Our reputation management client was a real estate investment firm based in the United States. They'd had issues with negative reviews in local search results around the country, which they had reason to believe were placed by competitors. Many of those placing reviews were never clients of the firm.
Our client’s problems were with national search results, as well as with search results pertaining to certain west coast locations. National search results included highly optimized listings for an activist blogger, instead of for the firm - their branded search results were suffering because of it. Local search results had issues with the aforementioned bad reviews. We developed a two-prong strategy to address the client’s needs on a local and national scale.
The goal of our local strategy was to improve reviews. We began by identifying profiles that were ranking well despite having only a few reviews. In order to improve our client’s overall review reputation, we knew we needed to outshine these profiles. Because of their low review counts, we could do this with only a few positive reviews.
We developed a workflow for the client to use as a blueprint for channeling positive client experiences into positive reviews in targeted locations. With only a small number of reviews needed, the firm’s star-ratings improved quickly. We provided the same strategy for more challenging review sites, although it took a bit longer to see results. Still, within nine months the client had improved from two stars to four stars using completely natural methods.
National search results overlapped into local ones. We noted that many of the clicks onto the firm’s site were for terms relating to online financial calculators, so we developed a site and built a calculator specifically for that search phrase.
We placed it on an exact match domain (EMD), which allows pages to improve their rankings with good content, and optimized the site. Traffic began to improve organically to the point where eventually the firm’s site pushed the negative material down in the search results.
The outcome was positive for the client. Locally, an increase in positive reviews improved the firm’s overall star rating on a variety of websites. Nationally, the optimized content suppressed the negative search result that had been harming the company onto the second page of the search listings, where prospects were less likely to see it (a satisfactory outcome, since the negative result itself couldn’t be removed).
The benefits that the firm saw were thanks to a few approaches working together. First of all, efforts were focused broadly on both the local and national scale. There’s no such thing as a one-size-fits-all approach to reputation management, and trying to address the multiple problems at hand without multiple solutions would have been fruitless.
Secondly, we focused on organic improvement. Shortcuts may get you rapid results, but they won’t sustain them. By creating an opportunity for positive growth to happen gently on its own, we set the firm up for long-term, maintainable results.
And finally, we listened. We didn’t just work for the client, we worked with them, providing actionable solutions to the issues that mattered most.