You are running a business. You have built an online presence for your business. With time, you have realised the importance of online reputation management. Just like everyone else, you know how a good reputation can be beneficial for you. So, you are thinking to hire an online reputation management firm.
However, it is not good to opt an online reputation management company solely on the basis of search engine ranking or star rating. One needs to ask some important question to know the subtle details of both ORM and ORM agency. Knowing these details helps you to make a well-informed decision of hiring an ORM company. So, here are the top questions you need to ask before hiring an online reputation management agency.
1. Do you have case studies?
Reading reviews of clients to judge an ORM agency is a good thing. They tell you the pros and cons of a firm. However, there is this one thing that reviews do not reveal about a agency. That is, how did the ORM company established a good online reputation of a particular individual or business?
Case studies will help you know what problems a business was facing and what online reputation management strategy was crafted to resolve the issue. This will give a great idea about how your case will be handled. Therefore, it makes sense to ask case studies. Make sure you are reading case studies of businesses that are relevant to yours.
2. What is your most successful case?
Before opting a potential ORM agency, you must know the maximum potential of it. The easiest method to figure out the maximum potential is by asking this one simple question – what is your most successful case? To answer this question, your potential ORM firm will come back with its most successful project.
This will give you a rough idea about the best possible case. However, it is not a good idea to opt an ORM agency solely on one criteria. You should also know the worst possible cases too. The worst possible cases are usually evident in the reviews that have one star rating. Knowing both the best possible case and the worst possible case, will help you develop a pretty good opinion about your potential ORM company.
3. What your ORM campaigns are equipped with?
Well, this is one of the most basic questions that one should ask before hiring an ORM company. The online reputation management campaigns are continuously expanding and covering a larger ground. As the years are passing, ORM agencies are providing a variety of campaigns.
Check, the details of the ORM campaign. Determine whether the services included in the campaign match the current status of your online reputation, and are relevant to your business. Furthermore, try to know whether the potential company is capable of crafting bespoke ORM strategies for you. You can confirm this by seeing the case studies. If a company has used the same strategy for several clients, it may not be flexible and may not be capable of producing hand crafted strategies.
4. Can you delete harmful content?
When it comes to asking questions, you should not shy. As a business owner, it is your duty to find answers to all your queries, even if they look stupid. You may want to ask can you delete Google negative reviews? Or How to get rid of negative content on the search engine results page?
These simple questions do not have simple answers. Deleting negative reviews is difficult, but it is possible. Check, how your potential online reputation management firm answers such questions. Most of the time if the direct solution is not available, ORM agencies provide alternate paths. In this case, if the harmful content cannot be deleted, it can be pushed down to the second or third page of the Google, or it can be diluted with positive content.
5. Can I talk to your former clients?
This is one of the most important questions, which business owners tend to ignore. This question inspects the confidence of the online reputation management firm. Normally, the ORM companies that are confident do not hesitate to give the contact of the former or current clients.
In fact, some ORM agencies encourage you to talk to them. Ask the previous customer about their positive and negative experiences, promises made, goals achieved, price quoted and time taken. Knowing all this information is important to judge the reliability, which is one of the most important factors to consider before choosing an ORM agency.
6. How long is it going to take?
Online reputation management is not a one-time process. Experts usually suggest to run an ORM campaign continuously. You may ask how long does it take to see the positive results.
Although it is very difficult to give a time frame, a potential agency should be able to give you an overall idea. Asking this question is important because there is no other way to find out the delay caused from the company’s side.
The answer to this question can be tricky. Sometimes, business owners do not understand what to make out of it. Not all reputation management companies that give quick results are good, and not all online reputation management companies that take time are bad. This is because one ORM firm can use the black hat ORM tactics to drive results quickly, and other may solely focus on natural methods.
7. How can I help the ongoing ORM campaign?
No doubt, it is the responsibility of the online reputation management company to handle the complete campaign. However, there are a lot of things that you can do to aid the ongoing ORM process.
These are also known as best practices. Taking few steps, making few behavioral changes, and modifying the business to suit the customers will not only improve the whole campaigns, but also reduce the risk for future attacks. Here are some of the common and popular ORM best practices.
Spot fake reviews and get rid of them.
Gain more Google reviews.
Have an active presence on social media.
Give a great customer service.
Encourage your happy customers to leave a review.
Never settle for these basic practices. Go in depth and try to extract as much information as possible from the ORM company.
8. May I know the team?
Ask your online reputation management agency to introduce the team that is going to handle your online reputation. You are investing your time and money on online reputation management. It makes sense to know the team which is going to establish a solid online reputation for your business.
Conduct a background research on the members of the team. Try to know in which field they are experts, how many years experience they hold, how many projects they have handled, and what were their results. In other words, this question will let you know the transparency of the ORM company.
If the ORM agency is transparent, they will let you know almost all the details you would like to know, including history. Extra information is nothing but extra knowledge that helps you to make a better decision while choosing an ORM firm.
9. Normally, what is your process of working?
There are numerous online reputation management companies across the world. Each one of them follows their own work process. Not every work process is going to suit you and your business. So it becomes fundamental to know the process of working before making the move. Here are some of the common elements of the work process.
First, the firm makes one or more phone or in person meeting to understand the goals of the business owner. Once, the goals are clearly understood, they go to the next step to collect the information. The team may send survey questions to discover background information, sensitive matters and topics that need to be avoided or cared. Next, an ORM strategy is created and implemented. In addition to that, the business owners are regularly updated.
10. How will you monitor my brand?
Monitoring a brand, is one of the most vital and initial steps of the online reputation management process. It is good to know the places, websites or platforms where your brand is going to be monitored. Along with that it is more important to know the tools used to monitor.
Yes, Google Alerts is a great tool, no doubt. However, it only notifies when new content appears within Google. Try to know how your ORM company is going to monitor blogs, forums, videos, search results, and many others. Make sure your firm is going to monitor brand mentions across all platforms and not just a couple of them.
11. How much will it cost?
Along with knowing the tools used, strategies crafted, time taken, and results delivered, it is really vital to know the cost of the online reputation management services. Just like time taken, cost can be a tricky factor.
Sometimes the expensive services of an ORM company may not produce desired results. On the other hand, an inexpensive ORM agency can satisfy you with the results. So, it is not a good idea to consider the cost as the sole factor to make a decision. We suggest you to compare services provided, and compare the cost with competitors. Prefer a company that is giving the price structure upfront.
12. Why should I hire you?
This is the most important question that one should ask an online reputation management company before hiring it. Sometimes you do not have the time or patience to do the research about the positive aspects of a potential ORM company. In such cases, ask just one simple question – why should I hire you? You will get all the positive information at one place.
Most of the online reputation management firms add a section called “why should I hire you?” in their homepage or service pages to convert more people. The advantage of asking this question is that, it makes comparative research easy. You will know how a company is better than its competitors and vice versa. Make sure you cross check the information provided by the potential ORM company.
In this blog post, we have listed 12 main questions that one should ask a potential online reputation management company before hiring. Although most of the questions are very fundamental and important in nature, it is not good to take a decision just on the basis of a couple of questions. Ask almost all the questions that are relevant to you or your business. Based on the answers provided you can make a well-informed decision for making your online reputation strong.