Why online reputation management is essential SEO optimisation tool for businesses & brands

Until fairly recently, if your company or brand website was ranking for its own name, a CEO would often be told by their Marketing Manager, that this was a job well done. In most industries there’s also recently and currently been an enormous sales pitch undertaken by marketing and digital agencies about the importance of having brand presence on most, if not all, of the many social media platforms that are now in existence. If a brand or company isn’t “all over” Twitter, Facebook, Linkedin, Pinterest, YouTube, Google+, Flickr…and so on, they would be missing out on “major ROI or audience reach” Quote various Digital Account Handlers across the globe.

The most common factor that was missed in the creation of all of these digital assets, was whether they actually ranked for the brand term or company name.

With over 90 per cent of searches now conducted on Google, the big question now being asked by the Board is “what does rank for our brand or company name?”

The digital landscape has changed dramatically over the last few years and more concern is growing about the lack of control in terms of what Google perceives is relevant information. Brand Managers, Sales Directors, MD’s and CEO’s are facing the growing use of forums, question & answer websites and review sites. These sites often rank highly on Page 1 of Google for a company or brand term, occasionally above a company’s own digital assets.
The latest Google update to its algorithm earlier this year, gave more power (and thus ranking) to many of these review websites causing many companies to face a Page 1 of often unsubstantiated negative reviews and content.

One company, Igniyte works with clients across the world to address this issue. Founded in 2009, the company has been working with high profile individuals, brands and companies to overcome a negative page 1 when searching for their brand, personal or company name.

As Director, Caroline Skipsey, explains, “Most of our clients already have an array of social media assets and profiles online, but in setting up these profiles, ensuring that they rank for their own name had been forgotten.

“So much so, that more powerful review sites and forums often rank above their own assets.

“Negative reviews can cause; loss of sales, personal stress, brand perception issues and loss of customer loyalty not to mention bad PR”.

It’s effectively the new PR. If companies haven’t got their assets ranking on their brand terms, they may be in trouble leaving themselves and their Page 1 open to negative reviews and press stories.

Caroline offers the following advice for companies eager to defend their online reputation;
1. Ensure your digital assets (including your brand website) are optimised for your company or brand name.
2. Develop and maintain good relationships with trade publications and regional and national press.
3. Keep online content up to date and current. Link up your assets and try not to duplicate content.
4. Have a policy for dealing with negative reviews and actively pursue positive content and comments from your customers.
5. Do check the terms and conditions of reviews found on Question/Answer websites. If the review is defamatory or unfounded, don’t be afraid to report this and request for it to be removed. If the review site is established and trusted they should listen to you.

It’s becoming more common that unsubstantiated reviews are left by; disgruntled employees, companies who offer to provide bad reviews as a service, competitors and in the case of individuals trolls. There are also signs that a review isn’t genuine e.g.
1. The reviewer is anonymous.
2. The reviewer has only posted one post on a website against a specific company/brand/individual.
3. A reviewer has placed hundreds of reviews, but all negative.
4. The use of scare words in the title of the review such as “Scam”, “Poor Service” and “stole money”..or similar.

Old news stories are also causing concern for some companies and individuals.

As Caroline Skipsey says: “Without current content, it’s possible that a news story from 2006 can rank higher than a social media asset produced 6 months ago.

“The Google algorithm likes news articles, forum posts and a mixture of social media, so unless a company keeps fresh their Online PR, Digital Assets, Company profile sites and optimizes their own website, old news becomes new news to a potential customer or brand advocate”.

For more information log on to[ilink url=”http://www.igniyte.co.uk”]www.igniyte.co.uk[/ilink]