5 basic tips for managing online reputation


We cannot stress enough the importance of ensuring the right management of online reputation. Moreover, at Blogzuola we have depicted several times how bad can it get when companies or people in general do not pay special attention to how they are managing their online reputation. Although striving to avoid online reputation issues is something coherent with a company’s goals, it is also possible to experience bad times as a consequence of neglecting its magnificence.

This is why we have come up with several online reputation management tips for successfully managing the company’s reputation: from getting back from a distressful experience to boosting the current statu quo, as well as coming up with effective ways of repairing online presence. The vast spectrum of online presence allows companies and people in general to harness all the tools it has got to offer: content creation, social media presence, search engine optimization enhancement are just some of the existent tools at the service of today’s corporate world. Thusly, managing online reputation is something that can be carried out by dedicating enough time and effort, nevertheless, sometimes a little help comes in handy since online reputation management is an ongoing long-term process that requires hours of consistent dedication and attention on a daily basis. Here are, then, some tips people can take advantage of in order for them to attain a higher and healthier degree of online reputation:

1 . Blogs

 

A blog is certainly one of the most effective (free) tools available. Writing and consequently posting instructive and compelling articles on a weekly basis has proven to be tremendously crucial. Bear in mind that in today’s juncture, consumers and people in general —as well as potential investors— base their impressions on what they get to see online about a company, therefore, it is highly advisable to use catchy titles, write coherent and important content, use several images (if affordable, buy them), and do not forget to also insert an internal and external link.

2 . Get rid of negative links

 

The massive amount of digital and social media platforms enabled consumers to post about their purchasing experiences, and, given the fact that today’s market is highly demanding, it is also possible to find people writing and pejorative reviews about a specific brand. Trying to get rid of a negative post, testimony, blog entrance, Instagram picture, etc., although possible is rather usually highly stringent, as getting rid of things that have already been published is really a daunting task. We suggest contacting the person who wrote it and in a very polite, professional and respectful way request that specific mentioned to be removed. Bear in mind that, given the fact that this situation is uncanny and sensitive, the risk of incurring in a worse situation is extremely high, therefore, plan in advance how to reach out to that customer and have a general outline on how to approach them.



Image courtesy of Claudia Liliana rasamalai at Flickr.com

3 . Harness the scope of YouTube

 

Social media platforms embody a powerful tool. YouTube, in spite of being not necessarily a social media platform, its content can be shared on them. A video is a tremendously effective way to get back from an online reputation problem. Creating a video focusing on the positive things —and consequently sharing it— is likely to be really effective when it comes to boosting or repairing a company’s reputation. Spare no effort in striving to create instructive content full of useful tips and information, while keeping it as succinct and skilled as possible. Customers seem to fondly value companies whose online presence is complemented with other digital and innovative ways of conveying a message. A video is one of the most (almost free) ways to show a company’s target market more about itself in hopes of reaching out to more customers while convincing them of the company’s value.



4 . Harness the scope of Google Alerts

 

Google Alerts is an effective way to successfully manage online reputation, which is why we recommend readers sign up (for free) for Google Alerts. Our guess is that readers sometimes might find themselves struggling to monitor a certain word, term or phrase as part of their search engine optimization management, however, using Google Alerts will allow them to receive a notification regarding the terms and words they want to monitor. Use to monitor the company’s name and find out what is being said about it so that, should a pejorative mention were to appear, a quicker decision on how to proceed to restore the company’s reputation can be taken.

5 . Use infographics

 

Ever since customers had access to multiple digital devices, their time for reading long posts is more limited. An infographic comes in handy for depicting a succinct representation of a given topic or idea. Besides, it is really easy to share it on the different social media platforms.

The Power of Social Media

In spite of being a somewhat recent term, reputation management, or reputation, for this matter, is as old as man himself. However, and since the world has been experiencing the fourth industrial revolution —where the line between digital and analog is becoming more and more blurry— understanding and, furthermore, successfully managing a company’s or a personal online reputation might seem a daunting task. In reality, reputation management is a really simple topic which people make overly complicated, especially in the business world. Back in the days, reputation management used to mean something more, and it kind of should today as well since, everything people do as business —from tech support to the final product, for instance— is ultimately related to that business’s reputation as it extends to, for example, the customer’s experience —thereby enabling them to develop their own perception of that specific company.



