Described by journalist Rose George as the ‘secret industry’, the maritime industry tends not to promote itself; but during a crisis situation, if faced with speculative, incorrect or slanderous media coverage, you might find it’s time to make your company known. Having a crisis communications plan that takes into account strategy for SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) will ensure you are best placed to communicate effectively.
Directing interested parties to a statement on your website will enable you to set the tone of media coverage and gain some control of the flow of information. This might sound simple, but with 93% of online searchers mainly opting to visit only the highest ranked webpage, it’s more important than ever that you come out on top.
SEO involves understanding search engine ranking factors and designing webpages and content in a way that increase their visibility to search engine users. SEO experts make use of sophisticated algorithm based software to monitor and increase SEO rankings, but below are a few simple ways your communications team can improve your website positioning before, during and after a crisis:
1) Dark Site
If your crisis communications plan involves the deployment of a dark site, make sure that the site is connected to and not independent from your website. Your dark site will achieve a higher ranking from search engines if it is associated with a long established company website, than if it just pops up out of nowhere.
2) Create Content
Content-rich websites that are updated regularly are ranked higher in search engine results, so think about dedicating a section of your website to a blog on topics of interest to your stakeholders.
Google loves social media, so link your primary website to your official social media platforms and use them regularly to engage your audience and encourage independent conversation about your company.
4) Speak the Right Language
When writing a statement, think about the keywords people will use to find information and don’t use technical jargon. A fire is a fire; it is not “an incident causing equipment in the engine room to set alight”.
5) Think Mobile
Mobile is the fastest growing category of search, so make sure you’re serving your visitors across desktop, tablet and phone.
Want to find out more about SEO?
Check out the Free SEO Beginners Guide from MOZ