsourcing the content (web pages, articles, blog posts, etc.) to other countries. Most times these countries are not native speakers or writers. The quality suffers dramatically and Google can tell the difference. People who read it can tell too. In fact, sometimes using offshore labor to cut the costs of reputation management can backfire by making search results worse.
We create the right content for the right client. Only native writers who have knowledge of a particular industry are used for content. Good writers earn a good wage, and believe us - you want good writers.
A big determinant of the cost of online reputation projects is the strength and position of the negative. For example, a New York Times negative will normally be far more difficult to move than a local online newspaper. The cost of reputation management rises with the degree of difficulty.
We measure the strength of a web property by 'Page Authority' or 'Domain Authority' and other factors like trust. Domains and pages at the top of search results generally have high page authority and high domain authority. We measure the authority (strength) of pages and design a program that will alter those search results by creating very strong pages that reflect online reputation in the best possible light. Sites with a high degree of strength that need to be rearranged in search results will require more resources, and increases costs. Why Cheap Reputation Management "Packages" Don't Work Anymore Reputation management packages tend to be a one-size fits all attempt to bring reputation control to the masses. Of course, one-size does not fit all and that is why packages rarely work. These services are based on automation, instead of people doing work (because people are expensive). Because one cannot automate reputation work effectively they tend to leave a "footprint" in search results that are easy for search engines to spot as low-quality attempts to change search results. They rarely work, in fact many actually damage online perception of their victims.
Reputation packages can be had by some firms claiming to be reputation management companies for a only few hundred dollars. We strongly suggest you run away from these. The way these packages work is by using either generic websites to post spammy content (search engines penalize you), or worse, using sites owned or controlled by the reputation company. There is no cost to the firm to post to their own sites so profit margins remain very high for them.
Spammy content is "spun" by machines - yep, this is a "thing". It works by feeding a phrase into software, then the software jumbles up the phrases and creates pseudo-content. It is designed to fool search engines, but doesnt work most of the time. Worse yet, a blender wrote your bio.
When real content is actually created, cheap reputation management companies tend to use non-native writers to create the content. So a Romanian with English as a third language may be writing your life story. Spoiler alert! It doesn't end well. SEO Achiver does not sell packages, we only produce custom strategies and end-to-end campaigns.
Good news. Reputation management costs can be controlled. Costs for reputation management can often be mitigated by increasing the project duration. Lower monthly costs tend to reduce resources, and push out time to completion. This is the classic 'do you want it fast, or do you want it cheap' question. Reputation management project duration can be fast if we are able to remove bad search results through negotiation or if the sites to be moved have low strength, but a project designed to improve search results using suppression against stronger sites can take three, six or more months to complete.
If your reputation on the internet is important you might consider doing it right the first time. SEO Achiver does it right the first time and we hope after reading this you understand why. You can get a free analysis by filling out the form below or calling us. We look forward to helping.
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