Online Reputation Tips to Improve Your Online Brand

Every year, take time to take stock of your online reputation and make adjustments to your reputation management campaign.

Implementing an effective online reputation management strategy takes consistency and vigilance, but it can help strengthen customer trust, improve sales, and even save your company from public relations crises. 

Since your brand’s online presence can make or break its success, proactive reputation management is not just a choice; it’s a necessity.

Table of Contents


Why Do You Need Reputation Management?

Reputation management is crucial because it helps ensure that consumers view your business more favorably, leading to increased engagement and customer loyalty.

Studies have shown that almost 60% of U.S. consumers would avoid buying from a brand that comes across as untrustworthy. Furthermore, 97% of consumers search online for local businesses.

Reputation management is not just about defending your reputation; it also provides valuable feedback.

By monitoring and analyzing customer reviews and feedback, you can gain insights into areas for improvement and make necessary changes to your products, services, or overall customer experience.

We’ve curated a comprehensive set of reputation management tips, designed to not only safeguard your brand but also propel your online reputation to new heights. 

These top reputation management tips will improve how Google shows your brand online. 

7 Tips to Improve Your Reputation Management Campaign

Remember that online reputation management is a journey. Your brand’s image is a dynamic, ever-evolving entity.


7 Tips for a Better Reputation Management Campaign

By proactively implementing these tips, you’ll be well-equipped to mold and elevate your brand’s online reputation, ensuring it resonates positively with your audience and stands out in Google search results.

Monitor Reputation Threats – And Opportunities

Keeping close tabs on your reputation threats and opportunities is the basis of a sound reputation management campaign.

Keep tabs of online mentions of your:

  • Brand name
  • Products
  • Services
  • Executives
  • Other relevant keywords.

Monitoring allows you to respond quickly to negative publicity and track your share of voice compared to competitors.

You should also monitor online reviews on sites like Yelp and industry forums to find unhappy customers. Since 85% of consumers trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations, responding professionally to negative feedback shows customers you are listening and working to improve.

Without a real-time understanding of the negative (threats) and positive (opportunities) affecting your online reputation in the here and now, you can’t effectively position yourself for what could be coming down the pike.

And you may miss the early warning signs of a serious threat until the full effects make themselves felt. Left unchecked, a negative online reputation will lead to:

  • Decreased sales
  • Less interest from talented employee prospects
  • Negative coverage in the mainstream press
  • Cratering employee morale


Here’s what you can do to monitor—and position yourself to react to—your reputation threats and opportunities:

  • Google (and Yahoo and Bing) yourself frequently, flagging inaccurate reviews and taking appropriate steps to remove other inaccurate or negative content when possible (click here to learn more)
  • Monitor online review sites and social properties to keep tabs on what customers and “people on the street” are saying about you. Learn more about tools to monitor what is said about your brand online here


“A one-star increase in a business’s Yelp rating boosts revenue by 5% to 9%, on average”


Plan Your Crisis Management Strategy

It is going to happen – eventually.  It’s Murphy’s Law.

Many reputation threats are ongoing concerns that don’t require immediate action.

Reputation crises are different: They demand a rapid, forceful response that minimizes the potential damage to your online image.

Despite your best efforts, every brand faces the risk of a reputation crisis, whether it’s from a customer service mishap or an internal company issue that becomes public.

What matters most is how you respond.

Have a crisis plan ready with steps for rectifying the issue, communicating with affected customers and controlling the narrative. Apologize sincerely, take accountability, and show how you are implementing fixes.


You can also take proactive measures as part of your crisis management plan

Having a number of content distribution points you already control, be they social media, being a contributor on another’s blog, websites you own, etc. contributes to a solid plan of reputation “readiness.”

Examples of potential reputation crises include:

  • You or a key employee face(s) arrest, or news of a previously unreported arrest comes to light
  • A disgruntled employee or customer begins a concerted defamation campaign against you or your company
  • You or a key employee post(s) or say(s) an ill-advised comment that immediately produces a backlash
  • A major customer service problem that attracts media attention, such as a data breach

Every crisis response plan is different, but yours might include:

  • Immediate action, using legal threats if necessary, to remove defamatory or copyright-infringing content
  • Press releases, social posts, and online videos for damage control
  • Public evidence that you “get” the problem, such as an apology or explanation. Do this on a page you control, so if necessary you can take it down later.
  • A redoubled effort to produce and promote positive content that suppresses negative search result

Be Proactive on Social Media

With three-quarters of all Americans now meeting the criteria for “active” social media use, social engagement is no longer optional.

