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Reputation defenders are experts in reputation management. The right reputation defender can help you take control of your online reputation, They can also help shape your search results to make a positive impression on people searching your name online.
Do you need someone to help defend and define your online reputation? That depends on your situation.
If your business, career or personal life is being hurt by negative items on the internet, the answer is yes. However, if you aren’t affected by bad news online, but work in a field where a bad reputation could create a real problem, you should also think about the help of a reputation defender.
That said, what is a reputation defender? What exactly do they do?
What reputation defenders do
Reputation defenders work as a team to protect and defend your reputation. This is because it takes extensive resources to complete a reputation management campaign successfully. And going it alone can be a major challenge.
With that in mind, you do have options when it comes to online reputation management (ORM). These include large, experienced ORM firms and smaller, more specialized companies.
But whoever you choose, the right reputation management team will include a variety of essential services to manage crises and help restore your online image.
It’s nearly impossible to monitor new online mentions of your name or business every day. But the right reputation defenders have the technology and expertise to do so.
Good reputation managers can identify, analyze and point you toward new Google results based on keywords they are tracking. They’ll also use 24/7 alerts and real-time updates to stay ahead of new threats to your reputation. Round-the-clock monitoring allows your ORM team to tackle new issues as soon as they pop up.
Bad reviews, viral social posts and negative news stories creep up to the top of Google search results fast. Once at the top, these items create an instant threat to your online reputation.
That’s because Google doesn’t look at how truthful that content is. Instead, it only considers how often others link to it, how many people view it and other things that affect search engine ranking.
And when a bad link starts moving up, it can often be impossible to remove it on your own.
A seasoned ORM firm helps you identify and remove these bad search results – and other negative content – to protect your online brand.
Even better: the right team can help resolve your online problems much faster than you could by yourself. They use tools and methods to locate threats you may have missed or overlooked.
Online reputation repair and maintenance
The most important services offered by an effective ORM firm are reputation repair and maintenance. Experienced reputation defenders use the extensive resources at their disposal to help you repair your online reputation. They can do so no matter the type of threat or the amount of damage done.
And once they help restore your online image, they can help you identify, manage and remove any problems that may hurt your reputation in the future.
How to find the right reputation management company
When it comes to protecting your online reputation, choosing the best reputation management team is essential. The right reputation services company puts control of your reputation in your hands.
How do they do this? By providing the tools and content you need to repair your Google results and manage what people find when they search your name online.
Here are a few things to look for in a quality ORM company:
A track record of getting results
The best reputation management firms know how to deliver results. They also have the experience and satisfied client base to prove it. A great ORM firm not only has ample experience, but has provided thousands of clients the services needed to reach their full potential on the web.
A focus on innovation
Good ORM firms understand that the web is always changing. They also know that newer, better and faster reputation management methods and technologies are needed to stay a step ahead and deliver great results. Focusing on innovation ensures they’re always prepared for an unpredictable digital threatscape.
A commitment to quality
Getting reputation management right takes the right team and a lot of hard work. When searching for the right ORM provider, always look for the team that delivers the best results possible. Generally, these are outcomes that require a comprehensive approach and deliver real value for the long term. This means seeking a firm that utilizes proven tactics that stick, rather than cheap services that fall apart shortly after they’re over.
Realistic timelines and expectations
Trusted reputation defenders don’t promise to deliver results overnight. They also don’t guarantee to fix bad reputation scores in days, weeks or even just a few short months. Instead of over-the-top claims, an effective ORM firm provides honest answers and assessments about your online problems and what it will take to get across the finish line.
The right reputation managers have the in-house resources and expertise to manage each aspect of your campaign, rather than outsourcing certain elements or asking you to supplement the process. The best ORM providers bring together many in-house specialists to ensure effective collaboration and maximum efficiency.
What to watch for (and avoid)
Experienced reputation defenders help you defend and repair your reputation online. Unfortunately, there are many others that promise big things, only to fall short when delivering results.
Here are a few red flags to watch for when shopping for ORM providers:
Dirt-cheap ORM firms
Many small-time ORM firms lure people in by promising to fix your online reputation for bargain-basement prices. Some even offer to repair your problems for as little as $5 a pop.
Unfortunately, such low-cost providers seem too good to be true because they are. Most often, they make big-time promises, only to fall far short of hitting the mark. In fact, the cheaper the offer is, the more likely that ORM firm will cut corners and create more problems than it’s worth.
Anyone claiming to provide amazing results at such low prices, promising to remove threats and fix search results in record time, should be avoided at all costs. Though you may see some short-term improvement on Google, the long-term consequences could be severe. This is particularly true if blackhat techniques were used along the way.
