Online reputation management is an very hot up and coming aspect of the internet services industry that if done properly can end up making you look like a genius to your clients. Why is online reputation management important? With the world turning more and more to the internet for information one needs to have a complete variety of information from various sources so as to lay out a foundation of positive information, to give those interested in you an idea that there are a lot of individuals and groups that have encountered you and were pleased and finally to make any negative stuff get off the first pages of the search engines. A multitude of different sources with positive reviews and information will give the buyers of your clients products or services more of a reason to do business with them as opposed to the company that has a thin positive background. How do you sell a client? First thing is you have to create a sense of need for the client as many people have not even thought of that as an industry. Share with them some of these facts: Almost nobody uses a telephone book to find a number or a business anymore. You may see them used in very rural areas where the internet is spotty but that is few and far between. Also many families do not even have home service so they do not get one delivered as it was in previous times. So they got to the internet to look up a phone number or to find a particular type of business. If you have spotty things on the internet or if you have very little on the internet that lauds and applauds the client and the competition has a handful or even a bunch guess who has the better shot at getting the business? The other guy. If you have had an issue and are listed on a site such as ripoffreport.com you need to bury that negative information with a slew of positive information from a variety of places. There is no way to stop others from posting negative stuff on the social media platforms either so you need to counter that even if it has not happened because chances are at some point someone will come along and post negative things and that will cost you money. Rare is the business owner that is fine with the competition taking money out of his cash register... in fact I would go past rare and say there is not one out there. Google, Bing and the other search engines are the new telephone book and they are a thousand times more comprehensive that a phone book ever was and a thousand times more effective. Spending your advertising dollars on a yellow page ad is a kin to buying ads and posting them on the inside of your back yard fence... the only person that is going to see that is you and your not the demographic you are targeting. I bet that you didn't know that 80% of the searchers research online before buying in an 10 - 20 mile radius. 80%! Where were cell phones 20 years ago? We had them but they were extremely limited in their functions. You could make a call or you could receive a call... sometimes. Today cell phones are everywhere and they have a plethora of functions. The mobile advertising industry is exploding exponentially with all the functionality of the current smart phones and the internet is searched more on a cell phone than one would imagine. There are over 1.2 billion (Yes, BILLION) mobile web users world wide and it's not all fun and games. Over 50% of the people use their mobile phone to choose a restaurant, a car dealership, a bank as well as any other business or industry you can think of and if you are not online and online is a positive way you are potentially missing out on tens of thousands of dollars. With about 7 billion people in the world you could be missing out on 1 of every 7 person that is looking for your business per the US Census Bureau as of March 27th, 2012. Do the math and figure out how much more revenue your company would have with an increase of 14% more customers. 80% of the people use the internet to research before buying in a 10 - 20 mile radius and over 50% of those people are using a mobile device. And that is today as the mobile market is only going to get bigger. Mr./Mrs./Miss Business owner, get on board and get on board fast. How do we go about giving a client solid online reputation management? Google Places. Get your client listed on Google Places (www.google.com/places) firstly. Google Places ranks incredibly high and it is possible for buyers of your clients products or services to leave reviews. When setting up the Google Places listing be sure to add in images, video and every other field available. The more complete the listing the better it will rank. Also make sure that the description has in it the Keyword you want to rank for as that does indeed matter as to ranking about the other guys. Black hat method if you choose: Once you have the listing in place you then add a variety of reviews using assorted Google accounts and different IP addresses. Drip feed the reviews over a period of time and randomize the times the reviews are left as well as the time between reviews. White hat method if you choose: Tags. Google now sells advertising for your Google Places listing and calls them tags and it is essentially a little yellow arrow below your listing. You can point that to a few different things but your best bang for the buck is going to be pointing that to the posts that Google allows you to have... the micro blog posts of 100 characters. You'll see a small box on the top right hand corner that you can add your posts and will display the first 22 characters of your Google Places listing and if someone wants to read the rest of the post they have to click through to your places page. Why is that good? Change the post daily... make it interesting enough that people will come back and see what you have going on now... a new product line, a new service or a special on something that day/week can draw people to your places page often and leave nice reviews for you