There are many different ways of marketing a business. From creative to strategic, everything you do to help grow and market your business helps you manage and make your brand successful.
Reputation management plays a vital role in marketing. The perception others have of your business matters, and online reputation management is key to managing your brand.
You can do many things to help your reputation online, but this article will focus on search engine optimization and its role in online reputation management. Below is a beginner’s guide to SEO for ORM.
What is Online Reputation Management (ORM)?
In its simplest form, online reputation management is taking control of what is being said about you online.
Most people turn to online opinions and Google for information. When a customer is looking to purchase your product, they will most likely do a Google search before purchasing.
That customer may find raving reviews on different sites, but as they look at the search engine results page (SERP), they notice a few negative reviews or even a negative article complaining about your company.
Even one negative article, amidst hundreds of positive ones, can turn a potential customer away amidst hundreds of positive ones.
Online reputation management allows brands and business owners to know what is being said about their company online and develop strategies to combat negative content trending and boost positive press for their brand.
There are many tactics to help brands with their online presence, which can be overwhelming for some, but SEO is a great place to start. If you try different SEO strategies and find that managing your reputation is too much, think about hiring professionals to help defend your brand.
Our team of brand defenders has years of experience and knows how to best help rank quality content on Google while combatting any negative information circulating about you or your business online.
What is Search Engine Optimization (SEO)?
SEO or search engine optimization is the process of getting traffic from free, organic, and natural search results in search engines. The most common search engine is Google, and most people turn to it when researching a product or searching for a business.
Basically, SEO helps you rank content or your website in a higher position on the SERP. SEO is complex and takes time to learn and understand, but many tools can help you with your website’s SEO.
SEO plays a vital role in online reputation management because the two have the same goal: strengthening a business’s credibility, authority, and visibility online.
How To Use SEO In Online Reputation Management
Establish and Use Keywords
Keywords are important words that Google recognizes to help answer a search term or query. First, the easiest way to describe how Google works is like so.
When a user searches for something on Google, Google sends crawlers across the internet to search for answers to that question. It then indexes the information and ranks it in the order that Google feels best answers the query.
Keywords play an essential role in this. Keywords are like giving Google’s crawlers a hint when searching for a specific answer to a question. They are what Google recognizes as necessary to that query or term.
Suppose your brand is not using the right keywords on your website, blog content, videos, or any other content your company produces. In that case, Google does not recognize your brand correctly, and your business will not appear on the SERP.
One of the best ways to establish what keywords are essential in your content is to invest in various tools to see what keywords are trending for your industry.
For instance, If you are in the car industry and a popular or trending question on Google is ‘What is the state of the car market?’ you can use keywords like ‘car market’ in your blog content and on your website to help Google rank your information.
Keywords are one of the most essential parts of SEO, and because SEO work is so technical, using extensions on your browser and specific tools to help you will significantly benefit your online reputation management.
Be Active on Social Media and Review Sites
With the growth of social media over the last few decades, online shoppers and users are interacting with brands differently.
If you are off social media platforms, be sure to establish accounts and find the best social media strategies to be active.
Social media websites rank exceptionally well on Google and may be the first point of contact a potential customer has with your brand.
One key thing to remember when it comes to social media is consistency. This means that you must establish a consistent tone of voice across your platforms, a brand style guide, and sync your accounts to ensure you post on each platform consistently.
If you only post once every month or so, followers will become disinterested. Instead, find a schedule and create content in advance, so you are utilizing and optimizing social media to help your online reputation and defend your brand.
Social media has become a trusted source for many individuals, so creating a solid reputation on social media will allow you to gain credibility and authority with your target audience.
Aside from social media, many individuals turn to review sites. There are hundreds of review sites floating around the internet.
Some are more generic, like YELP, whereas others are more industry-specific, like TripAdvisor. Whatever the review site, find a way to gather positive reviews.
Unfortunately, many people are likelier to publish negative interactions with a brand than positive ones. However, the best way to combat these negative reviews is to gather positive ones.
This can be done with email or SMS surveys and marketing to ensure you are getting accurate feedback.
Reviews are extremely important for online reputation management, and most review sites rank very well on search engine result pages.
Create a Google My Business (GMB) Business Listing
Google My Business is another area of branded search results you can own. A GMB listing is essential because it is one of the first things a user sees when they Google your business.
Google My Business is a panel to the right of the search results that give potential customers all the information they need to know about your business. This includes a location (if applicable), contact information, service hours, and pictures.
Aside from being a great source of information, it also allows your customers to leave reviews directly on Google. It will then show your review score on Google and Google Maps if you have a physical location.
Potential customers highly trust GMB reviews, and they will often read many before purchasing a product or service. It also allows you to control this listing to respond to reviews.
Responding to negative reviews can be a slippery slope, so be sure to respond respectfully and address the concerns of the individuals without being defensive.
Responding to reviews can be great for your online reputation and can help you establish greater credibility overall.
Many things go into improving and managing your online reputation. SEO can be a great tactic to use when trying to rank content and your website on Google. However, it can be a long and complicated process for a beginner.
The suggestions above can help you get started. As you go, you’ll be able to learn more about SEO and reputation management and the ins and outs of establishing brand recognition and credibility online.
If you find yourself lost, our expert team of brand defenders can help you so you can focus on other essential parts of growing your business.