…Or: How to take advantage of competitors who aren’t monitoring their reputation
Ok, so here’s the deal. You’ve got your brand, it’s kicking ass online and everyone loves you (or at least no-one can find that site with all the bad reviews). You’re monitoring your reputation, you’re on top of the game.
But what happens now? What’s next? Surely there must be something you can do other than rest on your laurels, chilling out? Well don’t panic, there is! It’s called ‘Aggressive Reputation Management’:
What is ‘Aggressive Reputation Management’?
In a nutshell: placing organic rankings for your competitor’s company name
Why should I do it?: Because it’s easy traffic, and the traffic acts double because you’re stealing it from your competitors!
Is it blackhat?: Not at all.
Tell me more: sure….
Ok, so let’s take an example. We know that one of our competitors is www.competitorA.co.uk. Now every man and his spider knows that you can’t put PPC on “competitor A” since you’ll get trodden on by the trademark police. So what’s the next best thing? Well let’s take a look at the SERPs:
Obvisouly the number one spot is pretty locked down – but what about the number 2 spot? Unless they are managing their online reputation the number 2 or 3 spot is usually WIDE OPEN (unless the company name has several meanings – such as Distilled) making it very easy to rank on. So why not throw up a page about how your services are better/cheaper than your competitor and get it ranking number 2 for your competitor’s brand name? Sure the traffic you can actually gain through this is minimal, but look at the ROI – it’s the easiest keyphrase you’ll even rank on!
Tips and Tricks
Ok, so now you understand the concept let’s take a closer look at a few more things to consider:
CTR (Click Through Rate)
This is where you put your linkbait skills to the test. Rule number 1 when doing this is that everyone who puts in the search for competitor A is looking for a specific company so you need to make sure that your title and description are appealing and drag users away from the number 1 spot. There are two ways of doing this:
- Use good old fashioned PPC values (i.e. focus, focus, focus on every word of your title and description)
- Appeal to people’s inherent eye for a bargain (i.e. see what your competitor is offering and offer something better!)
What is rule number 1? Everyone is looking for competitor A. You’ve done about 70% of the work persuading people to click on your link rather than your competitors. Now, you need to make sure you deliver. And deliver fast. If your average Joe doesn’t find what he was promised in the title/description then he’ll leave. A good way of keeping them is to use traditional ‘landing page’ methodology from PPC. Create a page which screams CONVERSION. Do your utmost best to drag this person into contacting you/buying from you.
Remember – this user didn’t want to use you. They wanted competitor A, so go all out to grab their attention and make sure they convert.
Lastly – just remember that this is yet another reason to start managing your online reputation. After all, if you aren’t doing this to your competitors then how long will it be until your competitors start doing it to you?
What the ancients called a clever fighter is one who not only wins, but excels in winning with ease. Sun Tzu
Tom Critchlow Tom Critchlow is VP Operations for the NYC office, living in Brooklyn and working in Manhattan. Fiercely curious about most things and passionate about everything.