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According to Hubspot, Public Relations deals with a business or an individual building a positive reputation with the public via various communications.

Such communications include traditional media, social media, and in-person engagements, which also help clients maintain their reputation during a credibility-threatening crisis.

Public relations often defies clear-cut definitions, even among experts.

However, a definition was adopted by the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA) in 2012. It views public relations as a strategic communication process that fosters relationships that benefit both parties – organizations and their publics.

To start to have a feel of the uncertain terrain of PR, consider this old adage:”Advertising is what you pay for; publicity is what you pray for.”

PR focuses on portraying a brand in positive light across avenues like social media, traditional media, or speaking engagements.

PR does not distinguish between paying customers and visitors – it works to reach everyone.

Online PR has become more important with people living a huge chunk of their lives there.

Brands must take this emerging field the look-in it deserves.

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Search Engine Reputation Management Using SE Rankings

As you manage your online business, the interconnectedness online can make you feel like you’re in limited familiar territory where positive news about your brand easily travels far, winning you more business.

In the same vein, negative reviews can torch you reputation beyond recognition.

Maintaining good reputation online is very important.

If your business has an outlet of any form online, your prospective users today are more likely to check you out extensively online before calling you business telephone lines or look at your social media pages.

There is every possibility they will find negative comments.

Don’t despair though, people are more wont to share negative feedback than pleasant encounters.

Your competitors might also be the finger behind your misfortune

Managing (monitoring and repairing) your reputation is an ongoing exercise to keep you looking your very best before potential clients.

A few things you need to realise:

  • A company’s valuationis a direct result of the company reputation.
  • Users decide to further their interaction with a company or person based on the outcome of online search. In fact, 45% of users attest to this.
  • Online review sites are gaining popularity, showing that people use reviews as a basis for interaction with a brand.
  • 92% consumers regularly read online reviews to get more facts about a business.

Ignoring your online portrait can hurt your business.

First steps in Search Engine Reputation Management

To get positive reviews about your brand to the top of search results, start by encouraging customers to:

  • share favourable testimonials on social media networks,
  • establish backlinks for pages that have positive reviews, and
  • create press releases that will be posted on independent sites

This leads us to…

Search for negative testimonials

Understand first that not all negative review will put you out of business.

Around 27% of potential clients will look for downvotes or poor reviews of a brand before making an online purchase from the company.

Moreover, 25% of patrons search for testimonials on at least one social platform.

A carefully worded response to mean comments can go a long way.

Why Google’s first two pages are important

Google’s SERPs typically display 10 organic search results.

Research has shown only 12% of customers checking out a company will look at the third page of search results, and by the seventh page, only 5% will still be around.

You can use your own search habits to attest to these figures.

Boost any pages containing positive reviews

To improve rankings for your pages, you can focus on those with favourable testimonials about your business.

The best marketers do this.

A recommended approach is to encourage incoming links, to solidify the page’s authority and give a greater chance of ranking.

A great example page with positive reviews is Nu Skin’s Glassdoor page.

Many outside the company may hold mixed reactions, but their staff are lavish with 4 out of 5 stars and their CEO is scored 100%. Ensure that such a page shows up well in searches.

Hulu Support shows how this can be done effectively by fielding any amount of customer complaints while they can.

Get head with exclusive content

Regular fresh content improves a brands reputation online.

More fresh content means the site can easily reach the first page of query results.

Long-form articles that focus on the business will help any brand to overtake pages with negative reviews (which are much shorter in length).

Keyword selection

A webpage with positive reviews can be sprinkled with words that oppose the page’s content.

Done wisely, the webpage has a good chance to rank high in search results when a user searches negative keywords and the company name.

A big win, we’d say.

Engage by answering questions

Social media demands instant answers and brands can leverage this by publicly responding to negative reviews within half a day.

Also link to a webpage containing an answer to the question.

Tips to enhance online portrait

If you are certain a negative comment is ill-informed, you can appeal with the author to take it down.

This is powerful and can buy you time to sort things out amicably.

Where this does not happen, you can revert to Search Engine Reputation Management (SERM).

What is Search Engine Reputation Management anyway?

It is all the actions that eliminate unfavourable reviews and content from SERP replacing them with something positive.

There is optimisation involved in this, as you offer the search engine a chance to eventually replace the information you desire to hide.

It is an arduous process requiring continuous commitment.

SERPs are very dynamic and you can’t fix it all one time.

Key Actions to take

  • Use every online resource you can access to remove every negative from the first page of search results. Use your site, social channels, PR documents, and so forth to cast your brand in positive light.


  • Negative information is not limited to text – video reviews, images, and podcasts are involved – monitor them too.


  • Be aware of every publication with a high ranking for queries pertaining to your services – those with plenty of traffic. Adding your information to such posts can help remove negative information about your company from the SERP.


  • To monitor negative information online, these keywords matter:
    • branded queries
    • queries including your (brand) name, and offering
    • your (brand) name plus keywords meaning reviews, advantages, and comparison

As the business grows, the number of branded queries for your business in SERPs will soar.

You simply have to be aware of any negative reviews or information about your brand.

Manually doing so almost never works effectively, especially as your online footprint grows.

A better approach is to automate your SERM efforts using special tools that help you quickly get the information you need, taking your history into account. Ice Rocket, If This Then That and Me On The Web are good examples.

They monitor any mentions of your business, across many channels and keywords.

Keep a listening ear for your customers and never ignore them. Each graceful response is a chance to improve your reputation.

Be transparent in engaging with your customer. Understand their complaints and remain aware of any feedback you receive from the customer.

On a final note, take responsibility for your mistakes. Apologies can assuage most unhappy customers. Just be sure to handle things right and all will be well.

The BrandXXX team works hard to provide excellent reputation management services to clients. Whether your reputation has been battered online or you are looking to build a strong reputation base, you can get in touch with us today.

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