Is Online Reputation Management part of your New Year’s resolution? In 2020, it’s more important than ever to put your best foot forward for potential clients, partners, and employees by fostering a positive online presence.
Good ORM for your brand starts with search results and online review sites. The majority of our ORM agency’s projects here at Go Fish Digital revolve around suppressing negative search results and review site rating improvement. Optimizing these areas is a good start for taking control of how your brand is perceived.
But there are other places where negative sentiment about your brand may be showing up. If ORM is going to be a focus for you or your business in 2020, it’s important to develop a strategy for these often-overlooked channels.
1. Autocomplete & Related Search
Before a searcher even gets to your SERPs, they will be greeted by a search engine’s Autocomplete predictions. Rest assured that a negative phrase like “complaints”, “scam” or “lawsuit” appearing here is going to immediately influence the reputation of your brand.
Don’t overlook the “Related Search” section either. Although these predictions appear at the bottom of the SERP on Google and Bing, a curious user will stumble across these terms – which are often different from the Autocomplete phrases.
The exact algorithm for how these predictions are pulled is difficult to unpack. But we do know that factors like search volume, recency of searches, and location of the searcher are part of the equation. We work with clients on developing a content and optimization plan to increase the frequency of positive phrases we see in Autocomplete, influencing the predictions as much as possible to replace negative keywords.
2. People Also Ask Boxes
People Also Ask has been a hot topic in the SEO world for the past few years, but it’s often overlooked as a reputation indicator. Just like Autocomplete, the predictions here can help shape public perception. We’ve seen questions related to product recalls, workplace safety, bad press and everything in between pop up. This SERP feature is appearing more and more frequently, yet is often skimmed past when brand managers are monitoring online sentiment.
We’ve found a few useful strategies for converting or suppressing negative People Also Ask questions with schema and third-party content. As part of your ORM dashboard, it pays to keep tabs on what’s appearing in this section of relevant SERPs.
Have a question about People Also Ask from an SEO or ORM perspective? Feel free to contact our team by following the link at the end of this post.
3. Video Carousels
While we’re on the topic of SERP features, we need to talk about video carousels. Your brand’s YouTube channel may already be full of product/service overviews, workplace culture highlights, customer testimonials, and other reputation-building content. But not all of these videos are guaranteed to appear in a carousel. We’ve seen businesses with sterling reputations be victimized by an angry YouTuber or past customer who airs their frustrations in a video. With the right title or view count, these videos can leapfrog your owned content and appear on the first page of search results.
Our strategy here is to promote existing videos or create new ones that can eventually suppress a negative target at least outside the first three videos in a carousel. That takes an attention-grabbing and keyword-optimized title, useful information for the viewer, and distribution that will garner maximum views.
4. Social & Web Mentions
Ok, so you’ve nailed down your search rankings, autocomplete, review sites, and any other unique SERP features. What about monitoring the chatter of past, present, and future customers online? After all, any dialogue on your social channels is another opportunity for people to weigh in on your brand. Maybe you already have a go-to social media person on the team who can answer any questions on Facebook or Twitter, but what about conversations happening outside of your owned social channels?
It’s important to monitor untagged brand mentions or anything outside the purview of your own pages. Tools like Awario and BuzzSumo are great for picking up mentions of your brand on Facebook groups, subreddits, online message boards and everything in between. For anything else, old standbys like Google Alerts or a page monitoring tool like VisualPing are simple and free ways to catch and address a reputation threat before it gets worse.
Employee review sites like Glassdoor and Indeed seem like obvious places to try and control your company’s reputation. However, we’ve seen plenty of organizations who believe that, unless a searcher is a job-seeker, star ratings and reviews on these sites don’t really matter. The truth is that everything a searcher sees online factors into their perception of the brand, and Glassdoor and Indeed almost always rank high for searches of business names. A company that values its employees is likely to value its customers.
There are a few different ways to improve star ratings here. Both Glassdoor and Indeed encourage employers to request reviews, and Glassdoor even provides free email templates for obtaining new reviews from different employee groups. We also use our knowledge of these sites’ review guidelines in order to re-verify or remove certain negative reviews.
With these overlooked areas on your radar, your ORM strategy will be much more comprehensive in the new year. For more tips and tricks, or to learn how Go Fish Digital can help your brand improve its reputation, you can contact us here.
This is Chapter 1 of our Online Reputation Management guide.
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