What is

Reputation Management?

What if we told you that the money you’re spending on marketing and SEO might be actually helping your competition?

There are not many undisputable truths in the world. But one of them is that we all want our business to grow.
There is a dark side to it too. Growing faster than your competition attracts all the wrong attention to your company.

 

Imagine your very particular marketplace niche shows a 5% growth a year. In an ideal world that means all the businesses sharing that marketplace are making 5% more money or selling 5% more products every year.

 

However, let’s say your own business is growing 20% this year due to a great marketing campaign or just because you have a superior product. That 15% difference has to come from somewhere. If the market remains steady, it would mean that 5% comes from new sales. Now, the other 15% comes directly from your competitor’s client pool.

 

You’re winning and they’re losing. You’d have to be naive to think they will sit on their hands. It’s only natural that once they realize how bad it is they will start to devise ways to stop the bleeding.

 

Many start by writing negative reviews, giving their competitors one-star comments, or even writing reports that put them under a really nasty light. All with the hopes of driving customers away from you. They don’t even bother trying to make customers like them. They’re happy by just knowing you’re not doing better than them. This is war, and it is always bloody.

 

Customers always see negative reviews as a signal that they should probably move on to the next business that offers similar products and services and who feels more trustworthy just because they have a better reputation.

 

This feeling is so strong that customers are willing to pay even 30% more for a product or service if the provider shows a better input from their customers. This means that offering a better price is not the silver bullet we all thought it was.

The shopping process

This is a phenomenon that has been studied for more than 50 years. It explains the different stages through which every consumer goes when making a transaction.

 

The process goes like this: problem recognition, information search, evaluation of alternatives, purchase decision, and post-purchase behavior.

 

Most marketing efforts are aimed to affecting the first three stages.

 

Ideally, when we design a marketing campaign, we want to start the problem recognition, cover the information search stage as much as possible and make the customer skip the alternative evaluation part. However, this is extremely difficult to do.

 

What actually happens when we start a marketing campaign is that you stir the customer’s curiosity. But customers nowadays want to go online and see who else is offering the same products or services and what people are saying about them. They want to make a rational choice and get the most for their hard-earned dollars. It is not uncommon to see someone getting excited about your promotions but then they end up buying from your competitor. So essentially, your competitors benefit from your marketing efforts.

 

What we want to do is to stop the shopping process at your doorstep. A negative review might prevent you from doing just that. A potential buyer, seconds away from making the purchase, might check his telephone for a final inspection of your product and find that negative comment that google wanted to show him. That could set the shopping process in motion again, making the customer move forward to the next best alternative.

 

The one provider able to stop the shopping process will make the sale or secure the contract. You might be able to excite the minds of your customers, but you could be actually sending them directly to your competitor’s doorstep if you are not taking care of your reputation. A negative review does not extinguish the need for your product, it just continues the search and drives people away from you and closer to other providers.

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We have inspired and motivated business owners, entrepreneurs, and professionals around the world for the past few years, and we’ve helped nearly 2,000 clients grow their businesses, online and offline. However, we realized that we couldn’t help everyone. and the truth is not everyone is our match made in heaven. Therefore, we only accept new clients after an extensive screening process that helps us determine whether we will be a good fit for each other.


Do I need Reputation Management?

Reputation management (also referred to as rep management, online reputation management or ORM) is the practice of shaping public opinion of your business by influencing the online information about you.

There are myths and misconceptions about online reputation management. Some think it’s just monitoring what Google or social media say about you. Others think it involves media relations or crisis management. And still others have no idea at all.

Let’s start at the beginning – Google.

Today, nearly every business transaction starts with a search on Google. However, Google seems to favor negative reviews in searches. They aim to offer their search users a balanced view of the businesses they search for. So even if you have a thousand positive reviews and one single bad comment, they will make sure it makes it to the front page. This approach is often exploited by people who are actively trying to make the internet an ugly place for all of us.

And whatever appears about you and your business on page one of Google is critical. Because few people ever click past that first page or even scroll down the page. So even if your reputation is squeaky clean, just one bad story or review about you online on page one of Google can do a disproportionally large amount of damage to your business.

And guess what? No news is bad news, too.

If nothing relevant or positive about you shows up on page one of Google, that’s nearly as bad as a complaint or bad review. And it means that your digital assets – your website and social media profiles — aren’t working as hard for you as they should.

What Are They Saying About You?

Just a few years ago, life was simpler online. Websites were fewer, Google didn’t dig so deeply into digital dirt, and social media didn’t exist. Angry customers didn’t have an expanding potential audience in the millions to whom they could vent their frustration about your business. Your competitors couldn’t slander your name with anonymous reviews on Yelp.

Those days are gone. Forever.

Today, every one of your customers and competitors has an audience. Just one bad review, negative experience, or outright lie about you can be halfway around the world before you ever know it. There are sites whose sole purpose is to post reviews that are posted on other sites – so one bad review can get syndicated across 100’s of sites.

And data reveals that consumers believe what they read online even if they do not know the person who wrote it. They believe what they read almost as much as if their best friend told them personally.

No matter what size your business is, people are talking about you. Your prospects, customers, vendors, competitors, even anonymous hackers – they’re posting comments on blogs or review sites … tweeting about your company, posting updates on Facebook or LinkedIn … the list goes on.

If you think you can safely ignore this new fact of life, you do so at your own peril.

Why Is It Important?

First, realize that search results in Google don’t pop up chronologically. An old complaint, arrest record (even of someone else with your SAME name!) or inflammatory comment from 10 years ago can continue to haunt you … if search engines think those pages are still relevant.