Courtesy of Mark Kens at Flickr.com

In recent years, the term itself has evolved into a more digital one: its meaning is now inherently correlated to the variety of search engines. Customers, and given the degree of digital options people can use nowadays, and the degree to which information can be shared, have leaned towards a greater use of digital devices in order for them to gather information on a specific topic, and, as readers might have already realized, a business is not the exception. Purchasing decisions are now based on what customers find online about a specific business (or person), and, in this juncture, neither a business or a person want to appear online under a pejorative scheme —as it will definitely undermine their hope of getting more customers while keeping their own loyal. Although the previous example might sound somewhat extreme, what businesses and people should strive to is to appear in the first page of Google results, since people usually do not get past the third page when looking for something, and, being this the current scenario, companies should pay special attention to how the can develop the best reputation possible, and realize those things which they can control in order for them to attain a healthy reputation management.

Although certain aspects of reputation management lie solely with the customers, there are other issues that can be controlled by a business or a person using simple tools like social media profiles. Social Media has proven to be one of the most successful tools for companies to develop their reputation. Since the portion of customers better referred to as Millenials have driven the market to a more digital field, they are looking forward to interacting with the brands and the companies they currently use, as well as gathering information about new sites and companies —which, in turn, has made more difficult for a brand to keep them loyal. Nevertheless, whether it is an entrepreneur, a freelancer, a well-established company, a startup, regardless of the case, being proficient in the use of social media tools —LinkedIn, YouTube, FaceBook, Twitter, Google +, etc. is crucial, as Google and the other search engines find these sites highly reputable, therefore, it is more likely for one of this sites to appear in the first page of Google results than a company’s own website, for instance. Every time customers look up for something, or every time they browse across internet looking for something new or a way to serve their needs, they are more likely to find the company’s Facebook, or the company’s Twitter, or whatever form social media profile, whereby they will form their first impressions about something new, or whereby they will look forward to interacting should they have tried or purchased from that company before.



Courtesy of mkhmarketing at Flickr.com

This framework suggests that companies ought to develop greater social media skills so they can harness the degree to which these social media tools and websites impact a company’s reputation: having a strong, well-developed social media profile will result in a stronger online reputation and will likely rank much higher in the different search engines, which, ultimately, will result in more possible customers and in keeping older ones loyal in the long run. Moreover, if social media does not necessarily enhances a business’s activity: meaning these will not act as a customer magnet, for instance; or that that specific business, given the nature of its activity, cannot benefit that much from social media profiles, it is really advisable, regardless of this juncture, to still acquire and manage a strong and healthy social media profile, not just one, but several, as, and in accordance to the fact mentioned before, search engines value —or use, better said— these sites’ URL more than other given the degree of reputability they entail.

At Blogzuola we understand that the fourth industrial revolution, and Millenials, brought a new way of communication, and those companies seeking to attain a stronger and healthy online presence should definitely consider changing older marketing paradigms.

How to increase your rankings on LinkedIn with just 4 tips


Every company wants to be the first choice in their respective industry.  Likewise, every individual would like to be at the top of the prospect pool when a job opening comes along.  Those looking to hire a company or an individual will take to the internet to try to find as much information on them as is possible.  This kind of profiling has become standard practice in any hiring process.  Companies want to make sure they are working with the best people and companies, and not just regarding their field of expertise, but also their professionalism. Social media networks are extremely powerful things.  They can tell a lot about a person.

You can learn about their social life, their private ones, and their professional life by just glimpsing at different profiles.  With regards to professionalism and qualifications, one of the places you can be sure they will look is on LinkedIn.

LinkedIn has become a prime player when it comes to getting to know a company or individual professionally speaking.  It gives everyone a chance to highlight what their strengths are and since it is a professional social network you can be sure it has a level of seriousness you will be hard-pressed to find on other social networks.  How you fill out a profile can help a company or individual rank higher on search engine results pages.  Oh yes, LinkedIn is rather helpful when it comes to search engine optimization.  Let’s see how you can improve LinkedIn to increase chances of ranking higher.

