Online Reputation Management (ORM) and SEO: What’s the difference and do I need both?


Online Reputation Management vs. SEO: What's the difference?
As a business or brand, how do you know if you need online reputation management (ORM) or search engine optimization (SEO) – or both? The distinction between the two is often blurred, because both utilize some of the same search engine optimization principles and tools.

What is Search Engine Optimization?

– SEO focuses on promoting a specific website and increasing targeted traffic.
– SEO typically focuses on competitive keywords such as “men’s hiking boots” or “brown rain boots” rather than on the name of a company.

What is Online Reputation Management?

– ORM impacts searches for branded keywords in order to shape how stakeholders see your brand. It typically focuses on the name of a company, brand, or individual.
– ORM isn’t about making a sale, but about having a positive impact on the brand for long-term success.
– ORM focuses on the entire search results page. This includes the organic search results, the knowledge graph, crowd-sourced information, videos and images, and Wikipedia and business profiles.

The key difference is that the goal of SEO is to ensure that people find your company online, while ORM shapes the opinion people form of you based on information available online. To distinguish the two even further, it’s helpful to remember that SEO gets your foot in the door and gets you noticed, while ORM gets people coming through the door once they’ve heard about you.

Implementing ORM tactics can have a powerful effect on your brand and your business, as search results influence the perception and opinion of key stakeholders and clients. Search engine optimization is often owned by the marketing department since the goal is typically to increase leads and sales; while online reputation management is usually integrated with communications and PR efforts.

As digital marketing becomes more important for virtually every company, there is an increased need for brands to leverage both ORM and SEO to maximize their online potential. Five Blocks recommends using both; while most people have heard of SEO, ultimately ORM efforts will have a broader impact on your brand and your business.

At Five Blocks we leverage data, proprietary technology, and over a decade of expertise to help clients achieve a fair digital representation of themselves and their work.

If you’re looking to implement a digital reputation management program, or need help managing your digital reputation, contact us for a free assessment of your current situation.

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2016 Sohn Conference in Hong Kong

2016 Sohn Conference Hong Kong (crowd)

Sam and I were thrilled to represent Five Blocks again as sponsors of the 2016 Sohn Conference in Hong Kong. From the quality of the speakers and press coverage to the smooth logistical execution, it was apparent that a dedicated team worked tirelessly to make the conference such a memorable event.

While the content and networking opportunities were vast, the real focus of the evening was to encourage philanthropic support for the important work of The Karen Leung Foundation in Hong Kong. See the Karen Leung Foundation’s website for more information about how they promote awareness, prevention, and optimal treatment of gynecological cancer for women in Hong Kong.

Five Blocks is proud to have provided digital marketing services for the Sohn Conference in support of such a great cause. We look forward to participating again in 2017.


Sam Michelson and Yakir Hyman at the 2016 Sohn Conference in Hong Kong
Sam Michelson and Yakir Hyman at the Sohn Conference in Hong Kong – June 2016