Reputation Management Companies: 12 Essential Things to Look for When Comparing

By Kate Coleman, Reputation Management Specialist

When you make the important decision to address your online reputation, it’s vital that you choose the right company to help you address your specific concerns. Is the company offering a quick and easy fix that sounds too good to be true? Are the services being offered part of a package tailored to your specific needs, or are they the same for everyone?

Just as various factors influence your reputation, a number of components work together to contribute to the success of your online reputation management campaign. Ahead, we’ll go through twelve key things to look for when you’re choosing a reputation management company.

–Kate

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Time Taken for the Campaign

When it comes to your reputation, time is of the essence. It’s important that the time estimate on a campaign not only be efficient, but realistic. Companies that claim a speedy turnaround or lightning fast results may require a second look – in most cases it will take some time to achieve the ideal, lasting results.

The natural reaction to negative content surrounding yourself or business is to want an immediate fix. Companies that advertise a fast and easy solution to reputation management issues know that the first thing that people experience when addressing reputation management is the want for the negative info to immediately go away. Remind yourself that the process will take time.

Don’t get pushed into a quickie fix and remember when shopping for online reputation management services that slow and steady wins the race. 

Guaranteed Results

Several factors influence search results, which means some projects or specific links may require more attention than others, but don’t let that get you down.

A clean page one of search results may be difficult to achieve, but a dependable reputation management company will go above and beyond your service agreement to achieve those results, and your patience will be rewarded with a healthy online reputation.

Status Labs offers a signature guarantee: If we do not achieve the agreed upon results, we will continue working at no additional cost until you are satisfied with the result.

Free Consultation

Many of the potential concerns above can be addressed and straightened out during a consultation with your reputation management company.

The role of the consultation is to familiarize you with the company’s approach to reputation campaigns, not just to familiarize the company with your situation. The consultation offers you the opportunity not only to express your concerns but to see if the reputation management company will be a good fit for you.

It is vital that you feel all of your concerns have been addressed in a consultation, and that you aren’t left with questions. The goals of the reputation management company during a consultation should be to understand what the problem is, why it is important the problem is fixed, and how severely the negative results are affecting you or your company.

Once these questions have been answered, a good reputation management company can begin thinking of solutions and help you understand whether or not the problem is impacting you enough to enlist their services in the first place.

The goal of a consultation should be exactly that: to see if the services provided can and will help you, and not simply an attempt to make a sale.

Content Creation

Content creation is a broad term when it comes to reputation management. Content is at the core of a variety of reputation management and SEO strategies and can change dramatically depending on the company, context, and client. As a result, not all content is created equal. Just as there are several factors that affect search results, there are several points to consider when it comes to content. The quality, topic, and where the content ends up are all pivotal to the success of your campaign.

There is a considerable difference between well-thought out, custom, and unique content, and content designed only for link spamming, which can be harmful to your goals. 

High-quality content can rank and earn organic engagement, and carries a high SEO value. Lower quality or generic content can have difficulty ranking and at best will be ineffective – at worst – it will hurt your reputation further.

When shopping for online reputation management services, be sure you understand what kind of content creation is involved in your campaign.

Removing Negative Content

Of course, at the end of the day, we all wish the bad stuff would go away. As tempting as it is, it is incredibly important to be wary of reputation management companies that claim they can and will remove negative content.

Removing content is a potentially illegal practice, which can result in criminal charges. It is vital to stay away from companies that claim to remove content as part of their strategy. When Status Labs is asked about these practices at consultations, we often have to break the news: this is not what a good reputation management firm does.

Unless someone is violating a website’s specific terms of use, websites are not legally responsible for the content posted by users on their sites. It can be very difficult and time-consuming to get a webmaster to remove content, and obtaining a court order can prove to be even more challenging. Utilizing other strategies, such as creating new positive content, will eventually push down negative results, without the potential fallout associated with taking down links.

Account Creation and Management

Reaching your target audience is essential when creating new content and promoting yourself and/or your brand, and simply creating accounts and even posting on social media isn’t enough to affect your reputation. It is essential to reach the right audiences with compelling content specific to your campaign – each social media platform is different, and the content must be reflective of the specific platform. It’s key that you don’t stick yourself with a reputation management company whose main strategy is simply creating and populating numerous social media accounts. 

While accounts and profiles can offer a lot to an ORM (Online Reputation Management) campaign, they only do so when handled correctly. Underused accounts, or accounts that are created and then abandoned, won’t help you much.

Specific Campaign Strategies

While the reputation management company will be doing the legwork surrounding your campaign, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t have a voice. Even past the consultation, our team at Status Labs prioritizes hearing your concerns and hesitation at any point in the process to make sure that parameters specific to your situation are adhered to and the desired goals are achieved.

Furthermore, a reputation management campaign should be tailored to your specific concerns. During the consultation and beyond, we will strive to make you aware of how you can best take advantage of the suite of services offered by Status Labs.

Balanced Approach 

An important thing to remember when engaging in an ORM campaign isn’t just to suppress negative news and links but to replace those links with positive content. If you or your company’s keywords are ranking below negative content – or not ranking at all –  we’ll help you to push the negative links down and replace them with positive content. A good ORM campaign will include elements of content creation, PR, and digital marketing. Most reputation management companies will offer one or the other, which in turn, will not be optimal for your campaign. 

At Status Labs, we offer SEO website and keyword audits, which can provide insight into the factors which lead to how your website or specific keywords rank in Google. We’ll help you identify and fix the problems that keep your site from ranking, which will benefit not only the relevance of your search results but can also aid in the suppression of negative links.

Marketing and PR

Managing your online reputation doesn’t only involve suppressing negative links, but putting the best version of yourself out there moving forward. An important component of any reputation management strategy is marketing and PR. Maintaining a strong marketing presence can help you reach more people, generate more leads, and improve your search rankings while our in-house PR team can assist you with both traditional press releases and media placements while helping youfurther generate unique content. 

At Status Labs, our marketing team has years of experience with Fortune 500 companies as well as high-profile individuals who tailor each campaign to the client and their individual goals.

Highly Experienced Operations Team

Another important – and often overlooked – piece when looking for a reputation management company is who will actually be doing the work. Your reputation matters and the team behind it should know what they’re doing.

Find out who is working for you. At Status Labs, we do not outsource, and instead, have an operations team backed by years of collective experience. Strategies are developed through collaboration and using methods that have been proven successful in previous campaigns. It is crucial to choose a reputation management company that takes your reputation as seriously as you do.

Always Available and Willing to Collaborate 

The experts may know what they’re doing, but at the end of the day, it’s your reputation. While your reputation management company can and should act as your guide through the process, it’s normal for questions and concerns to come up. It’s important that your reputation management company collaborates with you and addresses any reservations or worries you may have going into an agreement. It’s not only good consumer practice to ask a lot of questions going in, it is encouraged. The more that we understand your situation, the better suited we are to help you.

In-House Solutions

At Status Labs, we aim to achieve your desired results while maintaining a positive and collaborative relationship throughout the campaign while keeping the efforts to improve your reputation discreetly. With practices in place such as dedicated account managers, meetings with our operations team, guarantees on projects that extend beyond their projected deadline, an in-house PR and digital marketing team, we address a wide variety of aspects of the campaign in-house to give you the most effective ORM campaign while keeping you with us every step of the way.

Status Labs is the premier digital reputation management firm, with offices in Austin, New York, Los Angeles, London, and São Paulo. For more information visit StatusLabs.com or sign up for a Free Consultation.

2018-10-09T16:23:03+00:00