1.    Make the most out of keywords.

 

One of the greatest secrets of LinkedIn is how it gives users a plethora of spaces to put keywords that will put them in contact with the right people and companies.  LinkedIn’s search tools take these keywords to match a search with the right profile.  The most crucial space for keywords is your “Professional Headline”.  It’s where you give an idea of who you are and what you’re capable of.  Make sure you put some thought into this part of your profile.  Other places to put some keywords are “Experience” and “Skills”.  Just make sure that you don’t incur in keyword stuffing as this will surely be punished.

2.    Join groups and participate in them

 

Don’t fill up a profile with a bunch of groups for the sake of adding groups and posing as someone who is interested in a lot of things.  LinkedIn showcases users who are actively participating in forums and groups.  The company wants users to share their insights.  Comments are a great way to show your expertise.  You can even propose a discussion or ask a question to get the ball rolling somewhere else



Image courtesy of Irish Typepad at Flickr.com

3.    Get recommendations from those you have worked with before.

 

Word of mouth is still one of the best, if not the best, marketing strategies out there.  What people who have worked with you think is very important on LinkedIn.  Think of them as references on a job application.  Those who can speak well of you will improve your chances a whole lot more.  Don’t underestimate the power of recommendations when it comes to boosting your search engine results.

4.    Connect with the right people

 

You’ve surely got friends from college, from previous jobs, and from your current one whom can vouch for you.  Look for them on LinkedIn and add them to your connections.  LinkedIn even makes it easy by adding a “People You May Know” section where you can see some recommendations.  Look for your email contacts and add who you want.  Additionally, look for people in the industry and have a look at their profiles to see how they can help you or how you can learn from them.  The idea behind LinkedIn is to build a network of professionals who share similar thoughts and ideas.  You can’t do this without making connections.  It’s that simple really.

Search engine optimization is not only getting on top of Google or Bing’s search results.  Every social network has its own ranking algorithm to showcase their best or most prominent users.  Getting on top of LinkedIn’s is key to being considered for your dream job or to be hunted by a large company.  The previous for strategies are essentially SEO strategies but applied specifically to LinkedIn.  They will surely help anyone rise the ladder and get noticed more than those who aren’t considering them.  Any professional who wants to be taken seriously needs to have a LinkedIn profile, not having one is like being in a desert without water: you won’t survive.

Blogzuola strives to help its clients and visitors find the best strategies and help to get to the top of search engines, no matter what platform they’re on as well as helping them improve their online reputation.  Keep coming back to find more content and to learn how to better your SEO and online reputation strategies.

Screaming Frog Spider: An SEO Ace Up Your Sleeve



Screaming Frog is one of those SEO tools that even though is not really so well-known, is incredibly useful if you learn how to use it properly. Screaming Frog SEO Spider is definitely the best option to check a tremendous amount of mistakes on your website, which, by the way, are easy to commit, and very difficult to detect, taking into account all the factors that you must consider to achieve better rankings in search engines like Google.

In general, Screaming Frog allows you to evaluate a whole website in the same way as Google’s spiders do. After the complete evaluation of a website, this tool produces a report that tells you which links are broken, which images may be inappropriate, which text may be duplicated, or which are the problems regarding CSS code files, among others.



Image courtesy of Lucas Velásquez at Flickr.com

The first thing to note is that this is a desktop application, not an online tool. This means that it is necessary to download it on your computer from the SEO Spider website in order to use it. Of course, you could do an excellent checklist of everything you have to do to improve the SEO of your website. However, doing this work manually may be a grueling job (especially if your website is quite complex in terms of content, scripts and web design,) and if you allow this tool to analyze your site in depth and automatically, you could spend that time in thousands of other tasks related to the world of SEO, digital marketing, and online reputation management.

Moreover, no matter how careful and perfectionistic you are: You are a human being who makes mistakes. Just imagine reviewing every single code file on your website. Just that. If you leave this heavy work to Screaming Frog, your error rate will be reduced almost to zero.

