When someone searches for your name or business online, what will they find?
The internet has completely changed the way people research, buy and discover new things online. This is especially true when it comes to researching information on a purchase before buying, looking up a potential new hire for a company, or even doing a little search on your favorite restaurants and businesses in your area. No matter what people are searching for, whatever appears on the first page of the search results can make a huge impact not only on the person who is searching, but also for your own reputation as well.
In the never ending war against protecting your online reputation and giving your customers and audience exactly what they want, blogging might be your best line of defense.
With over 100 million blogs in the world today, it’s no wonder why WordPress is one of the most powerful and effective solutions for building your own web site or blog. In this article we are going to show you come of the best ways to use a blog to keep your online reputation safe while also improving your chances for ranking right at the top of the search results.
How to Use a Blog to Protect Your Brand & Reputation
Blogs are no longer just for people who want to create their own little space on the internet to write about their feelings, hobbies or something to debate about — instead blogs are revolutionizing the way people and brands use the internet.
Whether you already have a blog or are looking to start a new one, put these tips and methods to use to improve your search rankings and build a powerful brand online.
1) Secure Your Domain Name
The most basic and very effective ways to rank at the top of the search results for your personal or brand name is to actually own YOURNAME.com.
If possible, try to secure the .com, .net and .org TLDs of your personal and brand name. For the low investment of just $10 per year, you will be securing your name and future for many years to come. Many brands are also securing negative variations of their domain names as well (so they can’t be used against them), such as YourNameSucks.com or YourBrandComplaints.com.
EXAMPLE: While you might think your name is pretty special, there are probably a few hundred if not thousands of other people in the world who share your own name. When someone Google’s your name, do they find you or someone else? Securing your personal name as a domain and building out an authority site is a great way to rank at the top of the search results. A perfect example of this would be with what I did at my ZacJohnson.com site. Not only was I able to build a powerful brand, but I’m also able to outrank the many other “Zac Johnsons” in the world today.
2) Create Quality Content People Find Value In
One of the biggest problems with blogs is that they focus on just creating content and not creating content that provides value. The new rule of thumb is to create better and longer content less often vs. shorter content more often. The benefits of longer content is more social shares, ability to rank for long tail keyword and for you to provide the most value to your audience.
A great way to pre-measure the success of your blog content is to look at your competition in Google for a specific keyword. Once you skim through their rankings and look at what’s ranking on page one, it’s now up to you to decide how you can make your own content longer, better and provide the best value. Examples of this would be to create your own images, videos and even an infographic for others to share as well.
EXAMPLE: There are many review sites and articles out there who rank and profile the top web hosting companies online. Blogging.org took a different approach and surveys over 5,000 site owners and asked who they were using as their web host. After compiling all the results, an infographic was created to rank each of the top 25 web hosts, while also providing original content that many other sites also featured to their audience.
3) Dominate the Main Page of Google with Social
Everyone loves using social networks and with over 2 billion people spread across the likes of Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn, it’s no wonder why Google loves these sites as well. However, social networks aren’t just for creating updates and seeing what you’re friends have been up to, instead they should also be a major focus for how to rank higher in the search results.
Since top social networks are so powerful and already rank extremely high, it’s quite easy to rank profiles on these sites as well. This is why you should be creating a profile page and fan page for both your personal brand and business.
The end goal of brand management and protection is to own the whole first page of Google and not allowing your competition to control the page.
EXAMPLE: There is no better way to protect your brand than by owning the whole first page of Google for your personal or brand name. A perfect example of this can be seen through a reputation management post on how Katy Perry not only ranks on the main page of Google for her name with her main site, but also with all of her social profiles as well. This is perfect example of how every individual or brand should be trying to dominate the main page of Google for their name.
4) Use the Power of Social Media to Go Viral
Ranking your social profiles is always nice, but that’s only just the beginning of what’s possible when you start to throw blogging into the mix. Social media and blogging is all about content creation, so it’s important to realize how each go hand in hand.
With billions of people using social media, it shouldn’t be tough for you to create great content that your audience wants to share. By getting more social shares on your blog, not only are you expanding your reach to a whole new audience, but you are also getting social proof from everyone else who is sharing your content as well.
To increase social shares on your blog you should be adding social sharing buttons to your page, creating original content that caters to your audience, making infographics and interviewing experts or profiling topics within your niche.
EXAMPLE: In an article featured on SearchEngineJournal, we can see the best ways to increase social shares. Not only was the article useful for anyone who had a blog and wanted to get more shares, but it was written in a way to feature authority figures and get a lot of social shares in itself. The end result was over 3,000 social shares, which brought more authority to the site hosting the article, the author and the examples listed within the article.
5) Rank for What Your Audience is Looking For
Knowing what your audience and customers are searching for is key to getting more traffic and rankings for your site. For example, you are probably already focusing on ranking for your personal and brand name, but what else could you be creating content around that could bring in high converting traffic?
If you have a business that is focused on helping people with WordPress related services you should be creating content around every possible angle for this niche. A few easy topics that come to mind:
In short, create as many detailed guides and posts you can for whatever business or niche you are focused in. Become the “go to” source for information and your brand will continually grow and protect itself over time.
EXAMPLE: When it comes to ranking for the most specific keywords that people are searching for, you need to focus your efforts on long tail keywords. Not only are they more specific, but they are much easier to rank for. Gone are the days when people want to rank for high traffic keywords like “blogging” or “make money”, simply because they aren’t highly targeted. For example, if someone searched for “WordPress”, it could mean anything. If someone searches for “WordPress migration service”, you know exactly what they are looking for and how you can solve their problem.
6) Write for High Authority Sites
Blogging is also amazing for any personal or business based brand because it allows you to take advantage of other outlets to grow your own brand.
As mentioned earlier, there are well over 100 million blogs in the world today and all of them need content. Many of the largest sites in the world are using contributing writers to grow out their content while offering exposure and branding in exchange for this free content. Top sites who are currently doing this are Huffington Post, Forbes, and Entrepreneur to name a few.
If you are fortunate enough to write for any of these high value sites, you can use your articles to not only get your content out there, but also establish yourself as an expert and authority in the process. Nearly all of these sites offer full bios, name credit and pictures for their contributing offers.
EXAMPLE: John Rampton continually writes for some of the largest media and news sites in the industry. A recent article from John titled “How to Rank Your Podcast in iTunes” was featured in Forbes. Not only did John get to associate his name as being one linked with Forbes, but he was also able to tap into a new audience at the same time. Amazing value and name recognition.
Whether you are an individual, brand or a huge business, having a blog of your own is a huge asset! Now that you have a better idea of how others are using a blog to protect and grow their brands online, now it’s time for you to do the same. What other tips can you share with someone looking to start their own personal or professional blog?