What Is a Reputation Management Service?

Reputation Management Service

How important is your business’s online reputation? Research shows that 78% of customers will trust a brand if they find positive reviews online.

Every 7th UK company lost an average of $65,350 in revenue as a result of a bad online reputation.

In short, it is very important. How confident do you feel about your online brand identity? You might be surprised to know that a consumer mentions brands in their social media posts 90 times a week on average.

Keeping track of all your business’s online mentions can be a challenging and time-consuming task. This is why many businesses opt for outsourcing this important business operation to one of the top reputation management agencies.

In this article, we will provide you with everything you need to know about reputation management services, the effect they can have on your business’s success, and how to choose the one that best suits your needs.

First things first…

What is reputation management?

Online reputation management is a strategy for shaping the public perception of a business or a brand. This strategy includes interacting with your customers through various online channels and taking different actions to improve your brand’s online image.

What do reputation management agencies do?

In general, online reputation management service providers take care of this task for you by employing various strategies for analyzing, protecting, and re-establishing your company’s online image. These strategies include:

Content creation

Valuable and relevant content creation is one of the best solutions for suppressing harmful search results and creating an authoritative online reputation.

Reputation management agencies incorporate various types of content into their strategies, such as:

  • Posts
  • Blogs
  • Articles
  • Business profiles
  • White papers

There are also reputation management agencies that specialize in search engine optimization (SEO). These agencies can help your business rank higher in search engine result pages (SERPs) by using relevant keywords and key phrases for your content, metadata, and headlines.

Social media management

Your online image greatly depends on how you engage with your audience on social media.

Reputation management agencies ensure your business is presented in a positive light. They are responsible for managing and monitoring your profiles across all platforms – Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, etc.

Reputation agencies are in charge of what, when, and where to post content for optimal engagement and interaction with your audience.

Acquisition and management of reviews

Reputation management companies help you find, gather, and manage online customer reviews from various platforms, including Google.

They reach out to your customers to collect positive reviews, which they later use for promotional purposes. They also trace down negative reviews and respond to them on your business’s behalf.

Crisis management

Your business can be damaged by various internal and external events.

Reputation management agencies employ crisis management strategies to perform a risk analysis, identify, and resolve any potential threats to your organization.

Monitoring and reporting

Reputation management companies track down all your business’s mentions as well as your competitors’ online presence. They also report to you on your marketing campaign results and SERP rankings.

What are the benefits of hiring a reputation management agency?

Hiring a reputation management agency comes with many benefits. Here are the five most important ones:

1. Increased sales

Reading online reviews has become one of the first steps in the modern customer journey. A reputation management agency will make sure that your online business mentions are positive while tackling negative reviews at the same time.

A reputation management agency will also ensure your online presence speaks to your target audience.

All these strategies will help you rank higher on review sites like Yelp or Glassdoor, and the statistic shows that an additional star on Yelp can increase your revenue by approximately 9%.

2. Better brand visibility

Reputation management can play a crucial role in your brand’s visibility. This is especially true if you have just started your business or if you run a smaller organization.

By implementing various SEO and social media strategies, a reputation agency can help your business get exposed to a wider audience.

3. More positive brand image

By monitoring your online business’s mentions, a reputation management agency ensures that any negative review gets resolved before it causes damage to your brand’s image.

4. A more trustworthy and credible business

A recent study shows that 53% of consumers expect brands to respond to their reviews. While 83% of consumers who prefer reading reviews, don’t trust traditional advertising.

When you team up with a reputation management agency, your business will not only get more credibility, but you will ensure that your customers’ needs are met. It will help you create a more trusting and open relationship with your audience.

5. Valuable insights

A reputation management agency will provide you with valuable analytics that will give you a better insight into your online appearance. You can use this information to patch holes in your online image and create a marketing strategy tailored for your audience.

How to choose the right reputation agency for your business

Before you choose a reputation management agency to partner with, consider taking the following steps:

Set clear goals

Think about what you want from the partner agency. Do you wish to monitor and improve your online presence? Do your social media channels need strengthening? Would you like to rank higher in the SERPs? Does your business need more online reviews?

Not all agencies are specialized in all fields. Defining your goals will help you understand what areas of expertise to look for in your potential business partner.

Do your research

It is important to know, that there are agencies that use so-called “black-hat” practices you would want to avoid. These practices refer to using forbidden methods for increasing websites’ rank in SERPs. Not only can it hurt your business, but your website can get banned from search engines.

We recommend you don’t do any business with an agency that applies any of the following “black-hat” SEO tactics:

  • Keyword stuffing
  • Content automation
  • Automated queries to Google
  • Creating pages or domains with duplicate content
  • Link manipulation, such as buying links
  • Cloaking
  • Doorway pages
  • Link schemes

To make sure you choose the right agency, search for its previous clients. You can follow through by contacting these clients and hearing about their experiences and the ways a reputation management company improved their business.

You can also search the company’s website for information about the executives and see what kind of online image they have.

Ask the right questions

To avoid hiring a suspicious company or one that overpromises but underdelivers, try asking the following questions:

  • Is SEO and reputation management your main specialty?
  • What is your pricing plan?
  • Will your SEO strategies meet all of my online requirements?
  • When would you begin with writing content and building links?
  • What would you need from us?
  • Would you inform us of what reputation management tactics you use?
  • Would you provide real-time updates with critical data at regular intervals?
  • Do you have a full in-house team or do you outsource some of your tasks to third parties?
  • What would be your timeline for success and how sustainable are your tactics?
  • How do you approach risk management?

Ideally, your agency of choice should be transparent about their work and able to design the SEO strategy around your specific needs.

You also don’t want them to start executing their strategies a few days into a campaign. A reputable agency will engage in an onboarding process that can take up to three weeks before they start to do anything.

This process involves the time needed to fully understand your business and design a strategy tailored for your organization only.

See if they can provide examples of relevant web assets, content, and backlinks they plan on using in your campaign.

If possible, opt for an agency that employs in-house experts in fields like data analysis, marketing, content writing, programming, design, SEO practices, etc. This way you will get more consistent results compared to the companies that outsource parts of their operations.

Key takeaways

On average, a customer will read 7 reviews before making a purchasing decision. While 60% of consumers will not buy from a brand with negative online reviews. Additionally, it would take you approximately 40 positive reviews to undo a single negative one.

These numbers show just how much an online reputation can affect your business. If you don’t have an in-house team that can monitor and improve your online image, hiring a reputation management agency might be the right choice for you.

Make sure that the agency of your choice is reputable, transparent, and results-oriented. Avoid doing business with suspicious agencies that use “black-hat” SEO techniques.

We hope our article helped you understand the importance of an online image and provided you with valuable insights into reputation management companies, their techniques, and possible weaknesses to know if their services are the right fit for your business.

Author bio:

Tomas is a digital marketing specialist and a freelance blogger. His work is focusing on new web tech trends and digital voice distribution across different channels.

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