When it comes to online reputation management, we usually turn to experts for advice. In this case, the expert is mostly Google since that is where people will search for your business after all. So when you look for the secrets of reputation management on Google, the Google Help Center has its own simple guidelines for online reputation management.
It mentions three easy steps – Search for yourself > Create a Google account > Remove unwanted content. Google does share some tips to remove your unwanted information from websites that you don’t control.
Though this information may be helpful for an individual, for businesses online reputation management requires a lot more than that. Google SERP reputation management is not just about removing the information you don’t like. It is rather about garnering more positive reviews and a better ranking in search. Also, removing negative information about you or your business from Google is not as easy as it sounds.
There are some online reputation management secrets that neither Google nor any other PR expert will share with you. But we will.
Here are our top five secrets of reputation management on Google:
- Check your online reputation (on Google and beyond)
- Clean up whatever you can
- Create great content to rule Google SERP reputation management
- Solicit more positive reviews
- Manage the reputation of your brand’s representatives
1. Check your online reputation (on Google and beyond)
Well, Google is right about the first tip – Search for yourself. The best way to find out what people are talking about when it comes to your brand or business is through research. And there is no better place to research than Google itself. When people search for your company or its founder or any other related asset, they will always see what appears on the first page of the search results.
That is the best place to find out what they are seeing about you. You can search using various keywords that a customer or prospect might use when looking for you online. This could be your company name, a popular product you sell, the name of your CEO, recent news related to the business, or any other relevant terms. You may also search for your company name followed by “customer reviews”. Or your company name followed by the name of a popular review website.
These are the things that people usually look for when they are researching a company online. Also, reputation management goes beyond Google. Apart from what appears about your brand in Google search, you should also research some individual websites separately. Social media channels like Facebook or LinkedIn can be a great way to start. Go to individual review sites as well and do thorough research.
2. Clean up whatever you can
Now, though Google simply says “Remove unwanted content”, removing content from the web is not easy and it is not always in your hands. It will take time and sometimes a lot of convincing doing so. Google does not easily consider content to be violating the terms of service. So others have the liberty to publish whatever they wish to about you.
For instance, a highly negative customer review is not objectionable content in the eyes of Google unless it violates your privacy, uses explicit content, or has a legal issue. So you need to proceed with caution in this step.
Start with your own accounts that are under your control. If there is anything on your social media profiles/ pages, your website, or blog that you think wouldn’t be too good for your reputation, you might want to change those things first. Update any old profiles with the right and recent information. Remove images, news, or content that you wouldn’t want people to see anymore.
If there are people who are always commenting poorly about you or your brand, you may want to block them from your profiles. Manage who can post on your page. Only allow posts to be published after reviewing them. Most social media platforms have these provisions in their settings.
For content other than your own, you may want to sort things out with the publishers of the content and negotiate with them to have it removed. If there is something that truly violates Google’s terms of service, you can report it to Google and get it removed.
3. Create great content to rule Google SERP reputation management
Online reputation management is not only about removing content but also creating it. Since you are trying to manage your reputation on Google, why not create content that can rank high in search and spread a positive message about your brand?
It is also important to pay attention to search engine optimization (SEO) when creating content. You can create content for your own website and blog. You can also collaborate with other bloggers and write guest posts as a way of generating brand awareness. Create your own pages on all the popular review sites. Claiming your place in the SERPs through strategic content and SEO can be a great way to influence what people see about you.
4. Solicit more positive reviews
Another important step that you need to take to ensure that your Google SERP reputation management efforts are fruitful, is to ask your existing customers to share positive reviews. The problem is that unhappy customers are usually very vocal about their dissatisfaction in the hope that the business will help solve their issues. But happy customers often don’t think it is necessary to share their views.
You will have to proactively connect with your customers and ask them to leave positive reviews, if they are satisfied, on the various review sites and your website. Ask them to share pictures of the product during use or while unpacking. Photo content is second only to text content when it comes to building trust among prospective customers.
5. Manage the reputation of your brand’s representatives
The reputation of your business also depends on the reputation of the people associated with it. The representatives of the brand/ business, who are the face of the company, can also influence people’s perceptions. The founders of the company, the current CEO, executive leaders, etc. need to have a clean image online as well, for people to trust the business.
Make sure that the content available online relating to all the important people in the company is constantly monitored and cleaned up. From their individual social media profiles to any other content must be updated and cleaned of junk.
If there are any notable persons associated with the business that people are likely to search for, you must leverage their image to improve the online reputation of the business.
Online reputation management is a demanding area for any business but is equally essential. Find a good online reputation management service in Miami that can help you with all the tips and tricks of managing your reputation on Google.
An agency that is experienced in online reputation management in Miami can deliver much better results for you in much less time. It frees up your time and resources and also ensures that your brand image is being taken care of by skilled professionals.