In many ways, online reputation management is a game. But it’s not a game you are playing against a person. It’s like playing chess against one of those super-smart artificially intelligent computers. Except, in this game, the computer is a search algorithm, and the computer is always changing the rules during game play.
Of course, the objective in online reputation management is the fill the first page of a search engine results page with positive or neutral information about your company, and push any negative, unwanted, or “scam alert” results down. And although Google keeps changing the rules, they are always moving in a direction that favors good and useful content as opposed to thin or spammy content. So one way to make sure you will dominate the first page of a Google results page is to create a number of websites that are dedicated to great content and positive programs.
Sometimes you have to get creative, but that creativity will pay off if you concentrate on building great, long-lasting, SEO-optimized content. For example, here some ideas for campaigns you might try to improve your online reputation.
Infographics are a great way to convey a large amount of information in a very small space, and in an entertaining way. You could create an inforgraphic about a topic that is related to your business and host it on its own website that is branded with your business information. Do some outreach to bloggers and sites who would be interested in your infographic and make sure they link to your site. Infographics tend to get passed around a lot, building links for your independent site and pushing it high in the search results for your company name, giving searchers a positive view of your company.
What kind of business are you in? Think about the kinds of things that other people need to know how to do in your field. For example, if you are a construction company, you could create a guide (or series of guides) about construction zone safety, the fundamentals of pouring concrete, or framing a house. Host these guides on a separate site that is optimized for your company name. Again, when you reach out to bloggers and websites, and they see what a great resource you’ve built, they’ll link to the site and boost it’s rank. Giving you another result on the front page of Google.
3) Contests and Scholarships
Create a website for a prize or scholarship your company is giving away. A number of sites on the internet exist solely to list contests and scholarship information. As well, many colleges like to link to scholarship opportunities for their students. It doesn’t have to be much, maybe only $500. But having a website, optimized for your name, on the first page of a Google search that presents information about a positive contest or scholarship can do wonders for your PR and your online reputation.
Let’s say your company sells model airplanes. Create a site that is dedicated to finding and recognizing the best modeling blogs on the internet, and give those blogs a badge to put on their site. It could be as simple as a badge simply stating, “A Modeling.com Top Airplane Modeling Blog 2011.” Those blogs who receive the badge will be excited they’ve been recognized, placing it on their site, and each badge will link back to the website you’ve created—that is optimized for your company name. Hopefully, all those links will add up and take a place on the front page of a Google search for your name, pushing negative sites further down.
Online reputation management doesn’t have to always be about numbers and spreadsheets. You can make the online reputation management fun by using creative ways to accomplish your goals.