“Data doesn’t lie” is a common phrase used across all industries. At Adjustment, we too believe that in order to have a durable online reputation management strategy one must first gather and analyse all factual data. In this article, we will look at key factual findings and recommend steps to help you build a well-strategized online reputation management (“ORM”) plan for yourself or your company’s brand.
The Local Consumer Review Survey found that ever since the COVID-19pandemic, 87% of consumers go to the internet to look at reviews done for local businesses – up from 81% in 2019, 86% in 2018, and 67% in 2010. Additionally, 68% of online users form an opinion about a business after reading 10 online reviews. With COVID-19 heavily impacting many small businesses globally, it forced consumers to change their behaviour in choosing a product, service, and/or a business. Finding information readily available online played a huge factor in their decision-making process.
Before we dive in further on how we, as individuals or businesses, can build a strong and positive online presence, let’s first look into what ORM is on a high level.
In today’s day and age, the majority of the world’s population uses the internet to access and share information. A big portion of these people use the internet to purchase goods and services or look up on a potential business partner and/or service provider to make a solid decision on whether they want to move ahead with them. Access to such information is usually done through a search engine– Google, Yahoo, Bing, etc. – and ORM is the manner in which you can manage what and how information about you or your business is presented online.
What are the consequences of not managing your ORM adequately? The Local Consumer Review Survey stated that 40% of consumers will stop wanting to do business with a business that has negative reviews. A loss of customers will definitely result in a loss of revenue. All it takes is one misleading and/or incorrect information about you, the business owner, or the business itself which can result in a floor of repeated negative articles and reviews.
Let’s put it this way – there are currently 3.58 billion internet users which represents51% of the total population of the world (Siteefy as at 25 March2021). Furthermore, Netcraft’s February 2021 Web ServerSurvey reported having received responses from 1.2 billion websites, and Siteefy stated that there is an increase of 547,200 websites every 24 hours. Furthermore, at least 5.38 billion web pagesare being indexed as per World WideWeb Size as at 25 March 2021. The above statistics showcase the volume of the internet and, therefore, the importance of ORM.
Search Engine Optimisation (“SEO”)basically means optimizing your website for it to rank higher on search engine results thereby increasing visibility to your website or related-links. SEO is one of the key tools used in making a positive impact on one’s online presence. ORM experts use on-page and off-page optimization to improve a website or webpages ranking on search engine results. These include, among others, ensuring keywords are used on your website to increase traffic, getting backlinks to build the credibility of your site, posting content in a forum or blogs and publishing collaborative articles or pictures on your website.
However, do be cautious of those who use Black Hat SEO strategies, as some techniques have a negative effect on your ORM. This can lead to links containing negative, misleading, and/or incorrect information about you and/or your business rank higher in search engine results. Although it is possible to do ORM on your own, keep in mind that ORM experts are equipped with innovative technologies that monitor and identify threats on the internet quicker than a human being doing these tasks manually – tasks which will take up the majority of your day. Our Adjustment services provides you with the most effective and efficient strategies to ensure your online reputation is in check.
There is no concrete answer to this, as it takes into account all techniques and ORM has a cumulative effect – what has been done, how much of it has been done, and how much “cleaning” has to be done. It requires consistent work and perhaps missing a week-worth of work can affect your ORM efforts.
So now that we have covered the facts, let us move on to the actual master plan:
1. SEO – Ranking positive and having correct online information about you will help to attract more audiences as well as it ensures negative, incorrect, and/or misleading information is pushed down; hiring an ORM expert can accelerate this process.
2. Sticking to your word – if you or your company make an announcement about doing something, actually do it. People trust those who deliver their promises.
3. Posting positive and valuable content – Search engines are consistently looking for new and updated content. By posting regularly positive and valuable content, your website and webpages will be indexed, and you will get a better chance at ranking higher on search engine results.
4. Start asking for reviews and/or recommendations –Like referrals, people like seeing feedback about goods or services they are interested in. It helps them make a sound decision.
5. Don’t ignore, hide or avoid criticism – It could be a blessing in disguise. By taking all criticism into consideration one can grow and improve. Additionally, responding positively and constructively to criticism will only do you good.
6. Remove incorrect and/or misleading content – It is possible to ask website hosts to remove these types of content; the help of a data protection lawyer, such as those teamed with Adjustment, increases the chances of removal.
7. Social media as your communicator – businesses should consider using social media platforms as part of their customer support. These platforms help build trust and rapport– it’s basically your virtual persona!
8. Ask an ORM expert for help – This will free your time for you to focus on your own business and other important matters rather than spending hours and days on just working on your online presence.
Adjustment by lecocqassociate provides a full range of online reputation management, business branding and data protection service. This blog is for information purposes only. It does not constitute professional advice nor an opinion. Please contact our ORM expert today for any questions.