Not long ago we had a post on the idea of marketing a city. Specifically the city of Merced, which has a great deal of promise as a potentially enjoyable city in which to live, but is struggling as a result of its location and the housing crisis. But perhaps Merced’s biggest problem is that it has developed a fairly terrible reputation despite otherwise not being that bad a place to live or work, and that reputation is extremely clear if you search for information about the city online.
Having been to Merced, this reputation is undeserved. Merced is not without a few problems, but the key issues – violence, joblessness, teenage pregnancies – are generally no longer an issue, or are an issue that is partially brought on by these same PR issues. People aren’t going to start a business in Merced and hire those that live there if they see that the city is considered a dangerous, poor environment.
Merced is a fairly interesting place, and yet its reputation keeps people from having any interest in it. Indeed, its reputation even makes those that live in Merced want to leave.
Your Online Reputation
As a business, city, product, or person, your reputation is the key to your success, and if you’ve developed a bad reputation online, chances are that the reputation affects you. That’s where taking a proactive approach to changing your online reputation comes into play.
How We Do This
Each case is different, so it’s best to contact us, discuss the issues with your reputation, and let us work with you to improve it. However, here are some examples of how we would help Merced build its online reputation, and hopefully you’ll see how the same processes could benefit you:
- Web Content About Merced
First and foremost, we would develop content about Merced that shows its positive side. We can do this on Merced’s city website, or we can build several websites about various benefits of Merced (a website on why it’s worth retiring there, a website on starting a business there, etc.), or we can do guest postings to travel blogs and lifestyle websites highlighting interesting areas. If we were marketing an individual, we could also ghostwrite informative articles in the person’s name, so that they’re seen as an expert in their field. The goal is to highlight the existing positive aspects of Merced instead of the endless negative stories that currently fill the web, and work to try to get those stories to show up not only for searches about Merced, but also information about California in general.
- Unfiltered Review Sites
There are several negative reviews left of Merced on various websites. It’s not possible to leave fake positive reviews on sites like Yelp, where the search filter does a fairly good job of removing fake reviews and there are potential legal issues to consider. But we can solicit actual positive reviews from current and past residents of the city and ensure they are distributed actively to as many sources as possible. When people search for Merced and view a website about whether Merced is a great place, we’d want them to see glowing reviews from the people that love to live there.
- Blog Commenting
Blog commenting is also a much smaller, but still valid example of online reputation building. Blog commenting allows us to talk about the benefits of Merced on articles that are relevant to things like the housing market, etc. These have a much smaller effect overall, but they’re easy to do and flood search engines with an increasingly large balance of positive content.
Developing a Better Online Reputation
These are just a few of the examples of how we can develop a better online reputation for your city, company, product, or even your name. Merced, California is a great example of this type of bad PR. The city’s tagline is “Gateway to Yosemite” as in “Come here and use our toilets.” This is a city that needs a major marketing overhaul, and the best way to do that is to change the way the city looks online.
There are many different ways to build someone’s reputation on the Internet, and while we can’t delete information on other people’s sites, we can make it far more difficult for anyone searching for you to find the negative information on these websites, and increase the visibility of positive information. Contact us today to get started.