Reputation Management « Datadial Blog
0208 6000 500

On the subject of Reputation Management

Matt

May 21st, 2009.

SMX London Roundup – More News, Tips, Tricks, Tools And Links

smxlogoAs I mentioned yesterday, we have just returned from the  recent SMX London search marketing conference. Below is our roundup of the best hints, tips and links that we picked up over the two days.

There are also some fantastic posts over at SEOptimise and Distilled that are well worth a read.

The State Of The Search Industry

  • The search industry must focus more on, analytics, holistic search and education for senior management. Cooperation between companies is required in order to grow the industry.
  • During the keynote, Brian Fetherstonhaugh from Ogilvy One pointed out that although search marketing is seen as the holy grail of marketing by the top 1000 CEOs, this still only occupies around a 1.5% mindshare. Search marketers should focus on how search can ad value to existing advertising mediums and can be sold as a research tool.
  • The US has a greater buy-in from senior management. This could be due to an increased understanding/awareness of the technology, or better and more organised education.
  • Integrated search is set to be a huge growth area, both in the form of integrated digital campaigns (SEO, PPC, Digital PR) and also increased synergy between online and offline PR.
  • 46% of respondents to the Guava/E-Consultancy Research were spending a minimum of £10,000 p/a on SEO.
  • 32% are spending a minimum of £100,000 on paid search.
  • 55% of companies predict an increase in SEO spending despite current economic conditions.
  • SEMPO research indicates a shift from paid search back into natural search.
  • SEO is increasingly being used for branding as well as direct response advertising being driven by an increase in local, video and news results visibility.

Keyword Research Tips And Advice

  • Download the Microsoft adCenter Excel Add-In for keyword research. This will help to quickly build keyword lists and give additional demographic information.
  • Don’t just use traditional tools for keyword research. Initial brainstorming with client sales teams is usually an untapped resource for potential keywords, as well as looking at internal site search queries.
  • The credit-crunch has altered search behaviour. Consumers are searching more, researching more but buying less.
  • There has been a 3-fold increase in informational and a fall in navigational search queries. Less brand searches, more price-led queries.
  • Optimise category pages for plural search keywords, product pages for the singular.
  • Use Google Trends to find and keep ahead of topical search terms in your industry.

SEO

  • Wordle is a great tool for finding which keywords a site/page has been optimised for.
  • Using a keyword site:domain.com query you can find the most important pages on your site for a specific keyword.
  • Mis-spellings can be targeted using a glossary or a ‘similar searches’ widget.

Link Building

  • Before releasing online PR/link bait you must understand the reasons that people link to pages. If your content doesn’t encourage people to link in some way, then it isn’t linkbait.
  • A successful linkbait article has an average of 2.7 seconds to grab a bloggers attention. The solution to retaining this attention? A Great Headline. These great headlines should be continued into the subject of the text, and should also be continued into the headlines of whichever social media distribution channel you choose (Twitter, Digg, StumbleUpon etc).
  • Websites Don’t Link to Websites- People link to other people’s work. To improve the response from your linkbait, look into the mindset of the blogger reading your piece- why would you link to it if it was your blog?
  • Discussion sparking content – Create content that can spark controversial discussions. Not everyone in your industry will always have the same view, and providing content that sparks such discussions allows readers to get involved in the discussion. Invite other bloggers to get involved in the conversation (subconsciously inviting the blogger to link to the discussion and make a comment on the discussion on their own blog).
  • Actively promote your own content. Build a directory of targets and inform them when you publish linkable content to increase the take-up rate.
  • Link your articles with current affairs, topical news stories, or hot topics in your industry to increase the chances of publication.
  • Link building is very much dependant on the kind of website you’re working on. Big brands can get away with a far lower link quality than smaller companies and brands.
  • Analise the current inbound links- Big brands should have a range of authoritive links, meaning less authoritive links with optimised anchor texts can help when optimising for a particular phrase.
  • Install ‘Links From Images’ Plugin on WordPress. People still hotlink images… why not provide them with the HTML code and include a link back to the page the image.
  • Where possible, remove all social media buttons (‘tweet this’ buttons etc) on linkbait articles- remove the option for visitors to share the content on other networks to encourage linking to the article instead.
  • Six degrees of seperation works online… target the bigger sites in the industry that the smaller bloggers will read to get links from both the bigger and smaller blogs (and scraper sites!)
  • Build a Promotion Network-
    1. Research sites in the industry and see what they link to
    2. Create an email list
    3. Create the linkbait article
    4. Social media promotion- this is mainly for show- the more powerful links will come from the bloggers you email directly
    5. Send a personal email to the bloggers on your email list informing them of the post ahead of the buzz
    6. Watch the links come in
    7. Show gratification- thank the bloggers and show gratification (Tweet/Stumble/Digg their post in return)

