Online Reputation Management is the process of maintaining a good reputation on the internet, particularly with regards to search engines.
Search engines hold an immense amount of power over businesses, as they are used on such a huge scale by the public. It is relatively rare for someone to type the direct URL of a website into their search bar. Rather, the majority of people enter the name of a business into a search engine and choose from the results that appear. Therefore, if a business wants to retain positive customer interest it must keep at least its page one of search engine results clean; a page one that is full on negative reviews and content is bound to deter customers from using the business.
Internet reputation can make or break a small business. If the business is not well known, or does not having sufficient funding for advertising, it relies heavily on customer reviews. Despite not being able to delete content that may have been written about your business on the internet, you can utilize search engine optimisation in order to move negative content off page one of a search engine.
For this to work, positive content about your business has to exist, or be created. This could be anything from microsites to social networking profiles. These can then be search engine optimised, which pushes them above any negative material, hence pushing the negative out of site (people rarely look after pages 1 and 2 of Google).
This can be extremely essential for small businesses, which seem to suffer the most from a bad online reputation. There are Online Reputation Management companies that will do this for you. If you can’t afford big advertising campaigns, or even if you can, having a bad online reputation can mean the end of your business, with 75% of Brits changing their mind about a purchase if they read three bad reviews.
A small business thrives on a good reputation, meaning that Reputation Management is essential for its growth and maintenance as a respected and trusted company.