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Our Online Reputation Management Playbook



Identify Featured Snippet Opportunities – Next Level

The author’s views are entirely their own (excluding the unlikely event of hypnosis) and may not always reflect the views of Moz.

Online reputation management can be daunting – but advantageous – for brands or individuals that are seeing their search engine displays implicated by third-party content, and want to take the reins. When the media controls the narrative, it can lead to untrue perceptions and a more biased sentiment down the line. 

At Go Fish Digital, our team works closely with our clients to understand the sensitive issue they’re facing so we can meet their goals and rectify their online reputations.

The situation

We would not perform reputation management services for any company that was a scam or has participated in fraudulent or misleading activities. Prior to taking on a client, we fully research the business and ensure we are 100% comfortable in helping them with their problem.

When big brands come to us communicating their search results complications, our team thoroughly reviews the situation before we decide to take it on. Our vetting process includes doing due diligence on each client to be sure we can validate the issue. Most of the time, a brand has a controversial topic or story in the current news cycle that is populating their search results. In such cases, the project goals usually include two things: changing the sentiment of the narrative and getting any negative articles off of the page one search results for their brand.

To give you a better idea of how our team would approach a situation like this let’s take a look at the semi-current SERP complication we’re seeing for LuLaRoe, a multi-level marketing company that sells women’s clothing. 

Back in September 2021, a couple very authoritative news sites, Forbes and The Guardian, published stories about the “downfall of the company” based on the documentary The Rise and Fall of LuLaRoe, which came out that December. While this is not necessarily a company we would take on as a client, we are using them as an example as there are specific ORM strategies that we could identify to help improve the SERPs for their brand name. 

Our research

When researching LuLaRoe, we saw that both the Forbes and The Guardian articles were ranking at the bottom of their page one search results, just below their Facebook page and just above their Amazon Storefront profile listing. We recorded what each link was, the position it was ranking in, and the sentiment of each for the first 30 results we found. 

As part of our process, it’s important we research and consider all the variables before putting together our plan of improvement. As mentioned above, we begin by gathering the search results rankings and assessing each URL we see in the first 30 positions. Our team tracks all of the factors and signals Google will look at when determining which URLs they rank for a keyword. Some of these factors include the relevance of the page, the keyword itself, backlink data, click-through rate, and social engagement. Gathering this data can be done by using tools like MozBar or Moz Keyword Explorer. Once we gather the important data points from every link on the first three pages or 30 positions using infinite scroll for our keyword, it’s time to put together our approach. 

For LuLaRoe’s case specifically, here’s some of the data we found from the  SERPs:

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Our approach

The ORM goal remained to control as much of the first 30 results as we could, as well as move the negative articles off the page one results. After doing the data collection as shown above, we took note of the areas that we could influence. For example, you can see that the Amazon link ranking in position eight has zero backlinks, so building new quality backlinks here is a strategy we would recommend to increase the quality of this signal to Google.

In addition to launching our best ORM strategies, we decided that we would identify many new pieces of content, as well as update as much existing content as we could. The action plan for each business situation is specific to what we see ranking for that brand. 

Below, you can see our ORM strategies, broken down into three different categories, including pre-existing content, existing content, and engagement tactics.

Pre-existing content strategies

Setting up subdomains on the client’s website  

In some cases, we recommend setting up subdomains that specifically address the controversy. For LuLaRoe, we would help them build out a subdomain on their website.

Identifying news articles 

A benefit of a business being in the spotlight is that they may already have plenty of mainstream press. We can identify any positive articles from high Domain Authority (DA) news sites and other industry publications to promote. 

For LuLaRoe, we would not recommend this strategy, as there’s an overwhelming amount of negative press out there. They could potentially work with an authoritative news site to publish a piece detailing their side of the story or where the business is now, but we would suggest doing so down the road,after the dust settles from the bad press. This could produce ranking potential because it could be something unique to the results of the brand.