Social Media

  • Social media is now sending significant amounts of traffic to many sites, for the right industries/demographics it’s crazy to ignore it.
  • Utilising Facebook connect and the Twitter API is an excellent way of encouraging your visitors to interact on social sites and linking that interaction with your brand.
  • Use the RIOT principal – Relevant Interaction = Optimised Traffic – Massimo Burgio
  • Bear in mind the 4 P’s of social media – Passion, Proactively, Perseverance and Patience
  • Twitter may well become more important in the search engine world as it starts to index the content of links in tweets and starts to rank these.

Reputation Management

  • There are several basic strategies for dealing with negative listings in the search results. 1) Legal action 2) Purchasing the offending site 3) Organic strategies to push other listing above it 4) Paid listings to argue your case/divert attention5) Hacking – not recommended!
  • Resort to legal action only if sure of your legal footing and as a last resort. It’s very easy for aggressive tactic to blow-up in your face.
  • Sometimes authority domains that have negative listings may also contain positive pages that can easily be used to replace the negatives.
  • Reputation management shouldn’t just be thought of in crisis situations. Effectively monitoring and managing online reputation before a crisis occurs can save time and money later.
  • Bear in mind that if people want to look hard enough for negative stories and articles, they will find them.

Analytics

  • SEO is not a ‘free’ medium – everything has an ROI that should be measured.
  • When monitoring the performance/conversions of large groups of keywords, separate them out into groups for more manageable analysis – Top 10, Top 100, Top 1,000 and 1,000+
  • Brand engagement can easily be worked out using BE = #brand searches + #direct visits / #search visits + # direct visits
  • Another metric worth measuring is the % of pages yielding search traffic. Consider replacing or amending under-performing pages.
  • Link building counts are a metric that people should be using. The most accurate tools for tracking this are Linkscape and Google Webmaster Tools.
  • Use the 2nd page traffic filter to spot keywords sending you traffic from the second page of search results. Pushing these phrases onto the first page are your low-hanging fruit.
  • Use multi-touch tracking to find the initial referrer for a sale rather than the final one. Often a sale initially comes from a long tail search query, then possibly a branded search or PPC ad which then incorrectly gets the credit for the sale.

Digital PR

  • Get Known- build a brand, attend conferences, seminars and other industry engagements. Comment in forums and become a noticed resource.
  • Build a Platform- Speaking slots, interviews, trade shows. Announce your presence at these industry events ahead of time
  • Find industry news and get on it

Presentations/Write-Ups Currently Available Online

Dean Chew – What’s New With Social Media?
Lyndon Antcliff – Smash A Brick In The Face Link Building
Richard Gregory – The Latest Stats About The Search Engines
Patrick Altoft – Blow Your Mind Link Building Techniques
Ciaran Norris – Old Or New? The Future Of Media
Will Critchlow- Analytics Every SEO Needs to Know
Lucy Langdon- What’s New With Social Media?
Rich Cotton- Paid Search & Tricky Issues
Rob Ousbey- Brand & Reputation Management Strategies
Guy Levine- Writing Killer Search Ads
Massimo Burgio – What’s New With Social Media Marketing?
Richard Baxter – Diagnosing Website Architecture Issues
Richard Gregory – Paid Search And Tricky Issues
Nick Abramovic – Multivariate Testing

Anything I have missed? Let me know :)

Matt

February 25th, 2009.

