Your brand’s SEO reputation is the fundament on which you can build your brand image and establish yourself on the market. To help you with SEO reputation management for your brand here is all you have to know!
Primarily, your business’s reputation is essential for your company’s good performance. For this reason, you need to manage your SEO reputation at all times. It is not an understatement when someone says that whole companies went down just because of having a bad online reputation.
How does online reputation management work?
Online reputation management is very similar to regular reputation management or offline reputation management. You will need to monitor your business’s performance and the reputation it has on the Internet. Along with the online reputation of the individuals working at your company if these people lead a public life.
You will also need to address the content that might be damaging to your business’s reputation including negative reviews or ratings. Finally, you have to collect customer feedback that will help you improve your business before negative reviews can do any damage to your brand’s online reputation.
Online reputation management (also known as ORM) is the process of monitoring and addressing search engine result pages (SERPs) or mentions of your brand online in order to shape customer impressions of your company depending on their online searches. SEO is simply a way to manage brand reputation and involves many things.
Importance of your brand reputation through SEO
An integral part of managing your online reputation is search engine optimization. If you optimize your content properly and stick to all of the best SEO practices, you will realize that it is much easier to manage your brand reputation this way. Here are some things to consider before managing SEO reputation for your brand:
1. Organic Search Traffic
Unless you start using SEO for brand reputation, you might start losing organic search traffic. If there is negative content about your brand ranking high in search results, users will be less likely to click through to your site once they see this bad content. Once your click-through rate worsens, your rankings will start decreasing too. Negative content will simply get more attention and your website will be completely forgotten.
2. Paid Search Traffic
The same thing goes for paid search traffic. If just next to your good-looking ad there is an article with a negative review of your brand, the ad will be less likely to be successful. You want to have as little negative press as possible. Because that will mean better performance for your ads and more paid search traffic eventually.
3. Unnecessary Expenses
Cost-effectiveness is essential for online marketing and for managing your brand’s reputation. If you lose more than you gain, then it can’t possibly be profitable for you. Everything you spend on emails, social media, and offline marketing will go to waste if your website doesn’t appear in search results when someone looks you up on Google. Or worse: they see negative reviews instead of your site. This is when you know that your marketing effectiveness is on a minimum. Besides, you won’t be able to make up for this loss in sales because there simply won’t be any. Your business will no longer be profitable because the value of your business often largely depends on your brand’s reputation.
The Practical Guide for Reputation Management SEO
So, how do you manage your brand reputation? Is it purely about certain tactics like backlink analysis or is there something more to it? Indeed, there are some strategies you can use. However, it is important to have a general plan of action so that the things you do won’t act against each other and do more harm than good.
Your main goal while managing your brand reputation online is to build the first page of search results that is completely free from negative press and reviews. If you can manage that for one or several specific terms related to your business, you will be able to direct your brand image in the right direction.
While managing your reputation, it is important to take into account all types of content. For instance, you want to have good news stories just like you need good reviews on Google My Business. It is crucial to remember all the possible channels that might spoil your reputation and work on them.
Firstly, you need to boost the rankings of your positive search results. Even if you know that there is negative feedback online, you want it to be lost and forgotten. Instead, strive to make your positive reviews stand out so much that they will overshadow your negative ones. If you have enough positive results, you will immediately show that you are a good business.
Secondly, you need to do something with negative search results. Ideally, you would want them completely removed. However, if that is not possible, try to at least alter them in some way. It is not always possible to do anything with these, but you can try to work at least with some of the channels that they are coming through (e.g. review sites, negative press, etc.)
Thirdly, you need to weaken the rankings of negative search results. You will need to try and push down the negative results. In this way you will to make them appear on the second page rather than the first one. To do this with one result, you will need to pull up 9 other results (which is not an easy task, but it is still doable).
Now that you know what your three main aims are, it’s time to talk about the practical aspects. Here are the best practices that will help you rank positive results higher, alter negative results, and push down bad content:
1. Identify the Keywords
You have to identify which keywords are being affected so that you know what you should work on. Some words or phrases will be more likely to bring up the negative content, while others will have positive content on the first search page. If you know which keywords are problematic, you will know what to direct your efforts at. Remember that some keywords that bring up negative results will be unimportant. So you need to filter those out, since not all keywords have much search volume. To find the keywords you need to work on, it is better to get professional consultation. This is because your own keyword research might not be as accurate as you’d like it to be.
