If you’ve done any work or preliminary research on the creation of your business’s online presence, you’ve encountered the term search engine optimization. The optimization of your website, blog, and social media content can help the major search engines notice you and rank you more highly in their search results. However, you may be less clear on how SEO affects online reputation management and how you can use the former to enhance the latter. Let’s look at some essential SEO steps that can help make your ORM more effective.0-
Knowing Where You Currently Stand
You can’t know what needs optimizing until you have a reliable snapshot of what your online presence currently looks like to others. A quick Google search of your brand will show you where you rank in the search results under various keywords, how well your social media channels are performing, and what customers and other organizations are saying about you. You can then take specific steps to improve both your SEO and your brand’s reputation. At the same time, you can explore various other keywords to see how well they work for your competitors — and how well they might work for you.
Managing Your Owned Assets
ORM involves several types of media, including paid, earned, shared, and owned assets. Of these categories, your owned assets arguably benefit most directly from strategic SEO practices. Your owned assets include your website, blog page, social media channels, online reviews, and any other branded content you own or control. Make sure you’ve claimed your domain name (and other related domain names), social media accounts, and any relevant auto-generated business profiles before your competitors can beat you to it.
It’s not enough simply to secure owned assets and seed their content with high-ranking keywords; you must also optimize those assets for a positive user experience. Your website and social media pages need to load quickly, project an attractive look and tone, receive regular content updates, and encourage user interaction. As for keywords, remember to add alt text strings with branded keywords to your online images instead of just optimizing the written content.
A responsive website design that modifies itself to conform to various screen sizes is another must. The SEO and ORM specialists at Status Labs note that more than half of all website traffic occurs over smartphones.
Localizing Your Online Identity
Even if you court business from all over the world, your enterprise’s SEO will benefit from local optimization efforts, starting with your Google My Business listing. This listing is free to claim but makes a huge difference in your search ranking, boosting your odds of making the hallowed “local three-pack,” which sits just below the Google Ads and just above the list of organic results. It also gives you another site for photos, blurbs, testimonials, and reviews while making it easier for customers to find and contact your physical location.
Managing Online Reviews
SEO is all about drawing eyes to your online presence, while ORM is all about directing or redirecting the narrative concerning your business’s perceived image. Online reviews can boost your SEO without necessarily boosting your reputation, depending on the ratio of positive comments to negative comments. By encouraging your customers to post reviews, you can build a critical mass of good reviews while responding tactfully and persuasively to any negative reviews that come your way. Either way, you ultimately enhance your reputation.
Following Algorithm Updates
Last but not least, keep in mind that Google, that 400-pound gorilla of online search, changes its search algorithm periodically. These changes may devalue one aspect of your SEO while increasing the value of another. For instance, the age of keyword stuffing has long been supplanted by an emphasis on relevant, authoritative, useful content. Have your web developer or SEO specialist watch for updates and implement changes accordingly.
EO and ORM naturally complement each other as you strive for brand success. Try these steps and see for yourself.