Here at Reputation Hacks, we use a special tool to measure and analyze the eight core principles of reputation management. My friend Yu-kai Chou originally developed the octalysis tool we use in 2006 for his gamification framework, and I’ve found that it’s so valuable in helping my clients understand how to build a presence online, that I’ve adapted his octalysis tool to measure reputation management in eight core principles, which we’ll talk about in this lesson.
The Eight Core Principles of Reputation Management
If you look at the octalysis diagrams we have, you can see that octalysis for reputation management is broken down into eight different segments. The top half of the diagram is called the Quick Fix section and contains the various tactics you can use to get fast reputation management results. Along the bottom half of the diagram, you’ll see the tactics that help your brand create a Long-Lasting Defense against poor reviews. These tactics will take much longer to see results from, but they do the most to shield your company from garnering a bad reputation.
The “Quick Fix” Reputation Management Tactics
Let’s dive deeper into these diagrams. Under the quick fix section, we have video and images, which is by far one of the fastest ways to get ranked for specific keywords in Google search results. This is because there is significantly less competition than there would be with textual content. Creating images and video has a higher barrier to entry and can take a higher level of technology and performance skills to make it professional; this is what makes it ripe for the taking. However, it’s also very easy to lose rank on video and images because there’s so much competition.
On the wings, you’ll see social media and public relations, which are also good quick fix tactics. Social media often helps your company rank on the front page, but when you compete with sites that have a high Google page rank, like Wikipedia and Ripoff Report, you’ll likely see your social media get bumped down the list. Similarly, public relations works well to create a big rush of press in a short amount of time; though you’ll get a big boost on search rankings from good press, your press release will fade from the top page of Google within 30 to 60 days. An amazing public relations campaign can create large wins for about 60 days, but after that a company needs either another PR push or a solid, long-term asset online.
The tactics in the quick fix section can bring results as early as 30 days, which is perfect for a company, individual, or brand that has a reputation problem right now. The quick fix section can help you bridge the gap in the short term while you work to build some of the long-lasting defense assets shown in the bottom half of the octalysis diagram.
The Long-Lasting Defense Reputation Management Tactics
On the bottom half of the octalysis diagram, you’ll notice blogging, SEO, and personal branding tactics. Each of these tactics requires a significant investment of time, talent, and creativity. Executing these tactics means creating lots of great content that is optimized for Google’s search engine algorithm. I’ll be honest: each of these tactics is really difficult to execute well, especially if your company doesn’t have much experience with content creation. However, you can always get help with these tasks if you need it. The bottom half of the octalysis diagram, the long lasting defense tactics, will start showing results within 3-6 months, provided your company creates the right types of content consistently.
The Content-Driven and Relationship-Driven Reputation Management Tactics
You’ll notice that the sides of the octalysis diagram also have tactics listed. On the left side, we have the Content-Driven section of reputation management, while the right side has the Relationship-Driven section of reputation management.
The Content-Driven side consists of social media, review sites (like Ripoff Report, Angie’s List, Yelp, and more), and blogging. Each of these content opportunities has the advantage of allowing anyone to post, which means that you can join and start creating content without approval from anyone. On the other side, the Relationship-Driven section consists of public relations, external links, and personal branding, all of which have gatekeepers.
You might wonder, gatekeepers? Well, getting a nice public relations push requires you to convince editors, writers, and reporters to talk about your company in their publications. Getting external links, which is crucial to search engine optimization success, requires you to convince other website owners to link to your company website or blog. And getting recognized for your personal branding requires you to have relationships with the right people who can provide you access to guest blogging and speaking opportunities. Each of these tactics will help you gain more clients and increase revenue, but they rely on your ability to build relationships with others in relevant decision-making positions, so that they choose you when they have an opportunity available.
How to Use Octalysis to Measure Your Online Reputation
Take a look at the image above. This is an actual Octalysis for one of my clients before we started working with them.
You’ll notice that they were doing relatively well in the Quick Fix section, but were doing very poorly in the Long-Lasting Defense and Relationship Driven sections.
The client had created social profiles and videos, but just wasn’t producing enough high quality content to rank well for targeted key-phrases. Furthermore, they were not dominating terms such as “reviews” or “complaints”.
The CEO of the company had no personal brand online; actually, it was worse — he had a negative personal brand online, which was greatly hurting the company. They worked with SEO company so they were doing decently well with SEO, but they just weren’t getting quality external links from relevant and high page rank sites.
We used this analysis to measure what they need to start doing right now and make recommendations for our first steps to dominate their reputation online.
A Summary Breakdown of Each Core Principle
Throughout the reputation management guide, we’ll be diving deeper into each of these core principles with an entire lesson dedicated to each one. Here’s a summary of each core principle:
Search Engine Optimization
We’re going to cover everything you need to know about search engine optimization, which includes the basics, like what alt tags, meta descriptions, and on-page and off-page factors are. We’ll also talk about some more advanced material, like keyword strategy and analysis for your company’s most important phrases.
We’ll help you figure out how to take advantage of long-tail search terms, and we’ll also discuss common keyword phrases that are specific to reputation management, like “[company name] scam,” “[company name] reviews,” “[company name] testimonials.” We’ll talk about a number of websites you can and should have for your company in order to own the search results for a variety of keyword phrases. For example, you might have yourcompanynamereviews.com and yourcompanyname.com/reviews/, each of which needs its own content and reputation management strategy.
