do you want people to find on the first page of results when they search
for your organization's name on Google (which has 60 percent of search
traffic) or the other major search engines?
You would probably prefer that
they don't find:
A) a vicious blog started by
disgruntled former employees; or, 75 percent of the links leading to
websites or blogs critical of your business; or,
B) websites and blogs that you
don't control, with your own sites buried on later Google pages; or
C) your name prominently and
negatively mentioned on legitimate (e.g., Better Business Bureau) or
quasi-legitimate (RipOff Report) consumer-focused websites; or,
D) your name connected with an
investigation by any regulatory or enforcement agency.
These are all situations that
have been brought to Bernstein Crisis Management by clients in the past
couple of years, with the crisis facing a growing number of organizations
"simply" being the damage they are incurring online. The
innocent are portrayed as guilty. Minor offenses are portrayed as major
offenses. Criticism that sounds legitimate is purely or mostly fictional.
There are quite a few crisis management tactics that can mitigate the
situations described above. Increasingly, one of the most essential
tactics has been a form of search engine optimization (SEO) focused
specifically on preserving and restoring reputation, when the crisis is
already in progress, followed by creation of an "SEO shield" to
preserve reputation going forward.
Just as relatively few public relations practitioners have extensive
experience with crisis management, relatively few SEO consultants
understand how to engage in SEO reputation management. Chesa Keane is one
of them, and I'm pleased to bring you Chesa's...
Tips For SEO Reputation Management
By Chesa Keane
Focus on Google for search
results; the other search engines will follow suit over time.
Review your website for
keyword placement and density (keyword/total word ratio); you won't be
found if the keywords are not present in the proper configuration
(i.e. there are requirements for the number of keywords used in
different parts of the code that creates the page).
Update your website
frequently; stale sites drop fast and fresh information keeps your
site sticky (viewers stay and return).
calls-to-action; give your visitor a reason to respond.
Validate your web pages
for error-free code; Google will downgrade poorly constructed
Content must be relevant
to both the website and the web page.
Avoid Flash content and
frames pages; these websites cannot be reliably indexed.
Obtain inbound links from
relevant, high-profile websites with good PageRank.
points-of-presence (e.g., blogs, article publication, activity at
forums, social media), where you can get as many positive messages out
as possible, pushing the negative messages down on a search engine
Monitor your results
constantly and adapt quickly based on the results.
Keane, principal of Reno, Nevada-based TAO Consultants, Inc., has been
offering web design and search engine optimization (SEO) advice since
1995, soon after the advent of the modern World Wide Web. She is Bernstein
Crisis Management's preferred provider of
SEO Reputation Management services.
Bernstein is president of Bernstein
Crisis Management, Inc., editor of the Crisis Manager newsletter,
and author of
Keeping the Wolves at Bay: A Media Training Manual.
In 2005, PR News recognized him as one of 23 consultants
nationally "who should be on the speed dial in a crisis."
Articles | Submit
Your Article | PR
Public Relations Homepage