The internet makes all tasks rapid. Everything exists at the touch of a button these days, making reputation management far more complicated than it was in years past. Reputation management has always held a focus on the public life of a figure, but that public life is ever on display with the advent of the mobile phone and personal camera equipment that we all carry around in our pockets. The digital age has made everyone a reporter and witness, and everything that we do must be carefully curated in the reflection of that new norm.

However, with the massive power that the internet provides, we can also edit our public image in order to draw out the best possible angle and dampen negative reviews, unflattering social media commentary, and other negative content that threatens our businesses and personal livelihoods. Here’s how to handle your online reputation management in the modern age.

Start With an Aggressive SEO Campaign

SEO – or Search Engine Optimization – is often thought of as a tool for content creators and web developers. But with the online presence that we all carry around with us, SEO has become a powerful tool for a far greater user set than simply bloggers and video editors. Your online reputation is drawn primarily from the highest concentration and most recent data entries. This means that a recent string of bad reviews can receive higher visibility than the thousands of positive reviews and fantastic public relations content that you have worked hard to achieve.

Online reputation management starts here with SEO tools, and it’s best accomplished with the help of reputation management companies. These reputation management firms are in the business of research and redirecting for an online audience that never sleeps. SEO research begins with an online review of the types of content that already exist about your business or you personally. The only way to rehabilitate or recreate your image is to take in and understand the framework that online reputation professionals are working with from the start. You may have made a few publicly reported mistakes during the latest news cycle, or you may simply be a victim of a targeted cyberbullying campaign from a disgruntled customer or employee. Either way, putting out this fire begins with keyword research that will reveal the most commonly associated search parameters in close proximity to your digital footprint.

Move on to Content Creation

Creating new content that highlights the positive aspects of your small business of public relations activities is the best way to move forward once you’ve evaluated the scope of the problem that you are trying to address. Building new content that will rank high in Google and other search engine search results is the key to success in this arena. Hiding from the negative content will only allow it to linger. Instead, you must create a mountain of competing for positive reputation data that will tell Google Analytics to boost up other related content and push down review sites with negative content that represents only a snapshot of the overall online presence that makes up your brand, person, or small business. This is content marketing in its most powerful form.

It’s the same analytics and brand awareness strategy that drives best practices in the advertising and blogging spheres of the industry. Essentially, a reputation management campaign is a branding exercise designed to advertise a unique perspective on your business or self. This includes social media management, positive content on reputable news outlets, and a positive review generation that slowly begins to yell louder than the angry content that threatens your continued success. Rebranding is a part of life, and only those who are making moves in the industry will disrupt enough of the status quo to require this sort of assistance. Ruffling feathers means that you are making a splash. So keep up the hard work and get ahead of negative content that threatens to bring you back down.