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How-to 13 min read September 26, 2019

How to improve business reputation on the Internet

Brand reputation is one of the important factors influencing decision-making by potential customers. Therefore, it is necessary to monitor and respond to negative reviews on the network. Brand reputation management extends to social networks, search engines, and other platforms.

How the brand reputation is formed

The success of a business depends on many elements, including product quality, the right pricing policy, professionalism of employees, sufficient investment in the development of the company and marketing. However, even with competent work in all these areas, brand promotion may encounter the main obstacle — a negative reputation.

According to a study conducted in 2018, negative information about a company can alienate 94% of potential customers from the brand on the network. To manage reputation on the web and in search engines, a separate marketing direction has been created — Search Engine Reputation Management (SERM).

The positive reputation of the brand is based on the brand authority, high-quality, diverse content, and good references or reviews on the site. The reputation of the company can be formed both naturally and through a PR campaign — either own or aimed at forming a negative opinion about a competitor's brand.

It's preferable to start managing your online reputation from the moment you set up a business; otherwise, if there is a lot of negative about the company on the Internet, this can be a more time-consuming task.

Ways to monitor brand reputation on the Internet

Working with a reputation on the Internet provides for regular monitoring of company mentions both manually and through online services.

How to check brand popularity

Checking the level of brand popularity using Google Trends before and after a PR campaign will allow you to evaluate the effectiveness of the events. The tool allows you to view the dynamics of the brand's popularity on Google for the period of interest in the selected region. At the same time, you can add competitors for comparison:
Brand mentions monitoring using Google Trends
On the graph, the changes for the selected period are displayed in percentage terms — the service finds the highest possible level of popularity, and then calculates its dynamics relative to this value.

Comparison of brand popularity by region:
Brand popularity by regions in Google Trends

Checking brand mentions in social networks

To quickly respond to company reviews on social networks, you need to quickly receive information about the appearance of negative comments. To do this, you can monitor new posts with the brand name by yourself or use special services:
Google Alerts setup
Google Alerts monitoring system provides information about brand mentions in social networks and online publications, makes it possible to solve customer problems quickly and analyze brand perception by customers.

To use the service, you need to create a new alert and configure the delivery of messages about the appearance of publications. We will add the desired brand, indicate the frequency of sending, and add the e-mail to which notifications will be sent:
Creating an alert in Google Alerts

Monitoring publications on certain topics

The service Mention allows you to find out about publications in the media, blogs, and news on the required topics. Using the tool, you can monitor both news about your own company and messages about competitors:
Business reputation tracking with Mention

How to increase reputation on the network

Creating and posting content with positive brand information

As the study shows, Internet users are more likely to leave negative reviews than positive ones. The likelihood that the user will leave a review with a positive experience associated with the brand is 28%, with a negative experience — 34%. Accordingly, obtaining a positive reputation exclusively in a natural way is a rather difficult task on the network.

To improve their reputation, they post positive reviews and comments about the company on various reviews sites, thematic blogs and forums, and social networks.

At the same time, they often use hidden marketing — presenting information in such a way that the target audience does not perceive it as advertising material. This method is often used in collaboration with popular bloggers who demonstrate positive qualities and features of using the necessary products or services.

For positive feedback, an official response is posted with thanks to the author of the comment.

Work with search results

According to the results of market research, 85% of users study search results before making a purchase. That is why it is so important to monitor the results of issuance for the presence of negative reviews about the company in the TOP-10.

When such information appears, it is necessary to ensure that such pages are replaced by new brand reviews in a positive manner. Neutral posts or informational noise can also be added to scatter users' attention.

You can also use contextual advertising to issue preferred links on the list of necessary queries related to the brand.

Operational response to negative reviews

63% of users, who left negative reviews, were left without a response from the companies. Moreover, almost 45% of potential customers say that they are more likely to use the services of a local organization that responds to negative customer reviews.

It is important to solve customer problems quickly, apologize on behalf of the brand if the company is objectively to blame for the user's difficulty:
How to react to negative reviews
It's also good practice to offer a bonus from the company as compensation:
An example of reply to a negative feedback
For answers on behalf of the company, users need to create official representative accounts on all popular reviews resources.

