I was asked the question, “Should I spend more time on SEO or reputation management? My response: Good SEO is reputation management.
Think about what the latter is. It’s using search engines, social media, and other online marketing tools to maintain a positive image of yourself and your business. If you do it right, you’ll build reputation management into everything you do. Search engine optimization included.
You can’t keep thinking either/or when you live in a both/and world. You will eventually come across a former employee or customer who had a bad enough experience that they want to tell the world about it. If you SEO your website and blog properly then you’ll make it more difficult for them to gain a foothold with your name. But what you need to think about is breadth instead of depth.
Most Internet marketers think in terms of ranking one website for as many keywords as possible. That’s good, but it’s elementary. The most important principle to understand about reputation management is that Google – by far, the most important search engine (though Bing is gaining some small traction) – will only rank one page per website per keyword. Reputation management by its nature a name-focused, brand-focused keyword strategy.
What I mean by that is you aren’t targeting generic keywords, but your name or brand name. That’s a very specific type of SEO. And since Google will only rank one page on your site for your name or brand name then you need more web properties – or at least more pages that target your name or brand name. Therefore, you should have several social media accounts that you remain active on as well as your primary website and a few other websites. In fact, you probably want to secure your name as an URL and make a portfolio site, or what I like to call a reputation management tool.
The time for thinking of SEO as just a way to target keywords is over. It’s time to start thinking of search engine optimization as a reputation management tool.