Online Reputation Management
Reputation management has been big business in recent years with not only companies but individuals themselves seeking the services of agencies to help suppress negative search engine listings. Negative listings surrounding your brand can have hugely detrimental impacts on your business due to the fact the majority of customers will research a company online before making a purchase or using a service. These listings can also have a detrimental impact on individuals who are seeking employment or looking to build a public profile.
There are of course circumstances where negative information should most certainly be displayed, for example if a company has been defrauding its customers and this fact has been proven to be legitimate, however if this is a false accusation then the business does not deserve to suffer or be out of pocket from a lose of business.
So how do you implement a solid reputation management strategy? Just like SEO, which is basically what reputation management is, it takes time. You might see some quick wins in your campaign however you need to be committed to the process and understand that building a solid foundation around your brand online is an ongoing strategy.
We have listed below some steps, which can be taken to ensure your brand is protected in search engine results:
1. Your Website:
This may seem like an obvious one but you need to make sure your website is optimised to rank for your brand, especially if your brand is fairly generic. It is not uncommon for unoptimised sites to be ranked below other sites with higher authority for their own brand. We had had several companies contact us who have ranked below Ripoff Report under a search for their brand.
2. Social Media:
You need to make sure that you cover all the main social media sites and not just set them up but optimise them accordingly and make sure that they are being continually updated. The main social networking sites that will rank well for your business are Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, YouTube and Google +.
3. Web Entities You Control:
This relates to other company websites that you might own that utilise the same brand name such as “Your Company Mowing” and “Your Company Electricians”. If you brand is spread across different entities then you will have a good change of being able to rank these for your main brand name. You will also require the creation of micro-sites that will be solely focused around your brand. You may choose to have an off-site blog, a charity site or an investors website. All these micro-sites should be created with the intent of ranking for your brand name.
If your company has enough history and is relevant enough to be listed in Wikipedia then do it. This will generally rank very highly in the search results and help push down negative listings with titles such as “Company Accused of…”. Submit your request to Wikipedia and cross your fingers that it gets approved.
5. Avoid Directories and Review Sites:
These type of sites are often the reason why you need to invest in reputation management in the first place. It has become very easy for competitors or disgruntled ex-employees to create fake accounts and leave negative reviews on these types of sites. Many directory and review sites hold great authority within Google so negative comments on these sites can rank very easily. Its very much a catch 22 because these sites can also add a great amount of value to your business, however having sites that encourage user feedback is also inviting unethical competitors and those with a grudge to post negative information. When trying to protect your brand online we recommend that you avoid trying to ranking highly for any directories or review sites.
The above steps should allow for you to build a comprehensive foundation around your brand and be able to protect it from negative listings appearing and harming your businesses. If you have trouble implementing the above recommendations or simply do not have the time then Enterprise Marketing can assist and deliver the desired results.