Reviewing Wikis & other profile pages

We recommend taking stock of any Wikis and existing profile pages a brand already has out there. For example, LuLaRoe could update its Crunchbase profile regularly. Doing so may have the potential to move the profile upward in the brand’s SERP.

In LuLaRoe’s case, we would also recommend taking full advantage of its YouTube presence by adding new videos with a “new light” sentiment, and turning off all comments on each video. Since we see their YouTube profile ranking highly on their page two search results, this is a domain that has the potential to move above the negative stories ranking on page one.

New content strategies

Post on sites you have relationships with (or own)

This could be a partner that has a completely different domain than you, or another brand that you have worked with in the past and have a good relationship with. Reaching out to these confidants to create new positive press surrounding the topic could help to get something new in the SERPs. 

Leveraging any existing relationships, or forging new ones, is a strategy that could potentially work for LuLaRoe.   

Research article directories

Random directory sites are not to be forgotten. In doing research on the specific industry you’re looking to influence, you can suss out directory listings to expand your presence on. 

That said, this isn’t a strategy that would make much of a difference for a huge brand like LuLaRoe, but it could be used to make their n overall reputation look cleaner and more put together. 

Establish mini blogs

We would recommend setting up a number of mini blogs on WordPress, Blogger, Posterous, and Tumblr, as well as  a few other WordPress MU sites we have identified with high ranking potential. 

But again, these mini blogs may not have the high-ranking potential to make a significant difference for a bigger brand like LuLaRoe 

Take ownership of other domains

We would recommend purchasing the .com, .net, and .org versions of the exact match domains for the search phrase –including the The general content we would recommend adding to these pages would include customer testimonials, positive stories, general information about the company, satisfaction guarantees, posts that debunk misinformation, and other stories that either didn’t pertain to the issue at all or show positive aspects about our client. 

Also, creating new profiles on sites like Medium, or doing an IdeaMensch interview, could help positive controlled content to rank highly in your results.

Engagement strategies

Link building

We highly recommend the link building tactic for all brands, especially LuLaRoe. When it comes to positive sentiment that has a low backlink data number, building links can help to increase that number. To do this, we would work with niche bloggers to build new links to the URLs that are ranking below the negative links on page one. The goal is to build backlinks to more than one target so these blog posts aren’t all about a specific brand as the topic, but rather, mention the brand in passing. 


Another helpful tactic involves taking advantage of interlinking opportunities from the brand’s main website to the positive URLs we see ranking within the first 30 results for the brand. This will help to show Google that they’re relevant, important, and should be associated with the brand.  

Click-through rate (CTR) search team

The goal here is to send clicks to certain positive targets in the SERPs to help move them above the negative. Like other tactics, this is about sending signals to Google that the target is a valuable piece of content to put on the first page of the SERPs. We would recommend sending high-value, US or local, clicks to the target URLs you identify. For LuLaRoe these include the Amazon Storefront, thredUP, Poshmark, LuLaRoe Bless, Twitter, YouTube, eBay, and Pinterest URLs.

Competitor research  

Another tactic we would recommend is to take a look at competitors in your industry. Gathering a bigger picture of what’s ranking in a similar brands’ SERP could give you ideas of what to replicate. Sometimes, you may even find a random profile ranking for a competitor that you don’t have a profile on. LuLaRoe should take a look at other big brands facing similar controversies to gain knowledge on where and how they responded and moved forward. 

Influencer engagement 

Working with influencers and other social media engagers in the space is so important. Not only does it bring awareness to the ideas you’re trying to promote, but it helps to increase engagement to articles that your brand would like to see higher in the search results. LuLaRoe could really benefit from working with any influencers who support their new business direction and are willing to help clean up their reputation.

Case study & tracking progress 

Without giving away any of our past client’s project details, we wanted to give you an idea of some of the results we’ve seen after applying our tactics. The questionable situation was surrounding a commercial about a controversial topic at that time. After getting negative news coverage, we saw a few negative articles “stick” on the page one results for their brand. Using our proprietary technology for reputation management tracking, we calculated what’s called the “Sentiment Score” of the search result to be a 91. 

