How to Work with Your Reputation Management Consultant

When working with an online reputation management (ORM) consultant, you want to get the most value for your money. However, you can’t just leave it all up to the company you hired. Yes, they will do everything they can to boost your rankings in the search engines and improve your online reputation. But your company has a role to play as well.

Here are a few tips on what you can do to get the most out of the relationship:

1) Let your ORM consultant know about new online content.

If you post a press release, add some new pages to your website, or create a new site, make sure your reputation management consultant knows about it. For example, if I know that there’s an article about your company on the web, I’ll work on boosting that page’s rankings, even if it’s not on your website (assuming it’s a positive article, of course).

2) Avoid responding to negative reviews in online forums

Before you post anything about your company on another website, consult with your ORM expert first. Your attempt to confront the negative postings can backfire and actually make the situation worse. Often, it’s best to ignore negative posts and focus instead on getting the positive sites to rank higher.

3) Don't change your website without first telling your ORM consultant

In a previous post, I talked about why it’s not a good idea to overhaul your website without first consulting with your online reputation management or SEO expert. Even changing the address of one major page can affect your rankings.

I typically get backlinks from other websites to specific pages on my clients’ sites to make those pages rank higher. But if you change the address of the page and don’t let me know, I can’t make the adjustment in these links. That’s why it’s best to let your consultant know ahead of time if you’re going to make changes that affect the address of any pages on your site.

4) Come up with ideas for additional websites

For reputation management purposes, having multiple sites is to your advantage. The more sites you control, the more likely it is that you can get them to rank higher and dominate the first page of a Google search. Your ORM consultant can help you with this, but the various teams or departments in your company may be better at coming up with ideas for these additional sites, since they know the business inside and out -- and they know what kind of content they can offer and keep up to date.

5) Keep your customers happy

It doesn’t help your online reputation if you have a lot of unhappy customers posting negative reviews online. The biggest complaints I see are usually about over-promising and under-delivering, aggressive sales tactics, slow response to complaints, and poor customer service. Simply improving your customer service and handling complaints quickly can go a long way toward keeping your customers satisfied, which makes it less likely someone will post a bad review about you online.

Managing your online reputation is an ongoing process. Your ORM consultant will be much more successful in improving your online reputation if you’re willing to play an active part in that process.

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