Here’s the quick and dirty: search hygiene is digital best practice to ensure that everything about your brand that appears on the internet is tidy, consistent, and fresh. It is making sure your online presence is aligned with who you are, and is optimally positioned to be discovered in a search. If your brand is well represented, the sky’s the limit.
By now, you’ve probably heard of sleep hygiene or personal hygiene (we’d hope so). This check box approach ensures you have everything in place for the best possible sleep, for example. Search hygiene is the same principle applied to your digital presence. It also involves making sure what you saying about yourself and what others are saying about you is aligned with your brand’s values and identity.
Google, for example, is driven by AI that measures content across the board from numerous channels to deliver the best possible search results. This intelligence understands that consistent information, current content, citations elsewhere online, loading speed, hearty reviews, and public listings all contribute to a brand’s credibility. So in summary, search hygiene ensures that all the best practices are in place to keep your brand relevant on the internet. Below, we dive into a few aspects of how the Verum team can help with this.
Interested? Here’s how to up your game so your presence online is flawless—so when someone searches for your brand they’ll see exactly what you’d want them to.
So how do you get there?
The first step of search hygiene involves a landscaping exercise. This initial “discovery” phase involves a thorough online audit to help us understand a client’s foundations. We assess various aspects of a brand’s marketing channels, campaigns, and platforms—essentially determining what their online footprint looks like on the whole.
For example, when we search for a brand we look at the following metrics:
- What does their Google Maps presence look like?
- How are their reviews?
- How commonly are they writing articles for their website?
- How often are they posting editorial across the internet?
- How robust is their social media presence?
- How frequently are they sending out email campaigns?
These points all contribute to a brand’s SEO value and ensure that they are putting their best face forward with potential clients.
We also review a brand’s searchability on platforms from Facebook to Yelp, Instagram, and LinkedIn. Our team analyzes what is currently in place, what’s missing, and what needs to be updated or changed.
Best Face Forwards
Our analysis also includes a deep dive into a brand’s consistency. We look at the following areas as we build our strategy:
- Is branding, including logos, fonts, and graphics aligned with style guides?
- Does imagery fit with the brand personality in content and tone?
- Does the brand speak with a consistent voice and tone?
- Is all contact information accurate and up-to-date?
We understand that first impressions matter, and clients get one shot to put their best face forward. Our team makes sure you are hitting the mark the very first time.
What are other people saying about you?
Aside from what you are saying about yourself online in terms of branding, imagery, and editorial, what are other people saying about you?
One area we address during a search hygiene exercise is public reviews. Essentially, “reviewing the reviews.” We do this by taking stock of reviews left on sites such as Yelp and Google, testimonials on a web page, and links to your site from around the internet.
After seeing what’s out there, our team sketches out a nuanced strategy to address any shortcomings we identified and boost reviews as needed. This simple component of search hygiene creates huge bang for buck. Here’s why…
How to Improve your Online Reviews and Why it Matters
Great reviews can do the marketing for you. They help an end-user better decide which company they want to go with and form an essential piece of a strong online presence.
In truth, almost everyone could benefit from cultivating more positive reviews. In terms of driving business, they are almost on par with a big ad spend. Here are some ways we help clients generate more positive reviews…
Custom Email Campaigns
One stellar way to drive reviews is through custom email campaigns.
First, our talented design team creates a polished graphic email containing a company’s branding along with links to the top three review sites – Google, Facebook, and Yelp.
We then send that to a client’s mailing list, or to anyone from whom they can expect a great review. These links simplify the feedback process by linking directly to the review site from the email, put you back in the mind of your client, and look good to boot. What’s not to like?
Modal pop-ups are another option to bolster positive online reviews. These “pop-ups” are built onto a webpage, and simply give users a star rating system and an effortless way to submit. It takes the time and hassle out of the review process, making it more likely to happen.
There are also several platforms that clients can purchase to gather reviews. Although these can be costly, they are often worth every penny because of their ability to generate reviews for companies that see a fair amount of business. Such software systems make sense for medium-sized businesses focused on sustainable growth.
The Bottom Line: Online Presence
Search hygiene: get on it.
Search hygiene serves multiple purposes. Most importantly, it ensures that your brand is optimally positioned to be discovered in a search. Online presence is extremely important.
At Verum, one part of our job is to help clients successfully manage their assets to make the best possible impression in the digital world and drive conversions. If your brand is well represented, the sky is the limit. If you’d like to talk more about search hygiene, review generation, online citations, and more, reach out for a free consultation.