There are two distinct terms which are often grouped together, and are different in their application, but generally have the same end-goal — to create and maintain a positive image of a brand: Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and Online Reputation Management (ORM).
Whilst Online Reputation Management (ORM) is a bit broader of a term, and is used to specifically manage the online reputation of an individual or a business/brand, Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is the term used to describe all measures that are suitable to improve the placement of a website in the organic search results of search engines and thus increase traffic.
Search Engines — an infinite pool of information
Today search engines are still the lynchpin in the gathering of information by people worldwide — especially when searching for knowledge on specific topics such as health, product tests and evaluations, science, business, finance, sports etc.
Search engines are the first and most important source of information and therefore play an important role in the first phase of a customer’s journey. They can be used to address potential customers early on in the customer’s journey when researching in preparation for a purchase.
When it comes to managing a brand’s reputation online, SEO plays an integral part in making sure that all the work done by ORM overall is seen. If consumers can’t find the brand on the first page of search engines, preferably at the top, the brand won’t have the chance to turn them into customers.
The special feature of SEO lies on the one hand in the high value of the search engine traffic due to the proximity to the action. On the other hand, SEO is the only marketing strategy that can continue to deliver traffic for a long time to come, even if no further investment is made in it.
Important elements of search engine optimization include the creation or enhancement of relevant and unique content, the use of appropriate keywords, title tags or meta descriptions and internal linking on the website; especially links from other sites that lead to your own are indispensable for a good ranking.
How does SEO or the optimization for search engines work?
For successful search engine optimization (SEO), optimizations are made on the website itself, e.g. on the content, the metatags, the robots.txt, the htaccess file or the internal linking. These measures are called on-page optimization. In addition, measures can be carried out independently of the website such as link building. These activities are also called off-page optimization or offsite optimization.
What is On-page SEO?
On-page SEO is primarily about ensuring and controlling the crawling, indexing of SEO-relevant content by search engine bots and improving the relevance of content, including technical search engine optimization (Technical SEO), improving the information structure of a website and content optimization.
What is Off-page SEO?
Off-page-SEO is the improvement of the authority of the domain or individual URLs or documents by generating off-page signals. While in the past off-page signals were important for the ranking in search engines, today the naming of the brand in independent sources, brand-related search patterns and the search volume of brand keywords are increasingly important as offpage ranking factors.
With the rapid increase in mobile searches, the approach to SEO must also be changed or at least adapted. Furthermore, it should be emphasized that an optimization should not be carried out once only, but recurrently in order to not only temporarily improve the ranking with search engines, but also to have a lasting effect.