The internet is littered with countless online reputation management services that range from dirt cheap to severely overpriced, and this trend is becoming more prominent than ever in 2018.
Whether you’re an individual or a business owner, trying to find a good deal for online reputation management can leave your head spinning.
Some companies offer quack remedies, claiming they can fix your entire online presence for a low price of $100 per month. Others might ask for upwards of $100,000 without ever providing detailed reports of the reputation management services completed.
Don’t fall for these traps. Instead, consider the man-hours required for an online reputation management campaign, and you’ll have a better idea of what affordable services should look like.
At Internet Reputation, we employ a large team of highly-trained professionals, each with years of experience. When we begin a new campaign with a client, members of this team are assigned to work on the project daily for months at a time, which is required if you want to develop a sound SEO strategy, create compelling content, network and remove negative results online.
Now, let’s revisit the idea of a $100 fee for a complete ORM campaign…
Assuming just one professional is handling all the tasks required (which by itself is unusual), that’d be around 20 hours of work each week on your campaign. That’s 80 hours in a month, meaning that a monthly fee of $100 dollars averages to $1.25 an hour.
What highly trained profession works for that rate? One offering a snake oil, perhaps, but not someone offering honest online reputation management services.
Using common sense, you can now get a better feel for what a fair and affordable price for online reputation management might be.
Reputation Management Cost – A Closer Look
To take a closer look at reputation management, you have to determine the type of campaign you’ll need. At InternetReputation.com, we offer two main types of management:
- Proactive Management
A proactive management campaign is best for those who haven’t had major problems with their online reputation.
This type of campaign promotes positive results on the first two pages of Google and similar search engines. This builds a barrier around your personal image or brand that protects you from future attacks such as a legal issue going viral or a vengeful post from a competitor.
- Crisis Management
A crisis management campaign is best for those who have already encountered problems with negative assets appearing in search engines or Google Autosuggest results.
This type of campaign suppresses and removes negative content from search engine results, so no one stumbles on it when they look up your name or your brand. After this is complete, proactive management is recommended to protect you from future crisis situations.
The health of your online reputation is much like your body’s health in that it’s easier to prevent a problem than it is to fix it. As you might imagine, crisis management campaigns are generally more expensive than proactive management campaigns.
Key Cost Factors
Unfortunately, you can’t price proactive management campaigns and crisis management campaigns with two flat fees and be done with it. It’s all about the man-hours required to run a complete online reputation management campaign, and every case has different key cost factors that increase or decrease the price.
The primary cost factors include:
- Keyword Difficulty
Each keyword in an SEO campaign has a different difficulty score that determines how easy it’ll be to rank in Google results. Linking root domains, the quality of incoming links and the strength of competition are just a few factors that are involved with assessing keyword difficulty. As you might imagine, the more difficult the keyword, the more man-hours needed for the campaign.
- Link Age
Search engines look at several factors when determining which links should show up on the page, and this includes the age of a link and the age of a domain. Newer content tends to show up ahead of older content, and is thus more difficult to deal with, and older domains often receive favor over newer domains, and are similarly more difficult to outrank.
- Search Volume
The number of searchers on any given keyword is factored into where matching links are ranked on search engines. If only one person each month looks up “Joe Smith Mugshot” (usually thanks to autosuggest), it’s an easier campaign than if fifty people are looking it up.
- Link Position
All results on the front page of Google are not created equally. The first result is much more difficult to contend with than the tenth result, and the price will vary dramatically.
- Type of Negative Link
Google’s algorithm assesses links by type. From natural editorial links to self-created non-editorial links, the origin of negative search results will determine how difficult it is to push them off the front page. For example, if someone creates a blog post titled “Joe Smith is a Liar,” that’s bad, but it’s much worse (and more expensive to combat) if the New York Times published a post titled “CEO Joe Smith Exposed as a Liar.”
- Existing Optimization
Any existing SEO efforts by the owner of the negative link also factor in. A negative link with a team of SEO experts working to promote it will be much more difficult to deal with than one with zero optimization efforts. SEO performed on your name or brand in the past can work in the other direction, making your campaign easier if the efforts were well-managed.
- Number of Negative Links
This one’s simple. A crisis management campaign working to remove or suppress six negative links is a different ball game than one trying to suppress a single negative link.
- Factual or Fictional Campaign
Most quality online reputation management companies offer both factual and fictional campaigns, and writing a fictional character is generally easier for the content team. Imagine that you’re a writer and you’ve been asked to draft fifty quality articles on Olympic athlete Tessa Sanderson – your job is going to take much more time and money than if you’re writing fifty quality articles on a fictional character of the same name.
The above cost factors are some of the primary considerations that go into fairly pricing an online reputation management campaign. Yes, it’s a lot, but successful reputation management is no easy task, and very rarely does each of these factors work against your end price.
When you’re sorting through the countless ORM companies online, you want to ask about cost factors and campaign types – as detailed above – while watching for critical warning signs.
Not all companies that seem to charge a fair rate are legitimate. Selling hopes and dreams is an age-old profession, and there are many who have mastered the art. Watching for warning signs like these can further help you steer clear of scammers and find legitimate, affordable online reputation management services:
- False Promises
Google results don’t change overnight, and they rarely change in a single month – a quality campaign generally requires a minimum of six to twelve months. If someone promises otherwise, it’s a bad sign.
Results created with shortcuts and black hat tactics might offer the illusion of results, but they usually crumble in a matter of months. Avoid companies that rely on multiple asset creation, bad keyword linking and other shortcut methods.
- Bad Content Creation
Content is king, and SEO won’t work for an online reputation management campaign without it. Ask for examples of past content and don’t accept poor quality work. Google does discriminate over content quality.
- Unnatural Results
Plenty of people have tried to trick Google’s algorithms, but almost none succeed for long. Unnatural results created by shifty ORM companies are scanned for by Google on a regular basis and they’re delisted as soon as they’re located, undoing all previous progress.
Not sure if you’re being scammed? It’s tough to find affordable reputation management from someone you can trust. The InternetReputation.com team has helped thousands of clients, many of which had previously been scammed by a shady ORM company. This creates extra work for our time and we’ve seen the problems that can be caused by a black hat organization firsthand.
If you’re not certain that a company is being truthful, and if it seems too good to be true, it might be time to look elsewhere for reputation management.
The Good News
The good news is that once you find a quality reputation management firm with affordable prices, you’ll be in the clear. A regular ORM campaign is the best way to polish your online image, and with an entire team looking out for you, there’s little left for you to deal with.
If you’d like to speak with a trained professional for a free consultation regarding your reputation situation, call Internet Reputation at 1-888-591-0930 or click here for additional information. We’re here to help!
Protect your reputation online.