When it comes to business, your credibility is everything. A negative search result next to your brand name will drive potential customers away and into the arms of competitors who don’t have any negative publicity.
Negative publicity in the digital space will haunt your business forever. Online reputation repair is the means by which your business can push down unwanted search results associated with your brand keyword.
According to BestReputationRepair this is a process that works to create positive associations with your brand so that the negative content is diminished. This is a strategic process that effectively buries negative publicity and is engaged by more businesses than you might think.
However, there is a lot of misinformation surrounding this aspect of digital PR. Many people are desperate to engage online reputation repair and will buy into myths rather than understand how the process really works.
The most important thing to understand about online reputation repair is that it takes time. Earning trust always takes time in the same way that search engine optimization takes time to establish an authoritative presence in search results.
The best approach to this problem is always going to be holistic in nature. There is no one-size-fits-all solution since every brand has different circumstances affecting it.
While some consistent and authoritative negative press can seem impossible to defeat, there is usually a way around it. What matters is that you are committed to putting sincere effort into following best practices when it comes to things like branding and SEO (search engine optimization).
What does effective online reputation repair consist of?
While a complete lack of negative results associated with your brand keyword sounds ideal, it is not a realistic goal, nor is it based in the right mindset. Effective online reputation repair is not about hiding the negative results, it’s about building a sincere reputation that makes those negative results look anomalous in light of all the positive content you are associated with.
In this sense, it’s not about ‘covering up’ your past, it’s about making your future brighter. Since it’s difficult to try and petition for negative content to be removed (although it is possible), an all-encompassing strategy needs to plant the seed for positive associations with your brand to occur.
The relationship between SEO and online reputation repair
Online reputation repair is necessarily reliant on SEO since the impact of negative press is directly observed in search results. When you have negative content appearing next to your brand keyword on an average Google search, SEO is going to need to be part of the solution you need to engage.
It’s not enough to simply flood the platforms you control with content that is positive about your brand – you need to encourage positive content being generated organically by other domains. This relates to the SEO tactic of acquiring ‘backlinks’, links that point to your domain on authoritative websites that act as a vote of confidence in your business.
The grunt-work of online reputation repair consists of publishing and optimizing positive content that pushes negative content off the first page of Google results. Just like a typical SEO content marketing campaign, this work needs to be highly targeted as well as maintained with ongoing care and attention.
The key is to be more authoritative, engaging, and open to discussion than those who are publishing negative press about you. When this is done successfully, your credibility will soar while the credibility of the naysayers will plummet.
How long can you expect this process to take?
Ultimately, effective online reputation repair is a process that is going to take a long time with constant attention being paid to it. While Google will re-index website content on a predictable basis, there will be a myriad of factors at play that can shorten or lessen the amount of time it takes to actually see a change in rankings.
This is why it’s essential to engage a professional digital marketing agency that specializes in online reputation repair. Going this route is your best means of achieving the result you desire in the shortest possible time.
While online reputation repair is certainly a difficult and time-consuming endeavor, it is not impossible. With the right strategy and no small amount of patience, you can not only restore but exponentially improve your credibility online.
Tina Johnson helped bring The Marketing Folks from a-weekly newsletter to a full-fledged news site by creating a new website and branding. She continues to assist in keeping the site responsive and well organized for the readers. As a contributor to The Marketing Folks, Tara mainly covers industry new.