Ryanair – Their Attitude To Online PR Part Of A Bigger Reputation Problem

A throwaway comment on a blog by a Ryanair staff member has led to an online storm that now threatens to spill over into the national press and potentially harm the already tarnished reputation of Ryanair even further.

It all started when a Dublin based web designer Jason Roe posted on his blog that he had found a potential bug on the Ryanair website which changed the displayed price of a ticket to €0.00 when he amended his flight times.

At this stage Ryanair had three options of how to deal with this,

  1. Post on Jasons blog thanking him for notifying them of the error, explaining the steps that they had taken to rectify the problem. Possibly even offering him a discount for bringing this to their attention may have turned this into a positive piece of PR.
  2. Fix the error and do nothing, solves the issue but not much else. The incident gets little attention and goes away.
  3. Post on Jasons blog anonymously insulting him and his website.

In the event they opted to go for #3.

jason!
you’re an idiot and a liar!! fact is!
you’ve opened one session then another and requested a page meant for a different session, you are so stupid you dont even know how you did it! you dont get a free flight, there is no dynamic data to render which is prob why you got 0.00. what self respecting developer uses a crappy CMS such as word press anyway AND puts they’re mobile ph number online, i suppose even a prank call is better than nothing on a lonely sat evening!!

Although this was done anonymously, the Ryanair staff member was easily identified through his IP address. At this point having their staff members abusing people online becomes far more of a news story than a bug on their website ever was, and starts to get coverage on the major social news sites popular with bloggers like Digg, Reddit and Twitter.

Although Ryanair are starting to look bad for not listening to their customers, an apology and explanation for the comments would probably have sufficed and the story would have died before it gained any more momentum.

Unbelievably Ryanair then released an official statement further insulting Jason and bloggers everywhere.

“Ryanair can confirm that a Ryanair staff member did engage in a blog discussion. It is Ryanair policy not to waste time and energy in corresponding with idiot bloggers and Ryanair can confirm that it won’t be happening again.

“Lunatic bloggers can have the blog sphere all to themselves as our people are far too busy driving down the cost of air travel”.

This is now becoming a major story threatening to blow up in the faces of Ryanairs communications department. As well as national press coverage of the story this morning in The Times and The Telegraph people are now threatening boycotts of the airline over their treatment of customers, dragging up old grievances, and has sparked a raft of blog comments and even protest sites.

What Can We Learn From This?

  1. It just goes to show how failing to deal with, or worse, dealing badly with negative online reputation can blow up in your face.
  2. It shows how closely online and offline PR strategies are linked and should be treated as such.
  3. The importance of having an online strategy that ALL staff are aware of and adhere to.
  4. The power of an apology – it can turn negative PR into positive very quickly.

Is This Part Of A Wider Failing At Ryanair?

Managing the reputation of a budget airline such as Ryanair can never be an easy task at the best of times. Uphappy customers and poor press all take their toll. However, performing a quick audit of their online reputation throws up several areas for urgent attention and improvement.

Their search results, that threaten to take a battering after the latest round of blog posts and national media attention are already suffering. I have highlighted their own properties and positive results in green and negative results in red.

Worryingly for Ryanair, not only are they suffering from negative press in their search results, but there are also competitors and affiliate websites that are potentially stealing business from them, both in the natural results and though pay-per-click adverts.
Failure to respond to this is undoubtedly costing them business and keeps other Ryanair properties such as their hotels, magazine and insurance websites off of the first page. The PPC competition needs to be addressed though a campaign of their own.

In terms of their reputation on social media they fare even worse than in the search results. Searching Technorati for blog posts about them brings back an overwhelmingly negative sentiment, the same is replicated on Twitter, though Digg is more mixed however Michael O’Leary is named among the worst corporate leaders of 2006. Lots of negative sentiment to Ryanair in the comments though.

Ryanair protest sites such as Ryanair Campaign and a Ryanair Customers Google Group seem to be very busy with complaints from users and boast visitor numbers running into the hundreds of thousands.

