Most companies know today that their success depends on their online reputation today. This is especially true for newly established companies with a lot of difficult competition. To address the emergence of thousands of new companies coming online, there has been a proportional rise of online reputation management firms as well.
As with everything, not all such firms are the same. Some will be highly professional, others will use less than optimal methods that will bring you short term results. While there is no guarantee that a particular reputation management company will turn up trumps, here are some good ways to choose them and increase odds in your favor.
They do it all
The internet is too big and platform too varies for any one online reputation management service to monitor everything. There might be a few such firms with massive resources and staff to do it, but if you are hiring a more affordable service, there is simply no way that it will be able to protect online reputation for your company at all costs. Here is what to do:
- Look for a service that defines exactly what types of platforms they deal with
- See if they specialize in companies that are similar in size to yours
- Ask for previous clients, so you can contact them and get more info
If a reputation management firm that tells you it will do everything for you, it is better to avoid it. You may get a very convincing pitch and even some short term results, but it won’t take you too far.
Most firms will offer SEO services because search engine optimization is very important to company and brand’s reputation. Most mainstream SEO firms have relied on ready-made packages to sell to their clients. You might see features like:
- 500 backlinks
- 5000 followers
- So many number of likes
There are many more buzzwords out there, but such packages are actively harmful to your reputation. Most of the time, these backlinks come from shady sites and content farms. Also, those followers on Twitter and Facebook will not bring you any revenue.
When you see such SEO packages offered by reputation management firm, steer clear of their services. They too will result in a poor brand experience for your customers and a waste of money on your part.
It takes a lot of effort to get top rankings on Google. The links that appear on the first page of Google search results are there because:
- The content is genuine
- The website has used white hat SEO techniques
- It is truly useful to users
You cannot have poor content on your website and take it to the top of your rankings with technical SEO wizardry. Even if you can, it will be detected as span by Google’s search engine algorithms and your site may be penalized severely. You want to find an online reputation management firm that is focused on a few aspects of your online portfolio and has a good history of bringing results.