If you haven’t already, you need to claim, flesh out, and use all the social media properties that matter to your peers and customers. That means:

  • Analyzing the properties that get the most customer engagement in your niche and focusing on building them first
  • Creating catchy “About” blurbs on all target properties
  • Uploading photos and videos where permitted
  • Segmenting and targeting customers by location
  • Using contests and questions to drive engagement
  • Reposting catchy content from other publishers, always giving credit
  • Posting original content that positions you as an industry thought leader or drives brand/name recognition

Here’s an example of Rumble Boxing’s Instagram page. Notice how their bio has a short, punchy description and shares the number of locations. The story highlights are broken down into regional areas, which helps with local business. There is a variety of posts including videos, photos, real customers, and giveaways. 


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Cultivate Positive Online Reviews

According to a Harvard Business School study, about 80% of American consumers trust online reviews as much as or more than old-fashioned word-of-mouth recommendations.

The same study found that a one-star increase in a business’s Yelp rating boosts revenue by 5% to 9%, on average. Online review sites and directory sites that feature business reviews tend to rank on your first SERP—sometimes right at the top.

How do you improve star ratings? Use review management software and do it yourself, or contact us, and we’ll help. 


Beyond investing in great customer service, which we’ll talk about below, here’s how to cultivate positive online reviews:

  • Offering incentives for customers who leave reviews (tip: focus on happy customers)
  • Personally responding, in polite fashion, to negative reviews
  • Flag and report defamatory or inaccurate reviews

One note: Though tempting, it may not be worthwhile to purchase fake reviews for your business. Most review sites can see right through these and typically penalize your listing if you’re found out.

Blog More Often Than You Already Do

Search engines love fresh and original content. Even if everything you publish is fantastic, Google and friends’ spiders are bound to get bored if they see the same posts every time they return to your blog.

This can lead to less crawl frequency and lower rankings for your branded web properties.

SEO studies indicate that you should blog at least once per week, per web property, to keep your owned content fresh (and highly ranked). But beyond this general guideline, there’s no “magic frequency” for blog publishing.

If you have an active, engaged readership that clamors for new content, you should be publishing once a day or more.

If your blog is more of a supplemental tool to drive traffic to your main site or keep your thought leadership credentials sharp, once or twice a week may be okay—as long as each post is the best it can be.

Ramp Up Your Content Marketing Operation

Blogging is just one aspect of content marketing, which is often mistakenly seen as a tool to drive conversions and sales—not help with reputation issues.

But content marketing is fundamental to a strong reputation management campaign because, after all, reputation is content.

Content marketing takes many different forms:

  • Posts on owned blogs
  • Press releases
  • Website and landing page content
  • Guest posts and sponsored content
  • Case studies, ebooks, and guides that relate to your products or services, typically featured on your website
  • Infographics and lists
  • Interviews with industry leaders

However, an effective content marketing operation requires a sustainable plan for content creation and publishing.

Those things require resources—time, money, talent. Taking an hour out of your week to dash off a quality blog post is one thing, but keeping up with an “all of the above” content marketing campaign can quickly become overwhelming.

We can help you find the resources to plug your content creation gaps and publishing gaps, from nimble, talented freelance writers and savvy editors to social gurus and multimedia whizzes.

Invest in Great Customer Service to Reduce Bad Reviews and Increase Good Ones

Here’s something other online reputation management companies don’t want you to know: To a certain extent, your reputation is like gravity.

You can fight tooth and nail, using a number of tactics to prolong the inevitable fall back to Earth. But unless you can achieve some kind of escape velocity, you’re always in danger of plummeting gravitational imperatives.

Related: Why some Yelp reviews get hidden

How do you outrun the powerful pull of your accumulated reputation woes?

By looking at every online and offline point of contact as an opportunity to leave a positive impression. Forget crisis management plans and SERP maintenance for the moment: We’re talking about investing in old-fashioned customer service that builds an organic reserve of goodwill and positivity around your business.

  • Go the extra mile for regulars.
  • Work hard to attract newcomers.
  • Share smiles and pleasantries.
  • Make “customer appreciation” a core business activity.

This stuff works, even if it takes some time to pay off in the form of improved word of mouth and positive online reviews.

