Reputation management goes beyond building credibility via social media platforms and an established website. Brands spark discussion on various channels all over the web, and the loudest of these conversations come together on Google.
Your brand isn’t what you say it is, it’s what Google says it is.
– Chris Anderson
Have you ever typed your own name in a Google search? I’m willing to bet money that you have. Maybe it’s not something you’d admit to, but with access to endless information at our fingertips, who can resist?
Personally, I’m a Google searchin’ fool! I literally lay in bed at night and think of things to look up on Google. It’s slightly pathetic, but hey- no shame in my game. So, naturally, I search my own name semi-regularly. My results are probably similar to the majority of self-searchers: my LinkedIn profile, my company’s “Staff” page, and a handful of results featuring total strangers that happen to have the same name as me.
Maybe you’ve searched yourself out of curiosity, or boredom, or because I’ve put the idea in your mind just now. But sometimes your name gets searched for a specific purpose, like a business owner considering hiring you, or a new love interest making sure they’re not about to go to dinner with a serial killer.
In situations like that, the search results could make or break your reputation.
And of course, the same is true for brands.
Branded keywords are searches that include the name of a specific business or brand. For example, branded keywords for “Business X” would look something like this:
- Business X
- Business X hours
- Business X Greenville, NC
These results a consumer gets from searching these keywords have a major effect on that businesses reputation, and that’s where reputation management SEO comes in.
Reputation Management SEO
This refers to search engine optimization approaches and techniques meant to positively influence the results for branded keywords with the goal to improve and uphold a brand’s digital reputation.
How Does Google Search Results Impact a Brand’s Reputation?
It’s Sunday morning, and your crew is daydreaming about brunch, but they’re over the usual go-to brunch spots. So, you whip out your cell and Google the name of that restaurant downtown that opened up recently.
One of the first things you see in your search results is a preview of their Trip Advisor rating:
26 reviews – 2.3 stars – $30-50 price range
2.3 stars for a $50 brunch? #Nope
And, just like that, your opinion has soured.
Review sites can heavily influence your online reputation. Not to mention articles, blog posts, directory pages, Google reviews, and the long list of other third-party sites that rank for branded searches. There wouldn’t be an issue if brands could control the content of these sites, but that typically isn’t the case. So, now what?
Reputation Management SEO Strategies
1. If You Can’t Beat ‘Em, Join ‘Em!
Review sites are so important regarding local reputation management. The reason so many review sites rank on the first page of a Google search is because they provide relevant information in the form of authentic reviews from real customers.
If you play your cards right, you have the ability to turn these sites into a valuable source for reputation management.
- Scope out the options available on third-party sites. A lot of them will allow brands or businesses to “claim” and revise their profile. Take the opportunity to add valuable information to the profile, using it as a platform to reach potential customers.
- If there’s a section for photos, upload relevant, attractive, high-quality photos of your brand or business + your products and services.
- Encourage existing customers to add positive reviews to the site, lessening the influence of the negative ones.
2. Create New Content
When carried out strategically, blog posts, videos, and photos that utilize branded keywords have the ability to outrank the review pages that you’re not so cool with.
Utilize every resource. Creating new content on your brand’s website is a great start, but go the extra mile. A few ways to create content for reputation management SEO outside of your website are:
- Creating content and engaging with followers on social media platforms.
- Branded Youtube videos!
- Check out the local discussion boards that are relevant to your industry and join the conversation.
3. Reach Out to Credible Outside Sources About Discussing your Brand
Start by contacting your local news source. You would be surprised at how many opportunities are available to local brands and businesses through these sources, but you have to be proactive to find out! Other options include:
- Partner with influential locals that have a strong online following.
- Sponsor events that are likely to get press.
- Partner with industry bloggers with a large readership.
Spreading positive news and information about your business helps to scatter a variety of brand-relevant content across the web.
Online Reputation Management
Reputation management SEO, like regular SEO, takes time, but hear me when I tell you it is totally worth the time and effort.
Get in touch with us if you’re ready to chat about where your brand resides in the digital marketplace.