One of the worst things that can happen to a business is to have a negative article appear above their own pages in the search results. Reputation management has several key areas that should be addressed.

Obviously, the first key area is to ensure customers receive quality service/products and don’t see a need to complain. However, even in the best run business, not every customer will be happy.

The second component to reputation management is to ensure you are in a position to identify anything negative when it appears and to be in a position to counter the negative comments. Imagine, however, a user who enters your brand in a search field the first listing in the results is the negative comment – and it can happen.

Can you prevent it? Yes and no. Often the first results on a page are simply due to freshness. Within 24 hours the listing has dropped off the front page altogether. Unless of course it gets picked up and repeated.

One area that many businesses fail to capitalize on is their brand, or more importantly,their business name. If you have completed a thorough SEO program, your business name should always appear at the top of the SERPs. Depending on the competition for your brand, that should also appear at the top of the SERPs.

If your business name and your brand are both appearing at the top of the search results then any new pages will find it difficult to outrank yours for those proprietary keywords. It is all to easy to concentrate on the keywords related to your products or services – yet it is not that difficult to include your company name and brand. Pump your brand name into every page to get the maximum search engine return and a head start on your reputation management.

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