SEO and SEM Technique
Ironically, there is a lot of bad rep associated with ORM. When discussed between marketers, the first thing that comes to mind upon mentioning the term Online Reputation Management, is that the client requesting it probably needs to have something buried deep in the search results: Someone’s been naughty.
However, this is not the case with 90% of the clients looking for ORM, or even more. An ever-growing trend in the modern world of communications is to expect that you will be thoroughly researched. This is a fact. Before doing any business and committing to any kind of undertaking, your future clients and your future human resource managers will run your name through the search engine and click on every relevant link that they can find.
Let’s start from the HR department. More than 77% of HR Mangers will stalk your social media profiles to determine whether you are the right candidate for the position. The best thing you can possibly do is build a profile that will present everything transparently. How is that achievable? Well, follow up on your competition of course and draw ideas from their social media profiles. In fact, you should keep doing that continuously if you want to stay competitive. Now imagine doing that on every social network you have. An average person maintains a total of 5 social media accounts. Your HR manager can access them and make a decision within 20 minutes. On the other hand – maintaining those profiles, updating them, and keeping them competitive within your profession would take you, at least, two hours a day. This is why some simply choose to start a personal website.
We’ve actually covered this topic a while ago. As we’ve established through our research, 67% of HR Managers believe that a personal website provides a far more thorough insight, and a total of 39% of HR officers surveyed actually agreed that they would contact a candidate that has a personal website first. On the other hand, 1 in 10 people had some embarrassing info posted somewhere on the web, and are completely unaware of this fact. While a total of 79% of Americans are neglecting their online reputation, 61% agree that having a personal website would significantly improve their online reputation.
So, do you have a secret? As we’ve established in our introductory paragraph – it doesn’t even matter. Successful people will always have some form of bad rep. The bad news is – that bad rep is affecting your revenue and keeping you less successful than you could actually be. Now, let’s dig into basics of ORM and explain the standard practices of dealing with this sort of issues.
Always Have a Strategy
The best way to explain why strategy is as important in ORM as it is in every other aspect of your business, would be through an experiment. Let’s conduct a split test together.
Design your own email signature. In the footer section, you should include a total of five of your media profiles. LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and even Tumblr or Instagram should be included. That way, you are allowing people to reach you through various platforms and you are presenting yourself in the most transparent way. Now design another email signature. This time, include only a link to your LinkedIn profile and your Twitter account. Make sure to add tracking links or UTMs to your profiles so you can track the clicks.
Ideally, you will have an opportunity to send these two variations of your email signature to a hundred of different contacts. What do you think, how many of the first 50 contacts will check one or more of your 5 presented profiles and maybe even engage with one of them? And how would that number compare to our second version, which has a total of two profiles presented?
If you think that you will gain a higher number of conversions with multiple profiles – you are wrong. Statistically, the fewer choices that you offer, the bigger the chances that someone will click through. Why is that so? Well, because landing pages with 10 different calls to action don’t deliver any action. That is called a paradox of choice. For the same reason, focusing your efforts and concentrating on providing less in quantity and more in quality will always deliver more visitors.
In online reputation management, your strategy should be the same. If you insist on publishing hundreds of articles in order to push out negative reviews and possibly malicious links, people will simply get a foggy picture about your work and your professional integrity. Chances are they will continue their research until they find something they are actually looking for – an evidence of your bad rep.
On the other hand, if you concentrate your investments and your efforts on a total of 5 to 10 sources, and deliver exceptional quality there, people tend to get overwhelmed. Your prospects and associates won’t insist on thorough research if you knock them off their feet right there in the first two pages of Google search.
So by all means, cover different platforms, speak on podcasts, write exceptional content, record a video, but invest your time and efforts in presenting yourself in the best possible manner.
Back to the Drawing Board
In terms of technical ORM, there are a few very simple, yet very effective techniques you should use.
1. Own that listing
If you are about to publish a post about your company, always take care of this point. Publishing your listings on a high authority website, such as Wikipedia, might seem like a good idea. After all, a domain with that sort of authority will certainly get your name at the top of everyone’s search. It will definitely pop up and people will be able to access it. However, they could possibly alter that information and that’s where your plan might backfire. Open submission forms are tricky, so you should always have control of the official content that you are pushing online.
2. Keyword consistency
From the aspect of onsite SEO, keyword consistency is still a factor that you should bear mind when posting an article. However, in terms of consistency and how it relates to your online reputation management, you should always focus your keywords on the most searched results. If people are looking for a specific keyword when they are searching for your website (ask your webmaster about these keywords), you shouldn’t use anything else but those keywords or their different variations.
3. Spread out your efforts
This last technique is quite simple and it concerns your concerns when you are leveraging domains. The simple rule of the thumb is – high profile publications should lead to your website, low-quality domains should lead to your social media profiles. If your brand is well presented on a single website, the search engine will even draw multiple results from that single website. On the other hand, people will tend to search further down the rankings, so populate the first two pages with high profile backlinks to your website and as many as you can to your social media profiles – just to give them a little boost.