Resource Center > Uncategorized > Drowning in negative press? An internet reputation company can be your lifeline. Here’s why.

Drowning in negative press? An internet reputation company can be your lifeline. Here’s why.

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by Rockey Simmons

Man holding out life preserver to help young woman who is drowning in a swimming pool. Rescuing woman drowning in pool, focus on the lifesaver.

An internet reputation company does many things to help decrease the sting of negative press and online controversies that can cause significant damage to an individual’s or business’s image and credibility.

In this article, we’ll talk about what online reputation management companies can do for you.

We’re going to dive deep into how they can help fix negative search results and improve your reputation using social networks. We’ll also talk about what targeted content marketing can do for your reputation and business results.

So, if you’re on the fence about using an internet reputation company, then this article is for you.

Key takeaways:

  • An internet reputation company can help businesses facing negative press and online controversies by managing and boosting their online reputations.
  • The online reputation management industry has its dark side, with unseemly and illegal practices such as mugshot extortionists and financial relationships with website owners to remove negative content.
  • Insights from reputable reputation management companies highlight the importance of not responding to complaints on consumer rip-off reports and focusing on creating a positive social media presence instead.
  • Managing online reputation also involves cleaning up bad reviews for your business, building trust, managing social media, improving digital privacy, and focusing on branding.
  • Because online reviews play a crucial role in reputation management, businesses should claim profiles on review platforms and respond to reviews.

Understanding the dark side of online reputation management

There are a few bad apples in the online reputation management field that you need to be wary of. These unethical companies use unseemly and illegal practices, causing additional harm to individuals and businesses already struggling to overcome negative online reputation issues.

For example, the unethical practice of mugshot extortion, where individuals are targeted for their past arrests and mugshots are published online is a booming business. And that’s scary for people who are trying to put their past behind them.

Mugshot extortionists approach the individuals or their associated businesses, offering to remove the mugshots for a fee.

This form of extortion preys on the fear and embarrassment of those affected, leading them to pay exorbitant amounts to protect their reputation.

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Unfortunately, even if they comply with the demands, they often find themselves in an endless cycle of payments as new mugshots appear on different websites.

Another disturbing practice in the online reputation industry is the establishment of scandalous relationships with website owners.

Some reputation management companies have been found to create financial relationships with the owners of websites hosting negative content.

These companies offer to remove or suppress negative listings in exchange for payments, effectively facilitating the removal of damaging information from the web.

It’s no different than doctors writing fake scripts for a kickback.

This form of mafia-like extortion further perpetuates the negative cycle and exploits individuals and businesses seeking to improve their online reputation.

These unethical and illegal practices highlight the need for transparency, caution, and thorough research when selecting an internet reputation company.

You must be aware of the potential risks associated with certain reputation management firms.  You want a company that employs ethical and legal strategies to build and protect your online reputation.

Unethical practicesImpact
Mugshot extortionExploitation of fear and embarrassment, endless cycle of payments
Scandalous relationships with website ownersFacilitation of content removal through financial agreements, perpetuation of negative cycle
Mafia-like extortionExploitation of individuals and businesses seeking reputation improvement

The cost of managing online reputation

Managing online reputation comes with a cost, but the investment is worthwhile if you’re looking to clean up bad reviews, build trust, effectively manage social media, and more.

Here are the key factors that contribute to the cost of online reputation management:

  1. Cleaning up bad reviews: Online reputation management tools can help you manage negative customer reviews that can significantly impact a brand’s reputation. Investing in strategies to address and resolve these negative reviews involves resources such as time, effort, and potentially hiring an online reputation expert or agency.
  1. Building trust: Trust is a vital aspect of a brand’s online reputation. Enhancing trust requires ensuring accurate and useful information on your website, optimizing website design, securing your website with SSL certificates, and displaying trust seals to assure visitors of a safe online experience. These measures may involve minor website redesign changes and can cost a few hundred dollars.
  1. Social media management: An active and engaging social media presence is crucial for maintaining a positive online reputation. It involves creating profiles on major social media channels, regularly posting relevant content, and responding to comments and messages. While managing these profiles can be done for free, you may opt to invest in automated social posting tools and social listening tools, which typically range from $50 to $250 per month.
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  1. Creating content/public relations: To offset misleading or outdated information about you or your company in the search results, you need to start regularly creating, publishing, and promoting accurate and relevant content that Google and other search engines will associate with you when people search for you online.

