Online Reputation Management has now become a billion-dollar industry. Maintaining a powerful perception of your Brand in the Online World is vitally essential to thrive today. In the earlier days, Search Engine Optimization (SEO) was heavily targeted to increase the web rankings in Search Engines. However, in today’s world SEO plays a dynamic role in the online reputation of your brand.
Creating a powerful perception on the web is an absolute essential nowadays. This is where SEO comes into play. It helps you to manage your brand reputation through the usage of Forums, Websites, Blogs, Social Media networking sites, news sites etc. SEO has changed dramatically over the years and now rather than solely trying to improve a Website ranking, it is utilized more for ranking positive content higher about a brand than the negative ones. A successful Online Reputation Management campaign utilizes the power of SEO to connect and engage users on a deeper level so that a powerful impression is created. In this article, we are going to look at SEO practices, which help massively for Reputation Management of your brand in the online world.
#1 Creating Profiles on various platforms and engaging with users
There are more than enough platforms, where brands can connect with users and share their latest announcements. Maintaining a two-way exchange is important here. Acknowledging questions and answering them with sincerity makes a huge difference. Besides, Search Engines love such platforms and they index it regularly. Therefore, it is highly important to maintain a regular session.
a. Filling Complete Profile Information
It is also important to create a complete profile, which includes all the relevant details about your brand. Remember, people today are curious about everything and so are the Search Engines. Complete Bios and avatars are essential along with the list of products and services that your brand offers. The more information to feed the Search Engine Spiders, the easier to rank it on the first page.
Social Media accounts that just include Brand Name look unreliable and spammy. The goal is to let the audience know the Brand Authenticity through active participation.
b. Online Monitoring
No matter how good you think you are, there will always be harsh and constructive criticisms. Some of them might have credibility or not but monitoring them is an important part of Online Reputation Management. It helps you to gauge the audience’s sentiments about your Brand and compels you to think of creative ideas.
A quick and polite reply in any scenario is always better than a late reply with detailed information. It is never a good idea to let your followers assume negative things just because there was a significant delay in official response from the Company.
Some of the popular platforms are Quora, FB, Twitter, Reddit.
Quora enables people to get their answers. Profiles that write tons of quality answers are viewed more by people, which helps in your Brand Outreach. Upvotes on an answer help in increasing the authenticity of the profile, which easily leads to more views and search engine attention. Twitter is good for announcing new events along with retweeting the services related to your Brand.
The postings of Quora, Reddit, and other sites should be shared on social media platforms, which will even help more towards indexing in the SERPS.
Reddit has a plethora of SubReddits (like Subcategories). Brands need to participate in the right ones and create engaging questions which lead to discussion. Again, active participation is the key. Reddit should also be used as a medium to announce new events.
c. Commenting on other non-relevant but important topics
People these days are curious to know other’s opinions. The higher a Brand is perceived, the more its opinions count on any other matter. By simply commenting on other topics, people subconsciously associate, like and trust you even more. They like the fact that brands are simply not there to promote and talk about themselves, but also to participate in a healthy conversation about other subjects.
Also, the fact is, the more pages on the web have your Brand Name, the better it will be for the SERPS, which will easily down the pages with bad and misleading information.
#2 Content writing, outreach and making Backlinks
If there is one thing that SEO experts agree upon, it is the influential power of content in search engine rankings. A successful Online Reputation Management campaign is not just about rectifying the negative perception on the Internet, but it is more of a preventive measure with the help of creating thoughtful and engaging content.
Content creation serves a dual purpose. Firstly, it allows brands to share news on the Web, connecting with the users and secondly content is indexed and ranked easily, by search engines. The better the platform, the higher it will rank in SERPS. Popular platforms include the likes of:
The way to rank content is easy. Discover topics that are related to your brand. Include long tail keywords and images. Write lengthy posts (approximately 2000 words) in a mix of formal and friendly tone. The key thing is to elicit a response from the users through comments.
Once the content is posted, it is vital to share it with 100’s if not thousands of people.
It is always a better idea to posts content on many platforms rather than on your own platform. An article about your brand from the reputed domain will always hold more value than from your own domain. The content on your Websites will always be suspected to be biased towards your Brand. This is why it is essential to post content on other Websites, which are not owned by the parent company. However, the key thing is not to post same content again and again as it is against Google’s Guidelines.