You can use Screaming Frog for free in a limited way (you can check up to 500 URLs without paying,) but you can’t use all the functions (for example, saving projects.) The license has a cost of £149 (about US$189,) which is not much considering all this tool can do for your business.

Another pro is that Screaming Frog is really easy to use. The interface is simple, and has not even changed much since the previous versions:



Image courtesy of Bruce Clay, Inc at Flickr.com

You can scan your own website as well as others. It may be the website of your competition, of course, and the information provided by the On-Page optimization report will allow you to know what failures you could correct on your own website. This is especially useful when you are starting a project, for example, when you are in the middle of a keyword research. Analyzing the competition at this point can make the difference to know if starting such a project is a waste of time, or if it is definitely a task that cannot wait. Also, if you work as an SEO consultant, it goes without saying that this tool should be a must for your business.

In just a matter of minutes, you have access to information that is typically collected in weeks after an analysis of a website with literally millions of code lines and thousands of pages (for example, any large news portal like The New York Times, which has, by the way, articles, columns and reviews written since the first half of the previous century.)

This tool allows you to select what type of information you want to obtain and then do your metrics and web analytics. For example, you may only want to check for errors in code files, 404 errors, or if you just need to fix some metadata failures. In that case, you can only check the options for the On-Page issues you need, so that the review process gets even much faster. Screaming Frog also offers other tools like the Log File Analyzer, which helps you to load your log files, identify the crawl URL and analyze the behavior of the spider.

Screaming Frog works for either Windows, Mac or Linux. If you want to use this SEO tool for free, in case you want to try it, the download is done automatically on your computer. As it was already mentioned, you have a limit of 500 URLs in such a case, and you must be careful since if the website you are going to evaluate is so big that it exceeds even that number of URLs, then the best thing for you is to actually pay for the premium version. However, if you are just taking the first steps in the SEO world, the free version can even be a good school to learn about what aspects a Google spider studies to place in a certain ranking.

This SEO On-Page tool can be one of your professional secrets: The SEO Ace up your sleeve. Use it for free if you are still not convinced to purchase the premium version. Check out this free tutorial for further information.

Content Writing just got easier: Don’t miss out on these five tools


Trying to write a blog post or an article is something easier said than actually done: this apparently simple task demands, in fact, a lot of effort. Writers definitely can assert that, when it comes to writing, much effort is put into the research, the planning, the mere writing and, last but not least, the subsequent optimization of the content published on a particular web page—because all of this is done for SEO purposes—.
So, it is pretty clear that there is a myriad of details that need to be included in order for writers to come up with compelling pieces of content, especially if those pieces are supposed to do it all: attract new readers, provide accurate and valuable information, turn visitors into new customers and, most importantly, help rank websites much better on the different search engines.

Under the aforementioned circumstances, writers often get frustrated once they realize that several hours—even days—have passed after starting what they initially thought was going to be an easy and quick post.
Therefore, we at Blogzuola strive to provide readers, especially writers in this case, with ways to produce content without getting overwhelmed with this sometimes daunting challenge somewhere down the line. The following tools and resources will definitely come in handy for improving any writing process:

Content Writing Tools That Have Proven To Be Efficient

 

First and foremost, it is important to clarify that, when it comes to writing content, writers often identify different objectives within the same task:

Objective # 1: Using a readable, easy-to-understand language

 

Internet users and people in general typically do not read web articles in their entirety—users, in fact, spend up to a minute on average on a particular website—. Coming up with easy-to-read pieces of content provides readers with the information they are looking for, thusly increasing the chances of achieving a more sustained and lasting engagement.

Hemingway App

 

Hemingway App is a free website where writers can paste the content they have just written, and the app will highlight a variety of things that can be done much better, ranging from complicated sentences, erroneous and confusing vocabulary, to passive phrasing and more.

Objective # 2: Coming up with eye-catching titles using the proper keywords

 

Writing the body of a particular post is naturally no easy task; however, writers seem to struggle just as much when they try to decide the title of their pieces of content. Figuring out the title is perhaps one of the most mentally demanding tasks when it comes to content writing. The title is responsible for catching the reader’s attention while making the site rank high on the different search engines.

