What is online reputation management?
Online Reputation Management for Personal Brands (Audio)
In online reputation management, we manage the way a person or a business is perceived online. That means that we aim to influence, control or improve an individual or group’s reputation.
We normally do this to increase trust, revenue, or simply to make people feel better and more at ease about themselves and their brands.
There are also many cases where business reputation and personal reputation go hand-in-hand. If your rely on your personal brand to produce revenue, then your business and personal online reputation may be connected.
Your online reputation is important because your customers, potential employers, or even your next date will likely Google you. If you want to learn how to improve your online presence and create a stellar online reputation for your personal brand, keep reading to learn more.
Here is the step-by-step process to build a positive online presence.
The first step to building a positive online presence is understanding how you appear in search engines.
To audit your online reputation, head over to Google and search your name.
In online reputation management, we don’t use software to audit online reputations. We do the process manually, considering each item that ranks in search and how it may be perceived by audiences and stakeholders.
When people search your name, you leave an impression, and online reputation management is about managing that impression.
To audit your online reputation, open a notepad or spreadsheet (physical or digital) and keep track of how many positive, negative and neutral links are out there on search engines about your brand.
Give each link a label of: positive, neutral or negative.
Positive links on search engines are links that make people trust your brand more. They give you more credibility and make people more confident about doing business with you.
Neutral links are objective and may be fact-driven articles, biographies or simply content about your brand and what it does.
Negative links hold negative weight about your brand and make people less likely to buy from you and less likely to trust you. Things like negative reviews and scathing news stories are examples of negative links.
The goal with online reputation management in search engines is to suppress or remove the negative links and rank positive content above the remaining negative and neutral links.
After you’ve skimmed through your SERPs (search engine results pages), keep on reading to find out how to rank positive content on the fist page of search engines.
Once you’ve audited your SERPs, it’s time to start creating new content that will outrank any potential negative or neutral content on search engines.
So, what content should you create and how should you create it?
At this stage, it’s best to create a Master Communications Plan. While this step is completely optional, it will help you determine the goals and objectives of your brand and keep your messaging consistent.
A communications plan determines brand goals and objectives and allows you to refine your messaging. You can also use it to record the channels you will use to get your message out the public.
To learn how to build your communications plan, you can watch our video below and download our full template to begin building your own.
Once you’ve built your communications plan, it’s time to begin creating the content that you will use to rank on the first page of search engines for your brand name.
The strongest content you can create for online reputation management is written content, because it ranks on the first page of search engines and will cover more “search real estate” than video content.
While video content will get indexed on YouTube and possibly in one or two placements on Google search, the bulk of searchable content remains written.
To begin creating a positive online presence, you need to start writing content about your brand and showcase the positive things your brand does.
Once you’ve written the positive content about your brand that you would like to publish, it’s time to make the content SEO (search engine optimization) friendly so that it actually ranks in search engines when you publish it.
The best way to make your content SEO friendly is to include your brand name in the headline. In web language, this is called the H1 tag and plays a role in how content is ranked on Google.
Be sure to include the keyword or the term you want to rank for throughout your article as well. Including your name in the article 5-7 times is usually a sweet spot, but avoid keyword stuffing your article, because that can sometimes have the opposite effect.
If you want a detailed guide on how to optimize content to rank in search engines, you can watch this video that I made for you on how to SEO optimize content for online reputation management.
Once your content is ready, it’s time to publish it so that it ranks on search engines.
To do this, you will need to find publishers online who are willing to publish your content on their websites. A great place to do this is on Fiverr. Fiverr is a gig marketplace where you can hire freelancers for small projects. It’s trusted by companies like Facebook, Google, Netflix, P&G and PayPal.
Visit the website and search for “publish article” or “publish guest post” and you will find people who are willing to publish your content on their websites for a fee.
It’s always best to ask users on Fiverr what website they will publish you on, and try to bargain to find the website with the highest domain authority.
You can do a search for website domain authority using Ahrefs’ Website Authority Checker.
Once you find the right publisher, send them your article in a word document and any other details you think may be necessary. Sometimes, if the publisher allows it, you can also include photo or video content.
The practices outlined in this article walk you through a traditional method of online reputation management. This is called a suppression strategy, where we create new content and rank it above negative content on the web.
By auditing your online presence, then creating, optimizing and publishing new content, you can effectively push down negative content in search engines and create an online presence more like you.
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