in this article, I’m going to share you how you can take control of Google’s first page so you’re in the driver’s seat with your online reputation management.
We live in a world where anyone can learn about you with just a click of a mouse…
When was the last time you searched for yourself online? Have you created the best version of yourself online? And if you haven’t, what does that mean for your brand?
Table of Contents
1. Start a Website or Blog
You need to have a main website or blog. This is going to act as the main hub of your brand and should rank number one in the search results for your personal or brand name. Not only will this site store the majority of your content, it will also connect your audience with any other site or social properties you might have.
2. Use Social Networks to Your Advantage
When it comes to ranking content in Google, few things are easier to rank than social profiles. Sites like Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn rank extremely well for business and brand names. For this reason, you should create profile accounts for both your personal name and your brand name, then link them all back to your main website or blog.
3. Become an Established Thought Leader
Getting your name out there and showing off your expertise isn’t just about building up your reputation, it’s also about building a powerful brand around yourself as well. By becoming an established thought leader in your space, you can open up a whole new world of opportunity. Such benefits include getting media coverage, interviews on other sites, expert roundup posts, and much more.
If you aren’t already an established expert within your space, one of the best ways to get started is through the use of guest blogging and guest contributions on other relevant sites.
4. Contribute Content to Other Industry Sites
There are currently over a billion active sites on the internet today. All of these websites need content, and many of them are looking for guest writers and experts to contribute to their sites. The benefit with guest blogging is that you can gain free exposure to a whole new audience and also potentially gain some backlinks to your site as well. A perfect example of a guest contribution would be this article you are reading here.
5. Claim Your Business in Google
Every local business should have its business claimed through Google. By connecting with Google and confirming the data and location of your business, you will see an improvement in local search rankings, while also having a verified listing within the search results. This is free to set up and can make a huge difference in local search rankings, user reviews, and incoming local business.
6. Build a Protective Wall Around Your Brand
The best way to protect your name and reputation in Google is to build a protective wall around your brand. This is essentially done by ranking for all 10 positions on Google for your name. A good example of this would be your main site as the first listing, social profiles in the next few spots, then interviews, guest blog posts, and media coverage in the last remaining spots. The more coverage you have on the main page of Google for your name, the better you can control your online reputation.
7. Monitor When and Where Your Name is Mentioned
Last but not least, when trying to protect your reputation online, it’s all about monitoring, reacting, and repairing what is currently out there. Through tools like Google Alerts you can be notified every time a new mention of your name or brand is indexed into Google. There are also plenty of premium tools and tracking services out there for advanced monitoring across social networks, review sites, and forums. Bottom line, you must know when, where, and why your brand is being mentioned online.
Your first step is kind of a long-term play, and you want to see A, if people are saying negative things about you or your site online and, if so, what those things are, so then you can address them. And the best way to do that is to use the Go Fish Digital Complaint website search. To find it, just Google “Go Fish complaint,” and it’s the first one that comes up.
And when you click on it, this is what you’ll see. And what you want to do is put your brand in the search field and then click search. And the tool I’ll show you results from some of the most popular complaint sites on the web like consumeraffairs.com, the Better Business Bureau, and the Ripoff Report.
And you don’t want to just look at these and say, “OK, we have some bad reviews.” You actually want to look at the results themselves and see exactly what people are saying about you, so then you can address that within your business, because no matter how skilled you are with online reputation management, it’s really hard to control the front page if people are constantly writing negative reviews about your business online. So it makes sense to actually address those underlying issues that might be negatively impacting your online reputation management.
So what you want to do is look at the reviews and actually take note of each complaint. So in this case, this person’s saying “Don’t use the delivery, not worth the frustration.” So you want to create a Google doc or an Excel spreadsheet and keep track of all the complaints that you get. So this would be, you know, the complaint is delivery subpar. Then you’d include the site, so consumeraffairs.com, and the URL of the complaint.
And then you just repeat that process, and this is really helpful, because a lot of times when you have all this in front of you in one place, you can see what types of complaints tend to come up over and over again. But if you just search, you know, here around like this, it’s very difficult to get an idea of what your biggest problems are, so it’s hard to know where to start. But when you have this spreadsheet, and you see, let’s say, you know, half are about delivery, you might want to address the delivery department of your business because that’ll make the job of online reputation management a whole lot easier.
