We’ve all Googled our own names from time to time, looking to see what the mighty search engines have to say about our online reputation. But have you ever examined the search results for your business or brand?
If you are managing marketing, social media, content or SEO for an enterprise business, we hope you’ve taken a moment to see what Google or Bing has scraped up from the depths of the Internet. It might not be pretty. Over the years, as your business has learned from feedback and trial and error, there might be a past that everyone would rather forget.
Perhaps your brand has a long-suffering reputation because of mistakes made in the past with customer service. Or perhaps there is general misinformation regarding your policies, prices or quality. Your Yelp reviews could be punctuated with angry customers and one-star reviews. Ouch.
When we Google our personal names, the results can be a mixed bag. Maybe a surly client aired his grievances in a business forum. Or perhaps, a darker search results page emerges: a news story about a person bent on a life of crime (and who also happens to share your exact name). Arrest records, tax debts, drunken parties pop up….all tagged with your name, even though it’s not you.
Enterprise search results are a little different. Chances are, when “bad” results flood the page, it’s not a case of mistaken identity. The business name is probably yours. So, what in the world can you do?
Making those bad results go away is next to impossible. But you can make sure the negative links are pushed down to Page Two of the search results, which we all know is the Dead Zone of the Internet.
To move bad results to the edges of Googleland, you’ll have to wage a full-scale reclaim-your-enterprise-reputation war. Here are three suggestions to get your good name back!
- Start a Corporate Blog
Frequent content is catnip to search engines. So, consider pitching a blog to your executive team. Self-hosted WordPress blogs are a popular choice for enterprise blogs that have teams of content creators. Follow SEO best practices (and a plug-in such as Yoast) helps a lot, too. Create a content calendar filled with at least twice-weekly posts that showcase the interesting and educational sides of your business.
- Amp up Your Social Media Presence
Ginormous sites such as Facebook, Pinterest and Tumblr rank high in search results. You already have a presence on Facebook and Google+? Great, now go claim profiles on Instagram, Twitter and Yelp. Because of their vast reach, the biggest social sites will give you traction in the quest to push down those poor search results.
- Pursue Press Coverage
Established news sites are dependable for Page 1 links on Google and Bing. Enlist the services of your PR agency or a freelance PR pro to develop a plan to send news bites to reporters they know at newspapers and television news stations in your enterprise territory.
With some effort, you can squash down those unflattering search results and replace them with sterling coverage. Good luck and here’s to better search results in the future!
Olga is Senior Manager of Marketing and Sales Operations at Connectivity.