7 Ways to Improve Your Online Reputation

7 Ways to Improve Your Online Reputation

What shows up in the search results when someone searches for your personal or business name?

If it’s not your own web sites, social profiles and blogs, then your online reputation is potentially up for grabs!

Not ranking on the first page of Google for your personal or business name is not the only thing you need to look out for. Just look at the recent celebrity photos that were leaked and all the drama around Google and how they blocking content in the search results. Online reputation management isn’t just about what can be said or done, but also about what’s already out there. It’s much easier to plan ahead and secure your reputation now, then to try and remove something from the internet later on.

Who Needs Online Reputation Management?

When you think of the phrase “online reputation management“, you probably only think about big corporate businesses with high end customers and contracts that are always in the news. However, ORM has become so much more now that everything is accessible to anyone on the internet.

Here are some new ways to look at ORM and who is using it:

  • Doctors, Lawyers & Professionals – Bad user reviews, slander, false complaints
  • Local Businesses – Restaurants and local businesses in your area rely heavily on reviews
  • Celebrities & Personalities – Everything a celebrity or well known person is on the web
  • Politicians – When it comes time for the next election, everything is put out there
  • The Average Person – If your employer searches for your name online, what will they see?

As you can see, reputation management and monitoring how you look online really applies to everyone — especially with all of the personal and financial data being stolen lately! In 2012 alone, there were over 12 million victims of identity fraud!

InternetReputation.com offers a wide range of monitoring services include finding new mentions of names and addresses, negative listings in search results, removal of data from top sharing sites and reducing the risk of private information spreading online — all of which are very important.

To improve upon their list of recommended services, I’ve also compiled seven ways for any individual or brand to better monitor and manage their online reputation vs. leaving it all wide open for anyone to jeopardize.

7 Ways to Improve Your Online Reputation

Secure Your Exact Match Domain Name

One of the most simple and cost effective ways to protect your online brand and name, is simply by registering your domain name. When possible, try to secure all variation of your name such as Name.com, Name.net and Name.org. It would be in your best interest to not only register your personal name, but also any business related names as well. Another good rule of thumb is to register any domain names that could be used against your brand as well, such as NameSucks.com.

Choosing Your Domain Name

Create a Blog on Your Site

Improving how your site, brand and company looks in the search results has a lot to do with the type of content you release through your site. In most cases, the most detailed and often you post quality content, the better chances you have for ranking higher and more often in the search rankings. Be sure to create content that people find value in, but also target your content and keywords to phrases people might be looking for when researching your name (ie: name customer reviews, name complaints)

Use a Blog to Protect Your Reputation

Register Your Name on All Social Networks

With over 2 billion users spread across all of the major social networks, it’s a no brainer for you to keep your name and business active on there as well. Each social network allows you to setup a unique URL and username for your accounts. Register accounts for both your personal and business name. If the username you want is already taken, try to secure a closure alternate or possibly try contacting the person who already owns it. Social profiles are very easy to rank on the main page of the search results for personal and business names, so this simple and effective process is a must for every business and brand.

Social Networks

Establish Yourself as an Authority

Establish Yourself as an ExpertIt’s easy for anyone to create a web site, blog and a few social profiles online, but establishing yourself as a credible authority takes a lot of time and works. Some of the best ways to do is by creating high quality and valuable content on your site that other people would want to reference and share. One of the best ways to establish yourself as a trusted authority is to get quotes on news sites and also do guest blogging on top blogs within your niche. This process takes time, but it’s well worth the exposure and credibility associated with it.

Don’t Make Google Angry – Bad SEO Practices

The Google Panda UpdateA great way to lose control of your online reputation is make Google angry and have them penalize your site. Not only would this lead to your site being penalized by Google, but it would push your own site rankings down and make it easier for your competition to rank above you. To stay in good standards with Google, always be sure to look at their most recent algorithm updates and staying in line with Penguin, Panda and Hummingbird best practices.

