The Short Checklist for Maintaining and Improving Your Brand’s Rep
Just as important as any marketing campaign or SEO strategy, a brand’s reputation can make or break its performance in a niche. When people view your brand with skepticism or negativity, the effects can be detrimental both in an abstract sense and a technical sense.
Most brands have competition; while we might root for our competitors to fail, we have to remember that they too are often rooting for our demise. As such, it is crucial to have full control over your brand’s online reputation – because the alternative can be quite disastrous.
Let’s look at a few things you can do right now to gain control of, maintain and improve your brand’s reputation online.
Search for Yourself
Before you do anything, it’s important to get an idea of what people see when they search for your brand. While many online businesses and brands may not be popular enough to generate out-of-the-blue brand-specific searches, performing a quick search of your brand via Google or Bing can shed a lot of light on your standing – and what your competition is doing.
As a general rule, the vast majority of results on the first page of search results for your brand should be pointing to your website or social media profiles and/or be directly related to your brand. If you see a variety of competitors in these results (whether that be organic results or advertising), then it is likely that you’re being targeted by your competitors. For example, did you know that competitors can bid on your brand name and keywords in AdWords and effectively steal your traffic?
By pinging servers with a few quick searches before anything else, you’ll get an idea of where your brand stands in the eyes of your audience and determine whether real improvements need to be made.
Target Negative Situations and Errors
There are a variety of instances in which your brand may be reflected poorly in search results. Some of these instances may be innocent enough and fixable, while others may be downright hostile. As always, your approach will depend on the situation.
For instance, there may be brand mentions pointing to outdated URLs or containing contact info that is no longer valid. This can cost you customers and influence if people find your brand via these sources only to discover that the links are broken or the phone line is out of service. As such, be sure to reach out to the owners and/or publishers of this information and ask them to correct it.
With specifically negative reviews, posts and other content, it can be bit harder to remove them. Most people are not going to delete their scathing critiques of your brand when asked, so you must eliminate these references in a relative sense rather than an absolute one. You can accomplish this by promoting positive reviews of your brand and ensuring they usurp the negative ones already floating in search results.
Keep an Eye Out
Last but not least, there’s one simple way to keep an eye on your brand’s reputation: set alerts! You can start pinging servers with alert service requests (there are many available) that’ll give you a heads-up whenever new mentions of your brand appear online. This can help you proactively deal with negative mentions – and more effectively promote positive ones – as soon as they go live.
Maintaining and improving a brand reputation takes a lot of work, but three primary tasks are involved. You’ll want to target the negative situations, ensure you have dominance within your brand’s relevant SERPs and setup key alerts to inform you whenever your brand is mentioned. If you do these three things, then you’ll be well on your way to mastering control of your reputation!