One of our previous posts dealt with reputation repair, but repairing something only promises to make it as good as it was. Making reputation optimization part of your ongoing content strategy actively improves your status, raising you above your competition and minimizing any negative press that may have attached itself to your company name.
Even if you carefully control comments in your blog and customer reviews on your site, you can’t control everything people say about you. Yelp, Angie’s List and a host of social media sites are their own entities, and while you can target defamatory or libelous claims on them, you may still face the occasional negative review even if you’ve done everything you could to satisfy your clientele. It isn’t your fault if a customer buys a jacket two sizes too small or selects the wrong color of paint, but you could pay the price in negative reviews.
While you can’t erase these reviews, you can dilute their impact in a rising tide of positive comments, blog posts, article marketing and social media campaigns. A solid SEO strategy with high-quality content quickly puts your positive side of the story on top of search engine results pages. In some cases, acknowledging the damage done to your reputation gives you a chance to repair it; when customers see you reach out to a dissatisfied customer and turn a negative review into a positive experience, you win points with them.
Aside from legal action against anyone who has actively defamed your company, professional reputation management and repair is your best strategy for removing negative information from view. It’s still there – you aren’t suppressing free speech or an open exchange of ideas – but by re-framing a negative review as a tiny scrap of your company’s whole image, you’re no longer bound to it. A steady stream of positive content cuts the line anchoring you to the muddy sea floor and sets you free to sail.
“As good as new” is only halfway to where you’d like to be. Optimization provides a measure of protection from future negative reviews, builds your authority and burnishes your reputation.
Having a stellar reputation starts with having a strong online presence. Great SEO helps you deepen and broaden your market share with human readers and search engines alike. It’s the cornerstone of your online presence, and it extends to everything from your static site and your blog to social media channels.
Strong SEO strategies will help people find you; your content creation team will keep them there. Valuable, actionable content – white papers, video blog posts, online seminars and feature articles – position you as an authority in your industry. When your customers have questions, they come to you for answers. Better still, they’ll send others to you for answers, and that’s where your reputation truly starts to shine. As you become featured on other blogs and sites as a reference of note, you attract a wider audience.
Investing in niche sites that coordinate with yours can be another incredibly valuable reputation optimization tool. Let’s say you run an antique shop and auction house. Your main site consists of six to eight static pages, a blog and information-rich content that customers can use as a resource. By creating additional niche sites – if you specialize in mid-century modern furnishings, you might create one on George Nelson ball clocks or Eames furniture, for example – you become a resource within those niches and funnel more potential customers to your site with high-value links. Online articles featuring your main or satellite sites lend even more authority to your words.
Taking a proactive approach to reputation optimization is a smart investment. There’s no such thing as a company that gets only glowing reviews, but with a solid SEO strategy, a high-profile online presence and a steady flow of positive content, you show your best side to current and future customers.
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