When people want to learn more about your business, the first thing they will likely do is Google you. Because what they find can ultimately determine whether they will do business with your company, you want them to see positive reviews.
Everything that potential customers find about you on search engines makes up your online reputation. Therefore, it’s your goal to ensure that the best stuff ever said about you or your organization is what people find. To do that, you need to ensure your website, social media accounts, and best reviews rank highest when people search for you. Here’s what you can do with Google’s search result pages to optimize your online reputation.
- Determine the order of ranking pages
The first reason why you may not be ranking is if your site is blocked from indexing. Use a WebSite Auditor to check this. To be number one on Google, your page’s content has to be optimized for a specific query.
The second reason for the poor rankings could be not enough unique or valuable content or not enough key phrases. So, you can go back to the WebSite Auditor to see how well your page’s content is optimized.
Back links are still one of the most crucial ranking factors. This is why the third probable reason for your site not ranking on Google is the lack of sufficient internal and external links to individual pages on your website.
Now we move on from the website audit to the backlink audit, using SEO SpyGlass. Pay special attention to the Total Linking Domains, Total Backlinks, and Dofollow backlinks. If you’ve noticed that there is a real shortage of links, I would strongly suggest that you start with quality link building.
Now that you see the possible reasons why your page might not rank as number one on Google, let’s see how we can change the order of ranking pages to keep your reputation management in check.
- Check if the wrong pages rank for your keywords
Let’s have a look at what you can do in case your page ranks for a query that you didn’t want it to rank for. This can do a lot of damage to your hard-earned online reputation.
First, you have to identify the most popular queries you rank for. Using your Google Search Console account, go to Search Traffic > Search Analytics.
If you have a page that matches a specific query and it doesn’t rank for it, you need to find out the reason why. The usual reasons are:
- The page is hidden from indexing
- The page’s content is low-quality or not optimized
- The page doesn’t have any internal or external links
When you’ve fixed the page, you can simply assign the corresponding query to it.
- Pull your social accounts up
It’s definitely better to occupy as much space in the SERPs with your own results as possible, allowing you to control your narrative. Naturally, your social accounts need to be official and active.
The best ways to pull your social accounts up are:
- Link to them from your main site.
- Link to them from third-party websites (directories, forums, etc.)
- Pull positive reviews up and push the negative ones down
If you don’t own the site with the negative content about you, you have two options:
- If a review is unfair, reach out to the publisher and ask them to remove it.
- You can also respond to most reviews (Google My Business Reviews for example) and if the review is unfair (or fake) say so in your response so people know you care.
- If the publisher will not remove the review, the only thing you can do is bury the review under other reviews so get your happy customers to help.
- Add SERP features
There are about 10 organic results that you get for a search query. But some SERP features are also included in these 10 results. F or example, 8 organic results and 2 SERP features (Images and Videos). This is another way that you can change the ranking order and push down a negative review. Some examples are:
- Featured Snippets
- Local Packs
- Image Packs
- News Boxes
If you want to optimize your online reputation, don’t hesitate to contact me. I’d love to discuss your marketing strategy and help in any way I can.
Rob Dunford is a Marketing Consultant in the Great Toronto Area with over 25 years of experience in implementing marketing plans for small businesses.