Effective search engine optimization (SEO) strategies are vital to increasing your online visibility and reach. But they’re only half of the equation. Online reputation management (ORM) is the other half that boosts your SEO work. Combining ORM and SEO is essential to drive traffic and generate more business for your company.
Here are some reasons why a search engine optimization marketing strategy should go hand in hand with ORM and one of its aspects, reputation repair :
• Ninety percent of customers will read reviews first before visiting your website to find out what you have to offer.
• Thirty-seven percent of users will visit your website after reading a positive review about your company or your products.
• Improving your star ratings anywhere from three to five is especially relevant – you earn 25 percent more clicks with each increase, therefore boosting your click-through rate (CTR).
In this post, we’ll cover how dynamic the connection between SEO and ORM is and some of the tools and strategies of online reputation management.
The ORM and SEO Confusion
There is still confusion over the difference between ORM and SEO. For instance, since online reputation management SEO boosts search results, some believe they’re one and the same.
A search engine marketing strategy aims to make your website visible to search engine users, while an online reputation management strategy focuses on improving your business’s trust and credibility.
SEO is your primary tool when spreading the word about your business. It’s beneficial for branding, generating leads and directing more traffic to your website. On the other hand, the best online reputation management strategies are helpful to the other end of your sales process. ORM is better suited for creating repeat customers and improving conversion rates.
To help make the distinction between these two clearer, let’s dive into the details of each strategy. After that, we’ll review their key differences and how they fit into your customer’s buying process. We’ll also cover how online reputation management services can help.
The Purpose of SEO in Your Sales Process
Most people are familiar with SEO, especially entrepreneurs and marketers. Meanwhile, ORM is a lesser-known aspect of digital marketing.
As mentioned above, SEO is the set of strategies that you use to increase online visibility. After applying SEO and gaining customers, you will use online reputation management SEO, which helps boost trust in your brand and create repeat customers.
Ask any SEO services company, and it will recommend search marketing to increase brand awareness. Think of it as your go-to tool at the beginning of a sales process (more on that later). If you’re having trouble with SEO and sales funnels, you can leverage affordable SEO services.
Here are some of the unique characteristics of SEO as it relates to your company’s sales process:
• It’s best used for increasing brand awareness.
• It helps people discover your products and service offerings.
• SEO drives a lot of traffic to your website and eCommerce store.
• It’s one of the essential first steps in your sales funnel marketing.
• An optimal search engine marketing strategy is an important component of ORM.
• SEO is useful for driving top-line growth.
ORM and Your Bottom Line
After people discover your brand, what do you think is the first thing they’ll do? We can tell you one thing: It’s not going straight to your website and checking out your products. Instead, people will first turn to reviews. Studies show that 84 percent of consumers will trust an online review like recommendations from friends and family. That is why professional reputation management, specifically review generation, is essential.
Negative reviews don’t only damage your company’s reputation but also undermine the results of your SEO efforts. Meanwhile, the best online reputation management strategies will help undo the effects of negative reviews and improve SEO results.
Simply put, a well-formulated online reputation management strategy is your tool for managing brand perception. SEO is an important component of any ORM strategy. Remember that search results will bring up a mix of voices about your brand. Some will be in your favor while others won’t be.
After SEO has done its part, you need ORM to manage the negative mentions of your brand. When people find negative opinions about your brand, they won’t be that inclined to click your links. Negative brand mentions reduce your click-through rates (CTRs), number of impressions, conversions, sales and eventually, your net income. This is why you want to generate reviews online that are in your favor.
Here are some of the characteristics of ORM and how it relates to SEO and your bottom line:
• ORM uses SEO to promote positive brand mentions about your business.
• It focuses on external web properties instead of your company’s website.
• It doesn’t focus on selling the way SEO is geared towards, but it centers on creating a positive brand image which in turn helps SEO by driving more traffic.
• One of the tools in online reputation management strategy is publishing content through an authority network or portal (e.g., YouTube, high-traffic sites and external blogs).
• Online reputation management SEO establishes your brand’s thought leadership.
• ORM allows your business to reach audiences that you wouldn’t have reached otherwise.
• Your published content in authority networks generates quality links to your site, therefore supporting your SEO efforts.
• You increase the trustability of your business through ORM, eventually creating more loyal customers and brand advocates.
How ORM and SEO Work in the Buying Process
We have already hinted that both SEO and ORM have their place in a customer’s buying journey. This is where the term sales funnel comes in – a marketing term that refers to the process or journey a customer goes through before they end up buying a product. The tools and strategies of online reputation management and search engine optimization play different roles in this process.
The buying process or sales funnel generally has three major phases: awareness, consideration and decision. There are other stages like intent, evaluation and purchase, but we won’t go into so much detail, so we won’t cover the latter three.
• Awareness: The stage when customers become aware of pain points and unserved or underserved needs. Businesses can also generate awareness through search engine marketing strategy and PR campaigns. A good example is when Apple introduced the iPhone on June 29, 2007. The novelty and value of the product created an incentive for consumers; driving awareness.
• Consideration: In this stage, customers make up their minds about the product’s qualities that will solve their problems. However, they haven’t decided on the brand they will purchase. Both optimal search engine marketing strategy and professional reputation management can help sway consumers into a decision.
• Decision: Using affordable SEO services combined with the best online reputation management strategies can push consumers into making a purchasing decision in your favor. Negating unfavorable reviews, resolving customer complaints and generating compelling content all help to influence these decisions.
An optimal search engine marketing strategy creates early awareness of your products and services. It’s accomplished by placing the right content in front of your target audience. Eventually, conversion increases when consumers see your products as the solution to their pain points.
Small businesses will benefit from hiring affordable SEO services in the early stages of a sales funnel. Marketing costs are reduced, and unnecessary ad spending is avoided. Working with a professional reputation management agency will pay off later in the sales process.
SEO strategies work best during the initial stages because they can increase online visibility. The best reputation management services, on the other hand, play their part during the decision phase where you need to generate reviews online. Note that there you can find an SEO services company that also offers online reputation management services.
It’s important to generate reviews online that speak favorably of your brand. Online reputation management companies recommend this tactic to deal with negative reviews. Another one that you can use is addressing complaints, comments and reviews wherever they pop up.
This is where consumer sentiment becomes crucial for any SEO services company and online reputation management companies. The goal is not to eradicate every negative review or opinion about your business. Instead, you want to create a positive overall perception of your brand.
Remember that there will always be negative opinions and complaints about your business and your products. Your online reputation management and search engine optimization marketing strategy will be crucial for managing consumer sentiment. When your brand’s overall perception is positive, it attracts more customers, retains clients, brings in more business partners and increases sales. ORM and SEO boost your bottom line and top line, respectively.
Making the Most of ORM and SEO
In today’s exceedingly competitive digital world, getting the best reputation management services to suit your budget is important. Thrive is an online reputation management and SEO agency that has more than 15 years of experience.