Creating a brand image and maintaining it over time can be one of the biggest challenges any company faces. And yet, it is undoubtedly one of the most important key success factors for successful brands. If high-ranking content puts your brand in a negative light, the years you’ve spent building your reputation can take a serious hit. Fortunately, SEO is there to help you keep control of your e-reputation.
Your e-reputation or digital reputation is the image that your company conveys, how the public perceives your shop, and what they think about your company once the browser window is closed.
So, whether it's to build your reputation or to move some of your pages up and down in the search engine results pages (SERPs), SEO is there to help you stay in control.
Optimizing your site is undeniably one of the first actions to take in order to take control of your brand image. Increasing the positive content about your shop on the first pages of search engine results is all the more essential when you know that 90% of internet users do not venture beyond the second page.
The more anchored your presence on the first pages of the SERPs is, the more you will control your image and the more difficult it will be for your competitors to harm your image. However, this requires rigorous in-depth work.
Work on your content and use relevant keywords. You may even consider creating an About Us page for your company in order to place more keywords. Be sure to include your company or brand name in your pages, titles, tags, or URLs.
Work on the interconnection of your website and increase the internal links throughout your pages. A good internal network of links allows for a better user experience and, from an SEO point of view, your Google indexing gets a benefit from this as well.
Nevertheless, as you can well imagine, this is won’t be enough! Classic SEO techniques are only a starting point to get you more visibility. This does not constitute a reputation in itself. So, what are the means at your disposal?
Create your own blog! Through your advice, your expertise, and your style, you’ll be able to work on your image and establish your reputation as a professional. It also allows you to continuously update your site and add important keywords to help with ranking. You thus increase your chances of monopolising the first spot on SERPs.
Be careful, however, it is not a question of creating for the sake of creating. Your content must be qualitative and bring real added value to your site. Therefore, you should ban all "useless" content or duplicate content (which gets penalised by Google).
Make use of canonical tags that allow you to multiply the same content without being penalised for it.
Nowadays, no one really trusts advertising anymore. Consumers want "real" opinions, whether from influencers or, perhaps even better, from real customers who have already bought the item they want.
If you happen to get some negative feedback, don't panic. With the right reaction, you can turn a negative review into a positive customer service experience.
From an SEO perspective, these review “extracts” or rich snippets (now called rich results) that customer reviews generate considerably improve your SEO on search engines, as does your click-rate.
Off-page SEO is, as its name suggests, the SEO part that is not directly related to the optimisation of your website, but that will still have a significant impact on your image and your SEO.
Your presence on social networks allows you to directly manage your reputation. You choose the content you post, create your brand identity, interact with your community, and keep an eye on what is being said about you.
In addition, having an account on these different platforms will require a regular effort to create and share content, which, beyond the undeniable marketing aspect and direct work on your image, will perhaps allow you to obtain a good score from search engine algorithms.
The algorithms analyse your community's engagement rate (likes, comments, shares) and give it a score on which your search engine ranking will also depend.
Finally, through your content on social networks, you will most certainly try to attract internet users to your site. You will thus benefit from backlinks (when other websites link to your website) and "direct traffic" (people head directly to your page without being linked there) that Google will only see positively.
Use the reputation of others to serve your own! Try your best to get other sites to link to your website (or your content). The more your site is associated with having an excellent reputation, the more visible you will be in search engines and the more people will trust you.
Beyond that, Google takes the presence of your links on renowned, well-referenced websites into account for its ranking algorithm. This is called the "TrustRank".
In other words, Google interprets these external links as a signal of quality and trust in your site. Google then rewards you by boosting your rank, especially the pages to which these backlinks lead to.
Do the same with influential bloggers. You can, for example, publish on their blogs as a guest author and integrate some links to your site. It won't be easy to get someone to publish your work, especially if they are highly reputable.
It can be helpful to complete your text first before contacting this influencer. Having a finished and polished article ready for them might be helpful in grabbing their attention. Also, they will know right away about the quality of your writing.
However, keep in mind that the quality of your partnerships also plays a key role. Select the influencers you want to work with carefully, as this goes beyond pure optimisation. After all, we are talking about working on your image and therefore on your e-reputation.
Of course, all these techniques will never be able to do anything for you in the long term if the quality of your products and services is not there. However, they will allow you to increase your visibility, keep control of your brand image, and inspire confidence. All of this takes a lot of time and effort, so don’t expect results overnight. If you don't think you can do it yourself, consider using an SEO expert or an agency specialising in such things.