A Practical Guide to Online Reputation Management

Include some good quality high-resolution images of your business premises, products, staff or logos on your site. Use your brand name in the ‘alt text’ of the images and link to full size versions of the images. As with normal search results Google is likely to display images from a number of different websites rather than multiple images from the same site so ensure you have plenty of well optimised images on each site, blog and page you own, not just your own website.

Video results

As with images, Google will often embed video results from sites like YouTube in normal search results pages.

And again just like with images, a negative video about your brand is more likely to attract publicity than a positive video and as a result rise to the top of YouTube’s own ranking system, therefore making it likely to show in normal search results pages like the video below which reportedly cost United Airlines $180 million off their share price.

Reputation management and video results - United Breaks Guitars

The second battlefield: Social sites & discussion forums

While the steps above can help you to deal with the damaging effects of negative publicity being displayed in Google results for searches on your brand, controlling the spread of negative publicity across the web via social media sites is a far greater challenge.

The best strategy for dealing with your reputation in social media is to monitor conversations and be prepared to respond where necessary. Reputation monitoring tools will tell you where your brand is being discussed and you can choose to respond to any criticism or not on a case-by-case basis. The golden rule here is do not interject in the conversation when an allegation against your company is wholly unfounded, as this will only add gravitas to the story.

Similarly resist the temptation to deny negative press which is true, instead attempt to address the concerns of the participants in the discussion and demonstrate where possible what you have done to address the issue.

Below we’ll run through the most common type of social sites and places where your brand may be discussed online and look at the best way to deal with negative comments when they arise.

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