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Our team took the time to thoughtfully review all aspects of the brand’s search results, as I detailed above. From there we applied the tactics we thought would make a difference and made sense considering the industry. The strategies that were successful in this case included increasing click-through rate, link building, and social engagements. Other strategies that helped to move the negative links on to page two included new profile creation and updating pre-existing content that was dated. 

It was great to see the positive results of our work, although it did take time due to the relevance of the article. The client also took part in charitable events that helped to create new press to surround the brand, which helped to meet their end goal even. 

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These initiatives resulted in a Sentiment Score of a perfect 100 with no negatives on page one. You can read more about how we calculate the overall sentiment score for a query here


The results from implementing the ORM strategies above vary from brand to brand. It all depends on how each ranking factor is determined by Google. The authority and relevance of an article also make a huge difference in how it’s placed. Our team has seen a ton of success utilizing and being strategic when implementing many of them, but some of our techniques work better than others because of the industry. This proves the importance of doing research to find out what tactics are best suited — and will be most beneficial — to a given brand of business.

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Why We Are Always ‘Clicking to Buy’, According to Psychologists



Why We Are Always 'Clicking to Buy', According to Psychologists

Amazon pillows.


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A deeper dive into data, personalization and Copilots



A deeper dive into data, personalization and Copilots

Salesforce launched a collection of new, generative AI-related products at Connections in Chicago this week. They included new Einstein Copilots for marketers and merchants and Einstein Personalization.

To better understand, not only the potential impact of the new products, but the evolving Salesforce architecture, we sat down with Bobby Jania, CMO, Marketing Cloud.

Dig deeper: Salesforce piles on the Einstein Copilots

Salesforce’s evolving architecture

It’s hard to deny that Salesforce likes coming up with new names for platforms and products (what happened to Customer 360?) and this can sometimes make the observer wonder if something is brand new, or old but with a brand new name. In particular, what exactly is Einstein 1 and how is it related to Salesforce Data Cloud?

“Data Cloud is built on the Einstein 1 platform,” Jania explained. “The Einstein 1 platform is our entire Salesforce platform and that includes products like Sales Cloud, Service Cloud — that it includes the original idea of Salesforce not just being in the cloud, but being multi-tenancy.”

Data Cloud — not an acquisition, of course — was built natively on that platform. It was the first product built on Hyperforce, Salesforce’s new cloud infrastructure architecture. “Since Data Cloud was on what we now call the Einstein 1 platform from Day One, it has always natively connected to, and been able to read anything in Sales Cloud, Service Cloud [and so on]. On top of that, we can now bring in, not only structured but unstructured data.”

That’s a significant progression from the position, several years ago, when Salesforce had stitched together a platform around various acquisitions (ExactTarget, for example) that didn’t necessarily talk to each other.

“At times, what we would do is have a kind of behind-the-scenes flow where data from one product could be moved into another product,” said Jania, “but in many of those cases the data would then be in both, whereas now the data is in Data Cloud. Tableau will run natively off Data Cloud; Commerce Cloud, Service Cloud, Marketing Cloud — they’re all going to the same operational customer profile.” They’re not copying the data from Data Cloud, Jania confirmed.

Another thing to know is tit’s possible for Salesforce customers to import their own datasets into Data Cloud. “We wanted to create a federated data model,” said Jania. “If you’re using Snowflake, for example, we more or less virtually sit on your data lake. The value we add is that we will look at all your data and help you form these operational customer profiles.”

Let’s learn more about Einstein Copilot

“Copilot means that I have an assistant with me in the tool where I need to be working that contextually knows what I am trying to do and helps me at every step of the process,” Jania said.

For marketers, this might begin with a campaign brief developed with Copilot’s assistance, the identification of an audience based on the brief, and then the development of email or other content. “What’s really cool is the idea of Einstein Studio where our customers will create actions [for Copilot] that we hadn’t even thought about.”

