SERM-specialist: what you need to know about a promising profession

SERM-specialist: what you need to know about a promising profession

Search Engine Reputation Management (SERM) — This is a set of measures that allow you to manage your reputation in search engines. People who specialize in such work are called SERM specialists or SERM managers. Their daily work includes the implementation of a set of tasks designed to create a positive brand image online. If such specialists work successfully, then the user, when searching for a particular brand or public figure, finds in the search engine, in particular on the first few pages, as much positive information about them as possible.

Ensuring this in practice will not always be easy. The fact is that today there are a huge number of platforms on the Internet where people are accustomed to sharing their own opinions about purchased goods and services. And not every opinion will be positive. This, in turn, can cause serious harm to the reputation of a business. A couple of negative reviews are enough for people to stop trusting a particular company and start turning to their closest competitors for goods or services. This is what a SERM specialist should prevent.

To achieve the desired result, he needs to thoroughly understand how search engine algorithms work, constantly monitor what changes occur in them and immediately make adjustments to the work. It is also important to understand the legal aspects in order to understand when reputation problems can be solved at the search engine level, and when it is no longer possible to do without the involvement of professional lawyers.

Now let’s look in more detail at what this profession is, what a SERM specialist does in his daily work and what his main responsibilities will be. Let's highlight the TOP 10 knowledge and skills that he must have in order to perform assigned tasks at a high professional level. We will also consider how in demand this profession is in the market today and what prospects in terms of wages can be expected here. Let's highlight its pros and cons. We'll show you how to become a SERM specialist in the shortest possible time.

What is the profession of a SERM specialist

Let us repeat a little that the job of a SERM manager is to create a positive brand image in search engines. This is ensured through positive reviews from real buyers of goods or services, as well as minimizing negative. In his daily work, he monitors user opinions about a particular brand or public figure and does everything to ensure that as much positive information about them as possible and as little negative information as possible appears on the Internet.

Today, such a profession as a SERM specialist is quite new. It has become a derivative of such a direction as “reputation management”. Marketers and PR specialists were involved in solving everyday problems here. In many companies they continue to work in this direction. But if we take into account the fact that trends in this direction change quickly enough that one negative review can cause serious harm to one’s reputation, then a SERM manager should be present in every company.

He will regularly check search results, monitor how the user audience reacts to the goods and services provided by a particular company. This will help him predict possible damage and mitigate it. Marketers and PR specialists, especially in large companies, will not be able to cope with the assigned tasks on their own, since a fairly impressive volume of tasks remains to be accomplished. Therefore, the optimal solution is to include a separate SERM specialist on the staff.

Tasks that SERM specialists will face

The main responsibility of a SERM specialist — this is to ensure the reputation of a brand or an individual public figure. Such a manager will constantly monitor search results, track which positions are occupied by pages containing positive information about the brand, as well as those with negative information. Subsequently, he will weed out all sites with bad reviews and do everything to ensure that they do not appear on the first pages of search results.

That is, there is nothing illegal or illegal here. The work of a SERM manager is somewhat similar to the actions of SEO-specialist. Only in this case we are talking about promoting a particular site to the top of search results, and not about manipulating it.

Thanks to competent work, network users will see only positive information about the brand, and this in turn will increase conversion and transform it into increased sales and income of the company as a whole. The main work of a SERM specialist will be performed on the own resources of a particular company, be it a website, product cards posted on social networks, message boards, marketplaces and any other services, or a blog. Also, special attention will be paid to third-party platforms, namely review sites and forums. That is, all actions will be concentrated where this or that information about the brand may be located.

In his daily activities, a SERM specialist will perform the following work:

  • Conduct a reputation audit. That is, it will analyze search results for key queries included in the semantic core.
  • Monitor the largest sites with reviews, order the writing of positive reviews or write them yourself.
  • Monitor the search results of competitors’ websites, as well as the reviews left by competitors’ clients. The information obtained will allow you to identify errors in the activities of your own brand.
  • Organize the brand’s media activity in search engines, social networks, messengers.
  • Create technical specifications for writing positive articles about the brand on the company blog, monitor the work of SEO specialists, content managers, copywriters, making appropriate adjustments to their work if necessary.
  • Communicate with the user audience, answer their questions, respond to negative reviews.
  • Develop your own events designed to increase the brand’s information activity on marketplaces, aggregators and other pages, as well as in search results in general.
  • Generate reports on the work done, keep statistics of positive and negative reviews.
  • Create a company profile and configure it in various directories on forums and services that provide answers to the most popular questions on maps.