We’ll talk about the differences between SEO and reputation management, because reputation management is quite a bit more complex than simply getting one website to rank well in search results. We’ll also go over the biggest mistakes companies make when they try to do this themselves without knowing how Google’s algorithm works, and how these mistakes ultimately hurt the company’s chances of ranking well in search results. One of those mistakes, creating a ton of online assets and simply linking them to each other, is a surprising no-no that can actually give you negative results! We are going to go into much more detail about this in the next lesson because we want to make sure you avoid these problems.
Lastly, we’re going to talk about how to fix Google’s pesky auto-complete feature, which adds words like “reviews,” “scam,” and “Ripoff Report” to your company’s name when someone types it into the search box. (Nice that they do that, isn’t it?) We’ll show you some methods to get this fixed; it’s difficult, but there are things that have worked in the past that we can apply to your situation.
In the lesson on blogging, we’re going to focus on the content strategy, which is one of the core principles of blogging. Content strategy simply means creating the best content possible that encompasses best practices for SEO, personal branding, and human-readability. Our strategy is not like most firms which focus on banging out 400-600 word posts that are keyword heavy; instead, we focus on content that is readable for both humans and search engines and that provides tons and tons of value to the reader.
Remember, Google’s search algorithm is simply a mechanism that tries to find the most valuable content for any given keyword phrase. If you are providing tons of value to a reader with massive blog posts of 1500+ words, then you don’t need to worry about gaming Google’s system, because people will link to you, people will share it, and Google will find it and display it prominently in its search results.
We’ll also talk about how to optimize a blog with plugins. Real quickly—how can you create a blog in 9 minutes or less, that’s optimized for search engines and social sharing, and can help you gain as much exposure as possible in a short amount of time? We’ll share our blog technology and plugin secrets so you don’t have to spend hours researching the technology to power your content—simply download these few things and it just works.
In the lesson on review sites, we’ll talk about the intricacies of Ripoff Report, including details about how people post on Ripoff Report and how companies have been successful in working with Ripoff Report. We’ll also go through a few case studies of companies that have been unsuccessful at suing Ripoff Report. If you’re having trouble with Ripoff Report, this is a great lesson for tackling that challenge area.
We’ll also cover Yelp in detail. As I mentioned in the first lesson, the difference between a four-star and a three-star restaurant rating on Yelp is huge. We’ll talk about how to respond to bad reviews and how to use Yelp to your advantage to get as many people as possible to post positive reviews.
Lastly, we’ll cover techniques for Angie’s List, Google Places, and Glass Door, which are three other review sites that rank well in Google’s search results. We’ll go over how to claim your business on each of these sites, and most importantly, how to generate more positive reviews on each of these sites.
In the lesson on social media, we’ll talk about all the social channels of social marketing, including Facebook Groups, Facebook pages, Twitter, Squidoo lenses, and a number of Q&A sites, like LinkedIn, Yahoo Answers, and Quora. Each of these social media outlets has a different purpose in reputation management, so we’re going to go through the why’s and how’s of these tools thoroughly as they relate to reputation management.
Lastly, we’re going to talk about online asset creation through WordPress.com and Blogger, because these sites allow you to create quick and easy opportunities for external links that will boost your website in the short term. Finally, we will reveal the secrets behind using YouTube and Flickr to rank well on search engines for video and images.
Video and Images
In the lesson on video and images, we’ll talk about how to optimize images and video to rank well in search engines, particularly Google. We’ll get into the specifics of how to link to the title, how to add title descriptions, where to upload it, and what tags to add to each piece of content. This lesson will be very straightforward, but it’s important nonetheless.
In the lesson on public relations, we’ll talk about how to send and optimize press releases. Most importantly, we’ll talk about how to maximize the exposure of those press releases. We’re going to crack open the press release campaign so that your company gets picked up by online publications and gets the press and stories you need to create positive content online that will push down any and all negative content on Google. We’ll also talk about how to create captivating headers, videos, and blog posts, and where to put customer testimonials so that they get you more credibility with editors.
In the lesson on external links, we’ll talk about how to build external links to your site using guest blogging. Guest blogging is both challenging and rewarding, and we’ll show you how to leverage your company and personal brands to research, find, and land opportunities on the best blogs.
We’ll also talk about how to purchase links ethically in very specific situations. We don’t push hard on this concept, because we have a saying, “If it’s easy to do, then it’s probably not worth doing.” But there are a few situations where it might make sense, and we’ll go over these in this lesson.
We’ll also talk about some advanced techniques to getting external links, including creating link bait content and using infographics to convince people to link to your site.
In the lesson on personal branding, we’ll talk about how to establish thought leadership in an industry, how to create a personal blog that will help you land new opportunities to grow your business, and how to network with key contacts who can help gain you more exposure. We’ll also give you the advanced techniques, like how to optimize your networking and how to utilize the Google authorship markup tools to maximize your click-through rate when someone searches for your name on Google.
I’ll also give you my personal tips for how I and many of my friends (also some of the best online networkers in the country) have landed major conferences and tradeshows, cold emailed top entrepreneurs and gotten coffee dates, and connected on LinkedIn InMail to build those relationships online.
Stay tuned for the next lesson of the reputation management guide as we will be diving into each of these topics individually, starting with SEO. I’m confident that you’re going to learn a lot! And by the end of the reputation management guide, I’m confident that you’ll be dominating your reputation management online.
Throughout this course, I’m sure you’ll have a lot of questions, so be sure to ask using the comment section of this post. You can also reach out to me at jun [at] reputationhacks.com to get your question answered. See you in the next section!