Here’s a key insight (back to nomenclature). We reported on Copilot for markets, Copilot for merchants, Copilot for shoppers. It turns out, however, that there is just one Copilot, Einstein Copilot, and these are use cases. “There’s just one Copilot, we just add these for a little clarity; we’re going to talk about marketing use cases, about shoppers’ use cases. These are actions for the marketing use cases we built out of the box; you can build your own.”

It’s surely going to take a little time for marketers to learn to work easily with Copilot. “There’s always time for adoption,” Jania agreed. “What is directly connected with this is, this is my ninth Connections and this one has the most hands-on training that I’ve seen since 2014 — and a lot of that is getting people using Data Cloud, using these tools rather than just being given a demo.”

What’s new about Einstein Personalization

Salesforce Einstein has been around since 2016 and many of the use cases seem to have involved personalization in various forms. What’s new?

“Einstein Personalization is a real-time decision engine and it’s going to choose next-best-action, next-best-offer. What is new is that it’s a service now that runs natively on top of Data Cloud.” A lot of real-time decision engines need their own set of data that might actually be a subset of data. “Einstein Personalization is going to look holistically at a customer and recommend a next-best-action that could be natively surfaced in Service Cloud, Sales Cloud or Marketing Cloud.”

Finally, trust

One feature of the presentations at Connections was the reassurance that, although public LLMs like ChatGPT could be selected for application to customer data, none of that data would be retained by the LLMs. Is this just a matter of written agreements? No, not just that, said Jania.

“In the Einstein Trust Layer, all of the data, when it connects to an LLM, runs through our gateway. If there was a prompt that had personally identifiable information — a credit card number, an email address — at a mimum, all that is stripped out. The LLMs do not store the output; we store the output for auditing back in Salesforce. Any output that comes back through our gateway is logged in our system; it runs through a toxicity model; and only at the end do we put PII data back into the answer. There are real pieces beyond a handshake that this data is safe.”

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Why The Sales Team Hates Your Leads (And How To Fix It)



Why The Sales Team Hates Your Leads (And How To Fix It)

Why The Sales Team Hates Your Leads And How To

You ask the head of marketing how the team is doing and get a giant thumbs up. 👍

“Our MQLs are up!”

“Website conversion rates are at an all-time high!”

“Email click rates have never been this good!”

But when you ask the head of sales the same question, you get the response that echoes across sales desks worldwide — the leads from marketing suck. 

If you’re in this boat, you’re not alone. The issue of “leads from marketing suck” is a common situation in most organizations. In a HubSpot survey, only 9.1% of salespeople said leads they received from marketing were of very high quality.

Why do sales teams hate marketing-generated leads? And how can marketers help their sales peers fall in love with their leads? 

Let’s dive into the answers to these questions. Then, I’ll give you my secret lead gen kung-fu to ensure your sales team loves their marketing leads. 

Marketers Must Take Ownership

“I’ve hit the lead goal. If sales can’t close them, it’s their problem.”

How many times have you heard one of your marketers say something like this? When your teams are heavily siloed, it’s not hard to see how they get to this mindset — after all, if your marketing metrics look strong, they’ve done their part, right?

Not necessarily. 

The job of a marketer is not to drive traffic or even leads. The job of the marketer is to create messaging and offers that lead to revenue. Marketing is not a 100-meter sprint — it’s a relay race. The marketing team runs the first leg and hands the baton to sales to sprint to the finish.



To make leads valuable beyond the vanity metric of watching your MQLs tick up, you need to segment and nurture them. Screen the leads to see if they meet the parameters of your ideal customer profile. If yes, nurture them to find out how close their intent is to a sale. Only then should you pass the leads to sales. 

Lead Quality Control is a Bitter Pill that Works

Tighter quality control might reduce your overall MQLs. Still, it will ensure only the relevant leads go to sales, which is a win for your team and your organization.

