When people want to learn more about your business, the first thing they will likely do is Google you. This is why you want them to see positive Google My Business (GMB) reviews.
The goal of reputation management is 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 GMB 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 the 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 which you can also check using WebSite Auditor.
The third probable reason for your site not ranking on Google is the lack of sufficient internal and external links.
You can check this using SEO SpyGlass. Pay attention to the Total Linking Domains, Total Backlinks, and Dofollow backlinks. If you’ve noticed a real shortage of links, start with quality link building.
Now 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
If your page ranks for a query that you didn’t want it to rank for, it 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 why. The usual reasons are that the page is hidden from indexing, the page’s content is low-quality or not optimized, or 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.
- Pay Attention to Social Media
Simply having social media presence for your business is not enough for a good online reputation — it’s also essential that they are regularly updated to gain organic followers. By continually posting interesting and relevant content, you can improve your influence, increase your engagement, and get the opportunity to communicate with your existing and potential customers. Neglecting your social media accounts might make them too weak to hide the negative posts about you.
- 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. For 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, image packs, and news boxes.
- Manage and Reply to Online Reviews
One of the best ways to build up your online reputation is to let your satisfied customers create it for you using online reviews. Ask your customers to give reviews on Facebook, Google My Business, and Yelp to help your business gain a great reputation.
Besides collecting customer reviews, online reputation management also includes responding to any negative reviews your business may get. Instead of ignoring them— or worse, becoming hostile— apologize to your customers for their experience and try to come to a compromise via an email or a call. The reviewer will often be willing to change their feedback with a better rating after resolving their concerns and reaching a solution.
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.