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

Yakir Hyman, July 11, 2017


Online Reputation Management vs. SEO: What's the difference?

The distinction between Online Reputation Management and SEO is often blurred, because they both utilize some of the same search engine optimization principles and tools, each  for their own distinct purposes.

The main differences between SEO and ORM are that SEO focuses on promoting a specific website within search results and increasing targeted traffic, usually for competitive keywords such as pocket-sized drone or low-cost drone.

Online Reputation Management focuses on impacting searches for branded keywords like Jim’s Drone Shop in an effort to shape how stakeholders perceive the brand. So it’s not as much about making a sale – it’s more about having a positive opinion of the brand, for long-term success. ORM aims to impact the entire search results page, including the organic search results, the knowledge panel, crowd sourced information, Wikipedia, and business profiles.

One way to think about it is that SEO helps ensure that people discover your company, while ORM determines what they then think about you.   SEO ensures that you are noticed at the party, while ORM is what people think of you once they’ve asked around.

Many brands need both SEO and ORM, and as you can imagine, there is almost always an interplay between the two. Search Engine optimization is often owned by the marketing department since the goal is typically to increase leads and sales; in contrast to Online Reputation Management is typically owned by the communications or PR department.

As digital marketing becomes more important for virtually every company, we are seeing an increased need for both ORM and SEO to ensure that brands are maximizing their online potential.

Bottom line:   You need both.  And while everyone’s heard of SEO, Online Reputation Management will have a broader impact on your brand and your business.


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