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 Understanding SERM
 Effective search engine reputation management.
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 by James Peggie
Elixer Systems

James PeggieEstimates show that around 90% of consumers use search engines to find websites. When they undertake a search for your company name or brand, your hope is that your own website is high up on the list.  

However, you do not have control over what people write about your company or brand on other websites such as forums, blogs and articles.  Be aware that the good and the bad search engine listings are visible to your potential clients and affect reputation and buying decisions.  

What can you do if negative information relating to your company appears in the search results? You may want to consider Search Engine Reputation Management (SERM). 

SERM combines traditional public relations reputation management with search engine optimization.  Think of it as a mix of PR with technical skills.  High rankings of the good publicity is the goal, which will in turn push bad publicity down the list and out of consumers’ view.  Consumers rarely view more than two pages of search engine results for any search.

Companies produce a large amount of compelling written content such as press releases, articles, testimonials, case studies, white papers, etc.  Often, this information is not published on a company’s website nor optimized in a search friendly way.  Therefore it is not indexed or listed by the search engines.

The goal of SERM is high rankings and indexing in the search engines for all corporate communications and press releases.  The result is an increase in your overall web presence which will knock any negative listings from the top spots of the search engine rankings.

Tips to increase your positive web presence:

  • Make sure that your corporate site is fully optimized and is the top of the list for your name and your brand. 
  • Release regular press releases that are optimized for your name or brand and submit them to the online wire services.   
  • Publish all your corporate communications on your website including press releases, articles, testimonials, case studies, white papers, etc. 
  • Make sure that all content relating to your company on other highly ranked sites is accurate and current. 

All of the above ideas are directed at getting as many positive listing as possible related to your company or brand at the top of the search engine results pages.  This gives you control over how people perceive you company or brand within search engine results.

You work hard to build a reputation for yourself and for your clients.  SERM enables you to protect and manage these reputations by being actively involved in the results of search engines.

James Peggie is the marketing manager for Elixir Systems,
a search marketing company located in Scottsdale, Arizona. 
His expertise includes search marketing, online public relations 
and search engine reputation management.

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