Why Online Reputation Management Matters

Online reputation management (ORM) is critical for businesses striving to maintain a positive image in the digital age. At its core, ORM involves monitoring and influencing how a company is perceived online. Let’s quickly address the essentials:

  • Definition: ORM is the practice of crafting strategies that influence the public’s perception of an organization or individual online.
  • Importance: It can make or break customer trust, impacting their buying decisions.
  • Core Components: Regularly auditing your online presence, responding to feedback promptly, and encouraging positive reviews.

In today’s digital landscape, almost every business is susceptible to negative online attention. One viral post or bad review can significantly hinder a brand’s reputation. For instance, United Airlines faced a $1 billion loss in market value after a damaging video went viral. This shows the high stakes involved and the need for proactive management.

I’m Danielle Birriel, the founder of D&D SEO Services. With over a decade of experience in ORM, I help local businesses navigate and excel in their digital presence. My expertise lies in using data-driven strategies to amplify positive reviews and mitigate negative feedback, ensuring businesses thrive online.

Key elements of effective ORM - online reputation management infographic infographic-line-5-steps

What is Online Reputation Management?

Key Components of ORM

Online Reputation Management (ORM) is all about controlling and improving how your business is perceived online. It involves a combination of monitoring, influencing, and improving your brand’s digital footprint. Let’s break down the key components of ORM:


Monitoring is the first step in online reputation management. This involves keeping an eye on what people are saying about your business across various platforms like social media, review sites, and search engines.

Only 5% of users look past the first page of Google search results. This makes it crucial to know what appears when someone searches for your business. Tools like Google Alerts and social listening platforms can help you stay updated on mentions of your brand.


Responding to reviews and comments is a critical part of ORM. According to InMoment research, 53% of customers expect businesses to respond to negative reviews within a week. Quick and thoughtful responses can turn a negative situation into a positive one. Always thank reviewers for their feedback, address their concerns, and reinforce the positives in their experience.

Encouraging Positive Reviews

Positive reviews can significantly boost your online reputation. 74% of consumers trust a business more when they see positive reviews. Encourage your happy customers to leave reviews by making it easy for them. You can send follow-up emails with review links or provide incentives for leaving feedback. This not only improves your reputation but also enhances your SEO.

Addressing Negative Comments

Negative comments can hurt your brand, but they also offer a chance to improve. 60% of consumers say that negative reviews made them not want to choose a business. Address these comments promptly and professionally. Acknowledge the issue, apologize if necessary, and offer a solution. This shows that you care about your customers and are willing to make things right.

Influencing and Improving Reputation

Beyond responding to reviews, ORM also involves creating and promoting positive content. This can include blog posts, social media updates, and news articles that highlight your strengths and achievements. By doing so, you can push down negative content in search results and improve your overall online presence.

By focusing on these key components, you can effectively manage and improve your online reputation, ensuring that your business is perceived positively by current and potential customers.

Why Online Reputation Management Matters

Online reputation management (ORM) is crucial for businesses in today’s digital age. Let’s explore why it matters so much and how it impacts various aspects of your business.

Impact on Buying Decisions

Consumer Trust and Research Before Purchase

Did you know that 84% of consumers read online reviews before making a purchase? This means your online reputation can make or break a sale. Positive reviews build trust and encourage more people to choose your business. On the other hand, negative reviews can drive potential customers away.

Product Reviews

Product reviews are powerful. They offer real-life insights into your products and services. A steady stream of positive reviews acts as social proof, making it easier for new customers to trust your brand. Encouraging satisfied customers to leave reviews can significantly boost your reputation.

Handling Negative Reviews

Responding to Feedback

Mastering the art of responding to reviews is vital. According to InMoment research, 53% of customers expect a response to negative reviews within a week. Quick and thoughtful responses show that you care about your customers’ experiences. Always thank reviewers for their feedback and address their concerns.

Turning Reviews Around

Negative reviews aren’t the end of the world. They are opportunities to turn unhappy customers into loyal ones. By resolving issues promptly and effectively, you can change negative perceptions and even win back customers.

Valuable Feedback

Negative feedback is valuable. It highlights areas where your business can improve. Use this feedback to make necessary changes and enhance your customer experience. This proactive approach can prevent future negative reviews and strengthen your brand.

By focusing on these key components, you can effectively manage and improve your online reputation, ensuring that your business is perceived positively by current and potential customers.

How to Manage Your Online Reputation

Audit Your Online Reputation

Start by auditing your online presence. This helps you understand how people perceive your brand. Check Google results, social media, review sites, and online communities. Ask yourself:

  • What pops up when you search your brand name?
  • Are there any negative reviews or comments?
  • What tone do people use when talking about your brand?

Use tools like Google Alerts to get notifications when your brand is mentioned. For a more comprehensive view, consider using a Brand Monitoring tool. This will help you track mentions across various platforms and understand the sentiment behind them.

Establish an ORM Strategy

Once you know where you stand, it’s time to create a solid online reputation management (ORM) strategy. Prioritize tactics based on your audit findings. Document your policies and communication guidelines. Ensure everyone on your team knows the tone of voice to use. For example, Ben & Jerry’s uses a playful tone but shifts to a serious one when discussing social values.