because of the value you are offering. Remember the majority of the people online are not aware that you are actually doing all you can to market your business. A complete Google Places listing with images and video and a bunch of positive reviews will get your site higher up in the places listing and the places listings are almost always on top in Google. Linkedin. Get your client listed on linkedin and submit the url to Google and backlink the url as well. Be sure to set your profile to public so the search engines have the opportunity to crawl it. Set the url to be linkedin.com/BusinessName. Now you want to optimize the page using all the fields and semi keyword stuff the page so it is piced up by the linkedin searches as well as Google and the other search engines. I also typically hit the profile with backlinks as well in order to make sure that it is treated a bit better than your average optimized profile. FaceBook If Facebook was a country it would be the 3rd most populated country in the world. Get your client on FB and get his page active and make it public. Add content on a regular basis and backlink the FB page. Have his FB page print on his receipts and have a link to it from his main site. If he advertises on local media make sure that he mentions his FB page in the advertising... in short make it an active page so that it ranks in Google. An active FB page will trump a lot of other pages online and works wonders for Reputation Management. YouTube If you are not using YouTube for your clients you are doing them a serious disservice. YouTube Videos can be ranked quite easily and can grab 10% of that first page real estate on Google without much effort. Make some nice videos for the client lauding and applauding him or his company, tag that video with plenty of long tailed keywords, e.g. shop at Joe's Store, deals at Joe's Store, Joe's Store Hours etc. After you have the videos up for a week or so then get some views to them (fiverr!) as well as hit it with some mild backlinking. I would not get more than 40 50 views a week initially. Don't blast it with Xrumer or ScrapeBox or some such thing... hit it with some Wikis or other mild backlinks. Get those links indexed suing your favorite service such as lindexed.com and wait a while. Once the videos are up for a month or so then you can do some real SEO to them and push them into the front page of Google. Slam them with scrape box blasts if you want and continue to add views and you'll see them take over page 1. These Videos are yours and not your clients so make sure that you have them in a channel that you own. If the client fails to pay you have the opportunity to take them down in one fell swoop or if the client wants to own them at some point you have another income opportunity. Twitter If he does not have a twitter account he needs one yesterday. Set up an account for him and send out tweets on a regular basis. Be sure to mention Joe's Store in the tweets as you are tweeting away. Just as with FB, make sure his clients are aware that he has that twitter account and get them to follow him once they find out. It's not real hard for him to get those kinds of followers if he has special offers for only those that are on twitter and can bring in the "special coupon code" for discounts and deals. In addition to the legit followers get many others using the variety of techniques that folks use to get followers (best one is to follow others and they usually follow back). Build the account up so that there is a little army of followers and retweeters and you'll see some of that build his reputation online. Be sure to backlink those tweets also.. you can just toss them in Scrape Box if you want along with your FB and Myspace pages. Use a LOT of different anchor texts when you are doing that though so as not to leave any kind of silly footprint. MySpace Myspace, seriously? Yeah, seriously... set up a myspace account and make it content rich as well as keyword rich. The account should, of course, be myspace.com/client and treat it similiarly as you were the FB page except don't worry about his clients seeing it because nobody really cares... except Google. Myspace pages can rank very nicely in Google and that is one more piece of front page real estate that you can grab without a ton of effort at all. Web 2.0 Properties Do not forget the power of Web 2.0 properties when doing online reputation management. They can certainly rank and will absolutely "clog" up the search engines for your clients. Clientname.Web2.0.com s a great way to have a lot of positive information on your client in Google et. al. and you do not have to be content heavy which is real nice. A 700 - 800 word article that is keyword rich and uses h1, h2 and h3 tags as well as the <strong> tag for the keyword (your client's company name) goes a long way in protecting your client. Don't leave it at that though... update those properties on a regular basis with new unique (spun is fine) content and be sure to backlink the content as well. An active Web 2.0 property can rank very nicely for a long time and links to it would seem very natural to Google IF it is updated periodically. How many Web 2.0s should you build? As many as it takes but you would be well served by 40 - 50 and be sure to hit all the usual suspects... Wordpress, Blogger, Hubpages, Squidoo etc. Article Directories Article directories do not have the clout they used to have and for good reason as they were used and abused by folks for years but they do have their place in the reputation management society. People still go to them to read articles... with a proper keyword rich well written article you can still rank and if you have no outbound link in the article you are better yet. Write a 700+ word KW rich article discussing the pros businesses similar to Joe's Store and submit it to Ezinearticles.com without the name of your client in the title. Do not mention Joe's Store at all