There are many reasons people use Internet marketing or search engine optimization. One of them includes the improvement of their online reputation.
The term “online reputation management”, or ORM, is defined, as the practice of consistent research and analysis of one’s personal or professional, business or industry reputation as represented by the content across all types of online media. It is also sometimes referred to as online reputation monitoring.
Those in marketing know and understand the value of branding and image. Combine this with the influence of consumer’s decisions based on the Internet and one can see what businesses are using the Internet to market themselves. For instance research has shown that brands with the highest ‘social media activity’, including reviews, have seen an increase in revenue by as much as 18%. And today, over 51% of consumers are using the Internet before making a purchase in a shop to educate themselves on a company or product.
Consumers love to gather information. Therefore it is important that when they search for your company or brand name, they find it in the search engines. This is where SEO is tied into reputation management. Search engines do not automatically give credence to one company over another due to assets or value. It’s all about who understands how to get online visibility.
So let’s say you are Company A and want to improve the name of your company and become more visible on the Internet. What strategy would you take to assist you with your online reputation management? To start you would want to combine a series of marketing, public relations and search engine marketing efforts. Having your website and company name highly visible and in important keyword positions is good for publicity. If you are a company that is highly visible but for all the wrong reasons, such as bad press, it is important to replace this with good press. A good SEO company will help you push out negative reviews in search engines and replace them with positive ones.
What are some strategies an SEO company will take to help your company in addition to monitoring results? First they will help you set up a blog and then provide you with articles with important keywords. The articles can be about anything related to your company or product, the idea is to have them point back to your company website and push its value up on search engines.
Second, you will want to create a social media profile. Using social media is one of the most powerful and yet easy ways to help improve your online reputation. The top four social media sites have high authority in search engines that therefore affects your rankings. What are the big four media sites you should be participating in? They include:
Once these simple steps have been put into place, the second step is to begin monitoring and participating. Creating an account with social media groups isn’t enough; there are rules of engagement. You have to participate in a way that adds credibility to your profile. Participating isn’t just about talking about your company and how wonderful it is, but truly engaging others in conversation, making meaningful exchanges and contributions. Doing this requires time and effort that is ongoing.
Last, you will need to monitor your results. You can set up Google and Yahoo alerts which will catch mentions of your company and product name online and let you know who is talking about you and where. You can track everything from the name of your company to key employee names.
You can also monitor, if you are not already, your website statistics. You will want to determine whether your website(s) are showing up with more frequency based on keywords and your namebrand or product names on the search engines. You can monitor everything from your corporate site to product or affiliate sites.
Online reputation management doesn’t have to be difficult and yet it is quite effective. With a little work and a little monitoring, you can help your company’s reputation move in the direction you choose along with improving its visibility.
Pamela Ravenwood is the SEO Specialist for SEO Essential Solutions. SEO Essential Solutions assists companies all over the world with solutions to increase their organic search engine rankings making them easier to find for their potential clients.