In case of the appearance of ordered negative information, it is necessary to contact the administrators of the resources on which it is posted, with the requirement of deletion.

Increasing brand authority and relevance

Search engine ranking is based on the authority of the site. The authority degree of the resource is calculated, taking into account the quantity and quality of other sites that link to the project being promoted.

The most significant effect is exerted by indexed links to the resource from reputable sites. However, even if there is no link, the mention of the brand in the text is also taken into account. Therefore, you can increase brand authority by ordering a paid PR article in an influential publication.

Also, a positive factor is a network search using the company name. Many of these user requests become a signal to the search engine, indicating the popularity of the brand.

In addition to credibility, the brand must be relevant to the needs of the target audience. You need to track all the latest trends, find new free niches, and post relevant content. Content should contribute to the long-term retention of the client on the site, motivate him to subscribe to the newsletter or repost. Such customer actions have a positive effect on search engine rankings.

Work on the brand in social networks

Reputation management in social networks includes work on the quality of corporate pages. You need to create groups in the selected social networks, to attract new subscribers with interesting content, promotions, and prize draws. It makes sense to upload video reviews of subscribers.

On YouTube, to create a company's reputation, you can launch a channel with useful educational or entertaining content, depending on the niche:
YouTube channel of a brand example

Working with company personnel

Competent work with personnel is also very important for the brand's reputation, as dissatisfied employees most likely to write negative reviews and strongly criticize the company:
Negative review of a company
Actions to improve the reputation of the company:

  • create a brand page on popular job resources, create attractive job offers there;

  • to promote a high corporate culture within the team and respectful attitude of employees to each other;

  • correctly execute the process of dismissal of incompetent employees;

  • when employees leave the company, at their own request, provide positive recommendations to specialists with a request to write a positive review to the employer on the network.

Working with the media

The helpareporter.com platform is suitable for creating PR publications on various news resources:
Helpareporter.com
800 thousand users are registered in the service, who use the project to contact journalists and find queries that are relevant to their field of activity.

It's also worth creating a thematic blog, actively responding to user comments and questions:
Working with the audience in the blog

Starting a PR campaign to promote a brand

1
To promote a brand, you need to run a PR Campaign — a set of actions aimed at achieving the set goals for promoting the company.
2
A PR campaign is aimed at solving a specific problem, both constructive and destructive: it can be creating a reputation on the Internet, counter-advertising or anti-advertising of a competitor.
3
To form a PR campaign, it is necessary to identify the current situation and problems, the strategy of actions, the desired result and the time frame for its achievement. You also need to identify the target audience and those moments that you want to convey to it.

There may be such options for target audiences: customers, business partners, investors, staff, etc. An important factor for the success of a PR campaign is the right choice of the target audience and the channels that cause its greatest response.
4
The scale of the campaign may vary from local to global. It is necessary to indicate in what geographical limits the brand will be promoted on the Internet.
5
Depending on the budget allocated to the campaign, the resulting metrics are very different. Large corporations can set a goal, for example, to get 50 publications in reputable media after a certain event related to the brand. In a similar situation, for a growing business, several publications may suffice in serious publications.
6
During the development of a PR campaign, it is necessary to identify all the tools and resources that will be involved, find various advertising platforms, and think through possible actions in force majeure situations.
7
After conducting PR events, it is necessary to measure the performance indicators of the campaign and, based on the results, adjust further actions.

Conclusion

Brand reputation management is an important part of work for every serious company in the network. It is necessary to monitor the information that appears about the brand on the Internet regularly, then to act promptly in accordance with the situation.

To improve your reputation, you can use these methods:

  • post positive reviews and reviews about the brand on various popular resources;
  • oust the negative about the company from the TOP-10 of search results;
  • quickly respond to negative reviews, if necessary, apologize or ask administrators to delete the information;
  • increase the level of authority of the company;
  • promote companies on social networks;
  • work with company personnel;
  • collaborate with the media;
  • launch a professional PR campaign to improve the reputation of a business on the network.

This article is a part of Serpstat's Checklist tool
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Checklist is a ready-to-do list that helps to keep reporting of the work progress on a specific project. The tool contains templates with an extensive list of project development parameters where you can also add your own items and plans.
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