Search engines have put the power of instant knowledge into the hands of consumers. A huge number of individuals will start their purchasing process online using a search engine such as Google, Bing, or Yahoo. These people will look for prices, locations, reviews, and complaints. That is why it is so important to have positive results of your company at the top of the search results.
We recently helped a client, American Guardian Warranty Services Inc., improve their results on search engines. The company has an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau, which is nothing to scoff at. It takes a legitimate, customer-focused company to earn the highest rating. So why were their search results so negative? There are a number of reasons for this, but for the most part, AGW didn’t have much online content and did not have the time to address the negative reviews they received on consumer forums. That’s where we came in.
The screen capture above was taken on August 24th, 2010. As you can see, the first two results are the American Guardian Warranty homepage and FAQ page. That is followed up by two results containing negative reviews on consumer sites. The 5th search result is the company’s profile on the Better Business Bureau’s website. The next four results are all negative, containing reviews on consumer sites (we have come to learn that many consumer review sites are not legitimate and are only created for personal gain by the site administrator). The final result on the first page of the Google search is the company’s LinkedIn profile.
If you’ve been keeping score, that’s six negative results versus four positives. Two of the positives aren’t in the most ideal of positions, either. So it was our job to help improve how these results would turn up on search engines.
Creating a dynamic, new source of content was one of the first priorities since content is what search engines track. To do this, we created the American Guardian Warranty Blog. Through the blog, we are able to continually update content and address any issues that are related to AGW. Favorable content such as the blog help us compete for space on the first page and help drive out the negative results.
Another main priority was to address the consumer reviews posted on the forums. We crafted responses that would address the complaint, then provided additional information about AGW to future viewers on the forum. In these responses we provided trackable links to direct readers to pages with more specific information such as the BBB report.
In just four months, we were able to drastically change the look of the first page of search results. The score now favors positive results with six total. The ranking of the results has also improved giving AGW the 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 6th, 7th, and 10th positions. The newly-created blog moved onto the first page of results and has since climbed to the 7th position. While the results may not look perfect (yet), it is a giant step in the right direction. Pictured below is the screen capture of the search results taken on December 17th, 2010.
So if search engines are returning results about your company that aren’t exactly favorable, go on the attack. Create the content you want them to see and fight back. Your reputation is depending on you.