As an adult, the last thing you want is to be worried about what everyone thinks about you.
Reputation management feels a little too much like high school.
Reading all the Tweets, Facebook posts and Yelp reviews about your company? Might as well be eavesdropping on kids gossiping by the lockers and passing notes around the lunch tables.
And yet, your online reputation has the power to drive sales (or kill them).
As exhausting it is to create and maintain a positive online reputation, it’s absolutely important for any online business.
When you leave a positive impression on your visitors and customers, you’ll greatly increase the chances that they’ll become repeat customers.
New potential customers will read positive reviews left in the past, persuading them to make that purchase.
Negative reviews, telling readers to avoid your business, will be a thing of the past.
Fortunately, online reputation is managed much more easily than high school reputation.
There’s an impressive lineup of online reputation management tools designed to help you assess, improve and maintain your reputation’s health.
You don’t need to hire a reputation management company, or a reputation management service—those can become costly, and you’ll want to keep tabs on the quality their work with a tool of your own anyway.
The right tool can be the perfect blend of hands-on (giving you total control) and automated (taking all the tedious chores off your plate).
It’s like having the ability to snatch those sneaky notes out of people’s hands, nip the nasty rumors in bud and sway everyone to love and respect you.
Ah, if only 15-year-old you could have had something like this on your side.
What to Look for in the Endless Sea of Online Reputation Management Tools
There are many different programs that will monitor things like your social media presence, your Yelp or Bing reviews, or tweets made about your brand—you have to decide what information you want and pick a tool that will help you accomplish that.
It’s also very important to understand what these tools do and don’t do.
These are brand management tools, so they’re not geared towards performance issues like organic search rank, backlink analysis, keywords, PPC or other types of advertisement.
For that reason, I think you’ll find it very important to use another tool in conjunction with these to properly assess these other aspects of your website.
A tool like Monitor Backlinks gives you fantastic insight on your backlinks and competitors so you never have to wonder about anything.
In addition to it being a good idea to have an SEO tool, it’s valuable as a complement to these tools below, allowing you to quantitatively measure your website’s performance over time as you use your reputation management tool of choice.
How to choose the right reputation tool, though?
As always, the best tool is going to be the one that best suits your needs.
Avoid choosing a tool with more features than you actually need.
Instead, choose the tool that has the power to streamline your existing workload and target issues you’re currently already facing.
With these things in mind, we’re going to go through the list of our top six favorite tools for online reputation management.
As you read about these tools, try to imagine how they could help your business and your reputation. Think about what you and your team spend the most time on. Think about the positive and negative reviews you have received and where you’ve received them.
Let’s give these tools a good look!
The Top 6 Online Reputation Management Tools to Keep a Good Name
Online reviews count for a lot. Yelp, Angie’s List, Foursquare, Google My Business, the iPhone App Store, Facebook. The list goes on. Reviews are everywhere, and most people seek them out before making an important purchase.
When your customers have positive or negative experiences with your business and choose to leave a review, that directly either helps or harms you.
For example, the many detailed, positive reviews of Reputology on Capterra are incredibly persuasive.
Reputology directly engages with reviews and reviewers from over 100 review sites, making it a comprehensive, all-in-one platform for online review tracking. If you’re the kind of person who’s managing reviews across a variety of platforms, or would be interested in uncovering reviews and review sites you’ve never even seen before, this is your tool.
It constantly scours review sites for you so your team doesn’t have to, and presents them neatly in one dashboard.
It’s so much valuable information.
Now, here’s the trick: All the information in the world can’t help you if you don’t have a way to turn it into results.
That’s why Reputology also gives you analysis tools that show the major metrics of your reviews, like where they come from, when they were posted, number of stars, timeline changes, follow-up status and even the custom metrics that you specify. This information enables you to put yourself in the customer’s shoes and the context of their review.
And it goes deeper. Semantic analysis detects key words, phrases and even location and employee names within online commentary. It highlights descriptive words indicating positive and negative experiences, particularly ones that could use fast follow-up from your team.
For example, if you have several offices, the indication of the location of a customer who left a negative review will help you pinpoint which individuals of your staff are responsible for that experience.
