More often than not, I hear clients tell me, “I want to be #1 in Google organic search”. And I say to them, are you ready for this? They seem to scratch their heads and ponder that question for what seems to be only a few seconds, and answer “YES”.
One major problem with building a company’s brand and reputation is that often times, in the months and years of starting up their venture, they have crossed over some pretty “adventurous” lines, which can ultimately turn into negative press or publicity. It is links and reviews that can ultimately take down a company faster than you can counter punch with positive SEO.
With everyone today typing in your name into Google, it is only human nature to learn and find the scoop on as much info as possible about you and your business. Bosses, ex-girlfriends, and even your mothers are doing it.
And, did you know that nearly 80% of all U.S. hiring managers search for potential hires online, of which 70% rejected a candidate based on their findings. (According to a 2009 study commissioned by Microsoft)
While you won’t be successful in removing damaging content from the web completely, there is a great chance to minimize the impact using basic SEO techniques. And even if you are Mrs. Cleaver online, the same techniques can help you control how your online brand is perceived. Follow these simple steps to be on your way to improving your online brand reputation as well as building positive SEO anchor links at the same time.
Step 1: Search for Yourself
Find yourself in Google, search for your name, and your business, and see what is currently being returned. At the same time, set up Google alerts based on specific keywords or terms, i.e. your company name, so you are made aware every time your name appears organically. This will help you keep current with the landscape and help you counter punch each step of the way. This is a great tool for negative reviews.
Step 2: Tell yourself, “you’re good enough, smart enough, and gosh darnit, people like you”
Reduce your negative online visibility by posting positive information, like reviews, testimonials, articles etc. This is the best way to take that negative press and push it to the bottom of the page or even onto page 2 or 3 in Google. Use profiles on social network outlets, i.e. Twitter and Facebook, and continue to write useful articles on your blog, using your company name or address in which you are trying to bump onto page two.
Step 3: Make your website Your Core
Much like you did in step 2 above with Twitter and Facebook, now repeat this with the following. Register and make your website the center of attention. After registering with these sites, less useful content on page one when someone searches for your business will start getting forced down.
Step 4: Wash and repeat
If the stain does not come out, wash and repeat…or continue the list above and make sure to expand your list even further. In addition to above, other techniques include blogging, article directory submissions, and Blog commenting. Of which, will all help push the negative content to page two of Google, and we all know what that means…NO ONE WILL SEE IT!