The Rise and Importance of Online Reputation Management

When was the last time you Googled yourself or your company?

Were the results what you expected?

Today many firms across the globe have invested hundreds and thousands of pounds to ensure they are getting a slice of online action by executing a range of search engine marketing campaigns. After all, it’s the art of effective marketing that will generate brand awareness and footfall.

Most search strategies whether SEO or Pay Per Click revolve around product or service based keywords.

Let’s take for example a real life case study.

I am currently managing the search marketing campaign for a well-known Accounting firm located in prestigious Canary Wharf. The campaign enables people to find their company based on a range of keywords where today they appear on the first page.

But what happens when you are found?

Does that mean you’ve won the business?

How often after finding a company online have you started to research the company itself by Googling their company name? How often have you Googled a sales rep or supplier after a visit.

The truth of the matter is that we all do it.

The internet as a tool not only helps us find the right product or service; it also helps us to effectively research companies and their staff members.

For example, have you ever researched a holiday destination or hotel to see what positive or negative comments/reviews have been posted? Have you ever done the same for someone you know or a company you are intending to place a large order with?

The irony is that companies are investing to be found, but have not yet engaged in any form of reputation management to ensure their brand and staff are protected online.

You need to ask yourself these questions:

How easy is it today to post negative comments online?

 How easy is today to discredit the competition online?

Whilst promoting your products and services is of course important, protecting your reputation should supersede anything else as unless you, your staff and your brand are protected online, all other efforts will be wasted.
Online reputation management is quite surprisingly a new phenomenon and one that is becoming increasingly important for companies as well as individuals.

You are the CEO of a large blue chip company. Are you protected online when your name is Googled?

You are a small business, is your brand protected online?

Do you know what people are writing about you?

Are you happy with the results generated when someone tries to find out more about you or your company?

Anyone reading this article that wishes to survive within this online real time competitive market place must ensure that they are engaged in some level of reputation management.

Remember, no one is going to knock on your door to inform you of negative comments and postings. It will be the drop in sales that will serve as the only indicator that something is wrong. It is therefore up to you to make sure that whenever someone searches for you or your company, only positive comments and posts are displayed.

The art to achieving this is effective online reputation management which utilises some key principles of search engine optimisation.

Amit Bhagalia, Managing Director
Haarty Hanks
sigNET

Amit Bhagalia, is Managing Director or Haarty Hanks a leading London based digital marketing agency. Haarty Hanks specialises in all aspects of effective digital marketing from consultancy to execution. Haarty Hanks is a Google and Microsoft adCenter Certified partner.

Haarty Hanks works with a range of clients that are looking to expand their reach, exposure and brand online.

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