Have you considered just how much control you have over your presence online? You may think because you have a website, then everything about your company that you publicise online is under your control. Actually the more likely reality is that you are probably only controlling a small percentage of your page one views.
Many international brands have several hundred or thousand mentions per month online, but often the vast majority of these are through independent websites, blogs, and forums or on media sites – which the companies in question are unlikely to have any influence over.
Unless you take control of your page one search results, you are potentially exposing your business to comments on the Internet that may not be suited to your company’s image or brand. Worse, you are leaving your business open to any negative remarks and even defamation appearing very publicly.
The best way for companies to manage their page one results, and consequently their online reputation, is by publishing information across a variety of digital assets that they own and control. By doing so, you will have more chance of populating your page one results with the type of information you want your customers to read – and importantly, you will increase your chances of reaching the number spot on Google page one.
According to research published by the online ad network Chikita: “a website with the first position in the search results contributed to 33% of the traffic, compared to 18% for the second position.”
Chikita’s data also indicates that “the first position on any page of results contributed to more traffic than the second position in each respective page (i.e. traffic from users dropped by 27%, 11.3%, and 5.4% from the first position to second position in page two, three, and four) … the traffic dropped by 140% going from 10th to 11th position and 86% going from 20th to 21st position.”
Furthermore, Chikita’s insight report shows that “sites listed on the first Google search results page generate 92% of all traffic from an average search. When moving from page one to two, the traffic dropped by 95%, and by 78% and 58% for the subsequent pages.”
The results are not unsurprising and only serve to emphasise the need for companies to develop strategies to rank above their competitors and to dominate page one of Google.
By developing a range of digital assets, which complement your website and your marketing strategy, you will be creating a range of tools through which to promote your business, but also increasing your chances of dominating page one of Google – leaving no room for competitors or for content which you have no control over.
If searches are returning unflattering content for your business’s key search terms, the best way to move these results down the search engines is to generate positive news and articles and publish these through your own digital assets, which have a good chance of ranking well for your company name.
The more content you publish online about the company, the more likely the name will appear on page one of the search engines for your key terms. But it’s not always about quantity. Increasingly Google is looking for relevant content, written in a ‘natural’ style, and not packed full of key words or phrases. Write your articles with your audience in mind, and ensure the stories are interesting and offer readers something worthwhile.
The importance of content and author ranking is growing and there are ways for individuals and companies with a limited time and budget to succeed. Getting an article ranking for your own name is down to creating of interesting, unique and relevant content. Google+ Authorship is helping smaller businesses to compete in this competitive marketplace, allowing them to succeed in getting articles to rank highly for their own name and other key terms.
How to Influence Your Page One Results
Success is about developing a strategy, which will help you or your business dominate page one of Google with positive content. It is about establishing a combination of digital assets designed to complement your website, and help you create and promote positive content online and enhance your Internet profile. Your digital marketing strategy should be implemented as prudently as any other business strategy – and your website should work synonymously with all your digital assets. Here are few suggestions on how to stay ahead in Google searches:
- Join social media networks such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and YouTube. Make sure these accounts are up-to-date with the latest news about your company with information relevant to your business and of interest to your customers.
- Make use of platforms such as Hootsuite and Tweetdeck to cross post your news across multiple accounts to save yourself time and expense.
- If you are a customer-facing business, try channelling customer service issues through your social media accounts – for example set up a Twitter helpline and allow customers to contact you easily – just make sure respond timely and appropriately to their queries online.
- Publish regular news and articles either on your own website or through media channels – unique and relevant articles will help you to counteract any negative posts or press should they arise.
- Encourage Directors and other staff members to get involved by promoting the company online in a positive way – they can help to spread your company’s key messages by re-tweeting news to their networks.
- Create a Google+ account and sign up for Google Authorship – find out more [here]
- Finally consider promoting individual brands relating to your business through online assets to complement your main business. This will help drive traffic to your site by allowing you to generate more listings on page one, and drive these up to the number one position.
- Contribute to industry blogs and online forums – consider developing your own blog, or establishing your own group on LinkedIn, where you can attract new business and involve partners.
Igniyte, which I established in 2009, specialises in online reputation management. We work with individuals, companies and brands across the world helping them to manage and monitor their online reputation. The team is expert in promoting positive content and at challenging and removing negative content from search engines.
If you would like to discuss any aspect of online reputation management please contact me for a confidential discussion.