You’ve likely heard of these situations or had them happen yourself: Unfavorable things are being said online and those documents start to rank well on search engines. When a “your brand sucks.com” web site or blog post starts to rank in the top ten on Google, it can be a very unsettling situation.
Often times it’s the big brand occurrences that get publicized. However, small businesses are just as susceptible to dissenters and angry bloggers as big companies are.
People are empowered to publish content online now more than ever. Blog search engine Technorati is currently tracking over 100 million blogs. What is a small business owner or marketer to do when blogs or other publishing platforms start to post negative comments or information that affects your brand reputation in a negative light?
Within the fields of search engine marketing (SEM) and public relations there is a discipline called online reputation management. Through a combination of optimizing content on and off site along with link building and online PR efforts, a brand, company or person can “own” Google’s top ten search results.
Here are 5 tips for taking charge of your reputation online.
- Start a blog. This is the single most productive way to influence online reputation.
- Socialize with profiles. Promote your LinkedIn, Facebook, and other social media profiles and they’ll start to rank well in the search results.
- Optimize images. This ensures that your positive photos of you and your brand rank high.
- Optimize video. Videos are now showing up in Google search results.
- Optimize press releases. Press release pickups by blogs and online publishing sites create multiple representations of your brand.
Through an ongoing effort of intentional content creation and promotion, search engines will start to recognize the signals of credibility being created and reward your efforts with higher rankings.
Also, don’t wait until you have a problem to start doing something about it. Start now! It takes time to earn a positive reputation online, so companies as well as individuals would do well to start improving their online footprint today.
If negative press or blog posts never happen, then what you’re left with from your efforts is improved visibility on search engines which can help increase traffic and sales. If dissenters do start to publish about your brand in the future, you’ll already have numerous high ranking web pages occupying the top search results.