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Google SEO and Reputation Management: The Winning Formula

Tobias Roelen-Blasberg
Tobias Roelen-Blasberg
Co-Founder & Head of Product
Discover how SEO and reputation management intersect to shape your brand's online presence and influence consumer perceptions in the digital realm.
Google SEO and Reputation Management: The Winning Formula

While SEO and reputation management go hand in hand, they are not synonymous. A business can have excellent search engine visibility without brand recall and customer engagement rooted in a positive online reputation.

In this blog, we will explore the crucial connection between SEO and online reputation management, shedding light on strategies to ensure a positive and high-converting brand image in the digital landscape.

Is online reputation management the same as SEO?

Though sharing common objectives of bolstering a brand's online presence, online reputation management (ORM) and search engine optimization (SEO) employ different strategies. SEO concentrates on enhancing a website's search engine ranking through content optimization and technical improvements, while ORM encompasses a broader range of tactics to shape public perception and address reputation issues.

For example, a local restaurant grappling with negative reviews on service quality and cleanliness might employ SEO techniques to boost its website's visibility. However, addressing reputation issues requires ORM strategies such as responding to reviews and implementing operational changes. While SEO aids visibility, ORM involves a multifaceted approach beyond SEO.

Explore the importance of online reputation management and how you can leverage this strategy for this business in our article Online Reputation Management for Hotels - All You Need to Know.

What is online reputation management SEO?

According to recent surveys, companies typically allocate at least 10% of their marketing budgets to SEO. Among the various strategies within SEO, reputation management stands out as a highly crucial aspect.

ORM SEO involves shaping the narrative surrounding a brand wherever it appears in the search engine results pages (SERPs). This includes influencing what users see on the front page of search results, in Discover feeds, and in News results, ensuring a positive perception of the brand.

How did Google SEO change over time?

Google SEO has evolved significantly, emphasizing not just website optimization but also broader visibility across multiple platforms. Many businesses, including hotels, focus heavily on optimizing their websites, often investing substantial amounts—like $50k for an agency to create a fancy site—only to attract minimal traffic. In contrast, some hotels with simpler websites achieve higher traffic by effectively driving visitors from Google and TripAdvisor.

While having an attractive website is important, it should be just one part of your overall reputation management strategy. Improving visibility on major platforms like Google and TripAdvisor should take precedence. A functional and aesthetic website is beneficial, but it won't contribute much if it doesn't attract significant traffic. The key is to start at the top of the customer's journey, focusing on where potential customers first encounter your brand, and then optimize from there.

What is SEO’s role in online reputation management?

SEO plays a pivotal role in online reputation management (ORM) by leveraging various strategies to ensure a positive and trustworthy brand image across search engine results pages (SERPs). Here’s how SEO contributes to effective ORM:

a. Dominate SERP

SEO aims to dominate the SERP by pushing positive content to the forefront and suppressing negative or irrelevant results. This involves optimizing various types of content, such as websites, blog posts, social media profiles, and news articles, to ensure they rank highly in search results. By doing so, businesses can ensure that when users search for their brand, the first things they see are positive, trustworthy, and relevant results.

Review responses is an effective way to harness the power of SEO. Read our article How to SEO Optimize Your Review Responses to learn more about this.

b. Differentiate your brand

Through SEO, brands can differentiate themselves from competitors by highlighting unique selling points and positive attributes. Effective SEO strategies include creating high-quality content that showcases the brand’s strengths, values, and unique offerings.

c. Information verification

SEO ensures that accurate and relevant information about the brand is readily available, helping to build trust with consumers. This involves keeping business listings up-to-date, optimizing content for accuracy, and ensuring that all public-facing information reflects the current state of the business.

d. Mitigating the risk of negative reviews

SEO strategies can mitigate the impact of negative reviews by removing or responding to them effectively. While removing negative content is challenging and not always possible, SEO can help push negative reviews down the SERPs, making them less visible.

Additionally, responding to negative reviews promptly and professionally can turn a potentially harmful situation into an opportunity to demonstrate excellent customer service. Encouraging satisfied customers to leave positive reviews also helps to counterbalance any negative feedback.

local seo pack
In spite of the top results, customers prefer customer reviews on local SEO pack than expert reviews.