Blog Topic Generator

 

Blog Topic Generator is a simple app that allows writers to paste the keywords they want to pay special attention to. In turn, the tool will recommend different topics and titles. This one is particularly used for planning chunks of blog posts or coming up with a compelling title without falling victim of an unnecessary thinking.

Objective # 3: Writing genuine and original content

 

Saying that copying other people’s work is no less than bad would be stating the obvious. Writers—and the different search engines—know that duplicating content is faking an apparent good job. If a particular site seems to feature content that can be found all over the Internet, search engines will counteract against this and will end up penalizing that particular site by making it much more difficult to be found.

Siteliner

 

This tool allows writers to scan their pieces of content quickly and accurately, thusly finding out whether their text possesses, to some extent, any sort of possible duplication. When it comes to being original, writers cannot be extra careful. With Siteliner, writers and written content developers can check single sentences or specific phrasing to make sure they have not duplicated nor copied someone else’s work.

Objective # 4: Using images to make the post much friendlier

 

Using images is not writing content per se. Nonetheless, it is a great aid for presenting any sort of written content in a more attractive and friendlier manner. Users and readers who come across chunks of text often feel intimidated by them, which, in turn, causes them to quickly lose interest.

Canva

 

Canva is arguably one of the most magnificent image creation tools. Users can select the image type out of several options. With hundreds of free templates and different backgrounds, images, icons, etc. at hand, writers will never miss out on inspiration.



Featured Image courtesy of Negative Space at Pexels.com

Objective # 5: Coming up with content that performs effectively

 

Search Engine Optimization and Search Engine Conversion are two different separate goals in light of the scope of content writing; however, once the proper balance appears between them, the result is web content that performs efficiently, and although there is no tool for that, reading helpful pieces of written content that provide writers with the guidance they need prior to developing an effective piece of written content is definitely something worth doing.

The 4 things that will help your mobile friendliness strategy



Back in 2015, Google announced that mobile searches had reached the same amount as desktop searches.  This marked a historic point in terms of search engine optimization and where it was headed.  2016 has gone by, and mobility has now taken its place atop the searching mountain.  It’s almost impossible to not see anyone looking down at their mobile device and not be looking for something.  Desktop searches are starting to become a thing of the past given how voice searches are starting to gain momentum on mobile devices and its integration into the most popular apps seems rather inevitable.  We are moving rather quickly from the traditional form of SEO, intended for desktop browsers and websites, and into the age of mobile search engine optimization.

In addition to the growth of voice searches, a look at some of the most important trends for SEO in 2017 makes it rather clear that if a website does not run well on a mobile device then it will be punished by search engines.  Google’s mobile-first indexing will probably become standard once they work out all the minor bugs and when that happens, crawlers are going to be searching a website’s mobile version to get all the indexing information they need to place a site on the appropriate spot in rankings.   It’s time developers started worrying a little more about making sites mobile friendly and in order to get that done they will need to rely on several tools. Blogzuola is here with a set of tools that will help make a site more compatible with mobile devices and stay ahead of the game.

1.    Test my Site by Think with Google

 

Your site may already be rather user-friendly, but you just might not know as much. Thanks to Test my Site by Think with Google, the search engine’s company website that helps marketers analyze trends, a developer can check how mobile-friendly a site really is and what needs improvement.  Google has practically set the rules and procedures for effective SEO since it became the leading search engine.  The company is constantly innovating and experimenting how to index sites more effectively and in such a way that the ultimate winner will be the users and not the companies.  Test my Site provides a pretty good starting point for any mobile SEO strategy.  If you’re in the mood for a second opinion, you can always try Mobile Friendly Check by SEOCentro.

2.    Adwords Keyword Planner

 

Keyword analysis will always be a huge part of any SEO campaign.  It gives marketers the starting point for creating content that will capture a user’s attention and have them coming back for more.  Keywords are usually based on words that a large number of people are searching for.  Adwords Keyword Planner can show marketers which keywords are trending on mobile devices.  All it takes is a quick configuration in the “Advanced options”.  Just select “Mobile” where it says “show ideas and statistics for” and presto, you’ve got yourself keywords for mobile SEO.

