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Dean Gerst November 26th, 2020

Over the last decade, online reviews have become a major deciding factor in how customers make a purchase – and don’t.

Whether they are choosing a restaurant based on how many positive reviews it has on TripAdvisor or downloading an app on Google Play based on how many 5 star reviews it has, customers are heavily influenced by positive reviews and user feedback.

When searching for various SEO services in Australia, you most likely will have come across ‘ORM’ which stands for Online Reputation Management. It is this service which has helped many businesses to reverse the damage done from torrents of unfair and angry reviews that have degraded a company’s reputation.

ORM is often the shining light at the end of a tunnel when a business becomes bogged down in hurtful reviews, resulting in them plummeting to the bottom of SERPs (Search Engine Results Pages).

What exactly is it?

In a nutshell, ORM is an SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) service which addresses, mitigates and monitors a business’s web presence and mentions throughout search engine results pages and website content.

To improve the online presence of your company, ORM analyses what a customer will learn about your product, service or brand when performing a Google search. It can work to counteract stories or online comments that puts your business in a bad light or address false and negative reviews on social media and websites.

What is the difference between ORM & PR?

ORM services and PR (Public Relations) firms ultimately share a common goal, which is to portray their clients in the best light possible.

ORM is mostly reactive in its approach. It involves searching and responding to negative content such as reviews or comments from businesses and other people that can be seriously damaging to a company’s reputation.

PR uses an external approach such as promotional media and advertising efforts. Rather than minimizing attacks, it typically focuses on proactive efforts such as strengthening the reputation of a brand.

The importance of ORM for your business

According to Catalyst Digital, when it comes to the ‘customer journey’, around 71% of consumers start with a Google search. This means that if a business shows up on SERPs looking disreputable and untrustworthy, they will miss out on a large number of potential customers.

Maintaining a good online reputation is crucial for the survival of a business, especially in 2020 which has seen many businesses migrate to online. An influx of negative or fake reviews on your Google My Business listing will not only lower your overall score and reduce traffic, but the situation is also difficult to fix.

How a business responds (or doesn’t respond) to negative comments is also a major factor. United Airlines is one example. In 2017, a video was uploaded to YouTube showing a passenger being violently dragged away due to an overbooked flight. The video became viral and the airline company ended up losing more than $1 billion in market value.

How ORM manages your online reputation

The process of ORM can vary and will depend on your situation, industry and size of your business. It can include:

Performing an audit of your current online reputation gives the digital agency you turn to an understanding of what issues you are facing and what people see when they search for your business online.

They uncover important statistics such as how many people are mentioning your brand/website, how users find your business when searching and if the overall sentiment of your company is negative or positive.

Negative feedback can be constructive feedback. By reviewing all of your negative and even positive reviews, it can give you a deeper understanding of the needs and wants of your customers.

Through analysing feedback, patterns such as consistent complaints about a specific area can be focused on. It may involve removing, adding or changing a particular aspect of your service or product. Addressing customer needs and wants not only will improve your online reputation but also shows your customers that your business appreciates them and is willing to adapt.

Establishing an ORM strategy for your business is all about prioritising what needs to be focused on first. Which crucial tasks need to be addressed first? How many resources are you able to dedicate? What outlined goals are you working towards? What will be the tone of voice used when responding to both negative and positive reviews? How will the positive results be monitored?

Managing your online reputation can be very difficult on your own and just one wrong step can have disastrous results. At Newpath Web, apart from providing leading SEO services, we also offer ORM services to ensure that your business isn’t a target for unfair, negative and damaging reviews.

To learn more information about our range of services, contact us today on 1300 761 806 or explore our website and make an enquiry today.

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