You’re actively monitoring the online chatter about your company. You’re utilizing a powerful social monitoring tool and have plenty of data. But are you truly prepared to respond when negative commentary about your business hits the web?

One of the most effective ways to handle negative opinions in the marketplace is to proactively provide positive information about your firm.

Here are five tips to actively respond to negative opinions and amp-up positive comments.

1. Update Your Company’s Blog Regularly

If your company doesn’t have a blog, create one! In general, the more you blog the better; daily is ideal.

  • Focus on positive information in your blog posts such as new product announcements, case studies, industry awards and accolades.
  • Insert target SEO keywords in your blog content to ensure visibility and enable you to compete with negative statements and reviews.
  • Be sensitive to your readers; what do they really need from you? For example, instead of blogging about your company in general, readers are likely more interested in current trends or hot topics occurring in your industry.
  • Encourage prospects, customers and interested parties to participate in your blog. Generate a multi-party conversation.

2. Incorporate Link Building Into Your Site’s Content & Online Assets

Link building is important not only in SEO but in reputation management. For example, promote assets such as press releases, white papers and market studies across your social channels. Add optimized links to these social posts.

  • Use keyword-rich anchor text when building links to define the page that it links to, both from the searcher’s perspective and the search engines.
  • Use the phrase you most want that web page to rank well for in the major search engines, and also a phrase that compels real people to click through and read the page. For instance, instead of using generic anchor text such as “white paper” to link to a market research paper, use a keyword-rich phrase that speaks specifically about the topic and is part of your SEO strategy.  Using the phrase “local market research” in your anchor text is much more effective than “white paper.”
  • Ensure press releases are optimized to allow you to use “official” content on your site and on third-party websites.

Derek Edmund offers a full list of link building tips in his Search Engine Land article, How to Scale B2B Link Building across an Organization.

3. Use PPC To Counter Negative Comments

PPC is a quick, effective way to promote the positives about your business and respond to negative commentary.

  • Create a PPC campaign that targets relevant keywords for your site to help promote positive content. Develop ad copy that promotes your company’s positives as well as countering the negative messaging associated with your business.
  • Create micro sites to target a specific issue or common complaint and turn it into a positive spin.

There is often a lot of chatter on forums and social networks related to your competition. This probably means that prospects are trying to compare and contrast the major players in your field.

By creating a PPC campaign and a micro site that includes a comparison chart, you are directly and positively responding to this market conversation.

4. Utilize Social Media Outlets & Industry Forums

LinkedIn; Twitter; Facebook; Quora. There’s a growing list of popular social networks and micro blogs that can be used to push positive comments to your prospects and customers.

  • Secure your brand on social networks by owning your Facebook and Twitter pages, so no one else can claim or use them.
  • Create profiles on LinkedIn, Twitter and other relevant social sites.
  • Be transparent and honest.
  • Engage people to help build relationships.

Social Media

For example, Techrigy, a social media technology company, was faced with the challenge of generating quality leads. They used Twitter to identify the people who were having conversations about social media monitoring tools and looked for trigger words that might show intent to buy. They “soft sold” by responding to questions and offering free demos to prospective customers.

Techrigy now averages two online demonstrations per day through Twitter and has closed more than a dozen deals through the service.

5. Create Video & Podcasts

Create online video or podcasts, perhaps interviewing a top executive at your company or an industry leader, possibly even directly responding to bad press you’ve received.

  • Post video to your website.
  • Post video to other sites such as YouTube.com.
  • Include keywords at the beginning of the video title and branding at the end.
  • Make sure your titles and tags are compelling to the viewer.
  • Respond quickly to comments (within an hour or two) after your video is posted. This will help build your core audience and help to increase the video’s ranking in the search engines.

Proactively Provide Positive Information

Do you look at this list and feel overwhelmed? Don’t be.

Online reputation management is a marathon, not a sprint. But it does involve much more than monitoring and data collection. It requires a proactive, positive outreach program. Take strides every day to ensure that your business customers see you positively on the web.

Opinions expressed in the article are those of the guest author and not necessarily Search Engine Land.

Related Topics: B2B Search Marketing Column | Channel: Search Marketing

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About The Author: is an SEO expert at SmartSearch Marketing. Susan has been in the search industry since 2002, and has experience with account leadership, training, strategy and implementation of both organic and PPC programs. Susan has worked with a variety of B2B and B2C clients ranging from pharmaceutical to retail brands.

Connect with the author via: Email | Twitter | Google+ | LinkedIn



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  • http://www.search-engine-academy-washington-dc.com Nancy E. Wigal

    Thank you for the nice compilation of positive action steps to take. Too often, I’ve heard from ORM “experts” say that they push out press releases and get people to say nice things about their client on Twitter, Yelp, etc.

    I especially like the point about blogging; it builds relationships and has great SEO advantages.

    Good stuff!

 

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