3.    Use Schema markup

 

A while back Microsoft, Yahoo, Google, and Yandex teamed up to bring us Schema.org.  With this, the four companies gave the world one of the best ways to optimize a site for SEO.  They basically created a universal language which could tell crawlers a lot of really important information with the end user in mind.  You’ve probably seen the results at the top of search results when a search engine shows you a snippet with the most relevant site for the information a user was searching for.   Getting well versed in Schema markup will definitely help your mobile cause. Why?  Ask yourself the following: “What stands out the most on relatively small screen, a snippet of information or the links to many websites?”  The question answers itself.



Image courtesy of Clem Onojeghuo at Pexels.com

4.    Take advice from Google

 

The final tool isn’t so much one, but rather a guide which will help developers create mobile optimized sites that will rank well with search engines in particular Google.  Going over the guide and understanding what Google takes into consideration as an optimized mobile friendly site will come in very handy when a developer is setting one up.  Imagine you’re a kid on the playground and follow the leader.

Mobile SEO is the future of the industry.  2016 was marked by a number of trends that clearly favored mobile friendliness over the traditional desktops.  More and more people are satisfying their search needs on their mobile devices and SEO professionals and marketers must stay up to date with this trend which looks to become standard in the following years.  The sooner a site becomes mobile friendly and uses SEO tools with a mobile focus, the sooner it will start to climb the rankings and get ahead of the competition. 

Create viral videos and improve your SEO


If you could watch all the videos uploaded to YouTube during an hour, you would need several days and gallons of coffee. The amount of information uploaded to YouTube today is greater than the amount of interactions across the Internet twenty years ago. It’s just hard to assimilate, and even more to think about how to capture the attention of YouTube users with a video nowadays. One of the best ways to do it, and therefore, to have a better SEO, is by publishing good audiovisual contents. If you have no idea to make viral videos (and maybe you think you need too much money and time,) this post is for you.

First off, it’s important that you know how a viral video can help you to optimize your search engine rankings. A video about a product or service increases the chances that a consumer pays for it. When advertising is only made of images it usually becomes a regular Internet landscape. On the other hand, if the video is entertaining enough (and you do not need to invest a lot of money for this purpose, but having good ideas,) your website visitors will spend more time on your page, and this helps to improve your position on engines like Google or Bing. Finally, if the video is funny, it is very likely that thousands (or millions) of users end up sharing it on the social media. This will ultimately mean more visits to your website.

Extension of videos

 

Remember that you are competing for attention, and your viewers have thousands of focuses of entertainment all the time. Make short videos, 3 minutes long (or less), for example. The first thing Internet users do before watch a video is to check its length. Unless it’s a video they’re looking for and they’re dying to watch, they’ll never click on a ten-minute video. In fact, if the attention of the users is not hooked within the first ten seconds, they usually close the tab or keep scrolling down.

How to make a good video in such a short time? Well, if you know what you are showing, you must know how to show it: in an hour, in five minutes or in thirty seconds. Plan everything well, writing a script and review it enough. Rehearse before recording. Then shoot.

Time of publication

 

This is key. You should know to recognize the times of greater and lesser traffic on the Internet (of course, also consider the time zones around the planet.) Mondays and Tuesdays are perfect for publishing videos because most Internet users procrastinate while they are working and, in general, the visits decrease on weekends. Publishing a viral video, for example, in the early afternoon, when workers return to work after lunch, increases the chances of being seen by many bored procrastinators.

This also includes the actuality of the videos. If the content of your video refers to an event that has taken place the day before (or one week, top,) you will certainly get more views. Actuality is an attention magnet: everyone wants to know what is going on right now, to laugh at it, to understand it, to feel emotions about it.



Image courtesy of Claudia Liliana rasamalai at Flickr.com

Inspire

 

Sound like this sounds, it is preferable to appeal to the emotions of viewers than their thoughts. Emotions lead someone to press the share button. When planning your video, look for all the images, music, and texts that inspire viewers; all that trigger their emotions (of any kind, especially the positive ones.) Stories of overcoming tough situations, of compassion, of joy in the midst of pain, laughter in the midst of crying, hope in the midst of despair … Point your ideas in that direction.