in the article but make it a generic article about that industry. In the Bio or Resource box you can be promotional and get Joe's Store in there 2X. The longer the article the longer they allow you to have for your resource box so keep that in mind. Once you have the article in Ezine, spin that puppy and put it in a tool such as AMR and publish it everywhere you can making sure it is spun properly. Press Releases This is quite possibly my favorite method of reputation management because it is so easy and looks so good to a client. Write one decent length press release about an aspect of the business (700 - 800 words... seeing a trend yet?) and make sure the title has the Joe's Store in it and the keyword density is 1.5 - 1.9% in the press release. Submit it initially to prlog.org. You'll need an account there and you'll need to use a legit email as they do not allow throw away emails for account sign ups. When you set the account up they allow you to choose a city, choose New York as you'll get a better ranking in Google as well as set up a "Press Room" to have your press releases published. When publishing the article they allow you to choose 3 categories. Those categories you are going to choose are Advertising, Banking and Finance as they get the most run on that site and will rank better because of it. Write a nice business profile using your keyword and put that in the the business profile section and be sure to add in keyword rich tags. Also in your summary be sure that you have Joe's Store in there as well so that you get that little extra keyword bump. As to the summary many people just grab the first paragraph of the press release and that is such a waste of opportunity. Don't be lazy, write a little summary as it only takes a few minutes and will aid in ranking the PR. From here you can submit the same press release to a variety of free PR sites or do what I do which is put it in the best spinner and get a bunch of unique press releases out there.. some will rank and some won't as that is the nature of the beast. Rinse and repeat this process on a regular basis. EMD Domains Exact Match Domains seem like a no brainer but is often overlooked in the reputation management industry. Buy each and every extension as well as any reasonably expected misspellings for your client. Be sure to buy the .mobi extension and absolutely, positively, 100% make sure that you make the site functional on an ipad, droid and a smart phone. Build the sites with proper on site SEO and do minor off site SEO for them and you should be golden. What I have found to be very effective is to have a site that is not very thin like you see out there but a 15 - 20 page site so you have opportunity to rank your clients' inner pages as well as the root domain. Again h1, h2 and h3 tags as well as the <strong> tag for his name or company name. Again I would go with longer articles (700 - 800) words as well as add in images that are named the company name as well. Images rank as well so use that as part of your on site SEO. Imbed your YouTube videos in the pages as well and backlink the inner pages as soon as you make them. If you are using Word Press (which I suggest) to build the sites be sure vary the theme for each one and do not have the same plugins on each site and host them on different IP addresses as well and use a huge ping like the one that is offered here for free: http://www.mediafire.com/view/?beopaip2rqq2e26 You own the sites, not the client... he is renting them. If he wants to own them you have an opportunity for additional revenue once again. I brought up specific sites like Myspace, Facebook, Twitter and such as specific sites but you want to expand that if the above is not cutting it for your client. You want to do the same with Flickr, Tumblr, Technorati, Digg and all the assorted social bookmarking sites as well. Some of the social bookmarking sites may only rank for a short period of time and that is fine since you are going to be building the other sites for long term benefits and you will need some short term rankings to help out as you are building your long term sites and the more your client sees his name online the merrier he will be. So basically what you can see happening is that we are generating a bunch of unique content and placing that content on different platforms taking up all the real estate you possibly can and hiding any "bad" information that may be out there on the internet that is hurting your client and affecting his income. Be sure to have NO OUTBOUND LINKS on any of the properties you are building no matter how tempting it is. You are not doing SEO you are doing reputation management and outbound links will take a bit away from the strength of the sites. You want to take up as much real estate on the first few pages of Google for your client and you want as much of what you write to be positive as well as informative about his business. Save every link that you build on every site whether it is one that you own (the EMDs) or any of the properties that you build for him on other sites. At random various times send backlinks to them, hit them with social bookmarks, throw them in an indexing tool so the bots revisit, scrape box blast them with a huge variety of anchor texts... the actual anchor texts are not overly important as much as it is important that the backlinks "remind" Google that the sites are not orphaned and that people are interested in what is written on them and want to share them with friends and family the world over. This is probably more of an outline than a specific method and you'll find other ways to add to the process I use and should certainly implement them as you serve your client. Want to DL this? Go here: http://www.mediafire.com/view/?wi7jiejjtxfkhbm It's a PDF file and you can feel free to share it with others of course. I'd also love to hear other ideas as to Rep Management so we can all expand our knowledge there.