What Is Reputation Management?
Reputation management is the effort to influence what and how people think of a brand or person when viewed online. Put another way, character is who you are. Reputation is who other people think you are, and today it’s based mainly on what artificial intelligence systems portray about you rather than first-person experience.
Left unchecked, your brand is portrayed on the internet by a machine. It may not have your best interests at heart. Reputation management enables a degree of message control specifically tailored to the online environment.
For all the effort and attention we give to character, it’s reputation that really matters. This is especially true in the business world. But today reputation is focused and distorted through the lens of artificial intelligence systems. That’s why online reputation management services exist – to provide balance and a degree of control.
Reputation Management Methodology
Social Listening Feedback Loop
What is a feedback loop? It’s a process we create for addressing issues that arise during social listening. It clearly maps out how to respond, and for larger clients – the people or departments issues should be routed to and who has responsibility for resolving them. Our social listener knows exactly who to alert when issues arise, and your social media team is able to quickly respond to anything they see. Let’s break this down into 3 basic steps.
The 3-Step Social Customer Service Plan
For social media marketing to work, we make it human and authentic. Even when dealing with a complaint, our aim is to align your social account with a person, de-escalate the situation, and provide a compassionate, human touch. Here’s the 3-step process for doing that:
- Respond quickly. Social media moves quickly. Make sure we perform triage within 12 hours and resolve issues within 24 hours.
- Empathize. Make an empathetic statement as soon as possible: “I’m sorry you ran into this,” “I know this is frustrating,” or “I can understand how important this is to you.”
- Move it to a private channel. If we can’t solve the issue in a sentence or two, take it off public channels. Private messaging, email, or a phone call allow you to talk in detail without the rest of your followers adding their two cents to the discussion. This approach demonstrates that you’re listening. It also allows us to express compassion. And by moving the conversation to a private channel, we make people feel as if you’re committed to giving them a real solution.
Reputation Management Services
First Step: Research
As first steps with a client, we start with critical research. Our comprehensive Initial Analysis Reports lay the foundation for the strongest search engine reputation management success possible, and determines the best path in achieving your return on investment. The analysis is an extreme amount of information we need to collect in order to take action and direction with your websites. It takes us approximately 2- 3 weeks to aggregate the below data, then we deliver the reports to you in an online meeting format. These reports allow all parties to understand the scope of the project and will allow us to write a Strategic Internet Marketing Plan (SIMP).
These reports include:
- Keyword Report – Define exact keywords and search phrases that produce negative results for you or your brand. This report also provides search volume estimates used to determine how severe and widespread the problem is.
- Initial Ranking (Benchmark) – Ranking positions for your brand and for each URL that has posted negative content about your brand. This critical component ensures that you are aware of all potentially negative results.
- Link Profile Analysis – Comprehensive report detailing all inbound links, anchor text and age of each link. Used to identify backlinks that may be preventing your site from ranking above negative results.
- Site Crawl – Full crawl of all pages, images and all other elements that are necessary for your website to operate. This report is used to rule out structural issues that may be affecting current rankings.
- Offending Result Strength Analysis – It’s important to know what we’re up against and how long it’s going to take to overcome the negative results.
- Positive Asset Strength Analysis – We also need to know what positive assets we have at our disposal to fix the problem. These can include: Existing social media assets, Affiliate sites, Micro-sites, Sites with positive content owned by other entities, etc.
- On Page Optimization Recommendations: From title tags, to keyword density, and meta-descriptions. The existing on page optimization of our positive assets needs to be taken into account to combat the issue.
- Creation of a content development strategy – Once we know what we have and what we’re up against we’ll make recommendations on what content needs to be created to combat the issue.
- Strategy & Scope of Work Development – Develop and deliver a recommended strategy and Scope of Work that will “push” the result from page one, and beyond, if possible. Strategy will also include expectation for time frames and costs.
