An in-depth study uncovered that four out of five internet users view the internet as the most reliable source of information about any product or business. Another research also claimed that approximately 85% of internet users regularly treat online reviews as personal recommendations or a tip from a friend.
While leaving brand reputation to luck is not a reliable option, digital marketing agencies and online reputation management companies help businesses face the challenges of building a brand’s identity in the digital landscape.
In this article, we will outline what online reputation management is, how it works and why it is so crucial. Also, we shall focus on the monitoring part and how to facilitate the data collection process with Datacenter Proxies or ready-to-use Real-Time Crawler.
What is online reputation management?
Online reputation management (ORM) combines channels of marketing, PR, and customer service to create and maintain a positive online presence of a person, a brand, or business.
The concept of internet reputation management includes monitoring and responding to any negative comments from customers, reacting swiftly to online stories that paint businesses in a bad light, and quickly releasing the proper public statements when the need to counteract arises.
As reviews can greatly impact search rankings, online reputation management focuses on actively monitoring and managing search engine results of a service or product.
Why is online reputation management important?
The point of ORM is to make sure that a brand’s reputation is not left in the hands of algorithms of Google or other major search engines. These algorithms are not able to properly differentiate between what is true and what is misleading and hence cannot be relied on to properly build or maintain a positive online reputation.
Here are the main benefits of online reputation management:
- Reliability. Controlling online reputation allows companies to make sure that their customers indicate a brand as trustworthy and reliable. While the majority of clients trust online reviews before making a purchase, a positive online presence can actually nurture a beneficial brand identity and increase revenue.
- Risk management. Words on social media spread like wildfires, especially negative ones. Any negative comment could influence clients’ buying decisions and make them switch to competitors. Recent research has demonstrated that unsatisfied customers value quick and proper responses from customer service, even if the issue itself cannot be solved instantly. A short acknowledgment and reassurance that someone is taking care of their problem can turn angry clients into loyal ones.
- Useful feedback. Monitoring what clients tell about a product provides valuable feedback on how to improve services. Online monitoring companies continuously monitor, collect and analyze publicly available data to indicate and define product features that customers focus on and value the most.
How does online reputation management work?
Online reputation management works by providing extensive control over how a brand or product is perceived on the internet. Controlling the narrative online can be done in the following steps: extensive research, creating a strategy, and executing it.
Proactive review monitoring on brand mentions is a crucial process that helps businesses keep aware of online conversations that include their brand names and swiftly address the issues. It also provides useful insights on marketing strategies, business goals, and product positioning.
At this stage, the results from data gathering operations are analyzed in order to help businesses make informed decisions that would grow the positive presence of a brand. The gap between the reality and the desired brand reputation may give directions on how to create or adjust business marketing strategies.
Another crucial task is to ensure that the desired presence can be easily discovered. A well-planned online reputation monitoring strategy should include ways to persuade major search engines to rank content as relevant and feature it in the top 1% of Search Engine Result Pages (SERPs) as this is where the largest percentage of internet users usually focus on.
It is important to note that the process is ongoing and never-ending. With an ever-changing digital landscape, online monitoring companies need to regularly and consistently monitor it in order to update and upgrade their clients’ strategies.
Challenges of monitoring online reputation
While scouring the web, OMR companies deal with enormous amounts of web data and face various obstacles. Here are the most common challenges of monitoring a brand’s online presence:
- Multiple targets. With countless sites and numerous customers quickly dropping their opinions and reviews, monitoring brand presence may be exhausting. While these mentions happen to be everywhere (websites, search engines, forums, and social media), scanning and collecting publicly available data from multiple targets requires additional expertise.
- Multiple geo-locations and languages. Besides the diversity of multiple targets, the required data might be scattered in various geo-locations and communicated in different languages. Thus, companies that perform online reputation monitoring may not even see the whole view since websites might show only the information customized for a specific location.
- Quality web data. Due to the complexity and large scale of the issue, gathering quality data can be especially hard. Failing to collect accurate and necessary web data may result in additional resources at the analysis stage, such as time, financial funds, and experts to examine the outcome and provide insightful results.
- Choosing the tools. Not knowing the right tools to use or lacking professional knowledge and not employing them properly can also prove to be a challenge to monitoring your online presence. It goes without saying that online monitoring tools are important, however picking the right ones and using them well is also just as essential.
Solutions for efficient online monitoring
Efficient online monitoring includes everything from gathering data to responding appropriately and proactively to that information. However, gathering data from countless websites is not the easiest task. Digital marketing agencies or online reputation companies usually choose between building an in-house web scraper or picking a ready-to-use data collection tool for efficient data monitoring and gathering.
In-house web scraper
A smooth online monitoring and data gathering usually require scraping several targets at once. One of the ways to successfully harvest data is by building an in-house web scraper. While most websites have integrated sophisticated anti-bot measures, they quite easily track non-human activities and block an IP. This is where proxies come to play and facilitate these operations.
Datacenter Proxies allow you to capture publicly available data from challenging targets and ensure a reliable web scraping experience. Also, Residential Proxies can be especially useful when monitoring targets from specific geo-locations around the world. They offer global coverage of all the countries in the world with city-level targeting.
All-In-one web scraping tool
Building an in-house web scraper can be more than challenging. Not to mention that it requires extensive technical knowledge, resources, and continuous upkeep. For this reason, there are built scraping tools that ease data gathering without the need for additional infrastructure.
Real-Time Crawler is designed to allow its users to collect publicly available data from major search engines and e-commerce sites. It can handle any form of website changes, extract structured JSON data in real-time while rotating proxies, and preventing IP blockings and CAPTHAs. This way, our clients can focus more on analyzing the collected data and generating insights.
The trust factor is high for brand image and building a positive online presence greatly exceeds any trouble. While monitoring the chatter on the web involves harvesting large-scale data, online reputation management companies choose between web scraping solutions that suit their needs and goals.
For a dedicated in-house team of scraping experts and developers, Datacenter Proxies will definitely fuel success rates and help to improve the web scraping experience. If companies want to focus more on data analysis rather than its gathering, then Oxylabs’s Real-Time Crawler is a go-to choice.