Trying to undertake search engine reputation management on your own can be a daunting task. I mean, where do you even start with something like that? As opposed to online reputation management (ORM), which actually covers a large number of different issues and is really more of a catchall than a specific product offering, search engine reputation management looks at your performance in search engine results based on positive, neutral and negative sentiments of each link found.
What can be really damaging for a brand is when the top ten rankings for their business aren’t wholly positive about them. There may be an errant or rogue negative link that continues to hover in these high ranking positions. While it is difficult to understand just what to do with these links, there are a few key options you can choose from.
In previous blog posts, we’ve talked about Reverse-SEO: the process of pushing negative links down Google rankings by promoting positive links. This is what is most often required for search engine reputation management. The processes involved with this are essentially optimising many different pages for one or two keywords.
Let’s look at an example. Say you run Newton’s Fish Shack, and you’ve been operating for two years with steady traffic, when suddenly, traffic starts to decline. You’re not a particular tech-savvy individual but you have a website, so you decide to Google your business, just to see what comes up. Immediately, a Zomato link to your restaurant sitting ABOVE your own website, and the reviews are none too pleased. But this could be terrible for business! What if customers read the negative reviews and my business fails because of this?!
Well, first and foremost, fix your internal problems. If the food sucks, hire a new chef. If the service sucks, hire new waiters. If the décor sucks, redecorate. Read the responses and resolve the common issues being raised. If you don’t do this, you’ve got no hope of remedying the situation.
Okay, internal problems solved? Having done this, you should start to see the attitudes toward your business on the food review website improve, and assuming everything thing is resolved it should stay that way. Now, you just need to push the Zomato link away from your business.
So, you’ve got your business website, but we need to promote it to move it upwards. Work on increasing content for any keywords that result in the negative links to appear in the top 10. Say that “Newton’s Fish Shack” and “Seafood Restaurant Melbourne” all result in the negative link in the top 10; you need to optimise content for those two keywords (mention each two or three times per page, maintaining clear and understandable writing and tone of voice).
Having done that, consider your digital footprint. Is your brand on social media networks? What about business listings? Anything that has a potential link to your business, and it controllable by you (i.e. you can edit the content to target the same two keywords as those on the website), needs to be optimised and linked to it. You might not need much, and three or four websites, all linked together, can create a nice mass that gets bumped up the rankings over time to push the negative away.
The most important thing to remember is that this is not going to happen overnight. In our example, Zomato is a huge website, with strong domain authority and high levels of engagement, meaning that it is going to be ranking quite highly for a long period of time. But your website should be THE authority on Newton’s Fish Shack, so with the right optimisation and backlinks, it should come #1 no trouble. Keep posting, keep being proactive, and sooner rather than later you’ll begin to see some remarkable results.
If you’re having trouble with a similar issue to the example outlined above (not necessarily a seafood restaurant), contact Newpath WEB to find out about how we can help with search engine reputation management. Our team of highly-trained experts can help push negative links down and pull positives up to help rebuild your business reputation.