At Search Engine Strategies San Jose, Darrell Long from Search Engine Journal and Agency Web sat down with Jason Billingsley to rap about reputation management and search engine optimization for online retailers.
Here's the skinny:
To optimize your brand in search listing pages, first you must be monitoring your brand online. Tools include Google Alerts, Trackur (Andy Beal's tool) and Buzzlogic. (Linda reminds you to scour the search engines manually also, as these services will alert you to new appearances of the keywords you are tracking, not what's been on the web for a long time).
You may find "negative" occurrences on the web about your brand or company, like complaints about your products or customer service. These may even be resolved issues, but they still exist online, forever. How fo you combat that? If you have legitimately solved these old problems, how do you showcase that you handled them?
One way is to tap into the very social networks the commentary about you appears (blogs, forums, review sites, Twitter) to build a presence online and to respond to issues. Show you are trying to fix problems or trying to be supportive of your product or service.
Another approach is to create many social media profiles or sub-domains in attempt to push less than stellar results off the first few pages of a search engine. Darrell's not crazy about this strategy, noting that your results are often short-lived because search results are always in flux. Don't forget you are working on building your brand's reputation by helping solve problems consumers are complaining about online.
Nevertheless, when you sign up with social media sites with authority (like YouTube), it does push less authority results down - but this is not your primary goal. You can create a profile with your brand's keywords or the keywords for your company, start building profile (add friends, add videos/content) and contribute to community (comments/content).
The added bonus to video sites is you get "universal search" or "blended search" benefits. Universal search refers to news, images, video results appearing in regular SERPs (search engine result pages). Often video results are intriguing, draw the searcher's eye and gets a click.