The Survival Guide To Building Your Reputation
May 17, 2016
10 things you must ask when hiring an online reputation management service
July 2, 2016

Avoiding Bad Practice in Building Your Reputation

What to Avoid in ORM

Common sense will typically prevail when using most Online Reputation Marketing (ORM) practices.

Still, to keep you from losing your head after a bad review, or making any other of the most common mistakes, here’s a list of the most popular, and how to avoid them:

  • Do not lash out at bitter or unhappy customers.

It really doesn’t matter how rude they are to you. If it gets to the point where they start cursing, are abusive, or are crossing the line between voicing a complaint and becoming belligerent, politely tell them that you can’t deal with them until they treat you with respect. Make sure to mention you are available and accessible at any and all times, and that you’d be happy to help but you can’t the way things currently stand.

If the person is voicing an honest complaint in a respectful manner, answer it even more respectively. Yes, this has been mentioned before in this guide.
But it’s so important to treat concerns as concerns, not a personal attack.

  • Do not threaten legal action against any author of any publication.

For this one, it doesn’t even really matter what they’ve said about you. In rare instances someone has said something so inflammatory and so completely untrue about your company that the only logical step you can think of is to take legal action and sue. However, this isn’t as logical as it seems at the time

Many states and other areas have cyber laws protecting the voice and opinions of individuals, especially when placed on completely objective third-party websites. There is no legal definition of cyber laws within UK law. However there are a number of existing laws that can be applied to cases.

In the end, suing will only make you look like the “big, bad bully,” and you could even end up losing a great deal of money in court fees.
Refer to the above, be polite as you can, and tell them you cannot deal with them if they continue to be that way. Also make sure that you clear up anything they said, as best you can, on the site where they said it.

  • Avoid “black hat SEO techniques.”

These are strategies that are used simply to draw the attention of the search engines, even if they’re done in unsavory manners such as plagiarizing text in order to keep content fresh and new.
Don’t take part in it.

If you don’t have the time to devote to honest SEO and ORM practices, hire a marketing consultant that can do it for you.

  • Avoid companies that promise you overnight results.

Along the lines of hiring a marketing consultant, avoid any consultant or firm that tells you they can fix your ORM problems overnight

Your online reputation, like your offline one, took time to build regardless if it’s good or bad. It will take at least as much time to undo it, if necessary.

  • Avoid link farming.

You want to build and create links; and you want to have as many links on your site, and on the Web, as possible.
But don’t just go around letting anyone link to your website. If you do, and your website ends up on a spammer’s page or one that’s been banned, it could have severely disastrous effects to your online reputation. Build good links, yes; but make sure they’re quality links.

  • Stay far away from website cloaking.

This is an especially creative tactic used by those who again, don’t want to take the time for honest ORM practices. When a website is cloaked, it is showing one thing to the search engines; and something else entirely to human traffic that visits the page.
People do this so they don’t have to think of ways to creatively fit their keywords in, or because they think it gives them the SEO edge. Don’t do it.

Getting banned from the search engines will never give you an edge, and that’s exactly what will happen if you cloak your website.

  • Don’t forget your audience.

With the above point being said, never forget that your actual intended audience is people – not search engine bots and spiders.
Always write content directed towards a person that’s going to read it. Make it interesting, informative, helpful, and productive.
Keywords are nice if you can get them in, and you should try to. But if a person finds your site awkward to read, the chances that they’ll be back are slim. And the chances that they’ll use your business, even slimmer.

There you have it.

Now you know everything you need to about proper online reputation management for your small business – why you need it, how to do it, tips to follow, and what to avoid.

Feeling overwhelmed by it all?

Many business owners do, or at least know that they simply don’t have the time needed to devote to ORM.
If this is the biggest challenge you think you’ll find with ORM, a good marketing consultant can take over the task and get you the great online reputation you’re seeking.

Need a Coffee break? Are you ready for the Final Part of The Survival Guide To Building Your Reputation: 10 Things You Must Ask When Hiring An Online Reputation Management Service