Search Engine Reputation Management (SERM): What is it and Why is it Important?
According to research, 65% of consumers trust search engines the most when they’re trying to research a business or a brand. Building and maintaining a good online reputation is one of the main goals of any business, regardless of its size. It’s part of the brand building process, and the business as a whole can suffer greatly if this reputation is jeopardized.
So, what is search engine reputation management? Why is the online reputation that important? Keep reading to learn more about the importance of SERM.
What is Search Engine Reputation Management?
Search engine reputation management or SERM is a critical aspect of online reputation management. It’s a tool that brands use to maintain a good online reputation and to fix their reputation in case something goes wrong.
The purpose of using SERM strategies is to help the brand maintain a good online presence and reputation, signified by ranking higher in search engine results, so potential buyers can trust the brand more. Regardless of your business’s success, you can still get affected by negative feedback. According to a study, almost 94% of customers would stir away from a brand due to negative reviews. The purpose of a successful SERM strategy is to help a business recover after such a bad review to maintain loyal customers and attract more in the future.
What is the Importance of Search Engine Reputation Management?
Why not erase it all?
Removing a negative online review or comment doesn’t solve an issue. It can temporarily help you maintain your image as a successful business, but as you continue to do this, you eventually lose your credibility. SERM is important because it teaches brand managers how to respond to and handle negative feedback. Moreover, most sites will refuse to remove a bad review.
But it’s just one bad review!
A brand’s reputation is based on the quality it delivers to its customers. One bad review is all it takes for people to think less of your brand. In some cases, handling a bad review and addressing the client’s problem can result in more gains. Your brand is viewed as a trustworthy one, and your business is known for appreciating customers.
Using multiple SERM tools, you’ll be able to push the negative feedback to the second or third pages of Google, where these negative comments are less likely to be seen. In addition, these tools will help you improve your search engine ranking by providing new positive content that potential customers are more likely to see since it appears on Google’s first page.
Benefits of Search Engine Reputation Management
Successful search engine reputation management is crucial in a world where the brand’s online presence counts for most of its reputation in the market. Here are some of the benefits of well-executed SERM tactics.
- The main benefit of SERM is to help boost sales that might otherwise suffer because of negative feedback. The brand would create new positive content, including blogs and PR content, to appear on the first page of search engine results and push the negative review to the second or third pages.
- Using SERM, a small business or brand can gain more visibility and exposure.
- It helps build a brand’s image as a trustworthy one. Handling negative reviews shows that the brand values customers and will encourage others to give it a try.
- With more positive reviews and positive handling of the negative ones, the brand’s credibility increases. People have more trust in the brand and will consider it for future purchases.
- As a business, you’ll gain valuable business insights regarding the tools that work best for your business and improve its ranking in search results.
Online Reputation Management Strategies
The main goal of SERM is to improve your business’s online presence and to rank in search engine results. So, for example, if your brand ranks high for a specific keyword associated with a negative review or feedback, your SERM strategy should aim to replace this negative content with a positive one for the same keyword.
As a result, the positive one will appear on the first page of Google results, while the negative one will be pushed back, which potential customers are unlikely to see.
There are several strategies that brands can use to manage and improve their online reputation. Here are some of them.
- Use social media profiles and press releases to add more content about your brand. This content is under the company’s control, so it’s positive content that pushes negative content out of sight.
- Paying attention to high-traffic queries about your business and adding relevant information about these queries.
- Handling negative reviews by responding to them and posting positive content on the relative sites.
Oleksandr Yaremenko has been a sales and marketing professional since 2007. As a national sales trainer and coach for top management, he has honed his skills in both team management and sales effectiveness. In 2016, he founded his own digital marketing agency, where he applies his experience to help clients achieve their goals.
Oleksandr is a graduate of Ericsson University’s business training program, where he specialized in sales and management. He is known for his ability to effectively develop clients, increasing their annual revenue by 2-4 times through an integrated marketing approach.
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