What's Working In ORM Right Now (June, 2020)

BHopkins

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It’s been some time since I’ve posted a strategy guide and I wanted to give you some real and practical tips on what is working right now (June, 2020).

These are in no particular order.

EMD’s
Exact Match Domains (EMDs) are ranking as well as they ever have been. Some content, a couple pages, a link or two and they should be on the first page for the exact matching keyword. These are extremely important for individual online reputation management.

Interviews
Being interviewed in print is similar to have an entire page on a website devoted to your client. This is beneficial because it will typically have the client name in the title, URL, and throughout the interview. A good interview on a good site will often rank well.

Social Media (LI, FB, T)
Social media is one of the core four content areas (news, social media, owned sites, non-owned sites) that I’ve identified in the Google algorithm. I only focus on LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter, in that order. I don’t often see any other social media accounts consistently ranking, except Instagram and YouTube (if they have real preexisting engagement) rarely.

3rd Party Bio’s
These are difficult to come by as they are usually earned. If you are on the board of directors for a non-profit organization they may have a page dedicated to you. That is an example of a 3rd party bio. You can also look for free sites like Cruchbase but they don’t carry the same weight.

Guest Engagements (Speaking, Webinars, Posts)
Being invited as a guest usually indicates that you have a measure of success already. Someone wants to hear about you, your expertise or your experience. The key is the narrative. Why should you be a guest? What expertise or experience do you have? Answering these questions will tell you where to look for speaking engagements, webinar invitations, interview requests, podcast offers and guest posts.

Premium content placements
This one only costs money. Find a good vendor that has a list of sites to publish on and make sure they can get your name in the title. You control the content for the most part and all you have to do is spend money.

If you’re successful with each area, your search results could look like this.

  1. Exact Match Domain
  2. LinkedIn Profile
  3. 3rd Party Bio
  4. Interview
  5. Facebook
  6. Webinar Video
  7. Premium Content
  8. Twitter
  9. Premium Content
  10. Image Bar

I hope that helps! If you’d like me to expand on any of these or show any examples, let me know below and I’m happy to share more and answer questions.
 

The John Doe

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Hey thanks for that short guide. I have some remarks and questions.

EMD for Individuals, great.
EMD for companies, how do you pick a name and what's the linking type you do on these EMD?

Social media. I've came to realize an inactive social media is as good as non-existing. How do you push individuals / Companies to make them actives an engaging?
 

BHopkins

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EMD for Individuals, great.
EMD for companies, how do you pick a name and what's the linking type you do on these EMD?

Social media. I've came to realize an inactive social media is as good as non-existing. How do you push individuals / Companies to make them actives an engaging?

You're right about EMD's. Companies already have their domain so we wouldn't do an EMD for them, that's primarily for individuals.

LinkedIn and Facebook can be inactive and still rank well. Twitter (and others) can go both ways. I have an alter ego client Twitter account we created in 2014, set up IFTTT to post once or twice a day and it's ranking #3. It's tweets are the exact same thing. "Good Morning! It's 8:00 a.m. here, what are your plans for the day?" and the other is a link to a website through and IFTTT redirect. I didn't even realize it was still posting.

I don't usually push companies to be engaging, if they're not, we'll find other things to do or properties that can rank.
 

BHopkins

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What you mean by Image Bar?

Great question, here is an example of a random name I just searched.

Screen Shot 2020-07-03 at 8.22.18 AM.png
 

The John Doe

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@BHopkins Would you care to shine some light about the nagative SEO state in 2020. Do you see it still working for page suppression?
 

thatkid1

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Does press releases still works? do you follow typical syndicate approach or selective high quality approach?
 

BHopkins

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@BHopkins Would you care to shine some light about the nagative SEO state in 2020. Do you see it still working for page suppression?

Happy to...negative SEO has never been my thing. I've always preferred to focus on what I can do from a positive search perspective. The last time I tested negative SEO was a couple years ago. My advice to clients is always to focus on what they can do to improve their reputation, leave the past in the past, and ignore those who would seek to harm their reputation online.