Alerts are sent to you the moment feedback is given, so you can respond quickly. You’re also able to set up automated follow-ups with customers via customized polls, questionnaires and surveys.
Finally, if you decide to have your team keep up with the reviews, you can even keep track of how your team responds to the negative reviews so that you can make sure each and every issue gets addressed.
This is great for following up on your team’s work and really taking care of your customers.
Reputology costs anywhere between $10-$49/mo/location depending on which plan you choose.
While the more expensive plans offer more coverage, you get enough with the basic plan to analyze those reviews and get your star ratings turned around.
Mention knows when you’re being mentioned anywhere on the big, wide internet. It’s not just focused on reviews associated with your company or site—it actually finds whenever your company’s name (or trademarked phrases) have been used in conversations online.
So, rather than focusing on review sites like Reputology, Mention mostly focuses on social media and gives you real insights into how people are talking about your brand online.
Using its unique suite of tools, you’ll be able to pick up mentions from various online sources and react to them in real time.
One very interesting aspect of Mention is that it is just as capable of monitoring your competitors as it is monitoring you.
When you sign up for an account, you’ll immediately be asked to put in competitors as well as your own business information.
What are people saying about you, versus what are people saying about your competitors? Know you’ll know.
Mention takes things a few steps farther with the ability to track keywords and find social media influencers and brand ambassadors who are able to make a difference with your audience and help you promote your brand organically.
So, rather than simply showing you the raw data of when you were mentioned and how, Mention actually gives you the tools to capitalize on that knowledge to understand your competition and how to beat them.
For the most basic plan, you’ll only pay $29/mo and get coverage for a single user. This is perfect for anyone who’s just starting out with reputation management, no matter the size of the company.
Go Fish Digital
Go Fish Digital takes a slightly different approach—more focused on organic traffic than anything else.
Not, it’s not a straight up SEO tool. Actually, it’s not a tool at all. It’s a team of dedicated SEO and content marketing specialists with an in-house tool they’ll give you access to. You’ll work with them to manage and improve your reputation, and can access the dashboard to handle things on your own as desired.
They cover everything from SEO, content, conversions and influencer marketing to web design. They can take care of it all.
Now, to the element of interest: Search engine result improvement. It’s similar to SEO in a lot of ways, but focuses on scoring more positive reviews and managing complaints in results rather than blindly increasing the number of total pageviews.
Through high-quality content creation and management, the regular promotion of positive content pushes the negative content farther away from the first page of results. The goal is to create positive material (often with the help of your best customers) and then moving it as close to the top of the search results pages as possible.
Over time, the first page of Google results will be all positive and any negative content will be out of sight and out of mind.
The Go Fish review sites improvement feature works very similarly to the other websites listed here (shows you the reviews you’ve gotten on designated review sites, gives you the opportunity to follow up).
Where it really shines is the autocomplete improvement. Consider it an online reputation repair service.
Using an algorithm that Go Fish Digital created, they’re able to identify ways that they can positively change the autocomplete. When negative words and phrases appear upon typing in your company name or product name, Go Fish detects this and gets to work correcting it.
You might be surprised to learn that search engine search results and autocomplete are actually reflective of your online reputation. Just imagine that someone wants to see if your product is worth buying. They type your company name into the search bar and…. they see words like “scam,” “not worth it,” “too expensive” or “bad quality” pop up in the autocomplete feature.
Who’s going to want to keep looking into that purchase once they’ve seen all that bad news?
So, this Go Fish tool decided to focus on improving your organic search reputation in as many ways as possible. This approach is quite interesting and unique, so it’s definitely at least worth a try.
Since it’s a team rather than a tool, you’ll need to contact them to discuss your specific needs and pricing options.
Now, back to the tools.
Review Trackers offers a very simple and easy-to-use interface with astounding results. It over 100 review sites and provides you with actionable data about your reviews.
Doesn’t stop there. Once you’ve established the sources of any negative reviews that you may have, you can actually work to improve them.
Two of the most helpful tools for this are the request customer feedback tool and the location tool.
