ReelSEO's Grant Crowell interviews another panelist from the recent SMX East conference on search and reputation management, Seregeti Communications' Director of Search, Simon Heseltine. Simon offers some special tips on utlizing social media sites and local search.
For some background, Simon is the Director of Search at Serengeti Communications, a digital marketing agency based inside the DC beltway. Simon has spoken at a number of conferences in the U.S. and across the Atlantic for Search Marketing Expo (SMX) and Search Engine Strategies (SES), on a variety of topics from reputation management to social media to dealing with difficult clients.
Grant/ReelSEO: What would you consider to be of chief concern with your clients when it comes to online reputation management with SEO and video?
Simon: The chief concern for most clients is what's showing up on Google for their brand; if there's a video that is showing up in the search results that is, in and of itself, negative, or has a negative description displayed for it. (On occasion I've seen videos in the search results that use the latest comment as the description, which can be something that's totally unrelated to the video itself). Ever since video results were integrated into the regular search listings through Universal / Blended search, this has become more of an issue that companies have had to pay attention to.
What are some of the mistakes you have seen clients, or businesses in general, make when it comes to their online reputation with video?
There are a couple of big mistakes that companies tend to make:
First, there are those that ignore the potential for reputation issues. They don't monitor their brand; and they just simply believe that if they don't see it, then it's not there, which is of course not the case. If a video isn't showing up at the top of Google Search, it doesn't mean that their clients aren't seeing it. What if it's being discussed in a major forum frequented by their clients?
Secondly, some companies just jump in, assuming that all they have to do is throw a PR video or an ill-conceived video contest together and the customers will come running. Again, that's not the case. If they don't know what their audience is interested in, and where they congregate, then they may be wasting their time, or creating their own reputation management issue as customers complain about unrelated topics, or about the lack of relevance of the video to whatever issues the company may currently have.
What do you consider to be the important areas for monitoring and managing your online reputation involving video?
We have an in-house tool for reputation monitoring, so we use that to find out where our clients are being talked about, but for a company that doesn't have that facility, or isn't working with an agency that does, the simplest thing for them to do is to set up RSS feeds from the major video sites in order to find out when something involving their brand shows up. Then it's a matter of looking at the content, reviewing comments, and seeing what kind of play it gets. A company should always have a response plan in place for when something critical is released, and implement it based on the level of uptake on the video.
How does social media sharing and networking come into play with search engine reputation management and video?
From a linking perspective, getting a positive video to rank well for your brand, either proactively or to push down a negative result, social networking sites can work out well for you, as you're potentially allowing more eyeballs to get to your video. Now, this doesn't mean that you just go out to social networks and hawk your products until you're blue in the face, you have to be a member of those communities that gives as well as takes, that provides a benefit to the community as a whole, otherwise you're going to either be ignored, or cause another reputation management issue.
Also, a company should make sure to secure their brands on social networks to prevent others with more nefarious purposes from obtaining them and potentially causing a reputation management issue later on.
If you haven't already mentioned them, are there any particular issues with local search and video that pertain to reputation management, compared to the general web?
When you're looking at local search, there are different opportunities to displace a negative video, by getting your business listed in local sites, such as IYP sites, which tend to rank fairly well for companies in specific locations. Provided your company has a generally good reputation, there are also plenty of review sites that you can ask your evangelists to use, that will again rank well for you.
Seregenti Communications works with a variety of clients from non-profits to commercial, on topics ranging from SEO to PPC to Social Media to Reputation Management to Training in all of the above. Simon can be reached via e-mail: Sheseltine(at)Serengeti.com