+222% to website traffic, +92% to conversions with online reputation management: a case study by BDC Consulting

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Summary

In just 3.5 months, BDC Consulting helped an investment company to go from 55% of negative results in the Google top 20 to just 14% and boost sales by 100%.

Importance

95% of consumers read reviews before buying and often just one or two recommendations can be enough to make a decision.

Case SERM

Challenge

Our client – an investment company – suffered from very poor online reputation, with 55% of negative results on pages 1 and 2 in Google and a 32% negativity rate in YouTube search. 

A lot of these were ‘dark PR’ – fake negative reviews, videos and comments paid for by the company’s rivals. Businesses can’t afford to ignore these attacks, but simply responding to negative comments isn’t enough: you have to eliminate them from the search results so that they don’t shape customers’ opinion. 

Method

SERM (Search Engine Reputation Management) blends SEO, PR, and SMM to create a tidal wave of positive content that pushes negative results down to page 3 and beyond, where 99% of users will never see them.

How we did it

3.5 months is very short for such a massive SERM campaign, so we had to work on several large tasks at the same time:

  1. eliminating negative pages from the top 20;

  2. adding new positive content;

  3. transforming negative materials into positive or neutral.

SERP grading & monitoring

  1. Keyword research: identifying the key phrases to work with  
  2. Grading: each of the top-20 results graded as positive, neutral, or negative. Challenge: Google SERPs constantly change, so we had to update the list on a weekly basis and adjust the strategy accordingly.

Red stands for negative, blue for neutral, and green for positive. Website names have been omitted for confidentiality reasons.

SEO

We optimised the client’s website and analytical portal for the selected key phrases (titles, subheadings, tags, content). The portal initially wasn’t anywhere near the top 20, because the company name didn’t figure in either the title or the headings. After optimization, the portal entered the top 10 for several keywords.

Challenge: we needed the official website to rank in the top 10 for «[company name] reviews», but there were a lot of negative results for that keyphrase. To fix this, we created a Reviews page on the official website from scratch and asked the company’s clients to provide honest but positive reviews.

Social media management

SMM is crucial for online reputation management, because social media pages can take up half of page 1 for branded searches.

Challenge: The client’s social media pages were in disarray. The accounts on different platforms were named differently, styling didn’t match, and the company's name was absent from some pages. We did the following:

  1. Restyled social accounts to have the same title, colors, design etc.

  2. Optimized headings and descriptions for SEO and created a content plan for new posts

  3. Started an Instagram account from scratch

Result: the client’s Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, and Vkontakte pages entered the top 10 on Google and/or Yandex.

Search suggests

Suggests influence search intent, especially on mobile. If a user sees a suggestion like «[company] scam», they’ll click on it and end up with a SERP filled with negative reviews. Moreover, by clicking on a suggestion, the user increases its weight, so that even more people will see it in the future. 

Challenge: dark PR was present here, too, with a few very suspicious negative suggests that had clearly been boosted artificially. BDC Consulting team:

  1. Reported fake negative search suggests to the tech support of Yandex and YouTube

  2. Promoted new positive suggests

Result: 2 negative suggests removed from the list.

New positive content 

  1. Encouraged the company’s customers to publish real positive reviews on high-ranking sites

  2. Secured media placements for new positive SEO-optimized articles

  3. Reported incorrect negative content to editors and had it changed or removed

  4. Contracted 6 YouTube influencers to create positive videos

Insight: focus on high-ranking smaller websites. Large resources are hard to negotiate with, and a good article on a smaller site is often indexed better.

YouTube

SERM on YouTube combines all the tools described above:

  1. Creating 6 new videos, with detailed SEO briefs for each vlogger;
  2. Negotiating (very carefully) with vloggers to remove negative videos;
  3. Promoting positive search suggests – this worked even better on YouTube than on Google and Yandex. 

Results

We hope you found this case study useful. If you’d rather have an expert team manage your online reputation, get in touch with BDC Consulting - we’ll be glad to help and share our experience. 

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