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SEO and reputation management are tightly linked, and search engine optimization is particularly important for ensuring a company’s online standing. Eventually, a company is going to make a mistake or deal with a volatile customer. How the company responds to this adversity will determine, to a large degree, whether or not they are harmed by the incident. All too often, small businesses ignore unhappy customers or bury themselves further with a poorly delivered response. Even companies that are filled with intelligent, capable people are capable of poor communication, and if a business isn’t careful, a rough tone or deaf response can go viral. At that point, it’s a nightmare for a small company. But such a scenario can be headed off well in advance with smart and responsive communication and marketing techniques. That’s where an experienced firm should take over.

How do SEO and reputation management interact?

Search engine optimization is the process of improving a site’s relevance to Google and other search engines. It is engineered with modern design techniques, regular content production, linking and tagging, improving site speed and reliability, and using appropriate keywords. In truth, no one firm has all of the answers when it comes to search engine optimization, because Google protects its ranking algorithms fanatically. But SEO firms have the natural insight that leads to better marketing decisions.

Business owners often find that negative sites and reviews have a tendency to dominate the rankings if a company is targeted by negative press or upset customers. What’s worse, people are drawn to sites that use outrageous titles and language, so negative sites tend to catch attention right away. If a company wants to counter such negativity, they will need to do so using tactics that are above board.

That primarily means outranking the negative reviews and sites, which is no easy feat, but certainly possible with the right experts. SEO and reputation management go hand in hand, because what ranks the highest in Google will determine how the business is perceived. If the business is constantly putting out positive and informative messages, eventually they will overpower the negative listings. It’s important for a business owner to be realistic about this. It’s impossible to get rid of negative entries overnight, and likely impossible to get rid of them in a month. Sometimes, if negative press generates enough traction, it can take up to a year to push down a single bad incident. However, without expert assistance, there’s a chance the negativity never goes away and remains a permanent stain.

It’s far better to attack the problem before it becomes an issue, so to speak. In other words, generate strong, well-received social media, and be ready to counter any threats immediately. This will mitigate the impact of negative incidents and increase the company’s marketing muscle. For example, it’s much easier for a large, well-known company to stamp out a single negative incident, compared to a small business. But a reputation management firm aims to give that small business owner more control over how people perceive them.

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