Your brand’s reputation affects the business directly. People won’t buy your products if they don’t feel they can trust you. Or worse, if they feel that others don’t trust you.
Let’s not let that happen.
There are practical steps you can take to improve your reputation online. Even better, there are tools that’ll help get you there faster. We’ll go through each of these in detail in a moment.
What is online reputation management?
We previously wrote a 5-step action plan to improve your online reputation. In truth, those five steps actually fall under two broad themes:
Understand what people think and say about you
Actively improve your online reputation
So that’s how this post has been divided. The first four tools let you know what your reputation looks like right now. That’s essential – if you don’t know what’s working and what’s not, it’s awfully hard to improve anything.
The next four let you actually reach out and impact people, to start building a more robust brand reputation online.
So let’s dig in!
Understand what people think about you
Everybody loves a free tool! The Brand Grader gives you a quick overview of a brand’s online presence in seconds. Simply choose the company or product you’re interested in, and you’ll see:
- Their biggest web influencers: major blogs and news sites talking about them online.
- Their top sources: see whether most of their mentions come from forums, images, or news sites.
- Brand sentiment: whether people speak about them positively or negatively.
- Location of mentions: where in the world people talk them.
And those are just a few of the very interesting and often enlightening data points provided.
It’s not designed to be comprehensive – that’s what the other tools on this list are for. Instead, the aim is to quickly understand some of the things a brand does best, and what’s not working so well.
For a free tool that takes a few seconds to use, the results are powerful!
As the name suggests, Reputology is just what many brands need to protect their reputation. This tool specializes in review tracking – to let you easily find and monitor brand reviews all over the web.
If Yelp, TripAdvisor, and Facebook reviews have a major impact on your business, this is the tool for you. And let’s face it, reviews play an increasing role in sales for most businesses these days. More and more people turn to reviews before making a decision.
One benefit of Reputology over the other tools on this list is that it’s location-specific. For brick-and-mortar stores, this is important.
Let’s say you own five fruit and vege shops – we’ll call them “Melonor Rigby.” (This name is free to a good home). With Reputology, you can monitor each shop location separately, to compare reviews for each. If the Main Street location consistently receives 5-star ratings, while the High Street location only gets 3-stars, you’ll need to drill down on these reviews to see what’s causing such a difference.
Reputology delivers all these reviews in one place, and even lets you respond to them from within the platform. Couldn’t be simpler!
Convinced? Give Reputology a try.
If you’ve used Google Alerts, you’ll know how nice is it to receive a daily update of your mentions online. Now, imagine these are alerts are in real time, when you need them, and including social media, forums, blogs, news sites, reviews, and even television.
At its heart, that’s what Mention is – a more robust, comprehensive Google Alerts. But the tool also includes some very interesting and powerful analytics. For instance, you’re able to compare your brand with competitors for factors like share of voice, sentiment, reach, and influence:
So you not only know what people say about you, and when, but you can also identify trends and start making smarter marketing choices. When it comes time to reach out and build a stronger reputation, these kinds of insights are invaluable.
As we’ve discussed, the first step to a stronger reputation is knowing how people feel about your brand. And if this is your goal, it’s hard to go past Mention.
Many of us already know SimilarWeb as a website ranking site. I use it almost daily to see how much traffic a particular site or blog receives. Even as a free tool, it gives a very good idea of how your website – the face for your brand – performs online.
But SimilarWeb is also an enterprise monitoring tool that’ll tell you a lot more about your website. Its biggest value is that it lets you benchmark your site against competitors for factors such as time on site, bounce rate, and page views per visit. This helps you understand how you stack up against the other players in your industry, and make improvements to your site.
SimilarWeb also offers a range of digital insights – market research about your industry. This includes brand visibility reports to show you how well-known and well-respected your brand is within your field.
All of this is to help you maintain the best website you can, relative to your competitors. When the industry is crowded and there’s not much breathing room to go around, small upgrades go a long way.
A few bonus tools
- The Website Grader from HubSpot lets you quickly evaluate your website to make sure you put your best face forward.
- The Mozbar is a Chrome extension that lets you assess website authority and traffic, like SimilarWeb.
- Go Fish Digital made a fun complaint search tool that shows you negative reviews for any brand online.
Take charge of your reputation today
Your online reputation doesn’t need to be left up to chance. With close monitoring to start, followed by well-planned communication, your brand will be seen in a better light, by more people.
Let me know what I forgot. What are your favorite online reputation management tools?
[A longer version of this post was originally published on the Mention blog here.