SERM and ORM: what business problems do they solve

A bad company image can devalue the work of marketers and years of work in the market.

Reputation is a new intangible asset of the company. It is like a credit history. Any potential client can get acquainted with it, just go to the search engine and enter the name of the company. Based on the results of the issuance, it will become clear what the business is. SERM and ORM will help build a favorable image or correct mistakes. The first one is responsible for positive results in search engines, and the second one is responsible for the reputation on the Internet in a broad sense.

Why ads don’t work

New tools appear where the old ones cannot cope or have to work in greatly changed realities. Therefore, SERM and ORM are being talked about more and more often.

Reputation becomes more valuable than money and power.
Michael Fertik
Founder of ORM

Old school advertisers pray for a term from the world of psychology – cognitive ease. These are signals that tell a person that everything is going well. And habitual things and actions are good for a person. In the marketing plane, the principle of cognitive ease works like this – the buyer approaches the stand with sausage. Intuition tells us that more expensive models should be better, but brand N often flashes on TV. The buyer perceives it as a “default” option. It’s easier to buy N, because all other options will come from the position “how is this different from N”. SERM and ORM act differently.

Recognizability is still important. However, it seems that traditional advertising has been reduced to this factor alone. The packaging is getting brighter and the slogans are getting bolder. The buyer gets tired of the endless struggle for attention and ignores advertising. It turns out that marketers have cleared the site for SERM and ORM.

The world around is oversaturated with advertising. There are posters on the bus, ubiquitous posters on the subway, it’s scary to visit sites without an ad blocker. Global trend: 82% of consumers unconsciously ignore advertising messages. This is the immunity of the 21st century. If only that was the problem…

The advertising message is not just ignored – it is not trusted. Information from the Russian branch of the Nielsen agency confirms this thesis. Only 36% of consumers trust print media and radio. TV advertising slightly more – 41%. Reviews on the Internet (62%) and opinions of acquaintances (77%) became record holders.

It is getting more and more difficult to reach the client with traditional advertising. SERM and ORM will help correct the situation. 


The term stands for “Search engine reputation management” or “Reputation management in search engines”. The name speaks for itself. SERM-specialists correct the search results, displacing the negative from it and raising the positive sites in the rating.

Negative search results are a problem for businesses. Depending on the content and attendance, such sites can cost up to 80% of potential customers. The main share of reputation is formed in Google and Yandex search engines. According to Seo-auditor data for January 2018, they share almost all search traffic in RuNet. The closest competitor – – is content with crumbs.

Most of the clicks are in the top 10 search results. Let’s use the Rush Analytics calculations for the average click-through rate of Yandex. According to our calculations, there are 10% fewer searches on average on Google.

Let’s assume that the name of the company is searched for 500 times a month, and negative sites crept into the third and sixth positions of the issue. We calculate according to the formula: (500 x 0.24) + (500 x 0.17) = 205 clicks per month to sites with negative business information. Is it worth neglecting two hundred possible customers – everyone will decide for themselves.

Companies have different methods of building SERM. So let’s talk about our approach.

  • Creation of own sites. These can be blogs, websites or social media profiles. A SERM specialist will bring them to the top 10 for key queries.
  • Monitoring. A SERM specialist studies search results several times a month. If there are negative mentions, they will be noticed.
  • Registration in directories. We will place at least 25 mentions per month in company directories. All information is posted according to the content plan.
  • Posting reviews. Buyers trust reviews 12 times more than manufacturer descriptions. Plus, the reviews are well ranked and consistently occupy the top 10 search results.
  • Removing the negative. Unwanted information is forced out or removed from the search results. Controlled or positive sites will take its place.

All these methods are aimed at generating search results in favor of the business.


Means “Online reputation management”, or online reputation management. ORM is commonly understood as tracking mentions on the Internet, interaction with sites and other tactics aimed at maintaining a positive reputation of a brand or person. It may seem that this is similar to the usual PR. Definitely, it is part of the ORM, but no more.

ORM is not limited to familiar tools. Reputation management is about the question of “how to achieve results”. All answers within the law are considered worthy of attention.

According to surveys, 74% of consumers will search for additional information about a company on the Internet if they are interested in its services. Here ORM shines brighter than others. Let’s take a look at the key tactics.

  • SERM. Cleaning the top of the search results is also part of the ORM, although it stands apart.
  • Removing the negative. 7 out of 10 potential customers may abandon a purchase if they see more than one negative position in the search results or in the comments on search engine sites. Therefore, the negative is dangerous for business and is one of the tasks of ORM. Negotiators, lawyers, psychologists and social engineers deal with the removal of unwanted information within the framework of the law. Reviews in 60% of cases will be deleted by the author himself after negotiations within the ORM.
  • Create reviews. Consumers trust other people’s recommendations 12 times more than traditional advertising. However, custom reviews will not help, but rather harm the ORM. The best method is to reward customers for writing reviews. You can organize special bonus programs or a compliment from the institution (if we are talking about a cafe or restaurant).
  • Hidden promotion. Brands are increasingly turning to hidden marketing: it is respectful to the consumer, does not steal his time or give something in return. As part of the ORM, the company will be mentioned in a positive light in the media or influencer blogs.
  • Article marketing. We create image articles for display in the top 10 search engines. They can also be placed on the largest Runet portals. They are written with an ORM strategy in mind. These can be educational materials, news collections or useful articles. Unlike, say, contextual advertising, image content has a long lifespan, a high level of trust and customer involvement.

What kind of business is reputation management suitable for?

Reputation is a long-term investment. SERM and ORM are worth paying attention to for businesses that rely on a lasting effect from promotion. The results won’t show up right away. It takes one to three weeks to launch an article. Then it will gain a foothold in the top of the search results and will not require serious efforts to maintain.

SERM and ORM are needed for a business with an established reputation: to clean up the negative, increase the popularity of positive mentions. Image management is a must for victims of negativity on the Internet. The services of experienced negotiators will cost several times cheaper than possible problems with negatives and haters.

You can conduct an image audit on the Internet using the calculator of the Reputation Moscow agency. On the market, this service costs from 70,000 rubles, but with us it is free.

It will help businesses and media people to maintain a good name, restore their reputation or conduct a PR campaign.

  • As part of SERM and ORM, we removed 1,200 negative web pages and 10,000 negative reviews.
  • We will develop and conduct a viral campaign or viral content within the framework of ORM. The minimum reach is 50,000 views.
  • The rights of the parties are enshrined in the contract. When ordering, we form a clear KPI of work: how many views, comments or other ORM indicators.

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