Build Your Online and Offline Presence

Shopping at the MallEven if you are an online based business, you probably still have a local based operation or headquarters somewhere. This means you can take advantage of local advertising and site directories. If you are a local based business, this should be at the top of your list as local advertising is not only very effective, it’s also quite easy to rank for and control since your range competition is much smaller.

Monitor Online Reviews and Customer Feedback

Customer ReviewsThe final and most important way to monitor your online reputation is to always keep an eye on what people are saying about your business. This can be quite easy to setup through the use of Google Alerts and plugging in the name of your company or brand. If you are a local business or restaurant, your main focus should also be towards sites like Yelp, TripAdvisor, SuperPages, UrbanSpoon and others.

Check Your Reputation Score

Internet Reputation MonitoringIf you aren’t currently trained in how to properly monitor and manage your online reputation, then looking to an outside agency may be your best option. Many solutions such as InternetReputation.com have created easy to use backend tracking platforms for anyone to plug in their keywords of choice, set up alerts and track the progress of their data and name mentions.

You can request a free reputation analysis report through their site to see where you could better improve your rankings, reputation and security.

97 Resources to Better Manage Your Online Reputation

97 Resources to Better Manage Your Online Reputation

Online reputation management… it’s something we hear a lot these days, especially if you are a business owner or active in the online marketing space. While many people have different opinions on what ORM really is and how it works, the important thing to know is that it’s important!

Protecting your personal brand and business reputation online is extremely important because more people are going online to research information than ever before. Making sure your own content appears at the top of the search results and knowing when and where people are talking about your name (or brand) — well, that’s reputation management at it’s best!

We could talk about ORM all day and give the many different pros, cons and methods for each, but instead I want to provide you with 97 of the best ways you can start monitoring, repairing and managing your reputation online.

Best of all, each of the resources below are from top ORM sites and media outlets, so they all know what they are talking about. Enjoy!

97 Resources to Better Manage Your Online Reputation

97 Hand Picked Resources to Manage Your Online Reputation

38 Ways to Protect Your Online Reputation

Protecting your online brand and reputation is all about knowing what works and what doesn’t. It’s also about measuring results and knowing how to respond to each situation specifically. OnlineReputation.com compiled a list of 38 ways to protect your online reputation from a wide range of resources throughout the internet. From knowing how to better respond to customer complaints to top rated social media monitoring tools… this post has you covered!

5 Tools to Monitor Your Online Reputation

One of the most effective, yet sometimes overlooked methods for protecting your online brand is “monitoring”. Yes, monitoring all mentions of your name and brand across the internet is extremely important. Not only are some brands not doing this at all, that are doing it incorrectly. It’s easy to setup a notification system through tools like Google Alerts, but then you are only getting notified on search results. What about social media, news outlets, reviews and blogs? For that you will need much more advanced ORM tools… many of which are highlighted in this post.

9 Ways to Improve Your Online Reputation with SEO

ORM and SEO go hand in hand… though they shouldn’t be considered the same. ORM is about brand management and knowing how to react for each different scenario. SEO is all about keywords, content, link building and ranking in the search results. Put the two together and you have quite the powerful combination. Discover 9 ways to use SEO to further improve your ORM efforts and results.

5 Ways Offline Marketing Can Improve Your Online Reputation

It’s easy to talk about ORM because many of us are already active in the online marketing space. However, offline marketing and reputation management is also important — especially for any offline and local businesses. The offline to online transition is key, and for many brands… it’s going to happen whether they like it or not. People will search for you online before visiting you offline. Some excellent points covered in this article are training employees to better represent your brand, capturing customer feedback and improving your marketing messages. I can promise you this is definitely a resource you need to check out, especially since it was written by ORM expert, Andy Beal.

6 Steps to Managing Your Online Reputation

As ORM goes more mainstream and proves it’s legitimacy, we continue to see bigger names covering the topic. For example, Forbes had an article written last year that covered the most basic ways to start monitoring and improving your reputation online. This article explains how to Google yourself and setup notification alerts, the importance of securing your own domain name and joining social networks to secure more page one rankings.

