Go to Google. You can go right now, I’ll wait. Type in your business name and some location info, like “Smith and Sons, Dallas”. Look at the search results. If all of the top 10 results are positive links TO your business and ABOUT your business, you can stop reading this now.
If, however, other sites are ranking in the top 10 for your business name, or there are negative reviews, comments or reports showing up, you might want to continue reading this blog post.
NOTE: You’re not going to have any luck asking Google (or any other site) to remove links to negative reviews or delete trash talk about your business. But if you can OWN the top 10 organic results that show up when someone searches your business name, you can greatly mitigate the impact of that negative content.
So how do you own the organic results for your local business?
Leverage Social Media and Networking
This is easier than you think. Look at the example below. This local business has a website, a store, a Facebook page, and has claimed or submitted listings in various relevant directory sites. They also have a Twitter account, Flickr, YouTube, an Etsy store… you get the picture.
They OWN their brand online by making sure they have claimed and submit content to their social media accounts. They also own their brand online by using old fashioned networking that translates very well online. Guilds, associations, formal groups, informal groups are all in their real and actual network. It’s not a fake network or linking scheme. They belong to various highly relevant groups that link to them online, and they are listed in the various directories that they should belong to.
Leverage Website Content to Conquer
The swimming pool company in the example below has done a great job of publishing unique, original, interesting content on their website, and Google rewards them. You can see that multiple pages from their own website dominate the search results for their name.
You can do the same thing by making sure your website has great, original, relevant content that you regularly add to. One of the easiest ways to do this is to add a blog to your site. The important words in that last sentence are “to your site”. If you’re going to produce great stuff online that people want to read, you need to publish it on your own website before you share it anywhere else. Why should Facebook or some blogging platform get all the traffic that your hard work generates?
BONUS TIP: In addition to these two proven tips, you really need to read about how to claim your business name online so you control it.