5 Steps For Ryanair To Take To Fix Their Online Reputation

  1. Address the search results problems using SEO to boost their own properties onto the first page while pushing down negative results.
  2. Use press releases and rich media to take ownership of Google news, video and image search results.
  3. Use a PPC campaign to outbid competitors bidding on their own brand names.
  4. Instigate a blogger outreach programme to listen to and address peoples public concerns – turning negative PR into positive.
  5. Create a social aspect to their own website, bringing complaints and concerns in-house so they can be dealt with more quickly and effectively – firefighting negative PR and limiting it’s impact.

Matt

September 4th, 2008.

Reputation Monitoring On The Cheap

Reputation management is going to be a massive growth area for brands over the next few years. Imagine the power in being able to monitor, track and aggregate everything that people are saying about your company and brand online, on blogs, websites, forums, everywhere in fact that your potential clients can find it. With more and more people researching potential purchases online it won’t just be useful to monitor online sentiment, it’ll become vital.

There are several free tools online that will help you to dip your toe into the world of reputation monitoring.

Google Alerts
This is something everyone should have setup. Google alerts will notify you by email every time they find a mention of a specific keyword anywhere online. By setting alerts for keywords like your company name, brand/product names, key staff etc you can keep track of when and why you’re getting mentions online. Key queries include [domain name], [domainname], [domainname.com], [your name], [Brand Name], [yourname], etc.

Google Blog Search
Play with the date parameters to see what people have been saying about your company in the past few days

Twing
Lets you find out what people have been saying about you on forums and discussion boards. Many companies keep a close eye on this and react to positive/negative comments.

Twitter Search
While Twitter is still quite new to a lot of people, it has a huge user base, and many larger tech and media companies are already using it to connect with their audience. Using Twitter Search you can monitor mentions of your company. Subscribe to the RSS feed to be alerted with new brand mentions.

Rob

June 18th, 2008.

Reputation management – What is it?

THE SHOCK

If you don’t read and respond to this post I will sully your brand by writing vicious articles about your company and I will make sure these articles appear top fo search engines.

Yes, this is the sort of world we live in now where criminals and less than scrupulous companies will seek to dominate what is being said about your brand.

THE MORE PROSAIC TRUTH

In reality the above is pretty uncommon though it will happen. What concerns most of us is how do we know what is being said about our company online and by whom.

We all know that word or mouth opinions are the most powerful in terms of influencing customer behaviour. Most of the time word of mouth extends to just 2-3 people, but what if this opinion finds its way to the top of Google each time someone does a search on your brand or company name. This can be disastrous.

Consider these listings for Dabs.com and laptops direct. These companies could be suffering hugely because of these postings. They may have been made by lone protesters but whoever they are their views are appearing on the first page of Google and that’s going to hurt.

Dabs.com

Laptops direct

Online reputation management is a relatively new “industry” as companies have caught on and comprehended the power of bloggers and opinion formers.

The service usually involves applying software to “monitor” comment and stories being written within the blogoshphere. The comments are then graded as to their content (positive, negative, neutral) and the writers influence (obviously a comment from the on the BBC site is obviously much more important than one from a lone blogger in Antartica.)

If a client’s reputation is seen to be suffering then a “reputation repair” service is instigated. The purpose of this is to drive any negative comments from Google’s index, and to post more positive comments within the blogs where the damage is being done.

As always, with any PR it is important that companies do not lie about their product or service. If people are posting genuine grievances “The steak was like leather”, “the cashier was rude” etc then a this should be addressed politely and any improvements that have been made should be highlighted. Accentuating the positive rather than prolonging the negative is key here.

THE SOLUTION

Datadial have launched their own Reputation management service this year and have already enabled blue chip clients to stifle negative press appearing Google and other search engines. The service breaks down into personal reputation management, brand reputation management and corporate reputation management.

Newer Posts »

Recent Posts »

Our work »

What we do »

Who we work with »

Got Questions? Lets Talk »