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Why blogs are effective for online reputation management

01 Jun, 2020 Issues and crises, PR and the internet, Reputation, trust, stakeholder relations

When a company is targeted online by a large volume of negative content about its brand, the company’s reputation becomes endangered. A fast response is critical to deal with an issue like this, and that’s what makes blogs stand out compared to other options in the Online Reputation Management spectrum.

Blogs and online reputation management

To get your message out and begin circulating good news rather than bad around the internet, blogging is an effective tactic. There are many reasons why blogging works so well for online reputation management:

Fast reputation repair

Content in your new, positive blog posts will alert search engines to start ‘crawling’, and quickly update the search results in your favor by moving your new blogs above old negative content.

This allows users (more than likely) to see the positive online content rather than the negative content, restoring your brand’s online reputation  and bringing the company’s core website back to the top of the search results.

A standard, typical website usually doesn’t prompt search engines to do any fast indexing, which means months may go by before the search engine will crawl the website to check for new content or changes. This can be detrimental for small businesses where their brand image is everything. To have your blog crawled quickly and then shown on the search engine results page to the advantage of your company/brand is all in the keywords of your blog content.

The keywords lead search engines back to your primary website for possible further indexing, providing better recognition for the keywords located in your website. Since this is the case, you would want to ensure your website is highly relevant to the keywords you are using in your blogs: context matters here.

For instance, if you’re an auto parts company, there’s no point writing a long, waffly, lead in a blog about your love of 70’s pop music. Edits to your website are typically only acknowledged by search engines when the next indexing update rolls around, meaning this could be up to a few months, unless as discussed above you can prompt a new crawl by updating large amounts of your website simultaneously, i.e. through the publication of various new blog posts.

A temporary tool

Blogs are typically quicker to complete than some other SEO methods, and can be used permanently or temporarily to achieve your immediate aims.

Blogs allow businesses online to respond quickly to a crisis when needed, and when the blogging is no longer needed, their frequency of posting can simply be reduced to the ratio of one per month, for example – just enough to allow search engines to continuously update your website and keep it at the top of your search results.

Build a new online presence

If you wish, you can create an auxiliary point of presence to expand the corporate message.When starting a website for your business, company or even personal profile, blogs are an extremely effective way to push your website to the top of your new search term, strengthening your reputation, and helping to move your social media accounts up the search results pages.

Thus, attracting viewers to your blogs also increases the number of viewers to read about your services or other content. Regardless of your profession, blogs can be used to bring traffic from search engines to YouTube video content, Spotify music or any other source of online content.

It’s no surprise that blogs are a common and popular source for marketing strategies used by companies online.

Interactivity and moderation

While blogs are useful as an effective search engine result modifier, the interactive element gives your blogs the feel of being able to communicate effectively to your customers. If a company posts blogs, they are able to receive comments. Any viewer can choose to post a comment if they want to, but the real benefit of this is the company is able to moderate readers’ comments.

This means the company has full control on which comments are shown, as these first have to be approved by the company before being published. Once again, this control factor is a valuable resource in being able to maintain your reputation online while also interacting with the viewers of the blog. Any derogatory or spam-like posts can be easily blocked whilst the correct information can be shared with ease.

Automatic moderation

Filters can be added to the comment section to automatically flag and redirect the posts that contain a negative comment.

Think of it like this: comments received go through a tube to a moderator’s computer, but if there are too many, they begin to clog the pipe. However, automatic moderation adds a filter and responds to the comments at a faster rate. Anything that is potentially negative will be sent to the moderator, preventing further blockage.

A blog can be maintained and moderated by a company with very little training of the staff involved. You should note that if reputation management is the only reason for the blog’s existence, you should read the content thoroughly before it is posted onto your blog.

You can post blogs as frequently as you wish; the more often a blog is posted, the more often the alert messages are sent to search engines, which means they will crawl your blogs based in your website much more frequently. You can use this to your advantage in delivering your message, countering any negative content, as well as building more brand awareness online, and increasing your business competitiveness.

Case study

UK online reputation management firm, DigitalOx, kindly gave permission to use their case study:

A brand new start

A UK-based e-commerce company was being attacked through 5 forum posts that were appearing on page one of search engine results pages in response to searches for their products and business name.

Challenge

Remove or suppress the misleading forums.

Solution

Monthly blog posts, product reviews and social media content were published, combined with high-quality press releases. Infographics that went viral on well-known social media websites drove hundreds of visitors to blogs created in the company’s name.

Result

A legal request was successful in gaining the removal of three of the negative forum posts after 4 months of back and forth exchanges. The press releases were featured on Google News and received over 500 hits per day, the content contained links to blogs that were created, which rose in the search results to suppress the remaining negative content off page one after six months of ongoing content publication.

Social media content

After posting blogs on your website, you can attract more viewers by sharing the blogs across your social media platforms. With the purpose of influencing the search engines, sharing of your posts acts as a backlink, further pushing your content up the search results pages. This allows you to be able to implement an effective reputation management process, which will bring in more potential customers or build an audience through your blogs, giving you more recognition for your services online.

A lot of businesses typically struggle to come up with content for social media posts, which leaves their accounts quite inactive. Alerting readers of your social media posts to new blog posts enables you to increase your social media content, further increasing your reach to your potential audience and greater recognition of your services. Various apps enable you to schedule posts on social media if this gives you a bit more of a peace of mind.

You must understand that blogging is not merely a replacement for a website, but rather an addition to an existing web presence with the purpose of restoring a positive reputation, or building a new online profile. It is highly recommended that a company provides a core website for your visitors to be interested in their products and services.

Imagine a blog as a regular source of content that sends viewers to your website. There is huge value in increasing your workload by a little extra by using a blog to help increase traffic to your website, which helps to counter negative content and further lifts your position higher in the search results pages. If you are able to do it right, you can reverse any sort of negative online reputation problems and quickly restore your business back to good standing.


About Kim Harrison – author, editor and content curator

Kim Harrison, Founder and Principal of Cutting Edge PR, loves sharing actionable ideas and information about professional communication and business management. He has wide experience as a corporate affairs manager, consultant, author, lecturer, and CEO of a non-profit organization. Kim is a Fellow and former national board member of the Public Relations Institute of Australia, and he ran his State’s professional development program for 7 years, helping many practitioners to strengthen their communication skills. People from 115 countries benefit from the practical knowledge shared in his monthly newsletter and in his books available from cuttingedgepr.com.

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