So once you have a little audit of the complaints that you might have out there online, your next step is to actively monitor your brand using a service like mention.net. Now this is important, because when someone complains about you on a forum or on a blog, you can be right there right away to address the problem and make it right. And if you can do that, a lot of times you can prevent the spread of negative reviews because often, people will write one negative review and then when they don’t hear anything from the company, they’ll write another one and another one and another one.
And if you can be there right away to address their problem and make them happy, they’re not going to spread vitriol around the web, and that’ll make your online reputation management job quite a bit easier, because you’re basically competing with fewer complaints online.
But it’s also important for when people address you on social media. So, for example, Tom asked me a question, and I’ve never used this signals app from Homespot, and I know a lot of big brands that completely ignore people that mention them or address them online. And that’s not only bad for that person that’s reaching out to you, but all your followers also see that you just ignored someone or were rude to them. So you definitely want to be very, very polite to people, because when you interact with someone on social media, you’re actually interacting in the public eye.
So, for example, Tom asked me a question, and I’ve never used this tool, so I just said I haven’t, and [he could], so I asked his opinion. So basically, you want to be cool and provide value whenever possible when someone directly reaches out to you on social media. Now, if I ignore Tom, he’s probably not going to run and write a negative review about me, but that would leave a negative connotation in his mind about my business, so if later on he has some negative experience, he’s going to be more likely to write a negative review that I’m going to have to fight later with online reputation management.
So once you’ve addressed some of the underlying issues that might be leading to negative reviews, your next step is to set up an online reputation [moat] on Google’s front page for your brand name and your personal name, if you have a personal brand. And if you want to see the perfect online reputation management [moat], just Google Quick Sprout, and you’ll see that the first result is obviously Quick Sprout, and the rest are positive things. They’re social media profiles and mentions on sites like Crazy Egg. And more importantly, Neil is in control of all these social profiles, right, because they’re his profiles. So I’m going to show you how to set that up and how to get your profiles ranked highly for your brand name and your personal name.
So your first step is to just set up as many social media profiles as you can on as many authority sites as you can. So at the very least, you want a profile on Twitter, another one on Facebook, another one on LinkedIn, another one on YouTube, another one on Google+. I think you get the idea. You can’t have too many social profiles when it comes to online reputation management. But you can’t just slap up profiles and expect them to rank. You have to add unique content to each one to help them rank highly in Google.
So, for example, if you were setting up your YouTube channel, you wouldn’t want to just leave it blank like this. You’d want to click “Plus channel description” and add a unique description that mentioned your brand name or whatever term you’re trying to rank for in the description. So you put something like, “This is the official YouTube channel for Backlinko,” and then you keep writing over and over again, and you want to sprinkle in your keyword now and again. And then when you’re ready, click done. And now your YouTube channel is much more optimized for your keyword than it probably was before, and it can potentially outrank some negative reviews online.
Well, you don’t just want to stick to the usual suspects of social media sites. You also want to take advantage of other lesser known sites like Quora, Foursquare, and Tumblr, that have massive amounts of domain authority, and you want to optimize your profile around the keyword that you’re trying to rank for, which is probably your brand name or your personal name.
Another way to get your social profiles ranking higher in Google above potential negative reviews is to participate on the site. So, for example, whenever you participate in Quora by providing an answer or an upvote, it links to your profile, and this sends page rank to your profile, which will help it rank higher in Google. So, in addition to the on-page SE optimization, you want to participate on the sites whenever possible by answering questions, drop a comment, or uploading content.
Another easy way to get your social profiles to rank higher is to link to them from your site. So, for example, if you had an About Us page that didn’t already link to your social media profiles, you could simply add them. So what you do is at the bottom, you could say if you ever have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact me on Twitter, Facebook, Google+, and all your social media sites, and that’ll send page rank to those profiles, which again, will help them rank in Google, and it’ll also help Google understand the associations between your brand and those social media profiles.
Another strategy you might want to take advantage of is sending out press releases about your company on a regular basis, because remember, Google loves fresh content, and if you publish a press release on a site like PRWeb, that has a lot of domain authority, you’re going to get a fresh content boost, and you’re also going to get long-term rankings because PRWeb has a lot of domain authority.
So that’s all there is to taking control of Google’s front page. As you can see, the most important thing is to address any issues that might be leading to negative reviews and then creating an online reputation management [moat] with highly optimized, juiced-up social media profiles.