When using a search engine, the very first result that anyone will see for a search term involving your brand, is not the search engine results. Instead they will see the auto-complete suggestions in the search bar. If these suggestions include negative terms, it can color the searcher's view of your company and your reputation. Try it yourself!
The suggestions appear to be decided upon by three factors. As with all things Google, it is impossible to know precisely, but it would appear that the number of times a term is searched upon (search volume) plus social media mentions as well as Web mentions are involved.
There are a number of ways you can counter a negative term in the auto-complete feature and replace it with a positive term for good brand reputation management. It is not an easy task unless you have several thousand willing volunteers happy to search upon the new term for you. BUT it can still be achieved.
Follow These 5 Steps To Start Taking Control Of Google’s Auto-Complete
- Use your social media accounts, actively. You should have accounts on Facebook, Google+, LinkedIn, Twitter and Pinterest as a minimum. Your bio should include positive terms you would prefer to the negative term(s) affecting auto-complete. Keep your input to these networks positive and make sure your status updates, Tweets, comments on LinkedIn Groups and Pins include keywords and phrases you would prefer to be found for.
- You may have seen on ads that companies often include phrases such as “search on [preferred term]” in order to drive traffic for a specific key message. You can do this too – add the chosen positive words to your tagline on your blog, your business card, your email signature file, and of course, optimize at least one page on your website for this term. Your 'About Me' or About Us' page should include it in close proximity in the copy to your brand name, or your own name if that is where the problem lies. Once your optimization has taken effect and you can be found on the search engines for the required result, then include the link to that results page everywhere you can naturally place it.
- When traveling, take the opportunity to log on through a hotspot or from a cybercafe using their computers, and search for your preferred term plus your name. This will be logged as a separate search than your normal IP address and will help to bring the desired positive term up in search volume.
- Ask your friends and family to do the same from their own computers. Every little bit helps!
- Head out onto the Web and find as many sites as you can that allow you to add a bio along with your name so that you can include your positive terms. This can include forums, social networks, bookmarking sites, Q&A sites, etc – some examples: Empire Avenue, HubPages, Zurker, Bubblews, Squidoo, Quora, Teckler, content curation sites such as Scoop.it, and so on.
Just these simple steps will help to overrule negative keywords and replace with positive words in Google's auto-complete suggestion tool. Overall, this can help your SEO efforts quite significantly.
For more advice on SEO and copywriting to boost your online presence, call MintCopy at 888-646-8003 or send us an email.