Reputation management is becoming increasingly important to an online business. If someone Google’s your company name and sees negative reviews, many times, they won’t use you. High ranking negative publicity or reviews can kill an online business; we’ve seen it time and time again. This is why online reputation management is so important. But there is a lot that goes into online reputation management and there are certain factors, such as the time period of the launch of your online entities, which can have a significant effect on the timetable of success for your campaign.
First, what is online reputation management? Well, if you Google your company name and something negative shows up in the search results, you’ll see the issue right there. Online reputation management is the practices of helping an online entity control their branded search space. This is a slightly newer field in internet marketing. However, it demands similar skill set to that of a search engine optimization expert. It entails figuring out what you want to rank, and then creating a strategy to do that. SEO Inc. creates custom strategies for each of our clients in this area of the business. I will not be elaborating on our strategies in this post, sorry! J But there is still some good stuff so keep reading…
BACK TO THE POINT! So why do you need to start your online reputation management campaign early? By launching individually optimized online properties as early as possible you are doing your best to beat the competition, or in this case the negative comments. The earlier you launch the sooner you can establish the dominance for those properties in Google.
Consider you’ve had an online business for 10 years. During that period of time there is a very good chance at least one customer was unhappy, right? So that customer leaves a negative review on a site. That review gets indexed and climbs higher and higher in the search results until it sits right under your website on the first page of Google. Now, every single customer that sees your site via Google search also sees that one negative comment. This could decrease your online business by a significant percentage. Now, if you would have started an online reputation management campaign years ago, and launched reputable, branded online properties and an optimization plan at that time this negative review never would have made the first page. It would be buried under layers and layers of optimized web pages.
You can of course start an online reputation management campaign after the fact, or once you notice bad press online. But if you get the jump start on the bad reviews and make online reputation management part of your online strategy you may never need to face a potentially harmful situation such as this. This is really a critical aspect of online marketing. Most companies get a significant amount of traffic from their branded search terms. Look at your Google analytics, you’ll see. If that search traffic is jeopardized you could be hurting some of your most important keywords, which you have worked the hardest for, the keywords which represent your brand and your company.
We know how important reputation management is to traffic and conversions. Because of this, we work an element of reputation management into all of our SEO campaigns. But we also have dedicated clients which we work hard to eliminate this problem for. SEO Inc. is an expert in reputation management. I would go as far as to say we are some of the best in the industry. And as one word of advice we say, get started on your campaign early. It will benefit you in the long run.
As Director of SEO Consulting and Social at SEO Inc., a 13 year old search engine optimization company, John E Lincoln is responsible for the search engine and social marketing strategies for the company’s biggest clients. Representing a variety of notable online businesses, Lincoln consults with big brands such as Jacuzzi, FOX, Gamespot, BTO Sports, Oxi Fresh and Tacori. Lincoln has authored hundreds of blogs and teaches a quarterly course at UCSD on blogging, social media marketing and SEO. Follow him on Twitter @johnelincoln.