Company websites rely on two structurally-different yet inextricably-linked principles in order to promote their business: Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and Online Reputation Management (ORM). Whereas SEO is concerned with the quality and structure of a site’s pages individually, ORM is concerned with shaping online information about an organization and/or individual so as to influence how the public perceives it, which ideally results in an online presence that will garner the public’s enthusiasm for the long term.
Purpose of SEO
The overall goal of SEO is to improve how highly the website ranks in searches made for the subject matter the website deals in. SEO does so by optimizing the site with a variety of technical factors like the inclusion of keywords and links in the content, which is recognized by the algorithms employed by search engines. An individual attempting to put a website onto the Internet for its own sake generally relies on SEO work that occurs strictly on that website or a specific page on it, and some work on social media on the side may be necessary.
ORM handles SEO, among other factors, as part of its approach to making a positive first impression on Google and other search engines. ORM aims to ensure that the first two or so pages worth of results brought up by a search for the subject of the business is filled with results that are positive in their tone. Among the other factors ORM takes into account are quality marketing, optimized public relations and social media presence achieved with consistently updated blogs, management of review sites, and the active monitoring of the website’s online presence in order to keep search results positive.
However, if a website owner finds that an undesirable result about the site has been ranked highly enough to be listed within the earliest pages of a search engine’s results about that site, such as a negative review or something else that would compromise the site’s reputation, there is not much viable SEO work that can be done that can move that result down to a later page. The only recourse would be to improve the SEO of all of the other, more positive pages enough that they get ranked higher in search engines than the offending item.
Methods of ORM
In order to avoid bad results about a website appearing near the top of searches for the website in advance, the following methods of ORM are used to establish a lasting online presence: Creating several pieces of exceedingly good content that lead to enthusiastic reviews and other websites linking back to the main site, maintaining healthy public relations, and maintaining social media profiles that engage web searchers.
Less ethical forms of ORM, however, can easily doom not just a website’s reputation, but its very capacity to do business if the website is caught partaking in them – such as spam blogs that exist only to link to the site. SEO tactics that fall under this sphere include stuffing keywords in a site’s content and/or meta tags, as well as cloaking, which is the practice of presenting content to search engines that is different from the content viewers see on their browsers. Google can fully remove a website it recognizes as engaging in such tactics.
We at BrightPast are committed to serving our customers with the accepted and sincere forms of Online Reputation Management while avoiding any of the aforementioned SEO tactics that are frowned upon by search engines. While ORM is more difficult than SEO because of how many extra channels a business must contend with in order to retain a strong reputation beyond how well-optimized for search engines the website itself may be, we strive to allow such businesses the capacity to establish an online presence that will remain healthy enough that unexpected negative results in search engines can be protected against. With our approach to reputation management, your business’ online image and your own reputation will come across as equally favorable.