Search Engine Optimization (SEO) techniques are a vital tool in a personal and business toolbox when managing online reputation. Traditional SEO focuses primarily on how to get your site to the top of the rankings, but SEO for reputation management is focused on pushing negative information down in search results and promoting the positive information to the top of results. The actual strategies that are involved are actually quite similar.
The most common SEO technique for creating and maintaining your brand is content. You can take advantage of new and existing content to market yourself and your business, just as you would use it to push a site up in a search result. Once you get your content on high authority sites, it is more likely to rank better in search engine results. The more people that notice your content and your brand in a positive context the more effective your strategy will be.
Content marketing for traditional SEO is typically intended for driving more visitors to a specific website. When it comes to online reputation management we take a different approach. The goal should be to have content that reflects your positive message dominating the first few pages of Google (and other search engines). It doesn’t matter if it is from your own website or someone else’s.
You can use your existing content online to build your reputation, but search engine optimization will help you push it higher in search results to increase visibility. Take some time to select the content that best represents your message, then work on establishing backlinks and promoting these pages on social networks to achieve better rankings for these pages.
Once you begin building more backlinks to this content, start looking at where the competition is getting backlinks. For every site that is ranking above you in search engines, use an SEO tool like Majestic SEO to find out where their inbound links are coming from. By combining all of these lists and targeting them to develop your own backlinks, you can slowly overtake them in the search results.
Other SEO techniques that can be used include building links on high authority websites. These techniques include posting to sites like popular social networks – Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, Google+, and LinkedIn. You should also look at the high traffic, highly popular blogs in your industry. Present articles to these sites that related to both their audience and the content you want to rank well for.
When you are developing new content for reputation building, you want to use both traditional SEO tactics as well as specific targeted methods.
Use standard SEO when developing and publishing content to widen the visibility of your brand. Take care to optimize each page for specific keywords in the URL, page title, headers, image tags and in the written content. Once published, you can promote it through social bookmarking, social media websites, directory articles, press releases, videos and guest blogging.
You can also publish content that is designed specifically to counterbalance anything negative already showing up in search results. One method to accomplish this is to identify negative keywords that those sites are using which relate to you, for example phrases like “scam” or “rip-off”. Now create your own content that is optimized for those negative keywords but contains a message you want people to hear.
For example, you can say that your product has been misidentified as a scam because someone didn’t understand it. Then you can go ahead and publish an article discussing these common misconceptions with your product which might lead people to think negatively. Promote this page in the search engines and you have countered the negative and prevented some misunderstandings in the future.
Ensure that you develop backlinks between not only the pages you have created, but also the pages which present your name in a positive way. This can lend more authority to each link you are promoting. Keep an eye on your primary pages in search engines and adjust your strategy as needed.
In the past, you might have viewed SEO solely as a way to improve the ranking of a website, but it is clearly an important tool to utilize for managing your Internet reputation. Proper use of SEO can help you selectively promote content that best represents your brand name, and counter negative content that could diminish your brand.