Over the last year, the online search world has been pretty drastically shaken up, and Google has changed a lot of its policies to weed out what it has determined are low-quality linkbuilding practices. As such, reputation management used to be a pretty simple game to play, but it has become harder and harder to shape a perfect SERP, and it is taking more effort to do so effectively over the long term.
But the war can still be won. Just because Google has changed its policies doesn’t mean that it is impossible to create a great SERP for your brand. It just means you have to change your strategy. And Google is continually leaning more toward “quality” as the biggest ranking factor. In other words, Google is moving in a direction where they are trying to determine the highest quality websites—not based solely on the number of links that point to them, but rather their overall quality as a website. This means that the best strategy from here on out is simply to have a really awesome website. And if you can have a really awesome website, Google will rank you higher and more people will link to you and publish favorable content about you, creating the great SERP you always wanted to build with your reputation management strategy.
So what does that mean for your strategy? Well, one way to build an awesome website is to become an expert and set yourself apart as a leader in your field. Although that sounds hard, it’s actually much easier than you may think. Here are a few ideas to get you started.
Putting a blog on your site is a great way to bolster your online reputation. If you run a business, you are an expert in some sort of field. And there are people out there who want to know about that business and what advice you have to give them. So publish posts about what your company does, tips and advice on best practices, lessons you’ve learned over the years (or months) that you’ve been in business. If you can become a hub of knowledge for people in your industry, you’ll get people quoting your blog, linking to your content, and writing about you in other online publications—all giving you great fodder for your reputation management campaign.
2) Give away your knowledge
People love free stuff, especially if they find it useful and valuable to their lives or professions. Whatever field you are in, you have the opportunity to take your knowledge and turn it into tangible pieces of content that can be shared and posted throughout the internet—excellent for your reputation management. For example, you can create downloadable guides to your industry or publish embeddable infographics or slideshare presentations that give useful advice to people in your industry. As these useful resources are promulgated through the web, your devotees will build links to your website and push your content all over the place, building a great online reputation for you.
3) Guest blog
Its easy to publish resources on your own website, but in order to really create a great reputation online, you’ll need to reach out and start building relationships. One way to do that is through guest blogging. Find blogs that have to do with your industry or profession and offer to write a blog post for them about your experiences. For example, there may not be a lot of websites out there devoted to the cosmetics industry, but you can seek out a number of blogs about professional leadership and management and blog about your experience as a manager or your list of top leadership skills. Then you can mention your company in the post and link that blog post back to your professional profile on your company website. People will then see you as a reliable source and your company as a positive influence.
Another way to build relationships for reputation management is by participating in professional online forums for your industry. For example, LinkedIn has a number of professional forums for all kinds of industries and professions. Join these groups and be active in them. When you do this, you’ll be building relationships with other professionals who are excited about your industry. And if you can give good advice, you and your company will come to be seen as a resource. When you are seen as a resource, you’ll get more links to your site, people will cite your company online, and more—all adding to the strength of your online reputation management strategy.
The secret to making your brand an online expert is simply getting out there and publishing information and building relationships. You don’t have to be the leader in your field in terms of sales—you simply have to be willing to share your insights with others. And when you can become an online expert in your field, your reputation management strategy will take care of itself.