Your online reputation is not entirely within your control. After all, you can’t control what other people think and say, or say without thinking. That word-of-mouth factor is difficult to assess and impossible to predict with accuracy. There are some things within your power, though, and these two are a good start.
Trustworthiness is an old-fashioned word, but it still holds true. Without a history of reliably positive engagement, that trust is not there. This holds true in all walks of life, but in business the trust factor is why people are your customers. If the positive outweighs the occasional negative, you are doing really well. Your steady customers are your biggest asset, because they trust you and prove it by being steady customers. Your reputation has to be good offline before it can be good online. If there are a lot of unhappy former customers or employees posting ugly things that are true, you are going to have to start with changing that ugly truth for a better one.
Wise Advice is another old-fashioned term, but it also holds true. Online marketing strategy for reputation management has to be wise. There needs to be an accurate assessment of the situation and an experienced analysis of the probable outcomes for every strategy you might come up with to deal with a reputation crisis. A grasp of how all the factors work together in search engine optimization can help bury the negative, and a promotion campaign based on your proven trustworthiness brings that positive to the forefront when your business is mentioned.