Despite the fact that 70% of a company’s reputation is based on the public’s perception of the CEO, most CEOs aren’t cognizant of what appears on Google or social media when their names are looked up. They often realize the impact of a negative online reputation much too late, after their unfavorable public image is fully established.
There are ways to mitigate the damage caused by negative media. Through the case study presented in this article, we will demonstrate how executives can build an iron-clad online reputation that can weather the storm of internet defamation.
In October 2019, a distraught high-profile corporate lawyer reached out to Blue Ocean Global Technology with a highly sensitive internet defamation challenge. This person wanted to gain control of their Google search results, build a positive online presence, and suppress the erroneous negative content wrongfully defining their character.
Our client was falsely accused of sexual harassment by a colleague. Given his prominence, the false accusation gained rapid traction, with viral media coverage portraying him in a strongly negative manner in industry, local, and national press. The controversial articles quickly reached the first page of Google search results. 8 out of 10 search results on page 1 under our client’s name were either negative or inflammatory. Our campaign strategy to rebrand their digital presence included surgical SEO tactics and an aggressive reputation-building strategy centered on promoting their work, true character, and proven industry leadership.
Outlined below are key points from our campaign:
- Designed, developed, and optimized our client’s multiple personal websites to rank on first few pages of Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs.)
- Actively monitored historical and new mentions on the internet for our primary keywords in addition to bi-monthly sentiment analysis.
- Built our client’s professional profile on relevant and high authority platforms specific to their industry, highlighting their expertise, achievements, and life outside work.
- Created a web of digital assets to highlight the client’s family values, volunteering experiences, social work, and impact created in the past decade.
- Published high quality optimized content regularly, curated via open-source platforms.
- Created a custom social media strategy for each of the top-ranking social media profiles.
- Actively engaged with social media audience.
- Paid for advertisements on social media and Google.
- Published regular press releases, creating engagement on industry-specific Q&A platforms to build a relevant and strong digital presence.
- Utilized Review Management and Google My Business optimization for local searches.
- Set up clear KPIs to measure timely success and performance.
- Used Image Optimization to clear Google Images of negative content.
- Promoted and published audio and video content regularly.
The Results for Our Client:
- Earned five new speaking gigs within 6 months.
- Content and profile featured on top platforms including Bloomberg, Chief Executive, Thrive Global, The Next Web, Venture Beat, Tech Crunch, etc.
- 80% of results on top 3 SERPs share a positive sentiment.
- 100% of the results on the first page of Google search results and news are positive.
- 74% increase in website traffic. This increase eventually led to a higher conversion rate and brought more customers to the client’s business.
- 160% increase in social media following. The client has a strong content strategy and engages with their social media audience.
- Established client’s profile as a thought leader.
- Built a Google Knowledge panel on targeted keywords.
- Placed client’s website rank under their name among the top positions. Additionally, the website also ranks for keywords their customers are potentially searching for.
- No negative content published since 2019 has ranked on the top 5 Google search result pages.
- Established a strong and stable digital reputation for the client as a trusted lawyer.
SEO plays a vital role in making your brand more visible on Google. Modern SEO combines creative and technical elements that are required to improve keyword rankings, increase online awareness among users, and drive real traffic.
A penny saved is a penny earned. Being proactive about your online reputation will save you valuable time and resources in comparison to investing in a damage control campaign post-defamation outbreak.
Below are a few pointers on how to stay ahead of the game:
#1 Stay Keen on Your Brand Signals
Brand signals are key profiles connected to your image online such as social media accounts, personal websites, and listings on professional websites related to your industry. Without a proper strategy for your online presence, it is easy to lose control of your overall image, as only existing content, positive or negative, will be what is associated with your name.
#2 Monitor Your Online Presence
Monitoring tools such as Google Analytics, BrandMentions, and Google Alerts will help you monitor your key digital assets. These helps drive the most traffic to you via keywords. The content associated with your brand, or the stuff that ranks prominently in search results is what defines Google auto suggestions when your name or business is searched online.
#3 Have a Dedicated Plan for Your Digital Presence
You should regularly conduct a full digital audit across social media, relevant websites, and news sources. Your online portfolio represents a major component for how your business is perceived online. Focus on creating relevant content that is both engaging and optimized from a search engine’s perspective.
When it comes to your online reputation, the best offense is a good defense. The CEO’s reputation management should focus not just on reputation repair, but also create a plan to build up your current one. Averting the crisis before it occurs by creating a strong, positive online profile can save you a wealth of resources and go a long way towards bolstering the success of your business