The Reputation Management Process
This is a sample online reputation management process. The exact process we use for your reputation management campaign will differ somewhat.
Reputation Management: Month 1
The first thing you will receive as part of your reputation management plan is a ‘CQ’ or Customer Questionnaire. The CQ seems like a lot of work (mainly because it is), but it is extremely important for a successful project. Depending on the type of entity you represent (business reputation management, individual, political, etc.) we will ask various questions that will inform the rest of the project, and form the basis for any high quality web content we develop as part of your strategy and execution of the reputation management process.
During the first month of the project we perform first a Gap Analysis to know what is owned or controlled by you, and what is controlled by others using a proprietary system we have evolved over eight years in business. Digital Inbound maintains a constantly updated list of ‘strong’ web properties we can use for online reputation purposes that service various industries. We compare this list against what is ranking for your search terms now. The missing properties are marked and ranked for relevance in your campaign.
Once we have measured the existence and relative controllability of existing web properties that show in your branded search results Digital Inbound performs a sentiment analysis on all properties. We rank all of the relevant web properties as good, neutral, or bad and answer the question ‘is it about you?’. In the case of search result suppression the sentiment analysis also indicates ‘PBN’s. PBN stands for Positive Below the Negative. We identify positive search results that are technically suited to rise in search results naturally (with some help).
With the above steps completed we know which web properties you can control, which should be promoted, which should be suppressed, and what content needs to be created for your benefit. This process if followed by a reputation content development plan. The content plan may include biographies, blog posts, blog comments, articles and guest posts. It may also include press release development and distribution, web development and more.
At this point we know quite a bit about your project and what needs to be done to bring it to satisfactory completion. But we don’t yet have all the pieces. A large amount of content is to be created, much of it placed on third-party websites. Guest posts are a good example of this part of the reputation management process. In the first month we begin the search for the ‘perfect’ places to post your content. The better places we find, the better we can help you improve search results.
Finally, while publisher research is ongoing, development begins. We begin creating web properties you control as soon as possible. Depending on how quickly things move, we often have websites and at least fifteen fully controlled web properties developed and deployed in the first month of your reputation management plan. These frequently begin changing search results first.
Reputation Management: Months 2+
The second month has less steps than the first, but this is where we dive deeper into the solution.
Search results can change somewhat month to month. To be absolutely sure we are targeting the best search results for promotion and suppression, we measure positives each month. If they’ve changed, we change your reputation strategy to match the new landscape.
During month two of the typical internet reputation management process Digital Inbound continues developing web properties. Nearly a decade of reputation management experience has taught us how to deploy web properties to best advantage. Rather than developing and deploying web properties all at once (because it causes unnatural search engine patterns) we ‘drip’ our development cycle. So we spread development over many hosts and IP addresses at different times.
PBN’s (Positives Below the Negative) are targeted for search engine optimization. This is done by using various proven patterns of cross-linking, anchor text, and quality content. Certain web properties we have been developing for you are harnessed to pass search engine ‘juice’. We are careful not to create ‘link wheels’ or other unnatural linking that wouldn’t be helpful to people or to search engines.
At this point we have used the information from the CQ (Customer Questionnaire) to inform the reputation management strategy, and the first months (initial) content. During the second month we revisit that information and continue to create great content based on the content plan we began in month one. PBNs may have moved, so we realign our linking campaigns with the changing environment.
Some campaigns necessitate social media beyond the initial setup and content from month one. In this case we develop a web of social media properties and tie them together using a social media dashboard. The social media dashboard makes it easy for us, and later for you, to manage your social media profile content. The heart and soul of social media is good content.
Every good online reputation management plan includes monitoring. Monitoring should be executed at least once each month using both automated and human methods. Automated methods are often inaccurate because they try to pattern match using artificial intelligence that does not understand nuanced human speech. We check results manually every month to avoid this problem.