Case Study #35:
Corporate reputation repair

Competitors of our client used negative SEO and damaging local reviews to hurt our client's online reputation. We used a combination of national corporate reputation repair and local review management to solve the problem.

Corporation Reputation Campaign Summary

Industry

Commercial Real Estate

Entity Corporation
Issues Negative attack site/articles
Negative local reviews
Services Corporate reputation repair
Review & rating management
Duration 10 months

The issue

Our client, a real estate investment firm based in the United States with offices across the country, faced issues with negative reviews in local search results in each market. 

As our client expanded and gained notability, the negative reviews became more prominent. Our client had reason to believe competitors placed the negative reviews, as the reviews were in locations that overlapped those of the competitor.

In addition to the local review issue, they were having issues with an attack site developed by a blogger that ranked highly for our client's branded search terms. Our client had reason to believe the blogger had been paid to develop the damaging content and to apply search engine optimization techniques to it to cause it to rise in search results.

Challenges to overcome

Our client faced an onslaught of negative reviews for both national and west coast regional locations. In addition to the negative reviews, search results were also impacted by the paid blogger's pages critical of the company. These pages ranked on the first page of Google search results for the company’s branded search terms. People searching for the company by name would see these negative results just under the main website and the Wikipedia page about the company.

We used a combination of national corporate reputation repair and local review management to solve the problem.

Since our client was dealing with two types of reputation damage, we developed a two-prong reputation management strategy to address their needs on both a local and national scale. On a local level, we ran an online review management campaign. On a national level, we rolled out a search engine suppression strategy.

Solution set

After careful research into our client’s unique situation, we developed a strategy to improve their local and national search results by pushing the negative content down and off of Google’s first page.

Our first step was to look into the background of the blogger posting the critical high-ranking pages about our client. In the past, we've seen and experienced cases where bloggers use an attempt at removal or modification of the damaging post as a topic for producing additional negative content. Our team decided that the blogger would not remove the post and that approaching them could further damage our client. 

Since the negative content could not be internally removed, we opted to push it down by generating and optimizing positive, carefully cultivated content.

  • National Search Result Suppression
  • Local Online Review Management

Local review strategy

Our client’s local search results were a priority, and our specific goal was to improve online reviews. Our team at Reputation X did this by initiating a "thumbs up/thumbs down" campaign.

The campaign works like this: customers who've recently done business with the company are asked via email or text message whether they would recommend the company. Those that click the "thumbs up" icon are directed to one of a handful of online review sites, including Yelp and Google Reviews, to leave a review.
If the customer clicks the "thumbs down" icon or link, they're sent to a special web page asking if they'd like someone to contact them to resolve their problem. In our case, we'd already identified a point-person within the company to handle complaints and coached them on the proper responses.

We developed a workflow for the client to use as a blueprint for channeling positive client experiences into positive reviews in targeted locations. The firm’s star ratings began to improve within thirty days. Within six months, they'd improved from two stars to a 4.5 average rating.

National reputation strategy

Over time, the company's improving local search results began to overlap with national ones. As search results improved, we continued to research and track what was causing the improvements. We noted that many of the clicks onto the firm’s site were for search terms relating to online financial calculators, so we developed a new page on the website and built a calculator specifically for that search phrase, optimizing the page for maximum web traffic.

In addition to the new page, we developed and optimized existing positive content, directed specific changes to the client's website to improve search engine relevance, performed a search optimization campaign for certain positive content, set up a content calendar to refresh social media posts, and lots more to create an easy-to-follow system that our client could use to keep the momentum established by our campaign.

Search results improved organically and substantially.

End result

The outcome was positive for the client, both nationally and locally. By improving our client’s search results, they are able to portray a more realistic version of their brand while simultaneously offering valuable content to both customers and prospects.

Improved star-ratings for our client

Locally, an increase in positive reviews improved the firm’s overall star rating on a variety of review websites. This was achieved using a "thumbs up/thumbs down" campaign that surveyed customers regarding their experience with the firm. If their experience was positive, they were directed to a review site such as Google Reviews or Yelp. Using this method, our client improved their rating from two stars to 4.5 stars within six months.

Positive organic search results

The image below shows the downward movement over time of negative search results (search result suppression) for the client over a ten-month period. cs_re_co_actua_results

Nationally, the optimized content suppressed the negative search results that had been harming the company, pushing them onto the second, then the third page of Google search listings, and finally to page seven. Results have remained stable since. 

Optimized web content

While optimized web content wasn’t initially on the client’s mind, it was a welcomed byproduct of the reputation work that went into this project. Now the client has helpful, optimized content on their website that anyone searching Google can use to answer a variety of real estate industry questions.

Benefits for the client

The firm's benefits were achieved by using two corporate reputation management strategies working together.

First, a review management campaign was initiated. Our experience has shown us that this generally provides fast and visible results for our clients. This review management campaign also immediately began to change the overall online sentiment by improving the conversion rates locally.

Second, we focused on across-the-board organic improvement using ethical search engine techniques. By creating an opportunity for positive growth to happen gently on its own, we set the firm up for long-term, maintainable results. Eighteen months later, results have improved further. We left our review management tool in place, which has not only kept reviews from eroding but has improved the star rating further.

And finally, we listened. We didn’t just work for the client. We worked with them, providing actionable solutions to the issues that mattered most for crafting an excellent corporate reputation.


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