How to Improve the Perception of Your Brand with Online Reputation
When Google was founded in 1998, many people started searching online to see which kind of search results would appear. This was also the case for CEOs and marketers, attempting to see whether or not they received negative or positive reviews online from their clients. This is where online reputation management has its roots.
Online reputation management (ORM) is the process of controlling what is being displayed on first pages of the different search engines. Nowadays, online reputation management receives more and more attention from organizations, as marketers are becoming more aware of the importance of having a positive brand perception online.
In this article, we’ll elaborate more on how to promote positive content to the top of the search engine results to improve your organization’s brand perception. So next time, when a prospect Googles your company name, the results will be populated with positive and relevant content.
Step 1: Determine what type of content is being displayed
The first step is to perform a search online; type in the name of your company to see which kind of results are being displayed on the first page. With online reputation, there are four categories:
- Positive content
- Negative content
- Relevant content
- Irrelevant content
Categorize the links into the different categories to determine the action that you need to undertake. You want to make sure that you push down the irrelevant and negative content.
Step 2: Push down the content
With online reputation management, there are several techniques to push negative or irrelevant content down.
- Make use of social media pages
- Create sniper websites
- Use negative SEO
The first technique is to set up social media pages that are focused on your company. Nowadays, the different social media channels (such as Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, etc.) have a high degree of authority with the different search engines meaning that if you create a page, within a couple of days, you will already see that page in the search results. A best practice is to create relevant social media pages and fill those with content day after day, and in some cases, you will already see those pages after a month on the first page of your search results, and they will have pushed down the negative content. The downside of this technique, however, is that the pages can also jump over positive content.
A second technique is the creation of sniper websites. This technique has already existed for some time, but few are able to master the art of creating a website that is targeted around one keyword. Also, in 2016 it’s becoming increasingly hard to achieve high rankings with a website that aims to rank for one keyword only, that keyword being the name of your company.
A third technique is one of the lesser-known techniques, but it’s still a very effective one: negative SEO. With negative SEO, you will do a link-building blast to a specific page that you want to see pushed down in the search engines. For example, let’s say that www.example.com/yourcompany is the URL that contains negative information about your company; you will create 400k links to that page so that search engines will ‘punish’ that URL. The search engines perceive this blast as an exaggerated effort to rank in the top results and will penalize you for that. This method is very effective since you chose your target URL and the positive URL’s will remain on the first page of the search results.
Just remember these closing words: the best place to hide a dead body is on the second page of Google.
By Simon Chopier, Digital Consultant