Getting a backlink from a high Domain Authority News Website is truly worthy of your Reputation Management. A single link from such domains will counteract against all the negative PRs and publicity. Although getting such domain to link back to you could be expensive, it will truly save a lot of effort in the later stages of your Brand Outreach and Online Reputation Management.
There are many Websites, which allow for Business Listings (Citations). Google loves citation sites and fetches data from them depending on the keyword. Citations are especially important for Local SEO. Citation sites provide a number of fields, which should be filled with the correct and up-to-date information. Some of the citation sites are:
- Google My Business
- Angie’s List
Again, the key is to leave no stone unturned, in filling out as many details as possible. People, most of the times leave their queries and reviews on such sites which if answered to the best of the ability, definitely makes a significant impact on your overall SEO, ultimately affecting your brand reputation.
#3 Using your Brand Name in every post
This is a crucial thing. Every content of your brand needs to have your brand name along with targeted keywords, which will help Search Engines in correlating the two with each other.
Search engines rely heavily on the efficiency of their algorithm. Algorithms are nothing than just lines of code, whose sole purpose is to assess the content on the web with its own set of conditions. Having your brand name with every content tells search engines that the content is associated with your brand.
Sites like HubPages, Medium, Quora hold massive importance in search engine eyes. Therefore, it is important to target the content on these platforms.
#4 Creating Video Content Regularly
Google has started to place significant importance on videos. Videos are terrific, in creating users’ engagement. Many people are adopting the profession of YouTuber these days and they rank consistently high on search engines, like Google for targeted keywords.
Videos are able to convey thousand times than a word. Not every video has to be professionally recorded. Sometimes, videos straight to the point, are often appreciated by the users. It is all about the number of views. The more they are, the higher a video will rank in the search engines and in video hosting sites like YouTube, Vimeo or Daily Motion.
a) Creating Video Content to answer a user’s query
Video content in itself is powerful. Making it answer the majority of users’ queries is an aggressive and sure-fire way of maintaining your brand reputation. It is also a powerful way to dismiss the myths and rumors that the competitors might be circulating, in order to harm the online reputation of your Brand.
b) Replying back to Comments
Videos with lots of comments and discussions tend to rank higher in search engines. Although Google has never claimed this as ranking factor, data over the last couple of years proves otherwise. Hence, it is important to reply back to the user wherever appropriate so as to allow for longer discussions.
What to do, if Google shows negative news about your brand name on the first page?
In an ideal scenario, this situation should never arise provided that a company takes Reputation Management, as a preventive measure rather than as fixing the already damaged situation. In order to deal with such circumstances, the following can be done:
- Contact the site admin: The site owner or admin can be contacted, in order to remove that page, which is showing the wrong information about your brand.
- Submit your own Perspective: If you feel there are negative reviews, misleading information and myths about your brand on a webpage, then you can try to post your own submission or comment and then, later on, ask the creator of that post to remove it or at the least acknowledge his mistake, in posting the wrong information about your brand. Sites like Zomato.com is a fantastic example of the above point. The user is allowed to give their reviews about restaurants. If the restaurant owner thinks that reviews are not in their favor, they indulge in conversation with the user. The importance of open and transparent communication can never be underestimated.
To Sum Up
The key takes from this article would be the following:
- Creating and maintaining Profiles on various social media platforms with as many details as possible
- Creating unique, informative and thought to provoke content and sharing it on popular platforms.
- Always associating the brand name with the content along with targeted keywords.
- Creating video content on regular basis and sharing it on social profiles.
A sufficient number of videos and content marketing are the surest ways of getting your brand name on the first page of Google without the negatives.
It should be noted that Online Reputation Management should be treated as a preventive measure rather than a rectifying measure. Most brands hire ORM consultants only after the damage has been done. Creating a powerful reputation in the early stages makes it difficult for your competitor to bad mouth your brand on the web.
There is definitely an infinite number of tools in the market, which can help you in managing your online brand reputation on the Internet. These tools have fantastic GUI and provide in-depth information about the origin of tweets, likes, mentions, comments about your brand, which can be dealt with at the earliest.
When done correctly, Online Reputation Management creates harmony, counteract against the misleading news and enables your brand to put the best foot forward.