The 34 Best Resources, Tips, and Tools for Protecting Your Privacy Online

Building a strong online reputation isn’t just about gaming the search results and securing the number one listing. Instead it’s about having your brand and message everywhere and easily found. This includes social networks, web sites, blogs, media coverage and pretty much anywhere else. However, while all of this is going on, you need to make sure your personal and business information is safe. While you’re busy making sure your information is everywhere, who is monitoring your privacy and personal information. This article overs 34 resources, tips and tools for how to better protect your information and privacy while also managing your online reputation.

How to Protect Your Online Reputation

Your head is no doubt spinning from the 97 different resources and tips that we’ve outlined for you above. The good news is that you can start implementing these practices into your brand or business one at a time. However, be sure to monitor and track your efforts and results so you know what’s working best.

When it comes to managing your online reputation, planning and execution is key. Don’t let another day slip by that your personal name, brand or business is up for grabs!

How to Improve Domain and IP Reputation and Steps to Improve Email Open Rates

How to Improve Domain and IP Reputation and Steps to Improve Email Open Rates

I launched a case study to try and revive a dead email list last week, and today I’m providing my first full week update after getting started.

As a reminder, I already have an email list of about 22,000 subscribers in the “Mom” / recipes / discounts niche, but they haven’t been emailed in over a year.  Now, I want to see if I can revive that list and start making $1,000 or $2,000 a month with affiliate offers.

My original goal was to start emailing them 5 times a week, because I’ve seen another similar business in my niche do the same thing (and I know they are successful…$$$).

However, after just 3 email blasts sent last week, I know I already need to pump the brakes!  My open rates are just abysmal!

So, I’ve taken a few steps to try and improve my domain and IP reputation for email deliverability.  I’m going to walk you through the exact steps I’ve taken so far, the results, and additional steps I plan to take to improve my email open rates.

My False Start…

So, I started with 3 emails in 3 days to my cold email list of 22,000 to see what would happen.  I knew the open rates would be low…but this is just embarrassing.

Email 1 – 6.6% open rate

A 6.6% open rate is not good.  But I knew it was going to be bad, so it wasn’t too much of a shock.  I was hoping for over 10%, but this was just day 1…maybe my second email will be better.

Email 2 – 3.5% open rate

Ouch!  The open rate dropped almost in half!  It went from bad to worse.  Maybe I just shouldn’t email about dinner ideas again…

Email 3 – 2.5% open rate

Ugh, this is not going to work.  A 2.5% open rate is D.E.A.D!

After seeing these terrible results in 3 days, I decided to stop all emails going out until I did a little more in-depth research.

First step, improve the Domain and IP reputation for my site.

Steps to Improve Domain Reputation

If your email is going to spam or promotions folder, people are not going to see or open your emails.  That was definitely the case with my first 3 emails.

I took a quick look at ConvertKit (the email provider I’m using) and realized that I had never been DMARC verified.  If you want to read up on why DMARC is important, you can do so here.

Well, it only took me a few minutes to get my DMARC submitted.  However, I know that it can take a week or two for your domain reputation to improve even after getting DMARC verified, so that’s certainly not the only step that needs to be taken.

A way to monitor your domain reputation is through Google Postmaster

You will be asked to add a TXT file with a value that they give you.  And just use the @ symbol in the name field.

Sure enough, Google is telling me that my domain has a low reputation.  Check this out:

So, Google Postmaster is showing that my domain has a “low” reputation.  Once I get fully DMARC verified, I hope to get that up to “High”.  Then my emails should start hitting more inboxes.

The above image shows that after August 4th, I’m now SPF and DKIM success for authenticated traffic.  So, I think I’m moving in the right direction.

Getting Rid of Invalid Email Addresses

I have to give a hat tip to the Niche Pursuits Facebook group.  Someone in the group recommended that I clean up any invalid email addresses off my list.

An old list likely contains lots of bad email addresses.

