When a potential customer Googles a company’s name, three things could happen: (1) the company’s name turns up in the results page with positive or neutral content, (2) the company’s name turns up with bad product reviews or backlash from a competitor, or (3) the company’s name doesn’t turn up at all.
Business competition has entered the online arena, and many companies are taking advantage of the internet to drive profit into their business. James A. Martin of CIO states that a company’s most important asset is its reputation, and to look good in the eyes of their customers, companies must “pay full attention to their online reputation – how good (or bad) they look in Google searches.”
This is where online reputation management comes in.
Online reputation management is the process of shaping an individual or a company’s reputation by “influencing online information.” This practice is used to increase the visibility of positive information by generating external content that contain optimized keywords and positive information about the individual or company. This content is then uploaded to various websites, blogs, and social media platforms in order to bury negative content down the search engine results pages.
Online reputation management may also involve responding to customer comments and subscribing to review sites. Companies that don’t turn up any results in search engines – whether positive or negative – can integrate this process into their marketing strategy in order to start building a solid online reputation. However, it might take time – at least three month – for the effects of online reputation management to begin to come to fruition.
The desire to have a clean online reputation has led to the advent of a new industry offering online reputation management services. Some businesses choose to establish their own reputation management departments by employing experts in content generation, social media, and digital marketing.
While online reputation management services will cost a business both time and money, it is important to remember the words of Socrates, who said that a good name “is the richest jewel” anyone can possess.