This shift will require a mindset shift for your marketing team: instead of living and dying by the sheer number of MQLs, you need to create a collaborative culture between sales and marketing. Reinforce that “strong” marketing metrics that result in poor leads going to sales aren’t really strong at all.  

When you foster this culture of collaboration and accountability, it will be easier for the marketing team to receive feedback from sales about lead quality without getting defensive. 

Remember, the sales team is only holding marketing accountable so the entire organization can achieve the right results. It’s not sales vs marketing — it’s sales and marketing working together to get a great result. Nothing more, nothing less. 

We’ve identified the problem and where we need to go. So, how you do you get there?

Fix #1: Focus On High ROI Marketing Activities First

What is more valuable to you:

  • One more blog post for a few more views? 
  • One great review that prospective buyers strongly relate to?

Hopefully, you’ll choose the latter. After all, talking to customers and getting a solid testimonial can help your sales team close leads today.  Current customers talking about their previous issues, the other solutions they tried, why they chose you, and the results you helped them achieve is marketing gold.

On the other hand, even the best blog content will take months to gain enough traction to impact your revenue.

Still, many marketers who say they want to prioritize customer reviews focus all their efforts on blog content and other “top of the funnel” (Awareness, Acquisition, and Activation) efforts. 

The bottom half of the growth marketing funnel (Retention, Reputation, and Revenue) often gets ignored, even though it’s where you’ll find some of the highest ROI activities.

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Most marketers know retaining a customer is easier than acquiring a new one. But knowing this and working with sales on retention and account expansion are two different things. 

When you start focusing on retention, upselling, and expansion, your entire organization will feel it, from sales to customer success. These happier customers will increase your average account value and drive awareness through strong word of mouth, giving you one heck of a win/win.

Winning the Retention, Reputation, and Referral game also helps feed your Awareness, Acquisition, and Activation activities:

  • Increasing customer retention means more dollars stay within your organization to help achieve revenue goals and fund lead gen initiatives.
  • A fully functioning referral system lowers your customer acquisition cost (CAC) because these leads are already warm coming in the door.
  • Case studies and reviews are powerful marketing assets for lead gen and nurture activities as they demonstrate how you’ve solved identical issues for other companies.

Remember that the bottom half of your marketing and sales funnel is just as important as the top half. After all, there’s no point pouring leads into a leaky funnel. Instead, you want to build a frictionless, powerful growth engine that brings in the right leads, nurtures them into customers, and then delights those customers to the point that they can’t help but rave about you.

So, build a strong foundation and start from the bottom up. You’ll find a better return on your investment. 

Fix #2: Join Sales Calls to Better Understand Your Target Audience

You can’t market well what you don’t know how to sell.

Your sales team speaks directly to customers, understands their pain points, and knows the language they use to talk about those pains. Your marketing team needs this information to craft the perfect marketing messaging your target audience will identify with.

When marketers join sales calls or speak to existing customers, they get firsthand introductions to these pain points. Often, marketers realize that customers’ pain points and reservations are very different from those they address in their messaging. 

Once you understand your ideal customers’ objections, anxieties, and pressing questions, you can create content and messaging to remove some of these reservations before the sales call. This effort removes a barrier for your sales team, resulting in more SQLs.

Fix #3: Create Collateral That Closes Deals

One-pagers, landing pages, PDFs, decks — sales collateral could be anything that helps increase the chance of closing a deal. Let me share an example from Lean Labs. 

Our webinar page has a CTA form that allows visitors to talk to our team. Instead of a simple “get in touch” form, we created a drop-down segmentation based on the user’s challenge and need. This step helps the reader feel seen, gives them hope that they’ll receive real value from the interaction, and provides unique content to users based on their selection.

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So, if they select I need help with crushing it on HubSpot, they’ll get a landing page with HubSpot-specific content (including a video) and a meeting scheduler. 