SEO Online reputation management examples

Here are tangible examples illustrating how SEO contributes to effective ORM and vice versa:

a. Listings optimization

Fleming's Prime Steakhouse and Winebar have a mixed reputation online, with numerous Tripadvisor reviews and Reddit threads questioning its value. However, due to their optimized listings, they appear prominently in local searches for the keyword "Los Angeles steak." This optimization helps them maintain visibility despite some negative reviews.

listing optimization
Excellent listing optimization with review responses drowning negative critiques from various websites.

b. Review collection

Rock N' Grill boasts a higher star rating on Google compared to Fleming's. However, it ranks 15th in search results for "Los Angeles steak." This lower ranking is due to a lack of reviews on other platforms and the absence of a direct reservation link on Google, highlighting the importance of a multi-platform presence and convenient booking options.

review collection
Good online reputation, poor SEO performance.

c. Brand perception optimization

Des Moines seems to have mastered SEO by claiming the keywords "Iowa steakhouse," positioning themselves strongly in online searches. However, their absence from searches for "best steakhouse in Iowa City" suggests a setback due to their low ratings and limited reviews on Google Business.

brand perception optimization
Targeting SEO keywords should go hand-in-hand with optimized listings.

What is the connection between Google and your online reputation?

Google plays a pivotal role in shaping online reputation, serving as the primary source of information for most consumers. Here's how this happens:

Google Reputation Management: An Overview

With over 81% of retail consumers initiating their purchasing journey through online research, Google Reviews often serves as the initial touchpoint before engaging with a business. This underscores the critical importance of managing one's presence on Google to foster a positive reputation and attract potential customers.

For instance, the April 2023 update to Google Reviews has had a profound impact on businesses' SEO reputation management strategies. Previously, businesses using targeted keywords could dominate search results. However, the update now prioritizes businesses that cultivate genuine customer feedback and maintain transparency in their review practices. As a result, businesses with authentic reviews are poised to benefit from the update, which aims to prioritize genuine feedback and enhance the overall quality of search results.

Managing and responding to your Google Reviews can influence your online presence and SEO - learn how to master Google Reviews through our guide.

How should businesses use Google's Online Reputation Management tools?

Here's how Google tools can help brands effectively manage their online reputation on the platform:

  1. Google Business - Empowers businesses to establish and manage their presence across various Google platforms, including Maps and Search, ensuring accurate and engaging information for potential customers.
  2. Google Business Analytics - Provides businesses with powerful analytical tools to track and measure their performance, enabling them to gain insights and make informed decisions to optimize their strategies.
  3. Google Reviews - An invaluable tool for businesses to enhance their search visibility and attract new customers by showcasing positive feedback. With user-friendly widgets and review links, businesses can effortlessly collect and manage online reviews to build trust and credibility.
  4. Google Maps - Enables local businesses to target their ideal audience based on geographic location, allowing them to connect with nearby customers and improve their visibility in local search results.
  5. Google Trends and Google Keyword Planner - Empower businesses to identify relevant topics and keywords to target in their content strategies, including review responses and Google posts, ensuring that their online presence aligns with current trends and customer interests.
  6. Google Hotels - A comprehensive metasearch engine that simplifies the process of searching, comparing, and booking hotels online. With detailed property listings featuring prices, ratings, and amenities, Google Hotels offers hospitality businesses an efficient platform to showcase their offerings and attract potential guests.
  7. Reserve with Google - Facilitates seamless booking and reservation processes directly through Google, enhancing customer satisfaction and simplifying the booking experience. By offering this convenient feature, businesses can drive positive reviews and bolster their online reputation.

What are the effective strategies for SEO online reputation management?

Explore effective strategies for managing your online reputation through SEO with these key tactics.

1. Audit your online reputation

Consistently evaluate your online reputation by conducting sentiment analysis on reviews, extracting valuable customer insights to guide your strategy and proactively address any issues. This process not only provides crucial feedback but also enables you to refine your online strategies, ensuring a tangible return on investment for each implemented tactic.

2. Be active on review sites

Engage with customers on review platforms, promptly responding to feedback and encouraging satisfied customers to leave positive reviews. Utilize AI-powered review management solutions to efficiently monitor reviews across key platforms and craft personalized responses.


3. Optimize Google Business listing

Ensure your Google Business profile is complete, accurate, and optimized with relevant keywords and information to enhance visibility in search results and attract potential customers. We've created a step-by-step guide on how to do this.

