What do search engine optimization (SEO) and your online reputation have in common? Quite a bit, according to industry experts — and many professionals are not optimizing their SEO with a reputation angle. Imagine this: Someone Googles your name, online business or brand. A few key links are going to pop up first, which is usually your blog, social media or website. However, in some instances it might be poor reviews, complaints, or other negative data. If that is what tops your SEO keywords and phrases, your reputation is sinking. You’ll lose business instantly.
The good news is that you can spiff up negative content with SEO techniques. Simultaneously, you should also be monitoring mentions of your name, business or brand. Online reputation management is a big business, and SEO is a fantastic tool for streamlining it. First, you need to know what online reputation management actually is. It is not about hiding your dirty laundry, but instead it is making sure you know what is being said about you online, ethical ways to address it, and manage mentions all at once.
It’s Your Search
Other people Google you, but your search results are yours — and you should own them. SEO can help you move certain pages/websites up the search rankings so people see what you want them to see. It’s like branding and marketing offline, but with different tools. Just like you would do certain things when job hunting, like having a professional website and posting an updated resume online, you should constantly ensure that authority, high-quality sites pop up first. Remember: The more you multi-rank positively online, the better you will build your brand.
Software can help you keep track of your online mentions. Use a tool like Google Alerts so you are instantly notified of any online mention of your name, business, or any other keyword/key phrase that is important to you. If you want more premium software solutions, check out Trackur or Mention.net. However, do not totally automate your mentions. Software lets you know where people are talking about you, but you need to take care of figuring out the why and the best way to respond. You might find mentions in reviews, blogs, forums and social networks — all of which have different best practices for responding.
Share Your Side
Maintaining a blog is one of the best ways to control your search and engage with customers. By using SEO best practices such as keyword placement, you can keep content relevant and highly ranked. The more authority sites you own, the better your odds of dominating the first page of Google results with material you like. Generally, blogs do well in searches because they offer valuable content. Blogs also help you to become an authority in your industry, and offer a platform for you to connect with your audience and peers.
Consider yourself your own online marketer, use SEO to control your rep and you can enjoy a boom in your business. When it comes down to it, all you have is your reputation. What is yours telling the digital world? Make sure your SEO strategy is working to your advantage.