Online Reputation Management is critical to the success of a comprehensive digital marketing strategy. Though reputation management may sound like a course of action exclusively for struggling companies, this approach is actually valuable for any business that aims to consistently maintain a strong reputation online—in other words, every business. Considering that any one negative review or offhand comment, whether valid or not, can undermine search engine rankings and surround a company with an undeserved cloud of negativity, an ongoing reputation management campaign is a smart choice for all.
An effective reputation management campaign requires the implementation of a number of components, one of which is the ever-important selection of proper focus keywords. We know that keywords are crucial for a traditional SEO campaign to drive traffic to product web pages and improve Search Engine Results Page (SERP) rankings; however, focus keywords are equally important to companies seeking to enhance or sustain their online reputation. Why? In order to prevent decreasing traffic, a loss of customers, and ultimately low conversion rates, it’s important to know what customers view when they search for your company. For example: does searching for your company name and service generate a slew of negative reviews? Does a key phrase that includes your location result in more links to positive and neutral content? In short, knowing what and how viewers are searching for your company matters.
The first step to identifying proper focus keywords is to understand how people are searching for your company online. Conduct an initial analysis to get a better sense of the nature of your company’s web traffic and which keywords most people searched for when landing upon one of your webpages. Searching for common keywords like your company name, your company name with relevant phrases (using auto-complete), and your company name along with its location are good places to start for keyword research. It will also be valuable to review the highest ranking keywords from your Google Analytics account, as well as which keywords in titles, URLs, or meta descriptions seem to be appearing most frequently among negative content about your company.
As you conduct this initial research, also take note of all of the avenues through which third-party content about your company is generated and develop a short-term strategy to eliminate any negative content from the first search engine results pages of your most popular keywords. Your goal is to have that first page of results display overwhelmingly positive or neutral content. Determine which keywords result in the most negative links on this first page, as well as which keywords yield the most positive results about your company. From there, devote most of the keyword promotion in your campaign to the keywords that displayed the most negative results on the first page, particularly negative content concentrated within the first 3 to 4 listings. Remember that the majority of all web traffic is derived from the first 3-4 listings on a Google results page.
In addition, keep in mind the importance of setting realistic goals for improving your company’s online reputation. Significantly enhancing your reputation can be done, but eliminating or displacing all unflattering content takes time. If there’s a keyword that generates 10 negative listings on the first page of a Google search engine results page, know that it’s going to be challenging to completely turn that page around. Instead, pick only the most pressing keywords to focus on, as these will yield more manageable results for your company in a shorter amount of time.
Finally, the proper focus keywords your analyses have yielded should be integrated throughout a variety of online content, such as blog posts, web page titles, alt tags, meta descriptions, existing web page content, social media platforms, and more. Proper keywords may even be best incorporated within newly created web pages and micro-sites.
Interested in launching an effective reputation management campaign? Let WebiMax help your company identify and implement proper focus keywords and more through our online reputation management services.