Protecting your online reputation can involve a number of tactics, including search engine marketing or search engine optimization. When a person posts a negative review or a complaint about you or your business, countless people surfing the web will be able to see this negativity about your business, and will most likely have a negative impact on how they view your organization.
Dealing with any negative images of your business online can have a significant impact on your business’ profits and success. People can be easily swayed away from making a purchase on a product or service from your company if they see reviews and complaints that do not paint a positive picture of your business. Unfortunately, there is no way of anyone deleting a comment or remark from the search engines.
One of the ways of dealing with negative reviews online is through the use of search engine marketing and search engine optimization. Search engine reputation management (SERM) involves monitoring search results that are related to your name or business, and the associated keywords. This will show all the results that people are seeing when they type in specific keywords associated with your business in major search engines, such as Google, Bing or Yahoo!. Ideally, the top ranked webpages are ones that portray a positive image of your business. However, there may be times when one of the first things that will come up in Google after a certain keyword phrase is typed in are negative results. The goal with search engine reputation management is to somehow outrank these negative results with much more positive ones.
Considering how popular Google is in searching for just about anything, including products or services for sale, Google has become much more than just a search engine. It can be a source of potential clients for your business, and has proven to be a major reason why many businesses are doing as well as they are. However, businesses can just as easily lose these potential customers if all that ranks on page one of Google are negative results. If all the wrong results turn up after a Google search, businesses stand to lose a great deal of sales and profits. For this reason, effective search engine reputation management is essential.
How to Incorporate SEM and SEO to Monitor Your Search Engine Reputation
There are many tools that can be used to effectively monitor your search engine reputation. Just about all of them cost nothing, and can even be put on autopilot to constantly monitor your online reputation among the search engines. The following is a list of tools to help manage your reputation online through SEM and SEO:
Google Advanced Search – This tool allows you to conduct a daily search on your name, business or any other search term that may affect your online reputation.
Google Alerts – This tool will automatically send you email alerts when your name or business is typed in as a search query. A list of content that includes your keywords found by Google will be alerted to you.
Twitter Search – This works in much the same way as a Google Search to provide you with information about what results come up when your name or business is typed in.
Monitter – This tool enables you to track Twitter updates that are related to specific keywords about your name or business in real-time. This provides you with the opportunity to respond to these Tweets right away to and help respond to any negative remarks.
Web Analytics Tool – This tool allows you to see where the traffic to your website is coming from. You can then follow those links to blogs or websites to see what people are saying about you there.
How to Combat Negative Results and Facilitate Positive Results
There are many ways in which to use SEO and SEM to outrank the negative results that appear in Google from specific keywords about you or your business. Here are a few techniques to accomplish this task:
Brand Your Own Website – Most businesses probably already have a website, but it is surprising that some do not, especially considering the incredible effect having an online presence with a website provides. If you register a domain name that has your specific business in the domain, anyone typing in that term will very likely see your website near the top. This is a great way to be able to paint a positive picture of your business through your website, and have it rank highly due to the business name being directly tied in to the URL.
Start a Blog – Blogs tend to rank well. By setting up a blog that you regularly contribute positive information to, you can potentially get these positive results to outrank negative ones.
Create a Social Networking Profile – Profiles on social media sites like Twitter, Facebook and MySpace can rank quite well on search engines. Setting up a profile with your name and business can be a great way to help outrank any negative search results that appear after a specific keyword phrase is typed in.
Share Photos – Submitting photos to websites like Flickr.com is a great way to rank well with Google. You can share photos of anything to do with your business that portrays it in a positive light, and add comments to the photos as well.
Obtain a Free Page From Google – Getting a free page from Google Page Creator can be a very useful and effective way to get a powerhouse like Google to help repair your online reputation.
Create a Business Profile – Setting up a business profile on LinkedIn is a great way to get great rankings for your name and business. This gives your business the opportunity to be found first by your LinkedIn profile before any negative results appear.
Although eliminating a negative search result is nearly impossible, there can be SEO and SEM methods that can be implemented to essentially outrank these negative results. By getting your links and webpages to rank much higher than other webpages that don’t describe your business in a positive way, there are still many ways to get your own webpages to outrank them. Implementing a variety of methods is your best bet, rather relying on just one. Providing Google with a better mix of good web content that displays your online reputation in a positive light can be a great way to repair your online reputation.