High-Quality Content Is Necessary for Online Reputation Management
Content is the most critical component of online reputation management given the extensive list of Google’s algorithm changes. Google’s algorithm evaluates the credibility, relevancy and importance of online content. Google continually updates and refines its algorithm, the complicated system that it used to establish the value of all sites online. These consistent adjustments will have a direct effect on your branding efforts and your online reputation.
One reason behind this process is because so many individuals and organizations are continually making efforts to cheat the system. They attempt to trick Google (as well as other search engines) into believing that low quality websites and machine generated or poorly written content are worthy of a high ranking. Many factors go into the Google algorithm. Some of these factors are defined publicly by Google, but others aren’t.
When little information about an individual or business is available online, meaningless websites are viewed as more credible and will rank higher on search results. When you find information about an individual or business on numerous generic platforms, you are likely seeing an online reputation management campaign that is copied for hundreds of people and their organizations.
With the recent Penguin and Panda updates at Google, the search engine rewards content that will be relevant, written at a college educated level and interesting to readers. Search engine success will be difficult to attain if readers aren’t interested in what you have to say.
Google and other search engines are becoming more proficient about sussing out bad content. By incorporating a variety of measures about how people use websites, Google’s new algorithm has made the quality of content more important when calculating search rankings. Quite simply, high-quality work will improve your odds of attracting clients. At Reputation Advocate, we develop an extensive portfolio of excellent content that describes you and your business in a professional, accurate and persuasive manner.
Keep It Simple
Your business needs to write with the busy consumer in mind while also trying to gain approval from the various search engine algorithms. Attention spans are shorter, and not every consumer will have the time to read each word you write. Organize your content in bullet points or numbered list, or even sub-headings, that will help the reader find relevant information more quickly.
A shorter post full of pertinent information can have as much impact as a longer post, provided the message contains a sufficient amount of details.
Your content needs to establish a certain voice. Think carefully about the tone that your organization wants to portray. Make sure that the content has some personality to it while still being professional. Use action verbs instead of passive verbs. You will invariably engage readers with words that are influential and stir their imaginations.
Effective content will combine a variety of elements: information-heavy text, photographs, video, podcasts and other forms of information that enlighten the reader. Ineffective content contains low-quality text with no additional tools.
Some examples of effective content:
- Audio (podcast, MP3, etc.)
- Video (tutorials, instructional videos, etc.)
- E-book links
- Recommended websites and resources
- Reviews, testimonials and comments about your product or service
- Sign-up form to your newsletter
Focus on Your Customers
Compelling content sounds like it was intended for human readers, not for ranking in the search engines. Don’t fill your content with a bunch of keywords that will distract the reader. Write using simple, concise language that emphasizes the aspects of your business that will benefit the client. The search engines are always looking to eliminate low-quality websites.
There are more distribution channels for content, which means more competition for the attention of buyers. High-quality content is the best way to set yourself apart from the competition. To capture the attention of readers, the content must offer valuable and concise information that builds a case for using your business. The long-held belief that consumers must view an advertisement seven times before forming an opinion is out the window. Businesses must manage their reputations with even more care and clarity. Their most recent reviews will be the ones that influence purchasing decisions.
Content Lives Forever Online
It’s impossible for any individual or business to have complete control over their content, good or bad. However, content on the Internet lives there forever.
Publishing high-quality content will increase your prospects of securing more customer traffic. A business that only provides superior content will have its reputation enhanced each time.
This concerted effort works in tandem with the already published reviews and ratings of a business that are now dominating the consumer conversation. In a 2013 buyer survey, 85 percent of consumers said that they read reviews online about local businesses. Plus, 73 percent of consumers said that positive customer reviews caused them to put more trust in a business. Only 12 percent of those surveyed said that they pay no attention to online reviews. As expected, younger consumers (16-34) trust online reviews more than older consumers (55+). Younger consumers have grown up in the Internet age – so they are more likely to both read and value online reviews.
Currently you have little to no control over consumer reviews or ratings – or the efforts of competitors to undermine your business with fraudulent comments. However, you shape your online reputation with positive, informative content posted on your website, social media accounts and blogs.
Work Smarter, Not Harder
For small businesses with limited budgets, high-quality content helps them to outsmart the competition. Many consumers are impressed by great ideas, not by the amount of money allocated to marketing efforts. Many executives are looking to gain a greater return from their marketing efforts, so the focus shifts towards high-quality content in all advertising campaigns.
Unknown to many Internet users, Google rates content at three different reading levels: Basic, Intermediate and Advanced. Why do we bring this up? It shows that Google is clearly analyzing the quality of your content online and ranking it based on their results. By combing through the sheer abundance of digital content, Google has placed it within a certain context to provide readers with more personalized results.
In a sense, Google is grading your content on its readability and sophistication. If you Google your company name, you can see the reading level of most of your content. After examining this data, you may realize that you need to produce higher quality content.
Committed to the power of the written word, Blake Jonathan Boldt joined Reputation Advocate, Inc. in 2013 as a content strategist. In this position, Boldt is responsible for the creation of educational commentary pieces as well as social media and content strategy services for a diversity of domestic and international clients. His articles have been featured in numerous magazines, newspapers ...
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