Now, don’t be afraid of being unoriginal. Originality is not doing something that anyone has ever done before, because, in essence, everything is already done. Originality has to do with unique combinations of ideas that already exist. These connections are part of your unique perspective on reality, life and the world itself.

Quality

 

Find a good editing software. You don’t need the best camera and the best recording equipment, but it is important that the quality of the image and sound are decent. There are several free video-editing programs available. One is Windows Movie Maker, which is included in Windows and is quite easy to use (basically it consists of drag and drop.) Another good option is VirtualDub, a free software with excellent compression capability, video split and the possibility to add simultaneous soundtracks. You can also use FFMpeg, which is a free software collection capable of recording, converting and transmitting digital audio and video.

Even if you prefer someone else to edit your videos (in case you really don’t have time for it), you will not have to pay a lot of money to create a presentable material with chances of being viral.

Entrepreneurs: check this out


As of the past decade, the digital world has suffered a tremendous evolution: ten years ago, maybe more, search results were nothing but a small compilation of up to ten links on a determined search engine results page. Those were the days where, perhaps, the term online reputation management was not even close to what it means today; moreover, its connotation was pretty much straightforward and self-explanatory: Internet users could easily determine whether those results, those links, were related to positive content —which, in case they were, that business’s reputation was outstanding.

Nevertheless, with the emergence and evolution of the digital world, those days are gone —and things got a little bit more complex—. Given the pace at which information surfs the Internet today, it is normal to see how wide the spectrum of online reputation management has gotten: universal access to information, mottled consumers, complaint sites, social media platforms, forums, blogs, influences, etc., are now entailed within the actual connotation of what once was known as online reputation management. At Blogzuola we cannot stress enough the importance of sparing no efforts in developing the healthiest possible online reputation, as we are sure that the odds of thriving under today’s digital framework are entirely subject to the quality of a business’s ORM.

In prior articles we have addressed the topic from different points of view; it is quite understandable that well-established businesses still struggle today to adapt their traditional marketing ideas to what today’s landscape demands; furthermore, and with the emergence of Millennials and their entrepreneurial ideas, online reputation management becomes an even more important topic should they want to succeed. For entrepreneurs to successfully monitor all the activities they need to carry out when it comes to starting a business, it is quite advisable to use what the last decade brought along: a sheer array of tools, not only for online reputation management but for not overlooking crucial details. Given the fact that entrepreneurs might as well get confused due to the complexity of a business’s initial and start-up phase, when it comes to online reputation management, monitoring all of these assorted sites in hopes of protecting the business’s image can be a daunting task.

There is certainly a vast pool of tools entrepreneurs can choose from in order to check, enhance, improve and monitor their reputation without rehashing the popular ones. Here are some of the tools that have been supported by prior user experiences and that have consequently proved to be as effective as the ones readers might already be aware of:

UberSuggest

 

Entrepreneurs have surely seen the perks of Google Autocomplete, especially those whose major concerns are related to search engine optimizations strategies, however, such feature can also be linked to a business’s online reputation management. The magnificence of Autocomplete is embodied within the fact that it provides consumers with the first impression about a given company: before the results desired results appear, Google Autocomplete displays its suggestions just below the search bar. Entrepreneurs ought to pay special attention to this since these keywords possess a tremendous value: UberSuggest depicts different variations of this Autocomplete values, which results in a crucial insight as to whether the name of the company is being linked to something negative.



Image courtesy of John Swindells at Flickr.com

IFTTT.com

 

Based on old programming rules, IFTTT allows users to come up with basic algorithms that can be tailored to their companies: they first create a simple rule, then, should that rule occur, a previously decided action is carried out. However, its perks, although related as well with search engine optimizations strategies, can definitely be harnessed for enhancing a company’s online reputation management strategy, since it allows users to monitor their sites much easier by setting a rule so that anytime a site’s RSS feed is updated they receive an E-mail. This is useful to keep an eye whenever the company’s name is mentioned online.