Does press releases still works? do you follow typical syndicate approach or selective high quality approach?

Press releases are OK. They're not great, but they can rank sometimes. We typically just do syndicated but are only doing a few of them. In the past, they worked really well and we did 1000+ per year. Now, we probably do 5 per month.

what about uploaded newspapers?

Newspapers are fantastic if you can get a client name in the title or a byline. I have a tested a couple of different methods for this including an alter ego who was a journalist and then contacted papers offering localized news. We have a few bylines like that and they rank really well. The downside is that it's a lot of time and effort to get a single byline. Most newspapers want to have in-person meetings or phone calls. Neither of those work very well with an alter ego.
 

$Bunny$

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Thank you @BHopkins for writing this.

One thing I noticed is for my website even news articles are ranking on 2nd/ 3rd page. Even techcrunch article is ranking on 3rd page. :(

And the negative listing about our website ranks on page 1. Even twitter/Facebook pages are ranking on second page.

What I can think of is due to the engagement of that negative listing.

How to tackle this?
 

redarrow

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Thank you kindly for your in-depth SEO knowledge.

I really enjoyed your post 11/10
 

SEOzack

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How do you find taking clients for ORM?

Do they reach out to you?

I have looked into it in the past. Seems like a challenge to clean the SERPs of negative press which is quite intriguing.
 

Jstrydor

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Bhopkins, I have a couple questions:

1. I'd assume by how well established you are now that you probably get a good amount of referrals from people. If you didn't have word of mouth to go off of and you had to start from scratch today, what approaches would you take in prospecting?

2. Going back to the OG 7878 method, does your company still ever offer review "gathering" services to clients if they need them? I'd assume once you start doing the bigger stuff that it just doesn't make much sense to focus only on generating more reviews, but for someone just starting off is this method still feasible?

What I'm getting at is I know 7878's letter method is timeless but I also know ORM is a lot more well known than it was back in 2011 and all of the big dawgs seem to really have it dialed in to do stuff like you're doing with ranking sites and pages to bury the bad stuff. As far as you know are there companies still out there that pretty much exclusively focus on review generation for their ORM strategies?
 

BHopkins

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Thank you @BHopkins for writing this.

One thing I noticed is for my website even news articles are ranking on 2nd/ 3rd page. Even techcrunch article is ranking on 3rd page. :(

And the negative listing about our website ranks on page 1. Even twitter/Facebook pages are ranking on second page.

What I can think of is due to the engagement of that negative listing.

How to tackle this?

Great question! That's a very common question actually. I recorded a video last week addressing that exact topic, "Why won't my social media accounts rank for my name (or brand name)?"

I'm hoping the editing will be finish later today and published on our website and Youtube channel.

I'll embed or link to the video as soon as we get it uploaded. You can also subscribe to our mailing list and we'll send out an email when it goes live. It will be a series we're calling, "Ask DiamondLinks". This will be Ask DL #1.

How do you find taking clients for ORM?

Do they reach out to you?

I have looked into it in the past. Seems like a challenge to clean the SERPs of negative press which is quite intriguing.

Most of my clients come from referrals or partnerships. I'm not the greatest outbound marketer so I've always focused on inbound. Some people are great a social media marketing, creating funnels, driving traffic, selling themselves, but that's not me.

Cleaning up the SERPs can be difficult work and it depends on the client and their negatives. A small client with a single negative is generally pretty easy. Someone arrested for getting angry and threatening someone which then makes the local news cycle is moderately difficult. A congressman posting a picture of a confederate flag with a racially charged hashtag is really difficult.

In each situation, the strategy would be the same. Content and links. I've always said, "Great content, great sites, great results." That's been my mantra. We write great content, find great sites to publish on and expect great results. That goes for every client, big or small. We have a few clients who have a lot of content published about them just because they're well known and people are constantly writing about them. For those clients it's more about pushing up the positive results to suppress the negatives.

