Now that Google is taking reviews into account when determining what results to display, online reputation management is more important than ever. Customers trust online reviews to help them make purchasing decisions. The more positive, relevant reviews your company has, the better your chances of ranking high in SERPs. Of course, this means that keeping on top of your online reputation is vital to search engine rankings. When potential customers search for your brand, you want them to see positive results, not negative feedback.
One of the most important things you can do to “own” your search results is to claim profiles for your business on as many of the major social sites as possible, including:
Be sure to create a page that is complete and update it often to build engagement. Social signals play a big part in determining ranking as well as your public perception. Show the best side of your brand by using your Facebook page to engage with customers. Also, here are a few tips on maximizing your Facebook page for maximum impact.
.. and this is what happens when you use Facebook the Right way, you get search results like these.
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Twitter is an exceptional tool for customer service, so use it as a channel to quickly and efficiently answer customer questions and also put out coupons and promos. In ecommerce especially, users look to Twitter for fast info on coupons, reviews, and customer experience. Be fast, responsive, and open to communication – this can make a great impression plus boost your visibility.
Microsoft has reduce their support cost significantly through Twitter. Look at the image above and you’ll see how they’re helping customers in real time.
Google loves playing nice with its own products, so having a Google+ page can mean increased search engine real estate. Engagement and content that’s posted on Google+ often correlates to better visibility in the SERPs overall, plus, this channel is poised for growth in the future.
When done right Google+ can really enhance your brand visibility as shown in example above Just type LateRooms and you’ll see the Google+ Page link on the side with recent posts shared there that can drive additional traffic to your posts.
Have how-tos? Find that there are a lot of searches or buzz around how to put one of your products or services into action? Do you get a lot of FAQs? If you answered “yes” to any of these questions, YouTube is a must. YouTube allows for you to make videos to address common questions that can affect your online reputation (i.e. give customers the info they need in an easy format so that they’re less likely to make any negative noise). Best of all, these videos are easily shared, which can mean a boost in links and buzz.
The Lowe’s Solution Center YouTube Channel does an awesome job of providing solutions and know-how to answer common questions that consumers have and as a result the video gets viewed many time and shared a lot due to the fact that it helps answering a question. The more views and links a video receives the more love it’s going to get from Google’s ranking algorithm, and you could be ranking very highly when users are typing “how to maintain a garage door” into Google. The user clicks and watches this video, and if there are products that are required for maintenance, it’s not hard to imagine that they’d choose to pick up the supplies at their closest Lowe’s.
If you have particularly beautiful images associated with your business, or cool graphics that are socially appealing, then Pinterest is a channel that’s a must for your brand. Creating a branded profile can help you earn more referral traffic, plus, it’s a good way for you to build interest and garner appreciation for your quality through strong visuals.
Nordstrom’s most popular board, “Garden Wedding Ideas,” has 4.2 million followers. The board features flowery wedding inspiration for brides-to-be. Nordstrom’s other boards range from decor, fashion week, designer curated boards and more for their shoppers to enjoy.
If you have a brick and mortar location or a physical address associated with your business, Yelp can prove to be a powerful marketing tool, especially for reaching mobile users. To earn positive reviews, give every customer the best experience possible and encourage happy customers to leave their feedback.
For B2B relationships as well as your reputation in a larger community or industry, LinkedIn presence is especially important. Craft a professional, informative, and well-organized presence on this network to show your success, experience, and overall direction. Here are some tips for managing your LinkedIn for a better online reputation.
If you’re looking to build your reputation as a thought leader in your industry, Slideshare can be a great resource for you to share slide decks that tie directly to presentations you’ve made, blog posts you’ve written, or other key content that demonstrates that you know what’s happening in your industry – and you’re not afraid to share new ideas, either.
Not only do these sites give you respected and visible platforms for content creation, but setting up profiles also allows you to create a consistent online reputation. Content on these sites may rank higher than your site alone, bringing your brand to the forefront in more search results.
Fresh, interesting content is also key to putting your business in a positive light. This is a standard SEO and content marketing tactic that can be leveraged for reputation management as well. Consistently turning out rich, valuable content that your customers find useful pushes down negative content in the SERPs and helps maintain your image as an authority in your field. To implement this, be sure to have a blog and/or a resources section of your site where you can consistently create and add content.
Managing negative content is the other part of the online reputation equation. Monitor mentions of your business and brand using tools such as Google Web Alerts, Yahoo Alerts and Twitter searches to see what people are saying about you (P.S. – We’ll have a follow up post that outlines more about these free reputation monitoring tools soon!) When negative content appears, respond appropriately. Calmly seek the removal of malicious content and respond to customer complaints in a timely manner to resolve problems and ensure that your positive reputation remains intact. Remember – it’s not just how you own the results, it’s also how you respond, which is another topic we’ll be writing on soon. In the meantime, here are a few articles that dive into how to respond to online reputation misses online:
- The Key to Building a Strong Online Reputation
- Seven Principles to Building an Online Reputation
- 10 Tips for Reputation and Crisis Management in the Digital World
How do you own your results? What tactics do you implement as part of your overall marketing strategy? Better yet, do you have this type of strategy for your business? If not, now is the time to implement.