Monitor Brand Mentions

Monitoring your brand mentions is crucial. Use Google Alerts for quick notifications, but don’t stop there. Tools like the Brand Monitoring app can collect mentions from news sites, blogs, and discussion groups, giving you a comprehensive view. Set up a “Brand” query to track mentions and analyze sentiment over time. This will help you know when to intervene and maintain a positive image.

Plan Your Crisis Management Strategy

Crises can happen anytime, so be prepared with a crisis management strategy. Use media monitoring tools to alert you to unexpected conversations about your brand. Keep an eye on industry trends that might affect your business. Know which channels your audience prefers and have draft responses ready for quick reactions. Assign specific team members to handle public responses. This proactive approach can help you mitigate negative impacts quickly.

Encourage Customer Reviews Online

Positive reviews boost your credibility. Encourage customers to leave reviews on Google and other platforms. Make it easy for them by providing direct links. Offer incentives like discounts or small gifts to motivate them. When you get reviews, respond to them promptly. Thank customers for positive feedback and address any concerns raised in negative reviews.

Manage Negative Online Reviews

Responding to negative reviews is crucial. Do it quickly—53% of customers expect a response within a week. Be courteous and acknowledge any mistakes. Offer solutions, whether it’s a refund, discount, or further assistance. Keep your responses brief and professional. This shows that you value customer feedback and are committed to improving.

By following these steps, you can effectively manage your online reputation and ensure a positive perception of your brand.

Online Reputation Management Media Channels

Paid Media

Paid media involves paying for advertising to promote your brand. This can include Google ads, social media ads, PPC (pay-per-click) ads, sponsored posts, and influencer promotions.

Paid media is effective but can be expensive. It’s also important to note that audiences might be skeptical of brand-controlled messaging. However, it can help counter negative publicity and bring immediate attention to your brand.

Google Ads example - online reputation management

Use Google ads to appear at the top of search results. Social media ads on platforms like Facebook and Instagram can target specific demographics. PPC ads mean you only pay when someone clicks on your ad, making it cost-effective. Sponsored posts on popular blogs or news sites can also boost your visibility. Partnering with influencers can help you reach specific audiences with authentic endorsements.

Earned Media

Earned media is free and comes from third-party sources. It’s seen as more trustworthy because it’s not controlled by your brand. Examples include press coverage, blog posts, forum discussions, and external reviews on sites like Trustpilot or Google.

Press coverage example - online reputation management

You can encourage earned media by sending press releases to journalists or asking customers to leave reviews. Positive press coverage can be amplified on social media to reach a wider audience. Blog posts on other websites and discussions in online forums can also generate organic buzz about your brand.

Shared Media

Shared media is content about your brand shared on social media platforms. This includes posts from your brand’s account and content from others mentioning your brand.

Social media comments - online reputation management

Monitor and engage with complaints, comments, and ratings on social media. Use tools like Semrush’s Social Inbox to manage mentions and messages across platforms. Respond promptly to any issues raised. Shared media can significantly impact your online reputation, both positively and negatively.

Owned Media

Owned media is any content you control, like your website or email newsletter. This is where you can fully portray your brand identity.

Website example - online reputation management

To maximize the impact of owned media, ensure your website is optimized for SEO to improve visibility in search engines. Use an email newsletter to keep your audience updated and engaged. Follow design guidelines and maintain a consistent tone of voice to reinforce your brand identity.

By effectively using these media channels, you can build a strong online reputation and ensure your brand is seen in a positive light.

Next, let’s look at some frequently asked questions about online reputation management.

Frequently Asked Questions about Online Reputation Management

What is online reputation management?

Online reputation management (ORM) involves actively monitoring and influencing how your business is perceived online. The goal is to control the online conversation about your brand, ensuring that people find favorable information when they search for you. This involves monitoring reviews, social media mentions, and other online content to shape a positive brand image.

How much does online reputation management cost?

The cost of online reputation management varies widely based on the scope of services and customization required. Some basic services might cost a few hundred dollars a month, while comprehensive strategies can go up to $15,000 per month. Factors influencing the cost include the extent of monitoring, the complexity of the campaigns, and whether you need specialized services like SEO or crisis management.

How can people manage their online reputation?

Effective online reputation management involves several key steps:

  1. Monitoring: Use tools like Google Alerts and social media listening software to keep track of brand mentions and reviews.
  2. Feedback: Regularly gather and respond to customer feedback. This can help you understand public perception and address any issues promptly.
  3. Tools: Leverage ORM tools to streamline the process. These can include review management platforms, social media dashboards, and SEO tools.
  4. Social Media Mentions: Pay attention to what people are saying about your brand on social media. Responding to comments and addressing complaints can significantly improve your online reputation.

By following these steps, you can ensure your brand maintains a positive online presence and builds trust with your audience.


Online reputation management (ORM) is crucial for any business. It helps shape how your brand is perceived online, which directly impacts your success.

Proactive management of your online reputation is essential. It allows you to address negative feedback quickly, highlight positive reviews, and build trust with your audience. Almost 60% of U.S. consumers avoid brands they find untrustworthy. So, staying on top of your online reputation is not just important—it’s necessary.

At D&D SEO Services, we specialize in helping businesses manage their online reputation effectively. From auditing your current online presence to creating strategies for crisis management, we offer comprehensive services to ensure your brand shines online.

Start managing your online reputation today and protect your brand with D&D SEO Services. Don’t wait until a crisis hits—be proactive. Reach out to usReach out to us and let’s build a positive online presence together.