Safeguarding Your Online Reputation

Online reputation is crucial for businesses and individuals alike. For businesses, it is often the deciding factor when someone is considering doing business with you. In fact, according to Status Labs, just one negative result ranking on Page 1 of search results will lead up to 22% of prospective customers to shop elsewhere. More than one negative result causes progressively more devastating effects. For individuals, negative search headlines can cause prospective employers to hire someone else.

Improving Your Online Reputation

While your immediate thought may be to try to make sites take down negative reports about you, this rarely works. In fact, if your attempts spawn stories about it, it will backfire by bringing new search results that mention what the old results said — giving you double (or more) negative coverage!

The better solution is to pack the search results with positive reports about you and your business, thereby knocking the negative stories down to a less prominent, or even functionally invisible, ranking on search engine results pages. Then, even though the negative news still exists, hardly anyone will see it.

Using SEO

Search engine optimization is the art of making specific sites appear higher in the search results under specific key words and phrases. Because Google is the giant of the search industry, almost all SEO is aimed at that engine in particular.

One of the key ways to help your online reputation is to get positive reports about your company or yourself to show up high for all of the keywords that people may use when searching for your business, products, and anything else that is likely to bring up news about you.

In fact, you should search Google for these things before you even start your reputation management efforts. Then, you’ll know if you need to concentrate on any specific results or stories relevant to your company or yourself. If you find no negative news, however, that doesn’t mean you should relax. It’s still a good idea to boost positive results.

Here are some of the ways you can bolster your SEO efforts:

Martial Your Digital Assets

You shouldn’t limit your SEO efforts to your own website. Claim all business directory pages that are about your company, set up a Google Business Profile, and open social media accounts. All of these can be boosted so they show up high in the SERPs when someone searches for your company name, products, and other relevant terms.

Solicit Positive Online Feedback

Reviews are the lifeblood of many businesses. Whenever you have satisfied customers, ask them to leave you a review on Google, Yelp, and other review sites. Also, try to get them to review your products. Status Labs says that product pages that include reviews convert 58% better than ones which have none. These pages can also be used to help bury negative search results, so they do double duty.

Produce Plenty of Content

Content — whether it’s in the form of articles, blog posts, or videos — gives people a better look at you and your company. It also gives Google more listings on which you can use SEO. This helps your online reputation by not only helping to bury negative stories, but by replacing them with content that leaves a positive impression.

Amplify Positive Press

If you’re lucky enough to get talked about in the media in a positive way, do all you can to amplify the coverage. Link to the good news story from all of your social media accounts, put the story in your newsletter, create a blog post about it, and reprint it on your site’s press page. This will help the original positive article rank higher as well as impressing those who learn of it directly from you.

When To Call in the Professionals

In normal circumstances, you will be able to manage your own online reputation. However, there are times when you or your company are flooded with negative press. When this gets to the point where it threatens to define your brand, it’s time to call in professional help. Professional online reputation management companies know how to wrestle control of your brand image back from big media companies, syndicated coverage, and other such challenges. Status Labs offers free consultations for rescuing you or your business from such reputational crises.

Safeguarding Your Online Reputation was last updated May 24th, 2024 by JW Bruns