July 9, 2019 By SmartBiz Team

Does your small business need Online Reputation Management (ORM) or Search Engine Optimization (SEO)? What is the difference between SEO and ORM? Can you effectively use both? Read on to learn more about using these strategies for business growth.

Apply for an SBA Loan

The difference between SEO and ORM

The difference between SEO and ORM is a gray area that few people understand fully. Knowing how to effectively use the two together can be confusing. Although they are quite different, they are used together in many cases. Each serves very distinct purposes but are connected. It is paramount that any business owner understands the difference between the two and uses it to improve their brand.

What is SEO?

Search Engine Optimization focuses on promoting your website so it ranks at the top of search engines results. It is what makes your page visible, driving traffic to your site. Is optimizing your content for search engines to promote your business and bring in leads enough? The answer is NO. You will need to use SEO together with ORM to get the best results.

What is ORM?

Online Reputation Management is used to manage the reputation of a particular subject on digital platforms. It could be an individual, your small business, or your brand. It helps you to keep the image of your brand in a positive light online.

How the two are different

1. SEO is used to promote a particular website or product.

SEO helps your website to rank higher on search engine results, and as a result, leads to increased visibility. More people become aware of your brand thus driving traffic, sales, and leads. ORM, on the other hand, helps to manage the perception of your brand using set strategies to counter negative online reviews. With this, you create a favorable image for your brand online increasing trust and attracting consumers.

2. You use ORM to manage the reputation of a particular person or brand, while SEO focuses more on the product and service searches.

SEO ensures that more specific keywords such as "men hiking boots" face low competition in search engine rankings, than generic keywords such as "hiking boots." ORM focuses on searches of an individual or company as a whole by using a tool that helps to monitor brand mention on backlinks, reviews, and press releases. A negative rating is like a painful lump – you can ignore it, but it will only get worse in time. And that's where ORM will help you.

See if you pre-qualify

3. ORM is much broader than SEO.

ORM includes different strategies than Search Engine Optimization. You use it to maintain a positive image on the digital market. It improves SEO by ensuring that positive content created is pushed to the top of search engine results, and negative content remains down in search results. It will be easier for a potential customer to find your best content than the worst. ORM manages the entire online presence of your small business. It is a longer process than SEO, whose main goal is to get a page to rank high in search results.

4. The two serve different purposes

If you want your clients to be aware of your product, you should use SEO. However, if you want them to love and buy your product, it is recommended that you use ORM. Optimizing your content for search engines ensures that people will find your small business online. ORM uses the information available online to shape the opinion of the people. Do they want to buy your product? SEO is effective in the awareness stage, but ORM aids in the decision-making stage. Which one does your small business need? Can you use both?

ORM or SEO? Or use both?

To know which online marketing strategy your small business needs, follow the below steps;

  • Search for your company or employee's name on Google
  • At what number do they appear?
  • Can you see any criticism about the company or the employee?

If there are some bad reviews in the results, you need to improve your reputation online. If all is positive feedback, good for you! Many people rely on reviews while making the decision to purchase nowadays. You need to act fast. You can choose to optimize your web content for search engines. You can also get ahead of the game and hire an ORM company to help with tracking negative feedback before it spreads. The best solution, however, involves using SEO and ORM together. The combination improves the visibility of your business and at the same time helps to monitor your online presence.

Final words

Search Engine Optimization and Online Reputation Management are quite different but share an integral connection. You don't have to decide which one to use, you can use both for the best results.

Warren Buffet puts it best when he states that, 'It takes 20 years to build a reputation and five minutes to ruin it. If you think about that, you will do things differently.' Drive traffic to your site using Search Engine Optimization and keep them coming back through Online Reputation Management. Hire an expert in SEO and ORM today and start enjoying the benefits today!



About the Author

Herbert Sward is a marketing consultant and copywriter. He has extensive digital marketing experience and gladly shares it by contributing to various online magazines and blogs. Herbert also has a deep interest in health and health technologies topics. He is co-editor of Skin Answer blog, which is aimed to help people with health problems. You can reach him out on Twitter.

See if you pre-qualify