Today we have a post from one of our PPC Hero allies, Katie Saxon of Boom Online Marketing. In her first post for PPC Hero, Katie looks how pay per click can be used to manage online reputations.

Rick SantorumRick Santorum has a serious Google problem. It’s not the lewd website topping the search engine results for his name, it’s something potentially more damaging for a presidential hopeful: he doesn’t get internet marketing. And he could use a good dose of online reputation management right now.

Instead of demanding Google take action against the lewd site, the politician should be taking action of his own: Hiring an awesome pay per click team to take control of the search results.

Why Should Santorum Use PPC?

Santorum is in an unusual position – the offending site has been ranking for years, but he’s only just decided it’s a problem. This means that it’s had years to grow in Google’s estimations, feeding off a store of great links to earn a top ranking. And he’s not going to knock it off the top spot easily.

With pay per click, he doesn’t have to.

An effective PPC campaign gives Rick Santorum and his campaign team access to real estate right at the top of the search engines in a matter of moments. And, pay per click platforms give significantly more control over the appearance of their listing – an important factor in issues of reputation management.

What Should Santorum Do?

His online advertising team needs to research the keywords that trigger the site he wants to knock off, and get bidding on all of these terms.

With his list of keywords ready, he needs some killer ad copy that ties in with his campaign messages. His campaign slogan could be in there, his best quotes or inspirational terms. Whatever his message, the PPC adverts should reflect this.

And he should be making use of every extension possible. Sitelinks in Google AdWords are a particular godsend for Santorum, offering 6 extra links to his campaign site. That’s 6 more chances to influence searchers with his message and, crucially, a chance to push the organic results further down the page.

How Can These PPC Lessons Apply to Anyone with a Reputation Problem?

You now know how Rick Santorum can clean up his SERPs with PPC, but what are the key takeaways for anyone with online reputation issues?

  1. When it comes to reputation management speed is normally the name of the game. Get your PPC team working to put out your message as soon as possible.
  2. Assess the appropriate ad copy for your situation. Do you need to put your message across? Are you trying to stop inappropriate sites ranking above yours? Do you need to apologise for a mistake? Make sure that your ads strike the right tone and don’t inflame more fires than they put out.
  3. Use every tool at your disposal. Make the most of every ad extension to dominate as much real estate as possible.

Katie Saxon works for pay per click agency Boom Online Marketing and you can follow her on twitter @ksaxoninternet.