After a storm, the appearance of a beach will be entirely different. The sand sculptures that you have built would have been washed off, and the shore would be littered with debris and seaweed. That is exactly how the search landscape of a brand will be after a corporate crisis. Favorable reviews, definite articles, and social media profiles would all have been washed off and replaced with harmful content. While some of the negative items might disappear as the media frenzy subsides, others would continue to haunt the reputation of your brand by remaining on Google’s first page.
Deal With Negative Content
It is essential that you deal with the negative articles in the right manner instead of waiting for them to disappear on their own. Unfavorable content that appears at the top on your brand’s SERPs can impact your business in many ways.
Sales will be affected because negative press reports would turn off potential customers.
When other companies cut their ties with you, the business partnerships that currently exist and the relationships planned for the future will be in jeopardy.
Funding may be affected because lenders often tend to either limit access to capital or raise the lending rate if they feel that the risk is higher.
Hiring expenses increase, and employee turnover rises when your brand develops a bad reputation.
The stock price of your company may fall because investors turn to safer investments. This results in wiping off shareholder value.
You will have to definitely take concrete steps to recover from the crisis, but SEO and digital marketing can create a significant impact.
Digital Marketing Helps To Boost Your Brand’s Reputation
Before understanding as to why harmful content is dominating your brand’s search results after a crisis and how you can recover, you must know as to how Google works. The algorithm used by Google considers several signals for determining the most appropriate web pages for a search query. One of the signs is the relevance of the topic.
Search engines determine the relevance of a topic through repetition. It is because of this reason that Google starts favoring content related to the crisis you have gone through. Thousands of articles must have been published on the subject!
For example, Google will present you with results for Donald Trump (instead of the former President Obama) irrespective of whether you type in the keywords “Donald Trump” or “president”. Though the relevance aspect can cause problems, especially when there is a surge of negative news, it is possible to leverage and forge a positive connection with your brand through digital marketing.
Deployment of paid articles (sponsored posts) and earned media (press releases) help to generate positive content related to your brand. Recently, Starbucks employed this strategy to change the perception of the brand.
SEO and Reputation Management
SEO is not only labor-intensive but also expensive. This may prompt your marketing team to think that it is not worth investing in SEO resources on websites that you don’t own. However, the truth is that the SEO component is crucial for reputation management to work. Publishing a lot of great content does help, but SEO best practices should be applied to rebuild the search landscape.
Post Regularly and Optimize Social Profiles
Social media rank well for search queries related to brands. However, they must be appropriately set up and kept active to send the right signals to Google. Therefore, you must fill out your profile completely. You should include all relevant information such as contact number, addresses, and, more importantly, a write up that mentions the name of your company. Further, you should link to the social media accounts from the homepage of your website, other trusted sites, and blogs.
Find and Promote the Best Online Content You Have Posted
If you have secured some great mentions about your company during the digital marketing campaign, identify the remarks that should rank higher on SERPs and share those articles on your social media channels to improve visibility and for building high-quality backlinks. If there are any editorials about you or your company, request the publishers to include your brand’s name in the title of the article to help improve the ranking.
As such, SEO and digital marketing can be effectively used for reputation management. Actually, you should not wait until your company’s reputation is damaged to implement this strategy. A proactive approach helps you to not only attract more customers but also to clear off the mess created by a storm.