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How to Use SEO to Protect Your Brand

By Chris KnipperSep 7, 2010

In the number of seconds it takes to watch a YouTube video, the reputation of your brand can plummet from respected to reviled. Remember last year's unsanitary food handling video posted by two (now former) Domino's Pizza employees? How long was it before you'd take a chance on ordering from Domino's?

using seo to protect your brandBusinesses must maintain constant vigilance to protect their brands from damage. Brand perception has always been a concern, but today's instant communication makes it that much more important -- and that much harder -- to protect your brand. Large corporations devote teams of lawyers to protecting their brands by ferreting out and addressing every misuse, negative comment or derogatory reference to their brand. Small businesses simply don't have the resources to create that level of protection. For smaller brands, Search Engine Optimization (SEO) offers reasonable brand protection at an affordable price.

In concert with your inbound marketing program, SEO can be carefully managed to protect your brand against negative and malicious online content. Using effective SEO techniques, an inbound marketing professional can increase the search engine page ranking of official brand sites, forcing negative and unauthorized material off the first page of search results.

Fewer than 5% of Internet users navigate beyond the first page of search results, making SEO manipulation a relatively cheap and effective way of protecting your brand from harm. According to Internet marketing experts, customers performing a brand search are generally satisfied and stop investigating after encountering 10 positive to neutral search results. Since the average Internet search page shows about 10 results, pushing negative material off the first page is all that is required to protect your brand from negative online content.

To protect your brand, try these SEO tips:

  • Optimize images by adding your brand name to ALT and title attributes. In Flickr, update the title and description in photo descriptions.
  • Optimize video by creating tutorials, pod casts, product demos, etc. and adding keywords to video titles and descriptions. Place videos on your website as well as on YouTube.
  • Optimize PDF files, particularly document properties that serve as title tag and meta description.
  • Create a Facebook page and Twitter account to optimize your social media profile.
  • Create optimized press releases monthly to maintain search engine ranking.
  • Start a blog and optimize blog posts with branded keywords.

Are you monitoring your brand in social media and search engines? What's your SEO strategy for protecting your brand reputation?

Photo credit: CarbonNYC

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The Author

Chris Knipper

With a background in sales, marketing and technology, Chris has the perfect balance of skills for developing inbound marketing strategy. Since founding Kuno Creative in 2000, Chris has helped hundreds of companies grow their brands and capture qualified leads.
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