Channels for Reputation Management

To manage your online reputation effectively, you need to monitor and act across multiple channels. Let’s explore the four main types:

  1. Paid Media: Paid media includes online content that you pay for. Examples include Google ads, social media ads, sponsored posts, and influencer promotions. While paid media allows you to control the messaging and earn exposure in relevant locations, it can be expensive and may be met with skepticism from audiences.

  2. Earned Media: Earned media refers to the coverage and mentions your brand receives from third-party platforms without payment. This includes press coverage, blog posts on other websites, forum discussions, and reviews on external sites like Trustpilot or Google. Earned media is seen as authentic and trustworthy, but strategies like encouraging customers to leave reviews can help secure positive exposure.

  3. Shared Media: Shared media refers to content about your brand posted on social media platforms, whether by your brand’s account or by others. Unaddressed complaints, negative comments, and low ratings on shared media channels can harm your company’s online reputation and deter potential customers. It’s crucial to monitor and engage with social media conversations actively.

  4. Owned Media: Owned media refers to any media you control, such as your website or email newsletter. By defining your brand’s tone of voice, target audience, and value proposition, you can shape your desired brand identity. Utilizing SEO strategies to improve your website’s visibility in search engines and investing in email marketing can help promote positive messaging and override any negative commentary.

Failure Examples: Lessons Learned from United Airlines and Nestlé

To understand the impact of reputation management failures, let’s examine real-life examples.

In 2017, United Airlines faced a reputation crisis when a video of a passenger being forcibly removed from an overbooked flight went viral. The video garnered over 1 million online mentions in a single day, leading to a loss of over $1 billion in market value for the airline. The CEO’s lack of action in response to the crisis further fueled negative sentiments and damaged the company’s reputation.

Similarly, Nestlé faced a reputation management failure when it was accused of harmful environmental practices by Greenpeace. Instead of addressing the issue head-on, Nestlé reportedly asked YouTube to remove Greenpeace’s video. This mishandling of the situation resulted in negative comments flooding Nestlé’s public page, leading to a temporary shutdown and further damage to its reputation.

These examples highlight the importance of proactively managing your brand image and having a crisis management plan in place.

It only takes one negative story to create an online reputation nightmare, so being prepared and responsive is crucial.

Consistency is Important

Reputation management is an ongoing effort.

Consistently deliver on your brand promise, provide excellent customer service across channels, and monitor the conversations happening about your company online.

Staying on top of reviews and social media conversations will help you identify potential problems early and turn detractors into brand advocates.

With a comprehensive online reputation management strategy, you can:

  • Build trust and loyalty with customers
  • Differentiate yourself from competitors
  • Protect your brand’s image over the long-term.

As Jeff Bezos said, “Your brand is what other people say about you when you’re not in the room.” Make sure what’s being said aligns with your brand values.

Got Reputation Management Ideas?

These seven tips,  plus the industry-specific considerations outlined above, are sure to get your reputation management campaign off on the right foot.

But if you’ve got additional ideas, we’d love to hear them. And after evaluating your reputation threats and opportunities, we’ll come back with some of our own.


Top Reputation Tips FAQs

What is the best way to improve my online reputation?

Here are our top tips for improving your online reputation. Monitor reputation threats and opportunities. Create a rapid-response plan for reputation crises (don’t wait for it to happen. Be prepared). Actively manage your social media profiles. Develop a review management strategy. Blog often. Ramp up your content marketing efforts. Invest in great customer service to reduce bad reviews and increase good ones.

How do I monitor my online reputation?

Google yourself frequently. Monitor online review sites like Yelp, TripAdvisor, Google, Facebook, and Better Business Bureau.

How can I improve my online reviews?

Improve your star ratings by investing in great customer service. If people have outstanding experiences with your brand, they will be more likely to leave a positive review. Offer incentives for people who leave reviews. Respond to negative reviews. Flag and report defamatory or inaccurate reviews.

How often should I blog?

SEO studies indicate that you should blog at least once per week to keep your owned content fresh (and highly ranked). But we feel that even more is better.

Citations and Further Reading

About the author

Kent Campbell is the chief strategist for Reputation X, an award-winning online reputation management agency based in California. Kent has over 15 years of experience with online reputation management, Wikipedia editing, review management, and strategy. Kent has helped celebrities, leaders, executives, and marketing professionals improve the way they are seen online. Kent writes about reputation, SEO, Wikipedia, and PR-related topics, and is an expert witness for reputation-related legal matters.

Tags: Corporate Reputation, Online Reputation Management Services, Reputation Management, Reputation Marketing.

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