If I was lucky enough to have you click through to this page, you are probably already skeptical of the title and are expecting to see an overused list of “SEO” tools to get your website on page 1 of Google. This is not the point of this article. Rather, here we are going to provide reputation management tools which can be used and with good results.
When it comes to your company name, brand or product, an important part of your business plan is a strategy to fully own the first page of Google. To do this requires a series of steps. But first and foremost it requires an understanding of what a Google page is made up of.
In the field of reputation management this strategy is vital. Any company worth its weight in gold will have have attracted negative writings of some sort or another. Specifically, I am referring to one of those nasty “sticky links” which just sits there on page one of the search results.
The solution becomes – forcing everything out using Google’s available options.
Starting at the top
When someone searches for a specific brand name i.e. “Company X” the results are slightly different to someone looking for a broader result, example: “mens shoe stores”. In reputation management we are primarily interested in pointed searches relating to the brand or person.
The top of Google for brand searches give us 5 primary areas of interest:
- Google Adwords (in yellow at the top)
- Company or brand website (just below the Google ads)
- The site links
- Google Places listing, with description, photos etc (on the right)
- The second Google Places listing
For most web users, this is enough to captivate their attention and not go anywhere else. In fact 75% of web users searching for a brand will not go further than this top area and select one of the 5 dominating search results listed above.
To accomplish the above requires multiple stages of setup.
Google Ads – Good Adwords optimization is required to ensure you get your name at the top of the search results, showing additional links and even, if applicable a search bar, contact details and address provided in your ad space.
Company website – If you website is not showing up as the first organic result, then you have some optimisation issues. This can quickly be resolved as Google will give your company precedence if this is optimised for your name.
Website site links – This area can really boost your search real estate. Getting these to show depends primarily on your website structure and navigation. You can read more about this here.
Google Places – Sign up for Google Places and fill out the company profile in full. This can then show on the right and in the main search body area. Make sure the Places page is setup correctly and you will have the results show.
Brands with more than one store or branch may have different results show, but the above guidelines can still be applied.
#6 – Google News
One widely forgotten and unused tool is the use of Google News to fill even more search real estate for your brand. This could really be point #6 in the list above. Using popular press release wire services or having a PR firm getting your brand into online media can fill even more of that valuable space for you.
For bigger brands that get talked about frequently in the media, it is a good idea to have a dedicated Press Manager always keeping these results filled with releases you want seen. This is just good PR and reputation management practice.
Google has provided multiple tools to fully own your brand’s search results page. Take control of each of these and ensure your customers see what you want them to see. After all, it is your digital image and you should own it.