A brand’s web presence has gained increasing importance in recent years, especially since the beginning of the pandemic, as more and more people turned online to connect with and make purchases from companies they feel they can trust.
In response, companies have ramped up their digital marketing efforts to attract as many potential customers as possible. However, as Reputation Resolutions explains, these efforts can often fall short without a solid focus on reputation management.
Reputation Resolutions has been helping brands enhance, protect, and manage their online presence with its reputation management services since 2013. Below are the top six recommendations on how to build a long-lasting brand on Google that will help you stand above the competition and generate new clients.
- Audit Your Online Reputation
It’s easier than you might think to perform a full audit of your online reputation. Start by Googling your or your business’s name, and then analyze each link displayed in the top results on the page. What you’re trying to do is discover how you’re currently positioned online, including any search results that could damage your reputation.
Once you’ve conducted the audit, creating a plan is crucial to help you achieve your goals. In addition, this plan will help you feel less overwhelmed by the search results you find. The key is to develop a list of action items that you can separate into smaller, digestible tasks.
Outline the areas you could improve upon immediately, and list the websites that need to be updated, removed, and/or enhanced.
- Remove Negative Content and Search Results
Ideally, the online reputation audit would produce pristine results. However, if you find false, defamatory, or negative content posted about you or your business on Google, it may be possible to remove negative information from the Internet altogether.
There are various strategies and tactics you could use to remove damaging online content, which include:
- Outlining violations of a site’s terms and conditions and requesting that the content be removed based on these violations
- Sending copyright violation (or DMCA) takedown notices
- Taking legal action to get a court to order content or links to be removed
- Monitor Your Online Reputation
Consistently monitoring your online reputation is key to ensuring you’re represented well online, but doing so can be quite challenging. You can avoid being caught flat-footed when new content surfaces by setting up automated alerts for whenever you or your business is mentioned on Google.
Google offers a free monitoring tool called Google Alerts, which is quite powerful. To set this up, navigate to google.com/alerts and follow the prompts to create a Google alert to receive an email notification informing you of any new search result that matches a keyword you want to track. This could include your full name or your company’s name.
- Improve Your Online Visibility
Working to remove or suppress negative search results is only one half of managing your online reputation. The other half is looking for opportunities to improve your search rankings.
If there are erroneous websites ranking higher than your own that add no value to searchers, create a plan for what you could do to improve your search rankings. This could include creating and publishing high-quality content on third-party sites and optimizing your website and social media pages for SEO.
- Manage Your Online Reviews
Business owners need to manage their online reviews, as most customers look to the internet for reviews about your business before they ever contact you. Today, online reviews tell a powerful story. From your perspective, you want that story to be positive; otherwise, you’ll risk losing a lot of business over time.
As any business owner knows, it’s simply impossible to make 100% of your clients happy all the time. As such, negative reviews are unfortunately inevitable. This doesn’t mean you just have to give in to the negative reviews, though.
Instead, you can turn negative reviews into a positive for your company. Most platforms that feature business reviews give business owners the opportunity to respond. This allows you to add context and try to rectify the situation for the people who posted the negative review. If nothing else, responding in a timely, polite, and helpful manner will show other potential customers that you care.
You can work to mitigate the damage of the inevitable negative reviews by consistently requesting feedback from customers who you know are happy. You can do this in person when your customers make purchases or via email when you communicate with them. Make sure that you ask for these reviews when you’re sure they’ve had a positive experience with you.
You can even integrate powerful technology tools that will help you automate requesting and collecting reviews from customers who had a great experience with you.
- Publish PR
There are a number of benefits that brands can realize from a solid public relations (PR) strategy. In fact, positive PR can rank highly on Google, painting your or your company in a positive light. Because of this, you should never overlook the power of PR.
PR can help increase your brand awareness and visibility among your target audience. In addition, it helps to establish your company as a trustworthy and reliable source of information, which builds credibility and trust among potential customers. In turn, this often leads to increased customer loyalty and advocacy.
Well-crafted PR can also lead to positive media coverage of your brand. This can further shape your public perception in a positive way and further build your credibility. In addition, public relations can improve the relationships you have with your customers since you’ll be providing them with updates and information about your company and products/services.
In the end, effective PR will lead to increased revenue for your company. As you build trust and a solid reputation, it’ll be easier to attract and retain new customers. And as you do this, you’ll be improving your Google search results, leading to the domino effect of driving more sales.