Here are 4 quick suggestions to get you started:
1. Site links
Assuming your homepage ranks first when someone searches for your brand, Google should also return two indented columns of internal pages ahead of the second organic result. The number of internal pages – or site links – displayed will depend on the quality, popularity and crawlability of the pages on your site below the homepage.
This will be the first thing people see when they Google you. To ensure you have a strong showing in your site links, you should make sure that you develop relevant landing pages and other second tier content that can rank in its own right and acquire inbound links and direct traffic.
2. Active blogging
Google and other major search engines have a strong bias towards fresh content and they will crawl pages more often if they are regularly updated. This means an active company blog or newsfeed can be a great asset.
Usually you want to post blogs or news articles on your domain to add to the authority of the site, grow your search presence and help drive visitors to deeper, high-value pages. But if reputation management is a primary concern and you have the budget to do both, it can be a good idea to set up a separate blog or news site.
If you’re committed to maintaining it, this site will build its own authority and links over time and it will give you another result in brand searches that you control.
3. Social sharing
Another great benefit of active blogging is that you can share your posts on social media. If your LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter accounts have optimised profiles, regular updates and links to relevant and useful material, they should all be page one results for your brand searches. If you have other types of content at your disposal, you can add profiles on video-sharing sites like YouTube and photo hosting sites like Flickr to that list.
Additionally, if you have social-friendly executives who can share, post and tweet useful stuff, their profiles can become assets for your brand protection. As individuals, they can also make use of Q&A sites like Quora and LinkedIn Answers, they can blog on relevant and authoritative third party sites and get involved in forum debates.
This kind of activity will not only give Google something of yours to return in brand searches, but it will also make a genuine, positive contribution to discussions around your business, your products and your industry.
4. Listening and responding
The internet is all about two-way conversations these days, so an important part of being active and creating useful content is listening to what people are saying about you and the issues you’re interested in. It won’t always be appropriate to respond directly, but you should at least know what’s being said so that you can make an informed decision.
If you’re a customer-facing business, for example, you can encourage people to tweet at you with questions and problems. By tweeting back with acknowledgements, updates and solutions, you’ll show that you’re paying attention and taking action.