So, I took the advice last week and signed up for Zero Bounce.  I was able to upload all 22,000 email subscribers there and Zero Bounce was able to verify which emails were good.

Turns out that 1,183 were invalid or otherwise bad email addresses!

So, I went ahead and removed all of those bad email addresses from my ConvertKit account.  I’m now down to 20,699 subscribers…but I know these are valid email addresses!

I found Zero Bounce really easy to use and you can do one-off email list checks, which is what I did.  If you want to check out what Zero Bounce is all about, go here.

Getting Fresh Email Subscribers

I have not tried emailing the 20,699 subscribers since my last email; however, I do plan to give it a shot later this week. 

However, in the meantime, I figured, why don’t I try to start building up the email list with fresh leads?!  I had removed the opt in form from this particular website because…well…I didn’t have an email plan a year ago.

But now that I plan on emailing the list more often, I want it to grow.

Plus, new subscribers should be more likely to open my emails.

So, I went ahead and added a quick opt-in form that just popups up when people first land on my site. I use Opt-in Monster to create my opt in forms for all my sites .

Here’s what that opt-in form looks like:

(As a reminder, this is a “Mom” blog…and this is a picture of my business partner’s wife.  She does work on the site and is the face of the brand).

So, what are the results over the last week of adding this new email opt in form?

So, in a little over a week, we’ve picked up 129 new email subscribers!  An opt-in rate of 0.29% is not great, but it’s essentially gravy as it does not appear to be impacting our regular affiliate earnings or display ad revenue from the site.

Since we were getting new email subscribers, I wanted to try emailing this “fresh” list only to see if our email open rates were any better.

Here’s the email I sent:

I hadn’t used Emojis in subject lines or in email copy before, but I’ve heard it can do good things to open rates.  Turns out it SUPER easy to do.

I just went to Emojipedia.org, and just found the emoji I wanted, clicked the copy button, and the hit pasted in my subject line or body.  I thought it was going to be more involved, but that was all that was needed for ConvertKit.

Oh, and to clarify, the links that talk about Amazon products go to a post on my own site, where people can then click to go to Amazon if they want (you can’t use Amazon affiliate links in an email).  The post is essentially just a few AAWP product boxes showing off the Amazon products.

Here’s the results:

(Note: this email was sent last Friday when I only had 89 new subscribers, now we have 129 because it’s been a few days since then).

I wished I wasn’t excited about a 9.0% open rate…but I am!  That significantly better than I was getting before.

I did test my email to make sure it was spam-free and not triggering any spam filters.  I highly recommend you do the same before you send mass emails.  You can use Mail-Tester.com to test for free if your email triggers any spam warnings.  I’m happy to report that I got a 10/10 out the email above.

However, I’m pretty sure this email landed in everyone’s spam folder still.  I need to get a bit more time and a few more emails under my belt before my domain reputation is going to fully improve.

Once I start hitting inboxes, I should see much better open rates.


And believe it or not, I have a little bit of earnings to report!

Overall, just $0.90 from all of that effort :(.  However, I’m just getting my systems figured out and getting my domain reputation higher.

Once, I start hitting more inboxes those earnings will improve.

And of course, once I start hitting inboxes, I’ll make sure I’m sending the best affiliate offers I can that are converting well.  For the first few weeks here, I may just be promoting what’s easy so I can get a system in place.

Plan Going Forward?

I need to get fully DMARC verified and start hitting email inboxes, that’s priority number 1.

For now, I’ve backed off the idea of mailing 5 times a week.  I’m going to mail the “fresh” list 3 times each week.  I will include the bigger email list of 21k on one of those emails a week.

I will play it a little “safer” for the next couple of weeks and continue to monitor my open rates and any other feedback I get from Google Postmaster.

Once my domain and IP reputation improve, I’ll slowly start ramping up emails to the “old” list to hopefully 5 times a week at some point.

Overall, that’s where I’m at for now with the reviving a dead email list project.  Hopefully, you’ve found a few of these tips useful in improving your domain reputation and steps to improve email open rates.

By Spencer Haws

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