Bhopkins, I have a couple questions:

1. I'd assume by how well established you are now that you probably get a good amount of referrals from people. If you didn't have word of mouth to go off of and you had to start from scratch today, what approaches would you take in prospecting?

2. Going back to the OG 7878 method, does your company still ever offer review "gathering" services to clients if they need them? I'd assume once you start doing the bigger stuff that it just doesn't make much sense to focus only on generating more reviews, but for someone just starting off is this method still feasible?

What I'm getting at is I know 7878's letter method is timeless but I also know ORM is a lot more well known than it was back in 2011 and all of the big dawgs seem to really have it dialed in to do stuff like you're doing with ranking sites and pages to bury the bad stuff. As far as you know are there companies still out there that pretty much exclusively focus on review generation for their ORM strategies?

Great questions!

1. Yes, most of my clients come through referrals and partnerships. We do great work and get great results. We've done white label work for almost every reputation management company. Many of them come to us when they have a difficult client they need help with. When I say, "almost every ORM company", I mean it. If you've heard of them, if they advertise, if they rank for any reputation related term, we've probably done work on the backend for their clients. They just want ranking results and we can get ranking results.

For prospecting, I would probably play to my strengths. I would start with LinkedIn and cross reference the search results. When I find someone with a negative result, I would add them on LinkedIn, send them a message and follow up a few days later with an email or phone call depending on what info they have in their profile. It's a lot of work but if you can find exactly what works, it's easily outsourced. My strength is this case is closing the client over the phone. Getting them to the phone is always my goal and where I do my best work.

I've never had success with social media marketing, email list building, or anything like that. I have had success with writing expert-level guest posts. I would leverage those relationships as well and see if anyone I know would let me write and publish a guest post for their website. This is especially effective if we're not competing for the same client. I recently did a video with Keyword.com and would try to do more of that type of cross-promotion.

2. I think people get stuck on the exact method @7878 taught us. His method is legendary and has single handedly kept the USPS funded the last few years.

I would suggest thinking outside the box there as well. Don't target people who just need review collection and management. Those clients are going to be $200-400/month and require a very hands on approach. Weekly calls, your expertise, setup, management...I'm already losing interest in all that for a $100/month profit. You'll spend 8 hours a month and earn $100. If that's acceptable, an hourly offline job would probably be easier.

The twist on the 7878 method would be to leverage your strengths and find clients that you can help based on what you're good at. Anyone can white label review collection and generation. What can YOU do better than someone else? What are YOU good at? Why do people want to hire YOU? That's where you should focus. Take the 7878 method and find those prospects, sell them on YOU.

They have a need, how can you fill it? You'll need to be at least a decent salesperson and for that you may want to grab a few books (Joe Girard is my favorite, start with How to Sell Anything to Anybody, How to Close Every Sale, and How to Sell Yourself). You'll also want to have a mental plan. I like the Socratic method and ABC. The Socratic method involves asking questions to get your prospect to the place you want them to go. The ABC method is Always Be Closing. It's simple and easy to remember. How does each word get you to the finish line. This can be building rapport and finding common ground, agreeing with their statements and seeking to truly understand their needs.

An example of the Socratic method I like to start with is trying to get a client to verbalize their needs. I will often ask, "If your search results were perfect, what would you want to see?" Another good question that blends the Socratic and ABC methods is, "Assuming the price is right and we'll accomplish exactly what you want to do, is there anything else that would stop you from getting started today?"

That's probably a post in its own right, since I've deviated so far from your original question @Jstrydor, but I do love talking about all of this!
 

BHopkins

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Which tool you use for keep track of search engine results?

We use Keyword.com. There are a lot of great tools that work, but I like Keyword.com for a few reasons. You can see my interview with them here. I answer a lot of questions in that interview. I'm not an affiliate and not paid by them, I just use and like their tool.

It has a few things I like, on-demand updates, white label "viewkey" URL for clients, historic charts and it just works.
 
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