Reputation Management SEO: A Beginner’s Guide

All forms of marketing contribute to good brand management.

Using the same tone of voice in your ads and emails and choosing the same photographic elements for your website as for your billboards will show the picture that is painted when a customer is considering your product or service.

However, sometimes your brand may receive negative press reports or ratings that can change your point of view.

If a potential customer wants to know if your business is reputable, they will likely look for you online.

Visiting your website is not enough and they want more objective feedback.

Online reputation management is therefore crucial.

It’s the process of designing and controlling the narrative related to your brand online.

SEO is an important step that needs to be considered in this process.

Why is online reputation management important?

Finding a brand, product or service online often begins with a search.

Your website is likely just one or two of the results that come up when someone searches for your brand.


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All of the other search results may say something about your brand that may not be as cheap as you’d like.

For corporate brands

Negative reviews happen.

Unfavorable comparisons between your product and a competitor can be made by an objective third party.

Bad press can be very important.

If you don’t actively monitor what appears at the top of search results for your branded keywords, you may be missing out on an opportunity to identify potential reputational issues.

Once a message is spread about your business, or even incorrect information is added to a third-party website, repairing the damage to your brand can be difficult.

It’s important that your brand’s message appears on the first page of the SERPs.

If you work proactively on your online reputation management, you can correct misinformation or exceed unfavorable content.

Our personal brand

This applies to both your personal and your corporate brand.


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You need to make sure that the information available online paints a positive image.

We’re all very good at being positive on social media.

Photoshopping images, curating our life highlights and just sharing information that makes us appear in a positive light.

Employers and recruiters are increasingly visiting social media profiles when considering candidates for a job.

But what if someone searches for your name?

What’s on the first page of the SERPs?

How to Perform SEO for Online Reputation Management

I’m not going to tell you how to get your website ranked for your branding term, just what you need.

This can be especially difficult if your brand name is a word that means something in your language or another language.

It can be especially tricky when your brand name isn’t that unique.

However, you want to rank as close as possible to number one for your brand name.

That way, the first result (not including paid results) for your brand name is a trait that you control.

However, you want positions two, three, four, and five to be qualities that you also possess.

1. Check the start page

Whenever possible, your brand’s first five or so top scores should be monitored by you.

Your website, any other digital properties you host, and your social media pages.

When a prospect is looking for information about your brand, you want to keep the information they’ve read.

This means that you can use the well-known social media websites in your area.

Set up a branding profile for Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter.

Social media websites are extremely authoritative and will rank high on most branded searches.

Don’t be satisfied with just a social media presence, however.

Set up your business with a profile on review sites and industry comparison sites.

Essentially any property outside of your direct property that you still have a say in the content of.


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2. Be Active on Social Media & Review Sites

Setting up on social media and reviewing websites comes with risks.

People will comment, reviews will be left.

They won’t all be cheap.

Even if you don’t have an official Twitter handle or a company-created Glassdoor page, it doesn’t mean that competitors or disgruntled employees aren’t talking about your company anyway.

You may have less visibility.

Make sure you respond to positive and negative comments.

A negative Twitter comment might return on a Google search for your brand.

Keep your business active on social media and check websites to reply to negative comments and keep them off Google’s homepage.

3. Set up a Google My Business Listing

This is another area of ​​trademark search results that you can own.

Your Google My Business listing could be the first result a user sees when they search for your brand.


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On public holidays or even during COVID-19 restrictions, your opening hours or the availability of your office may change.

Google My Business is the perfect place to keep this information up to date.

If you don’t have a Google My Business listing, search for “[your brand] Hours of Operation ”information may be obtained from a website that has not been updated.

Google Posts

Another benefit of having a Google My Business profile for reputation management is Google Posts.

Posts are small snippets of content that appear right on your Google My Business listing.

London Zoo Google Post

They allow your brand to add timely offers, articles or updates directly to Google search results without having to fight the ranking algorithm or wait for indexing.


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If you need reactive PR or want to promote something quickly, this is an effective way to do it.


A Google My Business listing has the potential to have reviews of your brand appearing at the top of the SERPs.

When a user leaves a review on your Google My Business profile, there is little that can be done to remove it.

It would have to violate Google’s review policy in some way, and even then, there is no guarantee that Google will regulate this as such.

Good reputation management is about effectively dealing with both negative and positive attention.

A negative review can be answered on Google My Business, giving your brand the opportunity to turn a negative experience into a positive one.

Answer questions

Google My Business also has a Q&A section where the public can post questions to your profile.

The main problem with this is that the public can too reply This question.


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This is a great opportunity to understand what your target audience is interested in, but it’s a very public way to find out.

It is important that you stay updated on any questions asked so that you can make sure the answer is correct.

Nothing prevents a well-meaning (or ill-meaning) member of the public from answering a question and it is wrong.

Make sure you are managing your online reputation well by keeping an eye on this corner of the SERPs.

4. Create content with potentially negative keywords

Trademark searches often result in a series of People Also Asked (PAA) searches.

The PAA results are a gold mine of information for your reputation management keyword analysis.

These prompts can lead to searches for questions about the brand that they may never have asked.

For example, in the UK, I have little awareness or understanding of the Walmart brand.

However, if you search for the keyword “Walmart” these PAAs will be generated.

Walmart people ask too

Before I saw this PAA, I wouldn’t have known that some people think buying the branded clothing is a bad idea.


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I do now.

It’s not just a question, “Is it bad buying clothes from Walmart?” For someone who doesn’t know much about the business, the search result is even worse.

Other common PAAs that appear for trademark searches are “is [brand] real? “,” Is [brand] a scam? “and” can I cancel [brand] Subscription?”

Your prospect may have no reason to consider your brand a scam. However, seeing the questions others have been looking for can raise concerns.

Review the PAAs that appear for your brand.

If they are even slightly negative, you need to make sure that you are classified as the featured snippet for them to counter that notion.

5. Be current for all the right reasons

If you try to bury a high-level negative news article that is actually justified, many will have little sympathy for you.

Instead, work on being up to date for all the right reasons.

Find out about your charitable giving, encouraging local teams, or your work protecting the environment.


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For PR, focus on digital PR, even if you only get a brand mention.

If it’s on a high authority website, it may be enough to beat review pages, comparison pages, and other more dangerous properties for your branded terms.

The key is stacking the front page with positive comments about your brand beyond the characteristics that you are in direct control of.

Set up a brand alert

If you use Google Alerts or any other brand name monitoring tool, be sure to be aware of when you are mentioned online.

A journalist or reviewer may hear your side of a negative story.

It may simply be that your company’s opening hours have been reported incorrectly or other inaccuracies have been given.

This warning could give you an opportunity to correct any misinformation or harmful allegations before it is read too often.

6. It’s not just about Google

Don’t forget that there are other search engines besides Google.


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Make sure to follow these steps for those search engines as well.

Set up a Bing Places list and monitor the first page of DuckDuckGo for your branded phrases.

If there is a chance your brand will be searched on another search engine, it is important that you manage your reputation there.

More resources:

Photo credit

All screenshots by the author, October 2020