With the request customer feedback tool, you can reach out to your most pleased customers for comment. Select a template that you want to send out, write out your request for reviews and send them out. This can drastically improve your reviews, especially if you already have an email list of existing customers and warm leads.
Review Trackers declares that you can improve review quality by 400%.
The location tool is an interesting feature that breaks down reviews and review progress by location. Brick and mortar people, this is for you. It’s ideal for people who are specifically looking to grow gain more customers and clout in a certain region; for example, the owner of a shop or restaurant who’s hoping to improve reviews from people in their city.
Review Trackers pricing depends on your needs, but starts at $49/mo. I highly recommend that you head on over there and sign up for a free demo to see which plan fits you best.
Yext is truly a very in-depth and varied tool. Yext runs what they call the Yext Knowledge Engine and its job is to be the single source of information for your brand online. This plays out in a lot of different ways, but the principle is the same: you need to be in control of how your brand is perceived.
Its core principle is that the most important thing you can do for your online presence is control where, when and how every review and mention appears.
This includes reviews on search tools, social media and review platforms like Facebook, Google Search, Siri, Twitter, Yelp—pretty much any site or search tool that might lead people to your site.
There are three tools in particular that I think set Yext apart in a sea of brand management tools.
First, Yext Pages are designed to be the single source of information that I mentioned earlier. You’ll be given a single place to update all the key information related to your business: open hours, holiday hours, email address, location, phone number, owner name, official company name and so on. Now, if you have to update a piece of this data, you don’t have to scramble across the 12 different platforms where you have a company profile—you just need to update the Yext page, and all the rest is taken care of.
All your online information will be kept synced and up-to-date, so you never end up with a confused customer.
Second, Yext Listings connects you to more than 100 sources of information that customers are accessing every day, including: Bing, Google, Yahoo, Yelp, TripAdvisor and so much more. By controlling your information on those websites, you’ll never miss a thing.
Finally, Yext Analytics pulls all of your customer interactions into one neat dashboard so that you can assess how your customers are responding to your brand.
The best way to find out what Yext would cost for your business is to sign up for a free demo, since the custom pricing depends on what you’ll be using Yext to do.
Brand24 focuses on the conversations customers are having rather than their more formal reviews online, but the results are no less impressive.
One cool feature is the influencer score, which shows the reach of each comment: telling you how many people that one comment can directly influence. This is very helpful when prioritizing responses to negative comments or assessing the relative damage or value to your brand.
The timeline of mentions and interactions is an extraordinarily easy, visual way to spot sales opportunities and time your marketing campaigns perfectly.
Using the graph that illustrates the number of mentions, likes, comments, clicks and other interactions will show you exactly when there are the most or the least conversations about your brand.
That said, I think Brand24 really shines when it comes to keyword analysis.
Many of the other reputation management tools only focus on mentions and reviews of your brand, but this doesn’t take into account all the other things that directly influence your brand.
Brand24 takes this discrepancy into account and lets you easily add and track hashtags and keywords that are related to your brand.
All these tools can just as easily be applied to competitor analysis, to illustrate how your competitors are doing when it comes to reputation and social conversations about them.
Brand24’s most popular plan is $99 a month, but cheaper and more expensive plans are also available based on your needs, so I would highly recommend going for the free trial before deciding on a plan.
P.S. For great, insightful advice on online reputation management, you can check out Brand24 Founder and CEO Michal Sadowski’s YouTube channel.
And that’s a wrap!
What did you think of those tools?
Honestly using a tool to help with your reputation management online is a no-brainer—or at least it should be!
The only question should be: which tool?
The tools above all have their strong suits, so be sure to pick the one that aligns most closely with your brand and where your customers like to discuss things.
If you’re not sure, you could always give all of these tools a try using their free trials. Most of them offer some kind of trial or demo.
Now, go forth and monitor!
Your online reputation is too high-stakes to be taken lightly.
Yassir Sahnoun is a content strategist, writer and co-founder of WriteWorldwide. He helps SaaS businesses with content strategy and SEO. You can learn more about Yassir at YassirSahnoun.com.