What shows up when you do a Google search for your brand? If you’re like a lot of companies, you’ll find a negative review or news story about you personally, your company, or your brand somewhere on the first page of search results. The review might not even be relevant or even true!
The problem is that, even if you recognize that a negative review is false, how your brand looks on the search results page (SERPs) is your potential clients’ first impression of you. If people search for your name or the name of your company and are flooded with negative reviews or news stories, that could very well be the only image they ever have of you. You could have the most amazing and informative website that has ever existed, but nobody will click through to see if they believe the negative reviews they read and think you’re untrustworthy.
So, how can you combat negative reviews when they dominate your search results, especially when the negative reviews come from a source that’s unverified, like Ripoff Report, which doesn’t even fact-check the complaints they receive?
The answer is reputation management SEO.
Whether you’re an independent practitioner, such as a doctor or a lawyer, or you’re part of a larger brand, your online reputation is everything when it comes to providing trust to new, potential, and existing clients and customers. Fortunately, reputation management SEO is available to help you increase trust, which will lead to an increase in sales. Here’s how it works.
Why Your Online Reputation Matters
You might already have an understanding of why online reputation is important. You want to make a good first impression, and you definitely want to be considered trustworthy. Here are some other reasons your online reputation matters:
1. You can lose organic search traffic
When the top search result for your name or brand is a negative review, it’s unlikely that many people will continue to scroll through search results to find your website and then click on it. This leads to a lower clickthrough rate, which translates into an even lower ranking in Google. As a search engine, Google wants to prioritize websites that get a lot of clicks. So, as your online reputation diminishes the number of clicks your website gets, your website’s ranking will lower, making it less likely that people will find your website before they find those damaging reviews.
2. You can lose paid search traffic
Why spend money on ads when all people will remember about you is the negative review they saw just below your ad? Your paid ad dollars could be better put to use cleaning up your online reputation and focusing on reputation management SEO. Then, once your reputation is restored, you can go back to paying for ad space.
3. You lose value as a practitioner and a company
Doctors and lawyers are especially vulnerable when it comes to negative reviews that show up on sites like Yelp And Google. Having multiple bad reviews can damage your reputation in ways that impact more than just your business. You could lose value as a thought leader or expert, and you may start to be looked down on among others within your profession.
How to Fix Your Online Reputation
Fortunately, there are ways to fix your online reputation, particularly through reputation management SEO. This process can help your brand rank higher for the things you want to rank for, like positive reviews and, of course, your website. This can also include ranking for articles, blog posts, press releases, and other forms of written communication that shed a positive light on your brand and your company.
There’s no getting around the fact that online reviews are an important part of business, especially for solo practitioners like doctors and lawyers who rely on their reputations to get (and keep) clients. To that end, it’s a good idea to have a plan in place to manage your online reputation by knowing what’s being said about you in different places online. A reputation management team can help you figure out the best way to stay on top of multiple websites so you always know where you stand.
What is Reputation Management SEO?
You might already be familiar with search engine optimization, or SEO, to rank in search results for specific keywords. Reputation management SEO has a similar concept but with a more targeted approach that’s specifically focused on making sure your branded image is positive on your search results page.
Online reputation management (ORM) specifically focuses on your brand’s online reputation. It’s more concerned with making sure the first impression your brand gives searchers is positive than in making sure your particular website ranks first in Google.
How Does Reputation Management SEO Work?
Reputation management SEO doesn’t get rid of negative reviews or news about your business or brand. It won’t delete or alter stories about things like malpractice cases for doctors or lost lawsuits for lawyers.
Rather, it focuses on ranking other branded mentions or pages higher in Google so that the negative press that’s published on the web about your brand gets pushed lower and lower in Google searches. This makes it less likely that people will find negative information about your company and more likely that they will see your website and other positive, relevant information first.
Reputation management SEO can take various forms. Here are some suggestions to consider:
Share your expertise
Write a guest blog or article for a partner website that includes your name as the author along with an image. This is a great way to share important and relevant information with an audience who is interested in your field of expertise. Keep your online bio the same across sites so that you have a consistent online presence.
Focus on only creating quality content
Whether on your website’s blog, on other websites, or on social media, only create content that is high-quality. This includes doing research, linking back to relevant and authoritative websites, and writing accurate information. The better and higher quality your content is, the more likely it is to rank.
Register with review sites
Positive reviews are great for your reputation. Register with review sites such as Google My Business, Yelp, and industry-specific websites. This can help you stay on top of reviews so you can respond to negative reviews as well as positive reviews. Raising your Yelp review by just one star can lead to a 5 – 9 percent revenue increase.
Get Started with Vigor Seorchers
We understand reputation management SEO and can help you create a strategy that highlights all the great things about your brand to increase sales and earn your customers’ trust. Contact us today to learn more.