Recommended Reading – Safeguard Your Brand With Search

Interesting article yesterday at DMNews.com titled Safeguard your brand with search.

[As you may know, DMNews.com is the free marketing resource published by DMNews and Haymarket Media. Much of the site’s content is solicited from industry leaders, offering a daily dose of high-value marketing expertise on a range of relevant topics.]

Yesterday’s piece was framed around the question: "what are the best practices for brands to protect themselves [from negative search results]?"

The entire article deserves a read even if you’re not afraid of negative search results, per se. The answers are not limited to this question; they touch upon a number of bigger themes to do with the power of a proactive online presence in general. We thought we’d highlight a few key points here:

From Noah Elkin, VP, corporate strategy, Steak Media:

Search can help companies build trust, influence and authority.

… [M]ake sure you’re creating a steady supply of relevant content. Develop your site into an information hub with feeds, reviews and articles about your company. Enable people to distribute and share this content with bookmarking buttons, which helps to build a large quantity of natural links. Having different sources, such as blogs, link to your site tells search engines that it is a trusted, quality resource.

From Sarah Hofstetter, VP of emerging media and client strategy, 360i:

It can … help to apply strategic SEO practices to enhance your own online content. This can be achieved by opti­mizing your Web site, as well as via an inbound linking and social media opti­mization strategy. This helps ensure that negative content is pushed down in the rankings and that your brand and brand advocates can rise to the top of natural search results.

From Steve Kaufman, SVP, media, Digitas:

As the saying goes, the best defense is a good offense… By making all appropriate content search engine-friendly, an advertiser can domi­nate many of the top positions on the search page. Rest assured that the ban­dits will employ SEO best practices, so the brands need to as well.

From Adam Lavelle, Chief strategy officer, iCrossing:

User-generated content is here to stay — get involved and get connected.

Having deep links back to your site on high-authority third party sites … benefits your visibility.

But remember the golden rule: be useful in your dialogue. Forums are not a place for blast marketing, they are a place to share, offer up new information, clarify issues, point people to answers, etc.

Successful brands are the ones who behave as truly “connected brands,” tapping into community discussions, sup­porting, getting involved, and sharing.

Great thing about the legal profession: so many of you spend your days generating exactly the type of content that, when shared online, can help to shape your brand in a positive light.

Are you sharing yours?