And that’s not counting negative stories that appear about on sites like Rip-off Report.com or Complaint.com. If that happens, you’ve got big trouble. Because those sites have many thousands of web pages and can rank very highly in Google. That means you’re facing an uphill battle to fight the weight of that negative publicity.

And it gets worse. Negative reviews from sites like Rip-off Report and Complaint can spread like wildfire, appearing on up to 35 sites within a matter of hours.

How? Negative stories about you multiply thanks to “duplicator” software that literally copies and pastes bad reviews of you from web site to another.

Those “duplicator websites” exist solely to get traffic so they can run ads and profit off the ad revenue. The fact is destroying your reputation means nothing to them. That’s the harsh reality.
What It Will Take You To Rank Higher?
What SEO Opportunities You Are Missing?

See If Your Business
Qualifies To Work With OTT.

We have inspired and motivated business owners, entrepreneurs, and professionals around the world for the past few years, and we’ve helped nearly 2,000 clients grow their businesses, online and offline. However, we realized that we couldn’t help everyone. and the truth is not everyone is our match made in heaven. Therefore, we only accept new clients after an extensive screening process that helps us determine whether we will be a good fit for each other.


Who Needs Reputation Management?

You do, if your business has any kind of Internet presence. And today, that’s everyone.

Every business should proactively build and protect their digital reputation. Your customers are researching your products and services online – and those of your competitors – before ever deciding to contact you. If they find negative reviews or dirt about you online or even no reviews, they will never call …

… and you will never know why.

That makes your reputation your most valuable asset online. But don’t believe us. The research is compelling:

62% of consumers in a survey said they would change their mind after reading 1-3 bad reviews of a company’s product or service (Lightspeed Research) 66% of people believe the Internet is the most reliable source of information about a business or a person (Edelman Insights) 81% of consumers and corporate executives believe search results highly influence their perception about a company and its quality (Weber Shandwick) 97% of people read online reviews when searching for a local business, (BIA Kelsey)
Horror Stories Of

Bad Reputation Happening To Good People

You can wake up one morning to find you have a horrible online reputation through no fault of your own. A drunk driver or sex offender with your exact same name can suddenly appear in the news. Or a political posting on Facebook you thought was private is suddenly spreading online … and alienating half your customers.

Your business could have hundreds of positive reviews online, but it only takes one or two negative comments to sabotage years of hard work.

 

 

Here are just a few of the horror stories we’ve seen …

 

 

A landscape architect, active and popular in his local community, receives a 1-star review and lengthy complaint from an unhappy customer on Yelp. She wants a refund. He politely refuses. She adds more detail to her negative review. It starts to appear on page one of Google. The landscape architect finally offers a refund in a desperate bid to repair his reputation. Guess what? The customer no longer returns his calls. The horrible review of his business stays online, where it remains to this day. He estimates the damage to his business at more than $150,000 in lost sales. And if he could go back in time, he’d willingly write a check for that amount to keep it from happening.

 

 

A carpet cleaner is doing well in his east coast city. Until a review from an unhappy customer appears on Google Plus, complaining about “bait and switch” pricing and rude treatment by employees. The business owner offers to reclean the room, then the whole house, then a refund … but the customer refuses to remove the negative reviews. Instead, he adds even more. Damage to his business is estimated at more than $30,000 – and growing.

 

A local deli has a fine reputation, until a random disgruntled reviewer (who’s never eaten there before!) goes online and starts posting negative comments on Yelp and other sites. Those false reviews are now appearing on page one of search results. The damage could easily top $50,000.

 

And those horror stories don’t even take into account the people with a grudge against you personally. An ex-spouse, terminated employee, or angry neighbor can go after you for any reason – or no reason.

 

Bottom line: Anyone determined to damage your business online can tear down years of your hard work in a matter of days.

 

But there is hope. You can recover.

 

And we’ve found it effective to play both “defense” and “offense” to win this game. That’s because effective online reputation management has two sides: repair and protection.

 

First, here’s an example of Reputation “Repair”
This story from our client files shows that it is possible to recover from horrible damage to your reputation online.

 

A real estate professional had a hugely successful business. He ranked in the top 10 in America for home sales.

 

But due to a power struggle in his agency, negative stories came out in the press. The state licensing board got involved. They issued a restraining order that prevented him from selling any real estate for 60 days. No wrong doing was found, so they reinstated his license.

 

But by then it was too late.

 

Numerous real estate sales bloggers had picked up the story and run with it. About 65% of all search results for his name on the first 3 pages in Google were negative. His sales plunged.

 

So he came to us for help.

 

We created and promoted positive content about him online. We did NOT “push down” negative reviews of him in search — that would be unethical and could lead to a Google penalty. Instead, we simply spread the word online about good things he had done.

 

Within 9 months, every negative review but one had disappeared from the first three pages of search results. His reputation was restored, he has now built a very successful business again.

Reputation “Protection”

How does it work?

Our team creates a custom list of keywords for your name, your business, and your brand. Then we monitor relevant websites and social media 24/7 for any negative mentions about you.We spot trouble immediately because it’s a live feed. Any negative mention of you anywhere online — on social media, a blog, anything — we find it fast, so we can react and fix it fast.

We do this by generating new content for you online that drifts to the top of search results, so prospective customers see good things about you first. Of course, as Google Partners, our process is 100% ethical and conforms to Google best practices.Here’s the bottom line: One dollar of protection is worth $1,000 of reputation repair online. Or more.

Because once a negative story about your business is out there, it stays there. Unless you take action.

One last thing: Google evolves and changes the rules for reputation management almost daily. So, if you’re serious about getting more customers or clients from your website, you probably don’t have time to do all this yourself.But we do.Because reputation management is our business as a digital marketing agency. It has been since 2014.

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