Online Reputation Management is the practice of monitoring and maintaining a company’s or individual’s reputation on the internet.

This is commonly monitored via online search engines, with Google by far being the most commonly used search engine in the UK.The main aim of reputation management is to ensure a company, brand or individual has a positive online presence. If there is a large amount of negative information, or if that negative content is quite prominent online, then an online reputation management plan can be set in place with the view to have this content removed.

There are a variety of methods which can be used to maintain a positive reputation. One of the methods which all businesses or individuals need to consider is social media presence. Do you or your company have social media profiles, and if so are they actively being updated? Social media profiles are what can be referred to as ‘online assets’ and it would be a good idea to have relevant accounts set up, such as Twitter, Facebook, Google+, and perhaps even LinkedIn or YouTube if those would be relevant.

However, social media profiles are not the only online assets useful to reputation management. Having a blog or a news section can benefit your site, as long as it is updated regularly with fresh content. It is also possible to set up the blog as an external site, or as a subdomain (e.g. blog.companyname.com) which will allow it to rank separately in the search engine rankings. This is particularly useful if you have negative results on the first page of search engine results, as it can help to push those results down in the rankings.

Reputation management is not only about pushing negative reviews out of the rankings, however. It is also about maintaining a positive reputation. This can be done by receiving positive comments, reviews and testimonials, either on your website or blog, or on external review sites. Writing guest posts or press releases are another method of generating positive online content also.

Finally, make sure to review your company, services or practices. Whilst much of the negative content may be false or spiteful reviews from competitors, or events that you have no control over, some negative reviews will always be genuine. If a recurring theme is cropping up, such as poor customer service, not delivering on time etc. then you need to look into the issue and rectify it where possible. This could even be an opportunity to write a post about how you’ve resolved particular issues and post it online!

As a company or individual, you should always be aware of your online reputation. If you don’t have an existing reputation management plan in place, then now may be the time to consider setting one up.

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