Any business, large or small, has to be on top of its online presence these days, and that can be harder than it sounds. It’s not just about maintaining a regular, on-brand social media presence or trying to show up at the top of the Google and Bing search results (although that’s important, too). It’s also about making sure what kind of presence you maintain online. Your online reputation as a business is like your personal reputation. You wouldn’t want people thinking that you’re an unreliable person or a bad friend, right? Rumors are hard to dispel once they’ve been started, which is why we’re always trying to put our best foot forward.
The same rings true for your brand name. You want your brand name to be associated with reliability, quality service and products, and a positive customer experience, so you need to put your best business foot forwards as well. In an increasingly digital age, that means maintaining a stellar online reputation, from social media to blogs or other websites, and reputation management begins and ends with three letters: SEO.
What is SEO, anyway?
The letters SEO are an acronym that stands for the phrase ‘search engine optimization,’ and that’s basically the practice of positioning your business in the most favorable way possible within the world of search engines. So many of your potential clients will be finding you in the search results of Google, Bing, and Yahoo, so you need to make sure that your site and all its derivatives (your social media profiles, your guest blog posts, and the like) are all squeaky clean. SEO management is done in a variety of ways, including discovering the most relevant keywords to your business and placing those keywords on your site and within your blog, for example. Then, when someone enters the same keywords into a search bar, the search engine results page (SERP) will show the pages with the highest DA (domain authority) score and those keywords. If you have both a high score and plenty of those target keywords, you’ll be at the top of the search results, right where your potential customers will be looking for you.
What’s a DA score, and why does it matter?
High DA scores are granted by search engine crawlers to sites that show themselves to be very reliable on their subject matter. The Harvard Business Review, for example, has a superb DA score and will therefore show up near the top of the SERPs. An SEO management company can influence your scores in various ways. For example, adding backlinks from reliable sites that take browsers back to your site, or optimizing your keywords and making sure that your site looks the way the crawlers want it to look. There’s a lot of detail-oriented work that goes into SEO management, so it’s worth talking to some pros about how to get your business to the top of the SERPs.
Clean up on aisle five.
Of course, you can’t control everything that’s said about your business online. Bad reviews on Yelp or LinkedIn can shoot to the top of the SERPs, eclipsing all the SEO work you’ve done. That’s where SEO reputation management comes in. SEO reputation professionals will be on the lookout for negative reviews and negative content, and they’ll be hard at work getting positive reviews and positive content to replace them at the top of the search results. That’s what these folks do, and the best SEO management firms are very good at pushing negative search results down to page two or three of the SERPs. Who clicks through to page three on Google? No one, that’s who. If you want to corner the market, it’s good to have an online reputation management (ORM) professional on your team. That’s the best way to clean up a mess before it becomes too messy.