What is Reputation Management in SEO?
Reputation management is an often overlooked element of search engine optimization (SEO). In fact, most people don’t give reputation management the time it deserves.
Do you think that SEO is all about strategically crafting content and building links? How about sweet-talking Google's local algorithm until you appear in the 3-pack? These are important efforts, but not the entire picture.
You're likely overlooking your brand's online reputation. Reputation management is a concept more heavily associated with traditional marketing practices like expertly designed logos and attendance at networking events.
As it turns out, reputation management in SEO is a blend of both traditional and digital marketing tactics. We’ll start by explaining what reputation management is.
What Is Reputation Management?
Reputation management is the process of creating and shaping the narrative that surrounds your brand. In the land of digital marketing and SEO optimization, reputation management consists of the following:
- Building Your Google Business Profile
- Monitoring Non-Google Review Sites
- Creating an Active Social Media Profile
- Posting on Google
- SEO Optimizing Your Site
- Running Visibility Focused PPC Campaigns
'Showing up' in digital marketing via reputation management is like making a good impression at mixers, trade shows, etc. The more often your message is heard positively, the better. If the team behind your SEO and PPC campaigns is strong, you're already ahead of the curve. Build up your review profiles, and you're well on your way to running a highly-regarded business.
Why Is Online Reputation Management Important?
A strong reputation management campaign is critical in accelerating your business's growth. A weak reputation management campaign can be a red flag to consumers. Significant time gaps between reviews, negative reviews and low review counts will often make customers walk away.
91% of customers claim they read reviews before making a buying decision. Additionally, multiple impressions are needed before a sale is made—though the jury is still out on the exact number of impressions required.
Reputation management that incorporates every element we've talked about so far—SEO, PPC, and review generation—tells your customers and clients:
- You hear their thoughts and concerns
- Your business is healthy and here to stay
Focusing on reviews specifically, Google has made it explicitly clear that their search algorithms take reviews into account when determining where your website ranks in search. Google began displaying reviews underneath products on the SERP in 2019. Additionally, an official Google blog post from 2019 shows consistent attention to business reviews in the SEO process—an effort announced 9 years before in 2010.
Google obviously cares about your business’ digital reputation. You should too.
How Long Should You Run a Reputation Management Campaign For?
Reputation management campaigns are ongoing efforts - much like SEO. We always recommend you have a professional helping you manage your reputation.
Online reputation management is easily forgotten in the hustle and bustle of your business's day-to-day operational needs.
Types of Online Reputation Management
Claiming Your Google Business Profile
In 2019, 64% of marketers agreed that Google Business profiles are becoming more and more essential for local businesses. Additionally, Google has confirmed that Google Business Profiles (GBP) significantly impact your website's ability to rank in local search.
This is on top of the ability GBPs give you to upload photos, make posts, answer common questions, and display business hours. This means that Google Business Profiles are great for building visibility, and they're an excellent way to show off positive reviews.
Google Business Profiles help you get the personality and information that drives your brand in front of customers more often. You can read more about optimizing your GBP in one of our past articles here.
Building Your Google Business Profile's Review Portfolio
We touched on this briefly above, but Google Business Profiles create an easy way for customers to see reviews of your business. Maintaining a profile full of positive reviews is great for the reputation of your business and for search engine optimization.
If your business receives a negative review, you'll need to respond right away by contacting the reviewer to resolve the situation—if possible. If you expect liable and the review violates Google's review guidelines, you can file with Google to have the review removed.
If all situations, we prefer to take the high road by responding and attempting to accommodate the reviewer's needs. With enough convincing, you might even change their minds.
Creating Google Business Profile Posts
You can post on your Google Business Profile, so you should! Google Business Posts help SEO optimize your Google Business Listing. They also provide your customers with short snippets that describe your business in an easy-to-digest way.
GBP posts also allow you to add buttons that link to your site. Use those buttons to drive organic traffic to your website!
Monitor Non-Google Review Sites
Google doesn't rule the online review space. It's essential to get good reviews and to list your business across the web on industry-specific sites like Yelp, TripAdvisor, FourSquare, Sirved, and more.
