Sep 26 2019

SERM Tips: How to rise above PR crisis

Posted by Charisma Felix ,

If a user finds out a single bad comment about a business, chances are that their reputation goes downhill fast. Millions of dollars would be lost, investors would bailout, and customers would lose interest. Before it becomes a total business nightmare, make sure to build a positive online reputation through Search Engine Reputation Management or SERM.


What is SERM? How Does it Relate to ORM?

SERM or Search Engine Reputation Management is a branch of Online Reputation Management (ORM) that is used to keep the negative comments off the users’ radar. Simply put, it is how a brand would establish a strong online presence to ward off bad reviews from the first few pages of the Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs) in leading search engines like Google, Bing, and Yahoo. Users won’t have time to check out each SERP since the relevant search results are already displayed on the first page. So, there is a small to zero chance that users would check out the negative feedback placed in the bottom pages.


Common Online Reputation Issues

If SERM or other ORM strategies are not done, a PR (Public Relations) crisis might happen. Your entire business might get ruined. To better understand the concept of a PR crisis, here are some online reputation issues that might cause it to happen:

1. Poor Reviews

Like what was mentioned above, poor or bad reviews can damage the reputation of a business. This would not be a problem if a user found a fake review since users can make a distinction between false and true accusations. But what if it the review that was found is true? Your business did make a mistake and it went out of hand that the customer got frustrated over it and wrote a bad review? Millions of potential customers would see it online and this can cause misunderstandings.

2. Biased Comparisons

Other businesses or companies use to create product comparison websites to promote their products and services. Sometimes, these websites are affiliates of a specific business thus, there is a high chance that the blog writers were paid. Even though some of the comparisons won’t directly mention the name of the brand that it is referring to, it can still affect your business if both of you are in the same line of business. You might lose customers because of it.

3. Negative News Articles

News travels fast. If your business is caught in a scandal or lawsuit, you would be surprised to know that you are already famous online in just a few hours. Situations like this can not only ruin a brand, but it can also affect your reputation as the business owner. It would be hard to win investors in this case.

4. Online Defamation

Slanderous attacks (no matter how false accusations are) can affect your business. These are bound to happen either because of a dissatisfied employee or a sly competitor. It is important to take extra precaution in handling these precarious situations, or else your reputation might get completely ruined.


Tips for Online Reputation Management

Good thing, there are SEO tricks and tips that you can do to prevent those issues. Here are some of the strategies to get the favor most of your target consumers.

1. Utilise Social Media Sites

Social media sites are powerful tools that can help boost customer relationships. You can utilise their interactive features to better understand your target consumers, and at the same time, to promote your brand.

Make sure to become active in each popular social media network by frequently posting relevant content and answering inquiries. If your profile managed to get thousands of followers, it might show up in the topmost pages of the SERPs. Aside from creating an account, you should also link your social media profiles all over the Internet. You can start linking it to your own website and email marketing campaigns.

2. Manage Your Reviews

You need to “own” the reviews about your company in order to rank high in Google. But how? You should interact with customers by responding to their reviews. Doing this will help boost your credibility and trust. As more users will start to trust your brand, search engines will too. You can confirm this yourself at the support page of Google My Business (GMB).

3. Practice “Reverse SEO”

You can boost all the positive content about your brand through reverse SEO. With this, all the negative reviews will be pushed back at the last few pages of the SERPs. Contents that you should boost are social media profiles, blogs, videos, reviews, and news articles. These have a high-rank score in branded search results.  

4. Create an Ad Campaign

You can use paid search marketing methods like PPC (pay-per-click) to create ad campaigns that can highlight the positive aspects of your brand. Since ad campaigns are placed at the topmost part of the first page in SERP, it can reestablish a good brand image.

5. Look for Popular Blogs and Social Media Profiles

Popular blogs and social media profiles rank high in search engines. You can use them to your advantage by sponsoring relevant content. What you can do is to submit a positive coverage about the successes and milestones of your brand.


Conclusion

In a business, it is inevitable to encounter one or two dissatisfied customers. You must be able to handle this situation in a calm and professional manner, or else your business image might be in great risk. What you can do is to prevent a total ruined brand image is to practice SEO online reputation techniques. This will help you have to establish a relevant and positive online presence.

If you are new to digital marketing and online reputation management and you are not sure how to start, you can always seek the help of an SEM agency in Singapore. With this, your business can effectively fight back against reputation attacks and negative reviews. 


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