If someone enters your business name into a Google (or another popular search engine), what comes up? Ideally, the answer is your website, your existing social media profiles, and review sites, hopefully with a majority of positive reviews.
But if you’ve recently received some negative publicity – maybe a news article or a website giving an unwanted perspective on your company – that result may be one of the first results people see, even before your website. Since outside perspectives often carry more weight than your website, these negative links can become a primary association with your company and harm your business.
One facet of reputation management is working to make search results that reflect positively on your company appear before the negative ones. While you cannot get them removed (unless they are untrue and you take legal action), you can use SEO principles to improve the rankings of links you have control over.
What Are SERPs and Why Do They Matter
SERPs, short for search engine result pages, are the result lists that come up when people perform an online query. The first page receives the largest number of views by far, the second page holds a little weight, and the subsequent pages are rarely viewed.
This makes any information that appears on the first page the most relevant for your company. A negative result on page one can be devastating. By creating links that can rank higher than the negative press, or improving the SEO on profiles that already exist, you can push negative results to later pages where they will not be easily seen.
Methods for Owning Your SERPs
One technique for pushing a negative result to a later page is to “own” your SERPs. By cultivating websites and profiles you have complete control over, SEO can help make your own positive or neutral links the more prominent ones on the page. Eventually, the negative results can be moved all the way to the second page. Methods to make this happen include:
- SEO on Your Website – Your website should be the first result when people search for your company, whether or not negative results follow. Update your website with quality content that offers sincere positivity and valuable information. This will improve your SEO and your ranking.
- Social Media Profiles – Social platforms have their own SEO, and you can take advantage of it by creating a profile on their site. Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube, and Facebook are the top platforms for your business brand, although others are important if you can frequently be active there. Creating a profile has some benefit, but engaging with the community will help even more.
- Start Another Blog – Blogs are great SEO tools because they continuously offer fresh content. Creating a blog under a new domain name, but one still associated with your name, can result in another listing for your SERPs.
- Participate in Other Websites – Take steps to get your business name listed on other companies’ or individuals’ websites. This can include writing guest posts for them, speaking at events, and donating or investing in their cause. Any of these could result in a bio that you provide posted to their site, and you benefit from their SEO.
- Stay Away from Publicly Editable Sites – Websites like Wikipedia give you no control. The content on these sites can be edited or commented on by anyone, so taking time to create a page there could end up being an ineffective use of your time, and potentially lead to more negativity.
In addition to companies, these tactics also work for individual reputation management. Consistent work can be enough to manage your personal or professional reputation in the span of a few months.
If you want bad publicity removed more quickly, or need additional work to come back after receiving negative feedback, Great Leap Studios offers professional reputation management. We can manage your social media profiles, public pages, and the content on your site, partnering with you to control what appears about your company on the web. Call us or let us know in the contact form what challenges you need assistance with.