Search Engine Reputation Management

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This article will explore why online reputation management is essential, what search engine reputation management is, and how you can improve your company's reputation across the web.

A positive online reputation is an essential step on the path to success for businesses of all sizes in the modern world. Undoubtedly, potential customers are likely to search for a company's services online, analyze other customers' reviews, and decide on the purchase based on what they find on the Internet. Brands with good online reputation tend to attract more customers, which increases sales and makes companies grow. Negative reviews and ratings can easily break a business since potential customers avoid purchasing services with bad ratings and select the company's competitors instead. That's why it's essential to control what your customers say about your business across the web, and this is where we refer to online reputation management (ORM).

What is online reputation management?

Briefly, online reputation management is all about tracking and managing your company's online reputation. To manage online reputation means to make sure that your brand has a positive image across the web, and potential customers are impressed by your company's products after searching for your business online. Since multiple channels, including an official website, social networks, online blogs, and forums, influence a brand's online reputation, ORM falls into several strategies. The most well-known and effective ones include:
SERM (Search Engine Reputation Management) - dealing with negative search results and feedback on the Net.
SMRM (Social Media Reputation Management) continually monitors and eliminates harmful social media material about your company to improve your name.
Online Reputation Management SEO (search engine optimization) - improving your website's position in the results of search engines for specific user requests. The higher the position of the site is, the more potential customers you have.
Let's take a more in-depth insight into search engine reputation management.

How is the SERM strategy realized?

#1 Analyze existing content

Let's assume you're a business owner and you're struggling to attract new customers. In this case, you're likely to make a kind of research, Google your brand and check what people say about your company online. This analysis is impossible without a list of search queries your potential customers enter when searching for your brand. Creating a list of the most frequently used search queries is pretty easy with special services like Serpstat, Keyword Tool, and Key Collector.

It's important to point out that Googling your brand each time you want to analyze existing data about your company is time-consuming. Here web scraping services like FindDataLab come into play. Such services crawl the web and discover any data connected to your brand, including online reviews, ratings, and mentions. Web scraping services save you much time and make it easier to monitor your online reputation and identify negative channels.

#2 Assess online reputation in search results

Evaluating online reputation in search results gives you an idea of the audience's prevailing opinion about your brand. The top 20 search results directly affect a company's online reputation since these 20 positions usually catch potential customers' eye. The primary purpose of SERM is to remove the harmful content from the top web search results or substitute it with positive information so that your potential customers could find only positive or neutral feedback about your brand.

Depending on the number of negative search results and their position in search ranking, you can form a strategy for working with the existing content: recommendations for displacing negativity, removing irrelevant content, and directly working with negative reviews. It's possible to remove harmful content from top search results by creating a stream of positive mentions about the company and posting new positive content.

#3 Generate new positive content

Creating new positive mentions about the brand is crucial since new content must be well-optimized and relevant to frequent search queries. The requirements for the new texts include:

  1. You must naturally include keywords and phrases in the text.
  2. Using meta tags is a must (Title, Description, H1, h1-h3).
  3. The text must contain marked lists <li>.
  4. The content must be unique (more than 90%).
  5. It's also essential to optimize your images. Relevant and optimized images participate in image ranking and drive additional traffic to your site and increase its visibility in search results.

#4 Publish new content on high-quality channels

While selecting the channels where you'll post new positive content, pay attention to the following:
  • website traffic (its presence in the top search results, high traffic, and ranking by search queries);
  • your content must match the main topic of the website;
  • the domain must coincide with the region of promotion, for instance, if the target country is Australia, the domain must be .au;
  • the website must have an SSL certificate, which indicates the security of the site and user data; sites using HTTPS are more preferred to be shown at the top by search engines)
  • site quality index.
Compliance of selected sites with these requirements significantly increases the effect after publishing your content.

#5 Promote the published content

Placing links to your content on high-quality websites helps you promote the new positive content and influence its position in the search engine.

When you need SERM?

Some businessmen believe that they need to manage their online reputation only when the number of negative reviews about the company becomes critical and influences their sales. However, it is easier and cheaper to prevent a reputation from getting negative spontaneously than to correct the consequences. Further, we'll find out when and how search engine reputation management helps you create the right image and drive sales.
Your company has many negative reviews across the web.
The reason for such negative feedback may include unsatisfied customers, fired employees or your competitors. Such negative feedback often goes viral, so it's essential to respond to negativity before it gets replicated to your target audience.
You are going to launch a new solution, product or service.
In this case, you wonder how your users will evaluate the new product, whether they will recommend it to others, and what difficulties they will face. With the help of SERM, you can analyze feedback and work with negative reviews before they become a real problem.
Your competitors are conducting an information campaign against you.
Unfair competitors may be spreading negative reviews and materials discrediting your online reputation. Unfortunately, "black PR" is quite widespread in the modern market, and it is practically impossible to fight against it juridically. There are two ways to solve the issue: either remove the harmful content from online platforms or push the source with negative feedback from the top 20 search results.
Your company has very few online reviews.
The lack of reviews about the company and products may be related to the specifics of the business. For example, you sell cargo cranes or diesel generators. It's useless to expect that the head of an enterprise purchasing such equipment from you, will share their opinion on your goods online after the purchase. However, other companies may be looking for reviews about your products to ensure that your brand is reliable. Therefore, it is also necessary to develop companies' reputation even when they are not very popular among ordinary customers.

Online Reputation Management Services

SERM is just a small part of online reputation management. Analyzing and improving a company's online reputation requires much effort and knowledge. That's why many businesses seek help from special online reputation management services. Reputation management agencies offer a vast range of services, including getting more positive reviews, improving your brand's online image, brand name monitoring, handling negative feedback, and more. No matter whether you're going to use third-party ORM services or manage your brand's reputation yourself, remember to continually monitor online reputation if you want to attract new customers daily and increase the company's sales.