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Online reputation management (ORM) combines channels of marketing, PR, and customer service to create and maintain a positive online presence of personal branding, a brand, or a business.
The concept of digital 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 engine rankings, online reputation management focuses on actively monitoring and managing search results of a service or product.
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 Web Scraper API.
The point of online reputation management is to make sure that a business's online 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 brand's 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 insights on how to improve services, even when provided with negative feedback. 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.
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 into 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 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 management 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.
Proactive web monitoring is a crucial part of online reputation management projects
Without knowing what your customers see online, you can't fully understand what influences your company's online reputation. It helps to see the bigger picture to engage in online reputation management.
So first, analyze your website, blog posts, monitor social media content, SERPs, and other content associated with your business. Look at what sustains your online reputation and what damages it. Examine whether your content is genuinely aligned with your company goals and values. Assess what people see when they search for your company.
The search engine optimization strategy for online reputation management has a specific goal—to rank pages you control. It's a great practice to improve as much content in your control as possible with company-related keywords.
Your content should be unique and valuable to the audience. This is closely related to search engine optimization as it influences how your website pages rank. If you mainly aim to rank on Google SERPs, you should know that Google's algorithm prefers original content. How do you provide that? By sharing expertise. Have the industry experts within your company included, or even make them the key players in the content creation process and have them share their experience. With this comes trustworthiness and online reputation protection.
Other search engine optimization objectives also apply to an online reputation management strategy, such as building backlinks to important pages that you want to rank high, being active on your social media accounts, as well as collaborating with other companies to publish your content on their websites.
Negative reviews can drastically devolve your business's online reputation; thus, you should think about investing in online review management. Reply to positive and negative reviews, offer genuine solutions, and show that you care about your customer feedback and your business. It's a great way to be reputable, build credibility, and possibly keep the customers who had a bad experience.
With online review management in action, you should also think about propagating customers to leave online reviews. Sites like Trustpilot, Google, Facebook, and Yelp have high traffic and credibility; therefore, positive and negative reviews posted there about your company can affect your SERP rankings, website traffic, and brand awareness.
It's decisive to monitor what people say about your company online. It allows negative and positive brand mentions to be seen as soon as possible; thus, you can start to mediate negative sentiment immediately.
For online reputation management, it is a good idea to utilize Google Alerts, which notifies you whenever your chosen keywords appear in new search results. You can set your company name or anything else as the keywords, and Google Alerts will send you emails when it finds your keywords. It is a great tool that helps you find positive and negative search results.
It might be evident to you what's positive about your business, but the online audience might not know if you don't provide reasons to see your company favorably. Take charge of that by sharing positive content. Share positive reviews and references on your website, social media platforms, or email marketing. Simply said, positive reviews can become quality content itself. Another way to improve your online reputation is to make collaborations with other companies visible and have influencers promote your business and content.
As you can see from previous techniques, improving your online reputation has a lot to do with the content you publish. Strong public relations is also content-related and can make way for positive brand awareness.
You can make branded events, podcasts, and live streams, allowing you to market your business. Don't overlook public statements and press releases, as they can show you care about enhancing your business. Next, you can create and promote content with company executives, for example, through interviews and blog posts with personal experiences. Also, you can aim to join forces with other content creators on digital media platforms where they engage in your industry's subject matter.
All these techniques can strengthen your public relations and online reputation, but you also should invest time in finding the best ways that would work specifically for your brand.
While scouring the web, an online reputation management company deals with enormous amounts of web data and faces 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, etc.), 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 management 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 in monitoring your online presence. It goes without saying that online reputation management tools are important; however, picking the right ones and using them well is also just as essential.
Choosing the right tools is one of the biggest challenges of monitoring online reputation
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 management 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.
A smooth online reputation monitoring and data gathering usually require scraping several targets at once. One of the ways to harvest data successfully is by building an in-house web scraper. However, there are a couple of problems you might run into. For example, let's say you wanted to perform reputation monitoring using news scraping. Most news websites have integrated sophisticated anti-bot measures and can quite easily track non-human activities and subsequently block an IP. In a situation like this, a proxy would be extremely helpful.
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.
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.
Web Scraper API is designed to allow its users to collect publicly available data from most web pages. 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 about online reputation.
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 Web Scraper API is a go-to choice.
Whether you have any questions or would like to try our products, book a call with our sales team to get started!
About the author
Former Product Content Manager
Vejune Tamuliunaite is a former Product Content Manager at Oxylabs with a passion for testing her limits. After years of working as a scriptwriter, she turned to the tech side and is fascinated by being at the core of creating the future. When not writing in-depth articles, Vejune enjoys spending time in nature and watching classic sci-fi movies. Also, she probably could tell the Star Wars script by heart.
All information on Oxylabs Blog is provided on an "as is" basis and for informational purposes only. We make no representation and disclaim all liability with respect to your use of any information contained on Oxylabs Blog or any third-party websites that may be linked therein. Before engaging in scraping activities of any kind you should consult your legal advisors and carefully read the particular website's terms of service or receive a scraping license.
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