Many businesses think they can’t afford Search Engine Optimization (SEO) today. This is a dangerous thought to have because search engine rankings are the front line of your marketing “battle.” Getting to the first page of the Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs) is vital. When you can’t step up to the plate here, you’ll have to be willing to settle for the second best, since you won’t get as much traffic.
The Perfect Online Reputation Management Strategy
Climbing up the SERPs “ladder” is a struggle for most companies. Without a large budget, improvisation becomes a must. This is why so many companies engage in smear campaigns nowadays. These companies will post misleading information simply to damage their competition. When this happens your company has another task to engage in – damage limitation. It’s important not to overlook this, since smear campaigns place doubt in your customers’ minds.
Online reputation management is an important part of your defense plan. You can think of it as your ammo against anyone who tries to destroy your company’s image. This is important because the more people who see negative publicity about you, the more people who will believe it’s true. As such, you need to quickly respond before your business becomes totally obscure.
There are two levels on which you must respond here:
- You need to protect your business against any smear campaigns you anticipate coming your way.
- Once damage occurs you must repair your image in front of your customers.
Understanding the Online Reputation Management Process
The best advice that you’ll receive in regards to the online reputation management process is this: Muffle the smoke before it turns into a fire. This simply means that it’s almost impossible to contain negative publicity once it goes viral online. With this in mind, there are a few things you should always do:
- Anticipate problem areas ahead of time.
- Make sure that you pay close attention to the type of content you publish, especially on social media. Always stick to content that fits well within your realm of expertise instead. This will also benefit you in the SERPs as well.
- Tone down your full disclosure policy. You shouldn’t ever publish personal information. Instead, keep your cards close to your chest so you don’t dig your own grave.
Repairing Your Company’s Reputation
To repair your company’s reputation you need a combination of honesty, humility, self-respect, and common sense. You shouldn’t try to make your competition look bad. Instead, you need to concentrate on shining a positive light on your own business. Focus on posting about your achievements regularly so you can push negative publicity off of the front page. When something is true, be the first to point it out and when you need to apologize, make sure to do so. Of course, all of this can be very time consuming, which is why you’ll need some help along the way. One company you can count for reputation management is Space City SEO in Houston, Texas.