These are just a few examples of the costs associated with managing online reputation. It’s important to note that the specific costs will vary depending on the size of the business, the severity of the reputation issues, and the chosen strategies and tools.

However, investing in reputation management is a worthwhile endeavor to protect and enhance a brand, business, or individual’s image in the online world.

Cost factorsEstimated cost range
Cleaning up bad reviews$500 – $1,000 per month (professional services)
Building trustA few hundred dollars (website redesign)
Social media management$50 – $250 per month (automated tools)
Creating content/public relations$2,000 – $10,000 per month (PR agencies)

What’s wonderful about professional expert online reputation management is the consolidation of pricing. Finding one company that can do it all can make creating a positive reputation online much more affordable.

In my opinion, it’s always best to keep things simple, rather than having five different providers to manage all of this—not to mention having to learn how to use all these online reputation management tools yourself. Who has time for that?

The importance of online reviews in reputation management

Online reviews play a crucial role in reputation management, as consumers rely heavily on them to make informed purchasing decisions.

Whether they are looking for a restaurant, a service provider, or a product, customers want to hear about other people’s experiences before committing to a purchase.

Bad reviews can have an especially significant impact on a brand’s reputation. For example, negative articles or news stories can quickly spread online, influencing public perception and damaging trust in your brand.

Likewise, fake reviews can mislead potential customers, giving them a false impression of a company’s products or services.

It is essential for you to keep online reputation monitoring and reviews top of mind if you hope to mitigate any negative impact on your reputation.

Review platforms like Yelp, Google Business Profile, TripAdvisor, and Amazon play a crucial role in reputation management as they are where customers share their experiences and opinions.

Claiming your profiles on these platforms will allow you to respond promptly to reviews and address any concerns or issues raised by customers.

By actively engaging with customers and showing a willingness to resolve problems, you can demonstrate your commitment to customer satisfaction and enhance your reputation.

Benefits of managing online reviews
1. Increased trust: Positive reviews help build trust among potential customers, as they see the experiences of others who have already used the product or service.
2. Improved search engine visibility: Online reviews can contribute to higher search engine rankings, making it easier for customers to find your business.
3. Customer insights: Reviews provide valuable feedback and insights that can be used to improve products, services, and customer experiences.
4. Positive brand perception: A strong presence of positive reviews can shape and enhance a brand’s perception, attracting more customers and fostering loyalty.

The main role of an internet reputation company

You might assume that reputation management companies only specialize in monitoring, assessing, and managing online reviews. But they do so much more than that.

The main role of a reputation management company is to make you the star of the show online and to present you in the way you want to be seen. It’s not just about reviews, social media posts,  and removing unwanted content, it’s about you controlling the search results, building a professional or personal brand you can be proud of, or making sure your digital privacy is padlocked so you don’t get extorted.

The right internet reputation company will use advanced tools mixed with a holistic approach and strategies to track online sentiment, identify potential issues, and develop solutions to enhance your or your brand’s online reputation.

The best companies combat negative feedback with online reputation repair techniques designed to highlight your strengths and boost your image in search engines, on review sites, and on social media.

In short, if you have reputation goals for your brand or business, an internet reputation company is the secret weapon you can use to improve your digital reputation.

Building trust through an effective online presence

Building trust with customers requires an effective online presence. Your website needs to provide accurate information, have an easy-to-use design, and be secure.

When potential customers visit your website, they want to find reliable and up-to-date information that is useful to them. It’s important to ensure that your website accurately represents your brand and its products or services.

Optimizing website design is another crucial aspect of building trust.

A well-designed website that is easy to navigate and visually appealing can make a positive impression on visitors. Whereas cluttered layouts, outdated designs, and slow-loading pages can create a sense of unprofessionalism and lack of credibility.

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By investing in a professional website design, you can enhance the user experience and build trust with your audience.

Website security is paramount in earning customers’ trust.

Online users are increasingly concerned about the safety of their personal information and want to ensure that their data is protected when interacting with a website.

