Guidelines in Choosing a Reputation Management Company for Startups and Small Businesses

Awareness and understanding the need for online reputation management is a step closer to marketing literacy. Your brand’s image, especially for startups and small businesses, is essential; thus, the adage, first impressions last holds in this scenario. The primary source of information for potential clients is online. Most of the time, before they make that purchase, the client knows everything about you already – the good, the bad, and everything in between. 

Small businesses must manage feedback and recover complaints. A service solution that can address this is a reliable reputation management software for small businesses. Here are guidelines for selecting the best reputation management company for your startup.

The deliverables of a reputation management software for small businesses

A quality reputation management software is a platform that carries out strategies such as content development, social media monitoring, review gathering, search engine optimization, benchmarking, recovering poor reputation, third-party website monitoring, and positive image maintenance. These are all salient activities that reputation management software can deliver. These are strategies utilized to ensure a positive brand image of your business. The end goal of a positive brand image is solid consumer trust, more profit, and talent acquisition.

Define your business goals

Online reputation management can do a lot of strategies. As a startup with a limited budget and manpower, it is best to ascertain needs and goals before service confirmation. The primary objective must be the priority. Answer the following questions:

  • Do you want to establish higher search rankings? 
  • Do you want a negative feedback clean-up? 
  • Do you want to stabilize your online presence? 
  • Choose one or two and focus on the essentials for now. 

Customer service is king

Choose a provider that knows your company and not just after the contract or the sale. As a startup business, funding may be scarce. The best bet would be a dedicated project manager to build your online brand and reputation with you. Avail of the best service at the most reasonable costs that align with your business needs and goals. Ensure that the reputation management provider that you will avail is sensitive, transparent, and informative about your brand’s campaign. Finally, ensure that the service is a bang for your buck.

Invest time and resources in research

Avoid providers that utilize black hat strategies for search engine optimization efforts. Black hat strategies are unethical practices that can tarnish your reputation that will eventually harm your search rankings. Search engines often validate feedback, reviews, and listings. Never fabricate ratings or resort to fraudulent listings. 

In addition, do a comprehensive background check of the reputation management company. Check out the company’s online profile if it’s professional-looking. Research the provider’s top executives and confirm a positive online image. Be extra critical because you are placing your brand image and identity on their hands. They should be up to standards.

Choose a trustworthy reputation management provider

A good reputation management company utilizes white hat efforts. They strategize within the standards of Google. Key characteristics of a reputable company are transparency, superior and quality content, and legitimate SEO techniques. Veer away from providers that utilize fake websites, link spamming, keyword stuffing, invisible text, and astroturfing. These techniques may lead to search engines tagging you as a violator. Best to go with a company that works hard for better rankings.

There is an array of strategies that can bolster a positive online reputation. A small business and a startup can benefit from this the most. To identify the reputation management for you, the recommendations for first-time entrepreneurs are solidifying brand image, online review gathering, and feedback response feature. In this way, all bases are covered, such as high visibility and feedback management.