16 secrets to managing your online reputation the big companies don't want you to know
Online personal and business reputation management is a growing problem that will only get worse, as more and more people use Google searches to do background research on people and companies they interact with. Big reputation management companies charge thousands, and sometimes tens of thousands of dollars to manage their client’s online reputations. Many of these companies are met with limited or no success, as the tactics and strategies they employ are at best shallow, and at worse detrimental.
However, if you execute the following instructions recommended by RepWarrior, you can manage your own online reputation.
The essence of thevoverall strategy (the meta-strategy) can be described in two main parts:
Meta-strategy #1 – Create several new, authentic digital assets including websites, blogs, social media accounts, stories and other types of content, press releases, and directory listings. Build SEO best practices into these digital assets. Optimize everything for the search terms you have identified, which are usually your name or the name of your business.
Meta-strategy #2 – Push everything out to the Web and position your digital assets so they can be shared, talked about and reshared. Push content out in a way that earns valuable backlinks pointing at the digital assets, and ultimately gaining the elusive “link juice” that digital assets need in order to rank highly, and eventually make their way to the first page of Google and other search engines.
Rather than write a whole book here, we have distilled the steps down to the key pieces of information that you will need to manage your own online reputation. If you need further clarification on anything you can always Google the key terms for more information.
The steps to manage your own online reputation
Step #1 – Create several new, authentic ‘digital assets’ for yourself or your business, including building new websites using the ‘exact match name (EMD)’ or personalized URL’s if your name is not available. Only use best practice SEO techniques (no ‘Black Hat’) for all of the digital assets and new sites you create, so they will rank for the search terms that have been identified. Submit those sites using ‘Webmaster Tools’ to Google, Bing and other search engines for indexing when finished. The best platform we have found to build new websites for beginners is Wordpress. Wordpress is very easy to learn and there are tons of videos online that you can watch, and learn how to build high-quality websites in just a few hours.
Step #2 – Create one or more blogs for yourself or your business using the exact match name. Link blogs back and forth to each other and to the main websites, and other digital assets that you create. Again, Wordpress is the best platform for designing blogs. You can learn how to do this in just a few hours. Other good blogging sites are Tumblr and Blogger.
Step #3 – Open social media accounts for Facebook, Twitter, Google+, LinkedIn and others using your exact name if possible, and fully build out and optimize their content and profiles. It is far more important to have fully built out and optimized social media accounts with a few friends than it is to have shallow, non-authentic (place holder) social media accounts that aren't really active.
Step #4 – Publish favorable content on other blogs, social media websites, etc. that are selected for ranking strength and relevance to your situation. It’s a little bit challenging to find places to publish content, but it is possible if you are willing to spend the time. You just have to look around for content publishing/syndication opportunities.
Step #5 – Publish favorable content on highly visible third party sites that are selected for ranking strength and relevance to your situation. Again, it is sometimes challenging to find these types of sites where third party content can be published for free, but they do exist.
Step #6 – Submit listings for your name, or the name of your business to local and national directories and industry / trade publications, and fully build out and optimize those listings and profiles.
Step #7 – Sometimes you can create a Wikipedia page for yourself or your business. Work carefully within the Wikipedia guidelines so your page gets accepted. You shouldn’t be the one to create the Wiki page itself, as Wiki will consider this a conflict of interest. Someone with a different name will have to create the Wiki page for you. Watch out for Wiki pages that take a promotional tone. Read up on their guidelines and follow them. Monitor the Wiki page to guard against other people posting undesired content, and take steps to ensure this content is deleted quickly.
Where the real magic starts to happen
Step #8 – Push positive content out to the web using paid and unpaid ‘content syndication’ services. This is where the real magic starts to happen. In order for any reputation management strategy to be effective, and in order for digital assets to rank highly, a number of high-quality, high ‘domain authority’ backlinks need to be earned for each of the new digital assets. Without this part of the formula, there is no point in creating digital assets, as they will never rank highly. There are plenty of good places to push out content using syndication services. Again, just do a Google search and start deciding which ones to use that fit your niche.
Step #9 – When applicable, push out content in the form of press releases using paid and unpaid syndication services. There are many major websites and news agencies that will publish a well-written and interesting press release. They will usually allow you to have a link pointing back to your main digital assets. Voila! You now have some great link juice!
Step #10 – When applicable, publish photos in content and fully optimize photos so they show up at the top of a Google Image Search. Work to ensure that links from photos are pointing to favorable content.
Step #11 – When a client has online negative review issues, we work with their administrative staff to solicit positive reviews and testimonials from customers, and have those published on review sites and other relevant places. We also track online reviews of our client’s businesses, products or services to make sure that every potential threat to their reputation is addressed in a timely manner. You can do the same for your business, product or service.
Step #12 – Only use SEO ‘white hat’ best practices, and always fully optimize all digital assets and content that you create to ensure consistent, highly favorable search rankings.
Step #13 – Publish content that is professional and interesting to read. Remember, you want to add additional value to the Web. This will make Google very happy! Review all content for accuracy before it is published to the Web.
Step #14 – Publish content gradually, in a natural pattern that will influence search results without getting penalized by Google’s algorithms. This step is very important. Do not publish all your content at once, and do not setup and submit all your digital assets at the same time. Take a few months to build, submit and push everything out. You don’t want to look like you are trying to ‘game’ the system, and create what Google refers to as an "unnatural link signature".
Step #15 – It’s often necessary to beef up privacy settings on all social media that are currently used. This step really depends on how much private information you want to share about yourself.
Step #16 – Work to delete all possible personal and negative information from Spokeo.com, BeenVerified.com, and other ‘background check’ and ‘people search’ sites. You can usually get things deleted off these sites. Go to each site and look around for a link to remove submissions. This is easier than it might sound.
If you follow these steps according to the way that we recommend, then you will be met with almost guaranteed success in managing your own online reputation.