Implementing security measures such as SSL certificates and trust seals can provide reassurance to visitors that their information is secure. These measures also help to establish your brand as trustworthy and reliable.

Steps to building trust through an effective online presence
Provide accurate and useful information on your website.
Optimize website design for a positive user experience.
Implement website security measures like SSL certificates and trust seals.

Building and earning trust is probably the highest currency in the online space you can have—no matter what business you’re in.

Leveraging social media for reputation management

Social media plays a significant role in reputation management, with active profiles and engagement with followers essential for maintaining a positive online reputation.

By effectively utilizing social media platforms, you can shape and enhance your brand perception, build trust, and mitigate reputational damage. Just be sure to have an active presence on the major social channels where your target audience spends time.

By maintaining an active presence, businesses can demonstrate that they are engaged, responsive, and open to communication with their customers and prospects.

Consistently posting relevant and valuable content helps to keep followers engaged, while regular interaction with comments and messages shows that your business is attentive to its audience.

Benefits of leveraging social media for reputation management

Increased brand trustAn active and engaged social media presence helps to build trust with customers and prospects, showcasing the business as reliable and customer centric.
Improved brand perceptionBy consistently posting valuable and relevant content, businesses can shape and enhance their brand perception, influencing how they are perceived by their target audience.
Enhanced customer engagementActive social media profiles facilitate direct and immediate communication with customers, allowing for prompt responses to inquiries, feedback, and concerns.
Real-time monitoringAn active and engaged social media presence helps to build trust with customers and prospects, showcasing the business as reliable and customer-centric.

Search engine optimization strategies for reputation management

Search engine optimization (SEO) plays a key role in reputation management, with reverse SEO techniques used to minimize the visibility and ranking of negative content.

When it comes to managing your online reputation, organic search is crucial to ensuring that positive information about your brand is more prominent than any negative content.

Here are some effective SEO strategies to consider:

Reverse SEO

Reverse SEO is a powerful technique that focuses on decreasing the visibility of negative content in search engine results.

By optimizing other websites or web pages for the same keywords associated with negative content, you can push down those negative results and replace them with positive information.

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This involves creating high-quality content, building relevant backlinks, and optimizing various online platforms to outrank negative results.

To implement reverse SEO effectively, it’s essential to conduct thorough keyword research and identify the keywords associated with the negative content.

By targeting these keywords in your content creation and optimization efforts, you can improve the visibility of positive information and suppress the negative content.

Managing search engine rankings

Another crucial aspect of reputation management is proactively managing search engine rankings to ensure positive content dominates the first page of search results.

This can be achieved through a combination of content creation, PR initiatives, social media engagement, and link building.

Creating and promoting high-quality content that showcases your expertise, positive brand stories, and customer testimonials can help boost your search engine rankings.

Building relevant backlinks

Building relevant backlinks from authoritative websites is an old-school digital marketing and search engine optimization technique that is very effective in improving your online reputation and boosting your search engine rankings.

To find these backlinks, you should seek opportunities to collaborate with industry influencers, publish guest posts on reputable blogs, and participate in expert roundups to earn high-quality backlinks.

These backlinks signal to search engines that your brand is trusted and respected, further boosting your search engine reputation scores and enhancing your online reputation as a brand or an individual.

Key SEO strategies for reputation management
Reverse SEO
Managing search engine rankings
Building relevant backlinks

Final thoughts

Your brand’s online standing can be both its strongest asset and its Achilles’ heel.

We’ve seen companies plunge into the depths of obscurity over a negative review, while others have risen from the ashes through strategic online reputation management.

Remember, the digital world is rife with both opportunities and pitfalls.

Think of your online reputation as both insurance and investment. It’s essential for damage control and invaluable for growth.

Whether it’s the art of storytelling, the nuances of SEO, or the authenticity in social media engagement, each plays a pivotal role in crafting your brand’s future.

As the internet landscape continually evolves, your strategy should, too. That’s why maintaining your digital reputation isn’t a luxury—it’s a necessity. Stay vigilant, be genuine, and keep your brand narrative authentic and engaging. To see how others view you online right now, grab your free reputation report card. Then, get help from one of the ReputationDefender experts.

This post was contributed by Rockey Simmons, founder of SaaS Marketing Growth.