The Role SEO Plays in Search Engine Reputation Management
A business’ reputation obviously has a lot to do with their success or failure, as consumers are unwilling to establish relationships with businesses that have a poor reputation. It is therefore not surprising that many businesses work very hard to establish and maintain a good reputation over time. With the increasing popularity and use of the Internet, a good reputation includes a good online reputation, which is a bit more complex.
While a business’ reputation is largely influenced by what they have to say or promote about self, their online reputation can be largely influenced by what others have to say about them. It is a hard fact that one negative review can have a greater, and longer, impact on a business’ reputation that loads of positive information and reviews. This is true even if the negative review is false and slanderous–and even if it is proven to be so. It is therefore no surprise that businesses are learning the vital importance of effective online reputation management.
Online rep management focuses primarily on how to improve a business’ online reputation by restoring, improving or maintaining their good name. This occurs through the weakening or eradicating of negative information about the business on the Internet. Search engine reputation management (SERM) is a very important part of online reputation management as it deals with how search engines view a business, which can affect how they rank that business in search engine results for consumers to view. When it comes to search engine reputation management, a business would do well to focus first and foremost on their search engine optimization (SEO).
SEO and SERM
SEO is critical to SERM because it is essentially a wonderfully effective public relations tool that cleans up and optimizes a business’ search results so that they look more attractive to search engines and consumers alike. Following are just a few specific SEO strategies and how they benefit overall SERM:
- Search engine result cleansing. This SEO strategy is all about pushing undesirable results down off the first page of search engine results, where most consumers look, by optimizing other attractive pages about the business on a variety of domains. It only takes ten optimized results to push a bad result (or bad results) off the first page of search engine results, thereby improving the business’ search engine reputation.
- Online reputation monitoring. It is hard to know what is being posted about a business unless one has set up alerts to notify them, but this is an important SEO practice as it allows one to jump on negative online information quickly and resolve it. Online reputation monitoring is effective when set up across many different channels and with many different keywords, and it can help to protect a business’ search engine reputation.
- Search engine results page claiming. Even if a business effectively cleans their search engine results, there is always the possibility that a new negative result will pop up in the future. Instead of simply waiting for this to happen and then scrambling to deal with it when it does happen, a business can actually make it more difficult for this to happen at all by claiming the first search engine results page. This SEO practice involves creating stronger, better search engine results such as business profiles on several strong domains, strong social media profiles, “about the author” pages on other sites, written content about the business on other sites, and maintaining multiple business websites.
With the understanding that online reputation management and SERM are vitally important to a business’ stability, it becomes easier to see the value in hiring a professional reputation management agency. While the business continues to work hard in developing high-quality products or services for their clients and customers, the professional reputation management agency that is working on their behalf will make absolutely certain that search engines and consumers know the truth about them.