Spammy content strategies
It’s fairly common practice among reputation management firms to help you build a better online presence by creating a variety of websites, social media profiles and business listings across the web. For the most part, this is a good strategy that can generate positive results.
Unfortunately, there are ORM agencies that take this approach way too far. In fact, they develop hundreds or thousands of sites that end up diluting your progress and hurting your reputation. Search engines like Google often view such practices as spammy and sometimes even penalize those sites as a result.
Unethical SEO tactics
Despite recent Google updates and a stronger focus on “quality” content, some so-called reputation defenders continue to rely on unethical SEO tactics to fool search engines and get quick results. Shady operators use common blackhat techniques like keyword stuffing, link buying and web traffic farming to get around proven, above-board SEO strategies. This often leaves clients in the lurch, owning websites that are later banned from top-ranking spots altogether.
Beware of ORM providers that utilize blackhat SEO. Such practices are risky and make it much harder to restore your reputation down the road.
Fake review strategies
Also known as “astroturfing,” buying fake reviews is a common cheat among small-time reputation managers. It’s mostly done by those promising to deliver better ratings and instant results to business owners. Astroturfing is not only a blatant form of false advertising. It’s also against a number of consumer protection laws designed to protect buyers from falling victim to false information.
What’s worse: buying fraudulent reviews isn’t just bad for consumers. In fact, a number of companies have received serious fines for astroturfing and creating a false impression of their business. And if your firm is ever caught doing so, chances are good you’ll face fines AND the bad publicity that comes with it. In turn, you’ll have a reputation scar that’ll likely follow your business reputation for years.
In short, steer clear of reputation defenders guaranteeing an instant boost to your ratings and reviews online. The consequences of working with such a firm could be disastrous.
Inexperienced or unqualified providers
Sometimes a business consultant or other professional will offer reputation management without having the expertise to deliver the goods. Many such consultants will also offer help without having the in-house digital marketing, PR, content or social media tools or skills to back it up. In many cases, they’ll put the extensive work of ORM back on your shoulders.
When a consultant makes such an offer or provides ORM as a mere offshoot of another service (PR, marketing, etc.), they likely won’t have the expertise needed to tackle your problem and get the results you’re looking for.
How do I find the right reputation defender?
When searching for the right reputation defender, you’ll want to carefully research your options and locate the best fit for your unique online needs and budget.
As you sort through ORM providers, be sure to consider:
1. Their experience
Before choosing a reputation management team, always consider their level of experience. Get answers on how long they’ve worked in ORM, the clients they serve and their track record for getting results.
As you interview reputation defenders, also ask about the tactics and strategies they use to repair online reputations. If needed, request testimonials and case studies that show their work and how they achieved results for past clients. Doing so provides a sense of how long their process takes and what they’ll use to fix your own reputation.
2. How well they communicate
Like any service provider, the ORM firm you choose should always be open, honest and available when you need them. A reputable ORM team will be reliable and maintain open communication. This ensures you can get answers and address problems on your schedule.
Good reputation defenders know how important strong communication is to an effective ORM campaign, particularly since reputation matters are personal and must be handled with great care.
3. Their commitment to innovative ORM
The web is always changing. And staying ahead of search engine updates and an ever-evolving threatscape takes a constant focus on cutting-edge methods that keep clients in control. Effective ORM firms know that what worked last year or even last month may not work now. They also know that an ongoing commitment to research and innovation is the key to getting results consistently.
4. The resources they have to tackle your problem
No matter the nature or size of your online issues, you’ll need an ORM company with the resources needed to tackle them effectively. The right reputation defender not only has a dedicated team of specialists to resolve your internet problems.
They also have the processes, technology and built-in flexibility needed to build a lasting firewall around your reputation. Having access to such resources in-house helps ensure your strategy remains consistent and effective from start to finish.
5. Any hidden costs or fees throughout the process
While all reputation agencies should clearly outline the costs of your campaign at the beginning, some aren’t so transparent, charging unexpected fees that can add up in a hurry. These can include anything from travel to phone and internet service fees, leaving you to pay much more than you originally intended.
A reputable ORM firm is committed to transparency. They also detail the price of each unique service and campaign right from the start. This includes all costs associated with the level of work needed, and any supplemental services that might be needed in the future.
Need a reputation defender?
We’re here to help.
Utilizing the latest in ORM technology, processes and industry-leading expertise, our reputation specialists help you remove bad search results and build a stronger, more positive presence on the web. Whether you’re managing a career or running a business, we can help you achieve your goals and realize your full internet potential.
Want to get started? Call us today at 844-929-1061 to schedule your free reputation consultation.