These sites all rank high in search. If you do a good job soliciting reviews, you might even appear on the best-of lists non-Google review sites promote. This increased visibility is great for your business's reputation.
So, focus on building a positive reputation across multiple review sites and platforms. Learn more about reviews in our article 'The Good and Bad of Customer Reviews.'
Creating an Active Social Media Presence
Social media is like a town square for your business. It's your opportunity to interact with the world in a more relaxed, informal way.
Better yet, social media allows you to connect directly with customers via comments and post sharing.
Create social media accounts, start talking to your customers, respond to comments responsibly, and post regularly! The more visible the character behind your business is, the better.
SEO Optimizing Your Site
SEO optimizing your site will help you rule the search engine results page. Ideally, your website will appear in:
- Search as a GBP listing
- In the 3 pack
- As a featured snippet
- High in search results.
Even ranking in 1 or 2 of these 4 positions is incredible for your business's reputation.
If you need a professional SEO optimization team, JTech's digital marketing department is here to help.
Running Visibility Focused PPC Campaigns
Reputation management is about regularly getting a positive version of your business in front of your customers. Your online reputation and PPC ads are a match made in heaven—display ads are the kings of visibility.
If you're looking to build a brand for a newer business, we recommend running display ads with the help of a professional team for more immediate results.
Your Reputation Management Checklist
We've built a handy checklist for you to use during your daily reputation management efforts. These items should help you begin building out a strong reputation management campaign.
Respond To Every Review ASAP
Yes, please respond to every review—even positive ones. This shows customers you value every online reviewer. Speedy responses also improve the search engine optimization of your GBP. Finally, Google has confirmed that unique responses to reviews improve your rankings on the search engine results page.
Always Respond to Negative PR
Negative PR can actually be a good thing. Bad reviews allow you to show future customers how you react to negative feedback. If your responses are mature, you'll have created a relatively positive outcome from a bad situation.
Interact On Social Media
Social media is 'social' media for a reason. Don't just post in a vacuum. You'll likely be disappointed when you don't see immediate engagement.
Instead, look through your business's news feed and engage with potential customers.
Always Tell the Truth
Spreading fake news—whether intentionally or not—can negatively impact your readers. Do thorough research before posting anything online, and don't spread false rumors about negative reviewers.
Always Respond Graciously
Negative reviews are a fact of life. The first step in dealing with a negative review is asking negative reviewers to take their reviews down. If that isn't successful, the next best thing is for future customers to read measured responses to negative accusations.
Never be defensive. Instead, empathize with the other party and help resolve the situation when responding to negative online reviews.
Monitor Your Brand Mentions
Brand mentions can happen on social media, your Google business profile, and the web. Is your business mentioned? Reach out, say thank you, and give a shout-out in return. You can monitor your brand mentions as an individual business owner or hire a digital marketing agency like us to help!
Showcase Your Positive Reviews
Building out a section in your website's design dedicated to showcasing reviews is a powerful way to ground your brand in reality for new qualified leads.
Reviews show prospective customers that you're genuine, trustworthy, and perfect for the job. For this reason, we offer testimonial bundles to our clients that display honest feedback in an attractive way.
Moos Family Dental is an excellent example of a client putting JTech’s testimonial bundle to good use.
Try to Be the First to Talk About Changes in Your Brand
Most people don't like to be caught unaware. Run press releases, post on social and otherwise publicly announce changes to your business to keep customers in the loop.
Don't Forget About SEO and PPC
A large part of online reputation management is visibility. SEO and PPC are the best visibility tools your business can have in its arsenal!
If you're looking to hire a professional digital marketing agency to help with your SEO and PPC, reach out! We would love to help.
Don't Let Your Online Reputation Management Fall by the Wayside
Online Reputation Management is crucial for any business, large or small. We hope that our reputation management wisdom can help your business grow.
If you find yourself too busy to give your business's reputation the attention it deserves, we would love to help! Reach out to our full-service team of online reputation management and digital marketing experts. We would love to meet another life-long customer.