Second Step: Develop your Strategic Internet Marketing Plan (SIMP)
Based upon the data we uncover, we create a custom SIMP that lays-out our path in dominating organic search engine rankings. This plan includes:
- Plans for your web site: What do we need to fix? Is the code within the web site conducive to the latest search engine algorithms? Is there a path for search engines to easily access optimized content? Can the current web site be properly optimized?
- What web assets do we have? Do you already have other websites we can use to combat your reputation management issue? To push positive content to the top of the search engines we will likely need several sites that are well optimized for the term to be successful. Very rarely can 1 – 2 sites successfully complete the task alone. If you do not already have high authority web assets available, we will look at acquiring some for you. All of these costs are passed directly to your company.
- A financial order for your keywords. Some keywords are going to have a greater impact on your business and the exposure of negative content than others. We will prioritize your keywords not simply by largest search volume to least, but by what negative content we can incrementally remove from your customer’s eyes the quickest; thus, producing a positive ROI as efficiently as possible.
On-going Search Engine Reputation Management
- Website Development: Part of the initial launch will be to develop out several different sites we can utilize to push positive content up on.
- On Page Optimization: On Page Optimization includes writing new properly optimized content to be posted to the site. This content adheres to all the best practices such as: proper keyword density, keyword in the Title, keyword in alt tags, proper keyword data in meta-tags, etc. If you so desire and provide back-end access to the site we will post this content for you after your team has reviewed and approved for posting on your main site.
- Off Page Optimization: Not all back-links are equal and you will never find us promise “x” number of back-links since that has little value to you or the end goal of ranking. What we do provide are quality back-links that come from blogs; that specifically talk about the keyword we’re trying to optimize for, utilize the keyword as the anchor text, and link back specifically the article we want to rank for that keyword. We highly believe in a sustainable approach to back-links and thus believe in the control of those back-links. When Google makes a change to how they view back-links with an algorithm update we’re able to change our approach and make changes to all of the back-links we’ve previously developed for you. This is how our clients have not only become successful, but remain the incumbent winner in their associated spaces.
- Toxic Backlink Removal: We will initially look for and then continually monitor for toxic back-links coming from unfavorable back-link neighborhoods, and when discovered we will go through the process to disavow them. We have largely stream-lined the disavow process by continually developing our own software since the announcement of Google’s Disavow Tool. Our tool helps locate toxic back-links, requests the site to remove them, automatically checks in 1 week to see if removal has occurred, and then submits a report to Google if they haven’t to officially disavow them. This is the documented process that Google requires to disavow toxic back-links. This process can be exceptionally time consuming if done manually. Our tool does a lot of the heavy lifting, but we combine human intelligence to ensure that ONLY bad links are removed for the best possible results.
- Social Signal Development: Social Signals are beginning to have a significant impact on SEO which will impact our reputation management efforts, and that’s why when we post up a new piece of content for a client we develop social signals to that content. This is completed through our social signal network that tweets, +1’s, and shares the content. We take a much more gradual approach with existing content as Google would view a lot of social signals about an old piece of content as unnatural.
- Weekly Meetings: For our clients we believe that we should have weekly meetings. Search Engine Reputation Management may take time, but we don’t believe that our objectives/tasks should take any longer than they need to. By having a regular meeting with us you can keep us accountable, and we’ll keep you and your team accountable for the action items that need to take place. In these meetings we will also be going over reports of the progress of the campaign, and consistently share with you the results of our relationship together.
Reputation Management Ethics
We believe in White Hat SEO, but we actually take our ethics a step further, we pass everything we do through a simple litmus test.
There are 5 questions that must be answered of things we think, say or do:
• Is it the TRUTH?
• Is it FAIR to all concerned?
• Will it build GOODWILL and BETTER FRIENDSHIPS?
• Will it be BENEFICIAL to all concerned?
• Is it the RIGHT thing to do?
So not only will we not engage in Underhanded Marketing Techniques, Black Hat SEO techniques, but we also will not work with companies that involve Adult themes, Gambling, or activities which we consider morally questionable, or that may exploit anyone.