How to find the best online reputation management company

The best online reputation management company will repair negative search results and improve your online reputation in a search-friendly way.

As awareness of the importance of online reputation for both businesses and individuals rises – how do you make sure that you’re hiring the best online reputation management company to meet your specific needs?

Personally, as an experienced online reputation management consultant, I think there are 12 key questions to ask:

12 key questions to ask to help you find the best online reputation management company

  1. Are they actually an online reputation specialist?

This is the most important factor to consider. Is this what they do every single day? Do they have their own reputation in this field? Examine their website credentials carefully. You do not want to go with a company that attempts to ‘add on’ online reputation management to other services. You need a consultancy that makes your online reputation their number one priority. Look at who they’ve worked with and see if they’re active in the media. Those who are at the top of their online reputation management game will be visible as experts in this field. This is exactly who you should hire.

2. Do they have a proven track record in online reputation management?

If you can’t easily find client testimonials and direct evidence of their expertise and results in this field, then don’t select them. You want to see clear evidence including case studies and proven results. Remember what’s at stake here – your reputation.

3. Are they experts in your sector?

Google their names and see where they crop up in the wider media. You want to see thought leaders, reputation experts and visible leaders in the online reputation sector but also evidence they know your sector inside out.

4. Do they provide personalised reputation solutions?

Don’t be fobbed off with the offer of a ‘generic’ solution. There is no ‘one size fits all’ solution when it comes to repairing or creating online reputations for businesses or people. You are an individual. Your company has its own place in the world, and its own problems. You need a personalised, bespoke online reputation management plan. And for that you need real experts.

5. Do they do what they say they’re going to do? Do they fix problems?

You have an issue. That’s why you’re looking for an online reputation management company. It could be negative responses online, or a media pickup gone haywire. Whatever it is, you need it fixed. Choose an online reputation management company that can prove it fixes the damage caused by an online crisis.

6. Do they have a strong technical background?

A strong technical background is essential. Can they prove that they understand the technical aspects of dealing with online reputation management? From SEO to content management, and from Google Analytics to search engine analysis, they should be able to do it all.

7. Do they have strong content management experience?

This should be part of the package for any online reputation management expert. You need a consultancy that excels in content management, as well as strategy and the necessary technological aspects. This is a complex skill, and the benefits can be huge. But it must be managed carefully and curated expertly. Bear this in mind when selecting an online reputation management expert.

8. What added value can they offer?

You may initially be looking for the best online reputation management company to improve search results for your business or for you personally. Or to build an online reputation for you from scratch. But can they offer complementary services that you want but don’t currently have? Such as website creation and management, review strategy, social media management, content management or PR.

9. Are they both proactive and reactive?

You need a company that has your back throughout the process of your online reputation activity. This really means working on the specifics of what you hired them to do, but also getting ahead of the game. They should be monitoring your search results and mentions and be able to warn of and mitigate any risks.

10. Do they effectively monitor your online reputation?

Staying ahead of changes to your online reputation is key. The reputation company you choose should be much more than a ‘one problem’ deal. They should provide you with a clear plan to show how they will monitor and react to changes to your reputation.

11. Do they specialise in review management?

This is an essential part of the mix, and something that many don’t offer. Online reviews are critical for business survival and growth. A whopping 97% of us use the Internet to search for products and services. And 93% of our buying decisions are heavily influenced by online reviews. Valuable advice in this area is very beneficial.

12. What about their attention to detail and service levels?

Do they offer you a personalised service with regular updates? You should never be left wondering what’s going on or feeling confused about how your online reputation activity it’s progressing.

You should ask these questions before you decide which is the best online reputation management company to hire. Do your research, ask the right questions and this will enable you to make the right decision for you.