Case study: EU-Focused Repair

Background

A mid-size US-based financial services firm with global offices faced reputational challenges across its European operations, with negative search results impacting its brand perception. The firm sought to improve its online reputation in the following locations:

  • Norway
  • France
  • Belgium
  • United Kingdom
  • Germany

Objectives

  1. Improve Google search results for the firm's brand in targeted European countries and languages.
  2. Enhance brand visibility and credibility through positive content and search engine optimization (SEO).
  3. Overcome regional challenges, particularly in Norway, due to market-specific limitations.

Duration

Nine months

Strategies and Methods

  1. Entity Research: Extensive analysis of search results for similar financial services firms in each target location. This identified the types of content that ranked well in these markets for similar companies.

  2. Content Creation and Optimization: Engaging native contributors to create relevant, high-quality content. Content was created and designed to rank well in search results, while other content was developed to support that target content. This content was then optimized using local SEO techniques.
  3. Local SEO Implementation: Tailoring SEO strategies to each region's specific algorithms and preferences, including local keywords and trends. Top search phrases in each location were discovered, and local SEO was applied to each in the target markets.

  4. Internal Team Collaboration: Educating and coordinating with the client's internal publicity team on best practices in content creation and dissemination. For example, sharing local search phrases and providing a list of publications for internal PR teams to target during and after the campaign.

  5. Wikipedia Editing: Editing Wikipedia articles in the target languages to enhance the firm’s credibility and improve online presence.

Outcomes

  • France, Belgium, UK, Germany: Significant improvement in branded search results. Positive content ranked higher, displacing less favorable content. All negative content was displaced from 95% of branded searches. This was accomplished by reducing the visibility of negative content by out-ranking it.

  • Norway: Limited success due to:

    • Scarce availability of Norwegian finance-related sites for content placement. Google results were improved significantly, yet remained near the bottom of the first page of search results. 
    • The nascent stage of the Norwegian online content market compared to more mature European markets.

Key Learnings

  1. Market Specificity: The need for tailored strategies in each market, recognizing the unique digital landscape and content consumption habits.

  2. Local SEO Importance: The effectiveness of local SEO in enhancing search results, underscoring the importance of regional customization in online reputation management.

  3. Internal Collaboration: The value of educating and working with the client’s internal team, ensuring consistent and effective online reputation strategies.

  4. Market Maturity Challenges: Recognizing and adapting to the varying maturity levels of online content markets across different regions.

Recommendations for Future Campaigns

  1. Enhanced Focus on Challenging Markets: In markets like Norway, explore alternative strategies such as influencer partnerships or localized digital PR campaigns.

  2. Continuous Local Market Analysis: Regularly update local market research to stay abreast of changing algorithms and preferences.

  3. Diversified Content Strategy: Incorporate a variety of content types (videos, infographics, etc.) to appeal to different audiences and search algorithms.

  4. Strengthening Internal Capabilities: Ongoing training for the client’s team to build internal expertise in online reputation management.

Conclusion

The campaign demonstrated the importance of localized, research-driven strategies in online reputation management. While it achieved notable success in most target locations, the challenges encountered in Norway provided valuable insights into adapting strategies to suit different market maturities.


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