Speaking directly to your audience’s needs and pain points through these steps dramatically increases the chances of them booking a call. Why? Because instead of trusting that a generic “expert” will be able to help them with their highly specific problem, they can see through our content and our form design that Lean Labs can solve their most pressing pain point. 

Fix #4: Focus On Reviews and Create an Impact Loop

A lot of people think good marketing is expensive. You know what’s even more expensive? Bad marketing

To get the best ROI on your marketing efforts, you need to create a marketing machine that pays for itself. When you create this machine, you need to think about two loops: the growth loop and the impact loop.

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  • Growth loop — Awareness ➡ Acquisition ➡ Activation ➡ Revenue ➡ Awareness: This is where most marketers start. 
  • Impact loop — Results ➡ Reviews ➡ Retention ➡ Referrals ➡ Results: This is where great marketers start. 

Most marketers start with their growth loop and then hope that traction feeds into their impact loop. However, the reality is that starting with your impact loop is going to be far more likely to set your marketing engine up for success

Let me share a client story to show you what this looks like in real life.

Client Story: 4X Website Leads In A Single Quarter

We partnered with a health tech startup looking to grow their website leads. One way to grow website leads is to boost organic traffic, of course, but any organic play is going to take time. If you’re playing the SEO game alone, quadrupling conversions can take up to a year or longer.

But we did it in a single quarter. Here’s how.

We realized that the startup’s demos were converting lower than industry standards. A little more digging showed us why: our client was new enough to the market that the average person didn’t trust them enough yet to want to invest in checking out a demo. So, what did we do?

We prioritized the last part of the funnel: reputation.

We ran a 5-star reputation campaign to collect reviews. Once we had the reviews we needed, we showcased them at critical parts of the website and then made sure those same reviews were posted and shown on other third-party review platforms. 

Remember that reputation plays are vital, and they’re one of the plays startups often neglect at best and ignore at worst. What others say about your business is ten times more important than what you say about yourself

By providing customer validation at critical points in the buyer journey, we were able to 4X the website leads in a single quarter!

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So, when you talk to customers, always look for opportunities to drive review/referral conversations and use them in marketing collateral throughout the buyer journey. 

Fix #5: Launch Phantom Offers for Higher Quality Leads 

You may be reading this post thinking, okay, my lead magnets and offers might be way off the mark, but how will I get the budget to create a new one that might not even work?

It’s an age-old issue: marketing teams invest way too much time and resources into creating lead magnets that fail to generate quality leads

One way to improve your chances of success, remain nimble, and stay aligned with your audience without breaking the bank is to create phantom offers, i.e., gauge the audience interest in your lead magnet before you create them.

For example, if you want to create a “World Security Report” for Chief Security Officers, don’t do all the research and complete the report as Step One. Instead, tease the offer to your audience before you spend time making it. Put an offer on your site asking visitors to join the waitlist for this report. Then wait and see how that phantom offer converts. 

This is precisely what we did for a report by Allied Universal that ended up generating 80 conversions before its release.

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The best thing about a phantom offer is that it’s a win/win scenario: 

  • Best case: You get conversions even before you create your lead magnet.
  • Worst case: You save resources by not creating a lead magnet no one wants.  

Remember, You’re On The Same Team 

We’ve talked a lot about the reasons your marketing leads might suck. However, remember that it’s not all on marketers, either. At the end of the day, marketing and sales professionals are on the same team. They are not in competition with each other. They are allies working together toward a common goal. 

Smaller companies — or anyone under $10M in net new revenue — shouldn’t even separate sales and marketing into different departments. These teams need to be so in sync with one another that your best bet is to align them into a single growth team, one cohesive front with a single goal: profitable customer acquisition.

Interested in learning more about the growth marketing mindset? Check out the Lean Labs Growth Playbook that’s helped 25+ B2B SaaS marketing teams plan, budget, and accelerate growth.

Disruptive Design Raising the Bar of Content Marketing with Graphic

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