With the rapidly increasing usage of the Internet for marketing and communication, it would be naive to think that everything found online is going to be favourable to all individuals or companies. A search of Google will always throw up a wide variety of reports and analyses, many featuring opinions and hearsay which have no relevance to a company’s business activities. When did you last really look into your search results and see what other people are saying about your name or brand online?
Dr Phillip Ayres*, a successful dentist, had observed an escalating trend with his business. The number of new clients enrolling with his dental surgery had dropped markedly over the last year. His long-term patients were not abandoning him; they remained as loyal as ever and he had come to regard many as personal friends. In a web search to find out why this might be happening, he soon found the reason why. Information about health professionals is often found through Google searches, and when websites contain less than favourable comments or recommendations, numbers of new clients fall away. This is what happened to Dr Ayres.
A former patient, Lyle Anderson*, had not taken Phillip’s advice regarding medical treatment, and as a result, had suffered a massive throat infection and was admitted to hospital. His vocal cords were irreversibly affected by the subsequent hospital treatment. Anderson needed someone to blame. He wrote a number of scathing articles and reports, and made comments on blogs which led readers straight back to Dr Ayres. No wonder new clients were in short supply!
It became necessary to reverse the trend. Phillip approached IGI Digital a division of Image Group International and in conjunction with Reputrack™ (IGI’s patented software) which specialises in highlighting positive pages and burying negative sites deep in all search results. In a few short weeks, positive reviews and comments ‘buried’ the negative ones and Phillip’s online presence once more attracted potential clients.
Online reputation management has grown in the past few years in response to the huge growth of social media that makes the voices of individual Internet users so prominent. In Phillip’s case, waiting and hoping for a change would not have worked. His business was beginning to suffer and he needed it to be fixed – fast. Reputation management proved to be the right way to go… welcome to the new world of reputation management.
*Names have been changed to protect our client’s identity. All case studies have been approved by clients for public release.