Even one unanswered negative review in a search engine listing can discourage a customer from buying. That’s why search engine reputation management, or SERM, is a necessity for any business from a huge Play Amo casino New Zealand to a small flower store nearby. We tell you what this management involves and how it works.
Why It Is Necessary
Search engine reputation management solves and helps prevent problems with a company’s image and also affects sales. SERM is able to:
- Create and maintain a positive brand reputation.
- Promote the right image of the company and adjust the representations that the audience already has.
- Neutralize the negative that the target user can find in a search engine, or make it less noticeable.
- Boost sales by increasing user loyalty.
- Counteract unfair or paid-for feedback from competitors.
- Collect feedback and improve the quality of products, services, and communication with customers.
- Increase the investment attractiveness of the brand and its status in the eyes of partners.
It’s important that SERM actions work at the lower levels of the marketing funnel – with those who are already interested in you and your product. If you’re doing well in the first pages of the search engines, your chances of getting a customer are higher.
Who Needs It
SERM is especially important for brands with unformed and unstable loyalty. For example, if a company:
- Is entering the market or launching a new product.
- Is rebranding.
- Is experiencing a decline in demand.
- is in a state of information warfare with competitors.
But everyone needs it! In a competitive environment and on the open Internet, you can’t let your reputation get away with it. And not only because if you do not work on your image, your competitors can work on it.
The main thing is that SERM is much more than creating a nice showcase. It’s consistent work that gives you valuable insights and understanding of cause and effect in order to fine-tune your customer relationships and make them stronger.
Often, businesses treat reputation management as an emergency tool and resort to it only when problems arise: for example, it becomes urgent to push a site with a negative review out of issuance. But if you have built in processes for controlling your traffic and processing feedback, the negative feedback that appears online will do much less damage to your reputation, and it will be easier to neutralize it.
Methods and Techniques of SERM
SERM involves working with indexed sites and requires careful and cautious approach – especially when it comes to ordering reviews.
To create a positive brand reputation on social networks you can:
- Register company accounts on aggregator sites, directories, geoservices and so on, monitor user activity and respond quickly to reviews – both bad and good.
- Initiate and encourage the writing of real reviews that are more likely to be positive – for example, give a discount for a review.
- Post custom reviews on meaningful sites: as naturally neutral and positive as possible, as well as sales pitches that present the product from the most favorable angle, and explanatory ones that answer frequent questions and objections.
- Set up search engine ads that take their place on the first page of results.
- Maintain expert blogs and columns on specialized portals and in the media.
- Publish press releases, informational materials, and sales articles optimized for target keyword phrases on third-party platforms.
- Monitor mentions of the brand and address negative ones: respond, if possible, resolve problems and compensate customers who have published them, consider removal.
- Promote their own sites by target requests: official website, expert blog, profiles and groups in social networks.
The Three Laws of SERM
SERM is effective only in conjunction with ORM. Working out the top of the issuance will do nothing without work in social networks and forums, interaction with bloggers and the media. Moreover: if the social networks are replete with negative feedback, but in issuance of silence – it exacerbates the distrust of users.
SERM never ends. If today’s output is perfect, it’s no guarantee that tomorrow it won’t leak something unpleasant. That is, reputation management in search engines – a continuous methodical process that requires constant analysis.
SERM is a support in solving problems, not a solution. If you don’t eliminate the causes of the negative, it will return again and again to where it was removed with so much effort. Therefore, working with reputation doesn’t make sense without increasing the competence of employees, improving the quality of services, optimizing the product line, implementing loyalty programs and so on.