Summary: Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and Online Reputation Management (ORM) are different and have different roles in a marketing campaign. Here, we look at the connection between SEO and ORM and how they play a complementary role in your marketing campaign.
As a brand exploring digital marketing, you know there are half a dozen strategies you can adopt to improve online visibility and sales. But among these, SEO and ORM should be the top priority. When these two marketing strategies work in tandem, your business can generate sales and revenue. While most businesses understand the importance of SEO, they fail to realize the significance of ORM. To understand the correlation, let’s look at some vital stats.
- 80% of people trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations
- Three out of four customers trust companies that have positive reviews
- 85% of customers read reviews before buying a product
- On average, consumers read 7 reviews before they buy from a business
- 60% of consumers don’t shop from a business that has negative reviews
What do these stats tell you? Your online reputation is as crucial as your visibility on search engines. Putting all your effort into improving visibility with an SEO campaign and ignoring reputation management won’t drive your brand forward. Let us now look at the relationship between SEO and ORM and why these are important for your digital campaign.
Are SEO and ORM The Same?
If you think ORM (online reputation management) and SEO (search engine optimization) are the same, you aren’t alone. You share this confusion with millions of others. After all, reputation management strategies boost search rankings, which is the root of this confusion. Though the intended purpose of both SEO and ORM is the same, i.e., to boost visibility, engagement, and sales, they differ in their core objectives.
The core aim of your SEO campaign is to boost your website’s visibility. In this strategy, brands target keywords and optimize content to improve their discoverability on search engines. Online Reputation Management, meanwhile, focuses on improving a brand’s trust and credibility in front of the target audience. While SEO is the chosen means to spread awareness about a brand, ORM is the tool to convert this awareness into sales. With SEO, you aim to attract traffic to a website, brand your business, and generate fresh leads. As for ORM, your aim is increasing conversions, ensuring cash flow, and building brand loyalty.
To better understand the distinction between SEO and ORM and establish the connection, we need to dig deep into each of these strategies. Once you understand these fundamental differences, you will know how they impact customers’ buying decisions and when to employ them during the buying journey.
The Role of SEO In Your Marketing Campaign
Among the two, most businesses are familiar with Search Engine Optimization. It would be hard to find a business that hasn’t had the exposure to running an SEO campaign. SEO is the most widely used digital marketing tool, and as we have already mentioned, it aims at increasing the online visibility of a business. The purpose of running a search rankings campaign is to acquire new customers. The more visibility your website has on the search engines, the more your chance of attracting potential customers looking for products and services similar to yours.
We live in a world where the Internet has become the first source of information. People who need a product or service turn to Google, Bing, or other search engines for information. Here are the advantages of investing in an SEO campaign –
- SEO increases brand awareness and attracts new customers
- SEO drives top-line growth and helps in brand building
- It improves the discoverability of your products and services
- SEO increases organic traffic to your online store or website
- It sits at the top of the sales funnel marketing and initiates the process
The Role of ORM In Your Marketing Campaign
SEO helps in driving traffic to your website or e-commerce store. But will you close a sale once a user has landed on your website or store? We have already stated that 85% of customers read reviews before buying a product or a service. Businesses in today’s world run on trust marketing, where you have to earn the trust of your target customers. Hence, online reputation management plays a vital role at this stage of a customer’s buying journey.
Negative reviews are the biggest roadblock when customers look for reviews and feedback about your products and services. They not only hurt your conversion rates but undermine the success of your SEO campaign in driving traffic to the site or store. Positive reviews boost confidence in your brand and trigger desire among people on your website or online store. Hence, reputation management experts focus on creating a positive impression of your brand by applying the best ORM tools and strategies. Here are reasons why you must follow up SEO with an ORM campaign –
- ORM is aimed at external web properties and not website or store
- ORM aims to build a positive brand image and increase engagement
- It is focused around establishing your brand’s authority in the market
- ORM takes your brand to prospects you can’t reach with SEO
- It boosts the trust and credibility of your brand in a competitive market
- It focuses on customer loyalty instead of attracting new prospects like SEO
How ORM and SEO Drive Brand Success
A spirited ORM strategy must follow a successful SEO campaign. A well-crafted ORM strategy can undo the damage if your brand has been at the receiving end of a malicious campaign. It deals with negative mentions of your brand and ensures positive comments and feedback overpower them. Both these marketing strategies have a unique place in a customer’s buying journey.
When we talk of the sales funnel, both SEO and ORM target customers at different levels in the buying journey. Hence the tools and strategies used for each of these strategies are different. Here’s how both of these are used at three crucial stages of the buying journey.
- Awareness: Your SEO campaign is the hero of digital marketing efforts at this stage. SEO puts the product or service in front of the customers and creates a desire among them to buy it. Customers become aware of their needs and look for solutions to these pain points.
- Deliberation: At this stage, customers review the solutions to their problems. Here both SEO and ORM have a role to play. While SEO arms the customer with information about the solution, ORM can convince the customer to choose a particular product over other competitors in the market.
- Decision: It is the make or the break stage in the buying journey. Online reputation management strategies can push a customer to choose a product over others. At this stage, unfavorable reviews can kill your campaign, while positive ones can drive sales.
You can see SEO and ORM’s connection with your marketing campaign. The former creates early awareness with the right content, attracting eyeballs. The latter boosts conversion when consumers see your products as the best solution to their problems. Positive reviews and mentions about your brand often serve as the final trigger for a sale.
The competition in digital marketing has touched the roof. In the post-Covid world, where businesses have adopted a digital-first approach, your online reputation defines your success. Along with visibility, potential customers should also find validation of your brand during their online searches. In such an ecosystem, search rankings and online reputation work hand in hand to put your brand ahead of the competition.
Along with the SEO campaign, you must give equal weightage to online reputation management. It would serve your business well to hire a team of experts who can boost search rankings and handle reputation management strategies. At Cyrusson Inc., we fit the bill. We are a full-spectrum digital agency with expertise in search engine optimization and online reputation management. We have helped hundreds of clients increase their visibility and build a strong reputation.
Call us today at 415-228-9969 and our team will happily assist you in booking a free consultation. We have SEO and ORM solutions for all businesses across marketing budgets.