2. Launch an SEO Campaign
A good SEO campaign can go a long way, so you should definitely launch one for your website. You will need to keep in mind very many things as an SEO campaign is not something simple, but the worst thing that can happen is bad results outranking good ones. This is exactly what an SEO campaign should address and work on. You will need to work closely with the keywords you identified to improve your first page results for each of the problematic keywords. By the way, the negative reviews or press usually show up for longtail keywords rather than direct searches. But the latter can happen nonetheless, so it’s good to check every possibility.
3. Work on the Second Page
After you’ve figured out your first page, it is important to work on the second page as well. It might not be obvious to you, but second-page results can also be extremely important, so the nicer it’s looking for you, the better. You will notice that the first page usually doesn’t contain many pages from your website. This is because of Google’s algorithms which no longer allow many pages from one domain to rank for a certain term. Consequently, you will need to optimize the various places that you can control. For example, your brand’s social media pages can be a great way to get all the first page and some second-page spots for your brand name. You can also work on your Google My Business profile by optimizing it with descriptions and images.
4. Find Positive Reviews
You want to show off the positive reviews your customers gave your business, so you need to actively seek them out. If there are no such reviews yet, ask for them! People love giving their opinion on various matters. Not everyone will want to spend time giving you feedback or writing reviews. But if you manage to persuade even several of your customers, you will already have some material to work with. First look for existing reviews online on social media, review sites, and popular blogs. If you can find good reviews there, reach out to their authors and ask for permission to use them. Alternatively, do all you can to make these reviews rank as high as possible by linking to them frequently from various places.
5. Create Social Media Accounts
By this point, you probably already know that social media is essential for your reputation management and for cleaning the search results. Having social media accounts for your brand helps you to build a certain online brand image. As well as capture the spots on the first and second search results pages. In addition to that, you will be able to get exposure, promote your products or services, partner with other influencers or brands, and so much more.
Social media platforms simply have infinite potential that is just waiting for you to take it and use it. Nevertheless, before you start, make sure to put together a comprehensive social media campaign plan. This way you will know what you are doing with your content and which goals you are pursuing. Know which platforms you will be working with (e.g. Instagram, Facebook, Linked In, etc.) and then base your actions on that. If you don’t have professional in-house authors for your posts, choose writers from the review service Online Writers Rating. Someone who has enough experience and the necessary skills to create such content.
6. Build a Good Link Profile
Links are one of the best ways to improve your page and website profiles and positively influence your rankings. This is why you always need to get as many backlinks as possible. You can also try to conduct link building outreach to get links to positive reviews that you can’t really control. As mentioned earlier, you need to find positive reviews and then direct the attention to them and try to make them rank as high as possible by building good link profiles. Use all the channels you have to link to this positive content and also consider guest posting as it is usually very effective in this sense. Keep in mind that the better the site you are linking from is, the more good impact it will have. Avoid shady sites that might damage the link profiles of the good reviews you want to rank.
7. Post Relevant Images
Many business owners and marketers might forget that users don’t always use the regular search. Sometimes users will look up images rather than web pages. This is why posting relevant images for your brand is essential and will help you stand out online visually and attract attention this way too. However, it is crucial that you understand how images work and optimize your visual content properly. For instance, you will need to use keywords in the captions and descriptions as well as make sure your Alt-text is right. Links to pages with images or to the images themselves can also help you boost the rankings of your images. Remember that they work a little differently from regular pages, but the overall logic is the same. You could also create videos for that matter.
All in all, managing the online reputation of your brand with the help of search engine optimization is much easier than it seemed at first glance. If you really want to succeed at it, you need to dedicate time to building your strategy from scratch and sticking to it.
Follow the advice in this article to get the most out of your digital marketing to create a good brand image for your business. Invest wisely and you will see positive results with time, but don’t give up when you come across challenges.