Most customers are deeply engaged with products and services across the digital space. They turn to digital media, both at home and on-the-go. They use multiple outlets to ask questions, give reviews, and share and connect with others. So how do you defend your brands reputation?
For the reputation management professional, or even for a DIY reputation management novice, there are many tools in the toolbox. Content creation is a big part of what fuels reputation management, for instance; without a strong content strategy, you’re going to end up nowhere fast. It’s important to implement social networks, as well. And of course, there is no end to the ever-changing SEO tactics that a reputation defender must deploy.
But what is it that unites all of these tools—brings them together, and gives them focus? If you’re seeking to defend your reputation, the central, organizing force behind your campaign should be keyword research. Keyword research shows you exactly how you can go about defending your reputation. It also helps you discover just how difficult and competitive it will be to defend your reputation.
Why Keyword Research is Important
Keyword research is an important part of reputation management because it provides you with insight and answers to questions like these:
How strong is the rivalry and intensity for a given keyword—that is, how competitive is it, and how intense is the campaign going to be?
How much time, money, and effort is the campaign really going to require? Conversely, how much time, money, and effort would it take for someone else to outrank you?
How might a change in Google’s algorithm impact the keyword?
And those questions, really, are just skimming the surface. The bottom line is that keyword research is invaluable—but what, exactly, do you look for?
5 Components of Keyword Research
There are basically five things to be aware of here:
- First, remember that there are always going to be new entrants, seeking to rank for the same keyword. That’s why research cannot be a one-time thing. You must engage in ongoing research, as the field of keyword competition is constantly in flux.
- It’s not just the keyword field itself that is always in flux, but also the search engines themselves! Google is notorious for always changing its algorithms. If there’s one thing Panda and Penguin taught us, it’s to remain vigilant about how algorithmic changes can affect your keyword.
- The search engine can impact your keywords, but so can search engine users. User behavior is a big player in reputation management and SEO. If you’re seeking to defend your reputation, you’ll need to include social signals as part of your keyword research. Likewise, you’ll want to make sure you include a social media strategy as part of your reputation defense campaign.
- Remember to consider not just your most basic keyword, but some keyword variants—including geographic signifiers, or words like reviews, scam, and complaints.
- Finally, remember to continually appraise the competition over your given keyword. How many people are searching for the term, and how many entities are seeking to rank for it.
Research is Ongoing
Ongoing research is one of the central practices of any reputation management firm. If you’re looking to defend your reputation on the Internet, research is the best place you could possibly start.