The web is an ocean of user generated content. Social media has spawned a new age of conversational engagement on the web. People research products and services and want to know what other consumers think. This of course opens to door for both great and detrimental content. Whether its a customer who had a bad experience, a disgruntled former employee, or even a competitor, once the negative content is out there the search engines will pick it up. Search engines do not know or care if the information is true. Often times negative content is posted on very powerful rating/reviews sites or social media sites. This almost guarantees that the content will rank in the SERPs.
So how does a company address a current or potential threat? The answer is by generating loads and loads of great content on different platforms. Why wait around for a negative piece of content to start ranking for keywords related to your brand name? Fill the search engines with great content about your company and industry. Beyond playing a preventive role in online reputation management, developing your content does the following:
- Builds trust
- Provides the opportunity for showing customers you are an expert in your industry
- Provides the search engines with endless content thereby improving your rankings
Start developing content for your brand around these 5 key platforms:
- Your Website: This is the best place to start and should be the main ranking factor for online content for your brand. Many companies shy away from content heavy websites but frankly they just need to get over it. There are creative and visually pleasing ways to add tons of content to your site without sacrificing overall design and usability. Yes, your home page should have a decent amount of content because it should be ranking for your brand name and top keywords important to your business. Also, fill out your service related pages and your “About Us” page with descriptive keyword relevant content.
- Your Blog: This is probably the most important platform for developing great new content. Why? Because its simple and a perfect venue to share your brillance. Your blog also provides content for distributing to your social media audience. Blogging of course takes time and committment. There are great ways to make this a fun team effort. Involve your employees and interns. Choose relevant topics. Write titles that include important keywords. Blogging is literally an endless resource for content development and can turn a standard 20 page corporate website into thousands of pages of unique content that can rank in the search engines.
- Videos: Video content is another extremely search engine friendly way to protect your brand image. Videos can come in the form of video blogs, weekly updates, corporate videos explaining products and services, etc. You should post your videos with transcripts on your blog as well as set up a You Tube channel for your company. Video content can also be SEO optimized and syndicated to many video sites which provides more opportunities for rankings and links back to your site.
- Press Releases: Press releases can obviously also be syndicated across many news wire sites. Press releases can be optimized with keyword relevent content and include links back to your site. This helps your site rankings. Press releases will also generally pop up in the search engine results. They may not keep permanent page one rankings but over time can rank more consistently.
- Social Media: Be sure to build out your company’s Facebook page, Linked In page, You Tube channel, and others with great content. Again, your blog and video content is a great place to start. Social media sites are very powerful and will rank well for your brand keywords. See the example below. When you do a Google search for “Brent Gleeson” the results show Linked In, IMI company website pages, my BIO on the website, press releases, an article, Facebook, and Youtube. When you do a brand search for your company the ideal scenario would be for your home page to appear at the top followed by social media pages, maybe your blog, press releases, etc.
As you can see, online reputation management is very SEO focused. Its all about having as much positive content out there to combat the potential negative content. And the more “real estate” you can own on the first page of Google for branded keywords the better!