The third session was with Andy Beal and the turn-out for this session was quite less surprisingly, given Andy's stature. The agenda of the session was “Keys to better Search Engine Reputation Management.”
- Chris Sheridan
- Andy Beal, CEO of Trackur.com, Editor of Marketing Pilgrim and co-author of the book Radically Transparent
Andy started the session by giving 5 Keys to Search Engine Reputation Management (SERM)
1. Rethink Keywords The important factor is to understand, what people might type in, on search engines to find about a brand's reputation. The need is to consider acronyms and misspellings besides the main brand keyword.
2. Spider Friendly Crucial that the company's name is present in the page URL.
3. Me, Myself, and Irene
About us page, must mention the company brand name, so that it ranks well in Google. Also, important to talk about the company in the third person.
4. Anchor's Away
The anchor text is critical. Critical to include company name within the anchor text copy.
5. SuperBrand to the Rescue
When the company name is typed into Google, the result page will have it at the No.1 position. This is because the company is the SuperBrand. This means that the company lends authority and credibility to other pages it links to.
Reputation management tips from Andy:
The first step is to perform a Google Sentiment Audit by auditing the first 30 results for the brand keyword. Next is to record: rank URL, page title, status, and sentiment (positive, neutral, or negative).
How to allocate time and effort on content:
- 80% on content that is fully-owned
- 10% on content that is controlled
- 10% on content that can be influenced
Branded Domains and Sub-Domains
The site can overwhelm the Search Engine Results Page (SERP) by getting other company branded domains and sub-domains. For example: Microsoft is a great example of building out other sites, linking between them and insulating themselves against Microsoft-hater sites.
Owned approach - The company can purchase standard TLDs for the brand, like .net and .org, beyond .com. Also, it can purchase domains that have positive terms. Domains like companycares.com or companycommunity.com and then using subdomains can yield positive results.
Controlled approach – The company can also utilize Compressional, Blogger.com, Facebook vanity URL, LinkedIn, Flickr, Wetpaint, and GetSatisfaction, to get higher rankings on SERPs.
Influence approach – The company can ask business partners for positive write-ups and guest posts on their website, as well as cross-linking of URLs, can greatly work in the company's favor.
Things to be taken into consideration:
- Linking to others' content (will it always be positive?)
- Wikipedia (for its unbiased nature)
- Paid posts (need do it now, rather than when facing a reputation attack)
- Paid search do not always work well for reputation search
If under attack:
- Get alerts via Google Alerts
- Scan past the top 10 results to see anything coming on the horizon
- Reach out for removal of negative content
- Look for legal loopholes as the last resort
- Status categorizations – Owned, Controlled and Influence approach
- Branded Domains
- Sentiment Audit