4. Post images and target keywords

Strategically use images and incorporate target keywords in image titles, descriptions, and alt text to improve visibility in search results. Align your keyword targeting with insights from sentiment analysis to address customer concerns effectively.

5. Actively collect 5-star reviews

Recent surveys suggest that reviews and testimonials can increase sales conversions by up to 34%, particularly positive ones. Actively collecting 5-star reviews will not only enhance your visibility within online review platforms but also build customer trust.

6. Create content around competitors and positive reviews

Develop content that addresses common queries and concerns related to competitors while leveraging positive reviews and testimonials to showcase your strengths and build trust with your audience.

Boost your SEO reputation management strategies with MARA

Responding to online reviews can be a daunting task, but it’s an essential task for SEO reputation management. Fortunately, you have MARA AI Review Assistant.This intuitive tool is designed to ease your Online Reputation Management process, making it more efficient, personalized, and time-saving. It offers the best and most personalized AI for responding to and analyzing your guest reviews.

Streamline review monitoring with Review Inbox

One of the key features of this tool is the Review Inbox. Your review inbox makes responding to reviews as simple as hitting "Generate reply" and clicking "Send". The Review Inbox connects to multiple review sources, including Google,, and Tripadvisor, giving you a panoramic view of all your reviews. And you can even configure review response automation: Why not allow MARA to automatically respond to simple reviews, like 5-star Google reviews with no text, ensuring you never miss a review? Daily notifications about new reviews keep you updated and in control.

review inbox
Efficient review monitoring with MARA.

Advanced Sentiment Analysis from Google Reviews

To help you understand and analyze the multitude of reviews, the Review Assistant also incorporates Review Analytics. This provides actionable, easy-to-understand insights that are tailored exclusively to your business. With MARA, you can quickly get the gist of all your reviews without needing to read each one. The analysis is so detailed that you can find out about specific issues like "water in the pool is too cold" or "lack of vegan breakfast option”. These insights help optimize guest experience without requiring you to be a data expert.

review analytics
Data-based strategies through Review Analytics.

The most personal response AI

MARA's AI isn't just about efficiency; it's about personalization too. The Brand Voice feature allows the AI to adapt to your tone, making sure your responses sound authentically you. Plus, with Smart Snippets, you can "teach" the AI how to respond to recurring praises or complaints. Your AI then incorporates this information into its responses, but always with different words, providing more personalized, relevant replies.

This review response assistant has quickly become a game-changer for over 2000 customers. Its promising capacity to elevate your overall rating, amplify response rates, glean insights from customer feedback and economize both time and money, is the reason behind its growing popularity.

Final Thought

In today's digital age, maintaining a positive online reputation is crucial for business success. By recognizing the symbiotic relationship between SEO and online reputation management, companies can strategically shape consumer perception and maintain a competitive edge. While managing online reviews may seem daunting, leveraging software solutions like our AI Review Assistant, MARA, can streamline the process, personalize responses, and extract valuable insights from reviews. With MARA's user-friendly interface and hassle-free setup, businesses can efficiently manage their online reputation without delay. Try MARA today for free and experience the difference it can make in less than five minutes—no credit card required.

Consistently evaluate your online reputation by conducting sentiment analysis on reviews, extracting valuable customer insights to guide your strategy and proactively address any issues. This process not only provides crucial feedback but also enables you to refine your online strategies, ensuring a tangible return on investment for each implemented tactic.

This post is part of our hero content series on "Online Reputation Management for Hotels".

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Frequently Asked Questions:

What is reputation management in SEO?

Reputation management in SEO involves shaping the perception of a brand across search engine results pages (SERPs) to ensure a positive image. This includes influencing what users see in search results, managing reviews, and addressing reputation issues.

Why do we need SEO strategy?

An SEO strategy is essential for businesses to improve their visibility in search engine results, attract organic traffic, and enhance their online presence. It helps businesses reach their target audience, increase brand awareness, and ultimately drive conversions and revenue.

Is reputation management part of SEO?

Yes, reputation management is a crucial part of SEO. While SEO primarily focuses on improving a website's search engine ranking, reputation management ensures a positive perception of the brand across various online platforms, which ultimately impacts search visibility and user engagement.

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