Complaint Site Search

 

In today’s juncture, consumers are, perhaps, the factor that has remained untouched: they are definitely everything. The majority of complaints include terms whose interpretations are barely misleading: scam, deception, dissatisfaction, amongst others. Such sites can either turn a company’s hopes for success into nightmare or dream all of a sudden, given their popularity amongst the majority of consumers. There are at least up to 50 different complaint websites that stand out from the rest; their target focuses on all kinds of companies —which is why the odds of showing up on these sites is higher that expected—. Online reputation management is based on the idea of making a name for the good, and, consequently, out of practically necessity, a search engine that enables marketers and entrepreneurs to go through all these complaint sites is now available. At least sort of: Google’s Custom Search tool is pretty effective and will definitely come in handy for such events.

Wikipedia as an Online Reputation Management tool? No thanks


Some think this is an excellent idea, mainly due to the amount of traffic on Wikipedia (not to mention that it is the main referent of many users looking for information around the world.) Others have a poor opinion of this method, and they even warn you not to use it for not spoiling your online reputation. Let’s look at the arguments from both points of view.

On the one hand, Wikipedia is an example of the information revolution we are experiencing today. Not only is it a free platform that will give access to any user around the globe to terabytes of information in different languages on a wide variety of topics. This is a matter of tremendous interest when we think of the history of knowledge and information, bearing in mind that knowledge was a privilege before, when the only books were available in monasteries or some old universities, such as Oxford or the Sorbonne (available, moreover, not only for those who actually knew how to read and write, who were few already but for a select elite of readers.)

Millions of people study or complement their studies thanks to Wikipedia, and although it is not a reliable source for serious academic research, it is not necessarily useless, since there are several bibliographical references that can guide someone in any research as an introductory reading. In addition, if an expert or a good connoisseur of a particular subject notes that the information contained in a Wikipedia article is wrong or poor-documented, he himself can open a free account, modify the text (or create it, if it does not exist,) as well as discuss in the forums.

In short, it is a powerful tool to know more about any topic. In fact, Wikipedia articles, because of their traffic, tend to have very good visibility in Google searches. They are almost always located in the first results and this, in turn, keeps the traffic high.

For all the above, many companies and individuals consider that a Wikipedia article that favorably mentions them or their brands will be a great way to be known and popular according to the way in which they want to be perceived. In other words, they use Wikipedia as a tool to build – and clean – their online reputations.

Others, like Mike Wood, think otherwise: “Through my years as a professional Wikipedia editor, I am often contacted by companies who in some way are looking to use Wikipedia as a reputation management tool. My advice to them 99% of the time is to simply walk away and pray that a Wikipedia page about their company is never created. To help understand the effect that Wikipedia can have on reputation management, it is helpful to understand that one of the most common goals of reputation management is to push any negative content that shows up on the first page of Google results to the second page and beyond.”

So here is where the problem comes up because while creating a new Wikipedia article is relatively easy, erasing it is nearly impossible. Why should I erase it, if it was precisely created to provide good and positive information about me, my brand or my company? you may ask. Well, precisely, because anyone can modify the text file; and even though there are always trolls who just want to write nonsense to annoy others (and those texts are soon removed by editors,) someone may upload inconvenient information about your activities (which may be, for example, the result of a human mistake or a malicious act from others against you,) and even if you try to erase it and write what you would like people to read, if there is enough evidence online that works as a reliable source against you, the publishers will upload the erased information again. Therefore, that information you want to evaporate from the searches of Google and other engines will be engraved in stone. Like a tattoo on a criminal’s forehead.



Featured Image courtesy of throwthedamnthing at Flickr.com

Any well-informed expert will warn you about the dangers of this (if he truly understands the basics.) One of the rules, perhaps one of the most rudimentary, is that you should not allow under any pretext that others manipulate your own online reputation; and, on the contrary, it is you, and maybe your advisors, who must mold your own digital image in the best way, according to your personal or commercial goals. This is not possible by using Wikipedia as an online reputation management tool. Probably, you will experience a reputation crisis sooner or later (and maybe you looked for this service to prevent it or just to fix it,) and what would you do in that case?

You better focus on what does work. In this blog, you will find reliable and updated tools that work for your own good. Check them out better.