The Difference between Reputation Management and SEO
Understanding how to best position your business in the online marketplace can mean the difference between success and failure. However, with so much jargon thrown around, it’s easy to feel confused and even helpless as you attempt to navigate the digital marketplace.
This guide will teach you two important yet poorly-understood terms: reputation management and search engine optimization (SEO). We’ll explain what these are, help you understand how they’re different, and cover why how you should integrate both strategies into your business’s online presence.
What is Reputation Management?
In simple terms, reputation management is exactly what it sounds like. A reputation management strategy will:
- Optimize your online reputation.
- Minimize negative information about your business.
- Maximize the reach of positive information.
One of the primary aspects of reputation management is handling negative reviews. This is often achieved through suppression. Let’s say your business sells kitchen chairs under the brand name Happy Kitchen. Say someone searches for “Happy Kitchen” on Google, and one of the first results is a negative review from a disgruntled customer. Regardless of the review’s veracity, they’ll likely move on to another brand.
Since a whopping 97% of consumers check out reviews before making a purchase, you must make sure positive brand-specific content is topping the search engine results page. You can achieve this goal by producing a steady stream of blog posts, online reviews, and other material that touches on your brand.
If this sounds intimidating, you should contact an experienced firm specializing in online reputation management (ORM) – this is what The Reputation Management Company is here for.
Digging Deeper into ORM
Remember, ORM functions by creating an online ecosystem of positive information around your company’s brand. One of the best ways to achieve this is through authority networks. These are online resources such as Youtube channels or blogs that accrued high traffic and trust.
One way to harness the power of authority networks is guest blogging. Writing a blog post for an acknowledged expert within your niche lends your brand an air of authority and social proof. Furthermore, guest blogging is a great way to enhance your SEO strategy by cultivating an array of solid backlinks. In this way, SEO and ORM work hand in hand. The Reputation Management Company team thrives on creating effective digital strategies to get your website ranking higher while keeping your brand’s reputation in good shape.
What is SEO?
SEO is the practice of optimizing a webpage to appear high in search engine query results. Let’s walk through an example. Let’s say Steve wants to purchase a new chair for his kitchen.
The Top Spot on Google
He types “kitchen chair” into Google (and more likely than not, he is using Google. Google now accounts for more than 92% of all search engine traffic). At the top of the search results page, he’ll see the “sponsored results” or webpages that have paid to be there. Underneath the sponsored results, however, are the organic or unpaid search results. These are ranked according to Google’s search algorithm, which heavily favors factors like relevancy, expertise, and popularity.
Here’s where things get tricky. While Google searching for “kitchen chairs” brings up an eyewatering billion plus search results, well over 99.99% of these will receive virtually no attention. That’s because Google searchers rarely advance past page one.
Making matters more competitive, the first search result will capture roughly a quarter of all queries, while the percentage swiftly drops away as you move down the line. By the time you get to the tenth search result, you’re only looking at a measly 2.3% click-through rate – roughly one-tenth of the first result’s yield! Of course, 2.3% is still significantly better than 0%, which is what most websites receive.
Better Visibility, Greater Rewards
You can now see why it’s absolutely critical that every business uses an SEO strategy to get their website as close to the top of Google search results as possible. Each place your website climbs on the search engine results hierarchy brings exponential rewards to your business.
Stepping into this highly competitive environment may appear daunting to an outsider. That’s why it’s vital to hire experts. Using a professional firm like The Reputation Management Company is the best way to ensure that your business receives the ranking it deserves.
How does SEO work?
Google aims to provide its users with the best possible experience it can muster. Search engines function as great sorting tools, and to sort effectively, they need input.
Using Keywords in SEO
In this case, the primary input you’re looking at is a keyword. If an individual wants a kitchen chair, it makes sense that Google would push webpages mentioning the phrase kitchen chair to the top of its search results hierarchy. So how does Google retrieve the best results?
One way is by looking at keyword frequency. As far as keyword ranking is concerned, a webpage that mentions a kitchen chair five times will typically rank ahead of a webpage that mentions it once.
There are complications to this strategy. For example, you can’t copy and paste the phrase “kitchen chair” a thousand times over onto a webpage and expect it to rank highly on Google. Black hat marketing tactics like keyword stuffing were somewhat effective in the past. However, they made for a poor user experience.
Consequently, Google has taken steps to ensure search results are helpful and relevant. If this is starting to seem tricky, don’t despair. Experts at The Reputation Management Company deal with these issues every day. They know precisely how to optimize your webpage for superior search results.
Another key aspect of search engine optimization ranking is linking. Establishing links to and from your website to other websites is a surefire way to give it a boost. Furthermore, not all links are created equal. Google favors links to high-traffic, quality websites like the New York Times.
This is another area where the experts at The Reputation Management Company can help you – the team combines outward linking and backlinking strategies to incredible effect. It’s a tried and tested way of improving a business’s online performance and helps with ORM.
What are the Differences Between the Two?
Now that you have a better idea of reputation management and SEO, let’s look at how they differ. To start with, online reputation management (ORM) will involve several different websites.
A competent ORM strategy will engage with major review websites such as Yelp, social media platforms such as Facebook, and even traditional news outlets ranging from the local paper to national and international publications. Meanwhile, search engine optimization deals with a single website that you want to rank highly on Google, Yahoo, and other search engines.
Knowing Your Audience
When it comes to reputation management, you deal with other human beings. If you need to dispute a negative review online, there’s an excellent chance you’ll speak to a customer support specialist or another member of that website’s outreach team. While most of these issues can be resolved through conversation, there may be times when the legal system has to be involved for the best results.
On the other hand, SEO strategies rarely involve the need for human interaction. This is because they’re largely centered on things like optimizing website load times, link building, seeding keywords, and providing useful, expert content.
The Right Tools for Each Job
Because ORM focuses on a brand’s reputation, it takes a broad, flexible approach. Rather than focusing on a single product or service, it focuses on a company’s reputation, an entire product line, or even an individual.
In contrast, search engine optimization tends to be laser-focused on providing optimal product and service results. After all, this is all about ranking your webpage high for search queries like “best socks for the summer” or “personal injury lawyer near me.” These searches are brand nonspecific and simply reflect a consumer’s desire to engage with a certain product or service.
Combining SEO and ORM for Brand Management
You need good search engine optimization practices to run a positive ORM campaign. They act in harmony to enhance a business’s online profile and drive sales. If you find any of that confusing, don’t fret. While knowing these terms and how they function is important, you don’t need to create a strategy from scratch. Leave that to the experts.
Use a service staffed by qualified professionals like The Reputation Management Company for peace of mind. The team deals with these issues daily – they’re on the razor’s edge of the best online business practices.
Don’t let your business languish any longer. Contact The Reputation Management Company today and speak to a qualified professional about how you can boost your company’s reputation management strategy.
Weak search engine optimization and a negative online reputation could hold your business back. This will cost you in the long run – instead, invest in your future now and take back control!