Thanks to this work, search results will be improved and the level of trust on the part of clients will increase, which is largely ensured by maintaining communication with them. If false or custom-made negative reviews are identified, the SERM specialist has the right to contact the administration of such resources and ask them to remove such information. In particularly serious cases, lawyers are involved and the case may go to court. Along with lawyers, SEO specialists, SMM specialists, PR specialists, copywriters, and content managers can also interact with SERM managers. With an integrated approach, such a team will be able to perfect the brand’s own resources and create maximum positive content about it online.

What knowledge and skills should a SERM specialist have

To become a good SERM specialist, you need to have a fairly impressive set of different skills and knowledge. Only in this way will he be able to take a comprehensive approach to solving the task and implement it at a high professional level. The main points here include:

  1. Analysis of search results. Describing the responsibilities of a SERM specialist, we have already said that he needs to constantly monitor search results, identify resources that contain positive and negative information about a particular business, monitor search results, determine different types of sites and what weight in they will contribute to the formation of the brand image. It is also important to be able to work with tools such as extended answers in search engines, to understand on what principle they work and how they are formed. If you delve into the work of the search engine as a whole, you can understand what patterns bots use when determining the place of resources in browser results. All these techniques that you can use in your work often require additional tools. Also, in some cases, you may need to work with code and analytical services.
  2. Financial planning. The fact is that all those projects that will be implemented within the framework of SERM are quite expensive from a material point of view. If, for example, a specialist can cope with writing positive reviews on his own, then there are a number of other tasks that cannot be accomplished without additional financial investments. As practice shows, many business projects in this area are frozen only because business leaders do not have the opportunity to finance them. Under the word "planning" we mean not only payment for a specialist’s personal time, which he will spend on this or that project, but also the costs associated with writing and posting articles, including purchasing links, on a blog. The services of third-party specialists, which we have already discussed above, also require considerable payments, because they are involved in most of the projects. For the most part, there will be technical improvements to resources, the use of tools for collecting statistical data, taking positions, using auto-recorders, submitters and much more. That is, initially you need to make quite an impressive investment so that the entire system starts working and provides the result that you are counting on at a given moment in time. In addition, it is almost impossible to initially estimate the amount you will need to implement the project. In his work, a SERM specialist makes instant decisions based on the data he receives as a result of regular monitoring. This means that he acts mainly according to circumstances.
  3. SEO-optimization. To influence the position of a website in search results, you need to understand how SEO tools work. You should also understand the latest techniques and tools that will be used when working with regular websites, blogs, social networks and other platforms. Here you need to know what meta tags are and understand how links to promoted resources are placed. The task is complicated by the fact that most of the work is carried out not from the client’s official corporate websites, but from many other third-party projects. And here all manipulations are performed directly with the name, the main products. That is, there are a lot of specifics and they must be taken into account.
  4. Decreasing and increasing the positions of sites. In this case, we are not talking about the company’s corporate resources, but about those portals to which the SERM specialist does not have access. There are a huge number of techniques and tools that you can use. This means that you need to know them and understand what effect can be obtained from using each solution. In this case, we are talking about posting positive or negative reviews, boosting behavioral factors, optimizing certain documents, diluting content, mass copying of text and graphic documents, creating tags for certain key queries, creating profiles for a specific name and much more. . This may also include the repurchase of negative materials, if the need arises.
  5. SMM-specialist. In this case, familiarity with the specifics of social networks and their algorithms is assumed. By and large, it doesn’t matter to a SERM manager what material will be published on such sites. The main thing is that it conveys exclusively positive information about the brand. It is also important to understand how to attract the attention of the audience directly to the brand itself through social networks. And most likely you can’t do without multi-account here.
  6. Copywriting. The text content creation specialist will work most closely with the SERM manager. When performing work, you will have to write impressive amounts of text content for websites, blogs, review pages, and the media. And the responsibilities of the SERM manager will include correctly setting the problem, forming a semantic core, and checking the finished material. It will also be necessary to select a platform on which this information will be posted.
  7. PR manager. If a copywriter – This is the friend of the SERM specialist, then the PR specialist can be called, if not his enemy, then at least his foe. The fact is that the approaches to building brand reputation among representatives of both professions differ, and for the most part, even radically. That is, what will be good for a PR specialist can seriously harm the work of a SERM manager. That is, in order to develop an optimal work strategy, it is necessary to understand the nuances of a PR specialist’s work, to highlight those that can be used in work, and which are better to forget about. Only in this way will it be possible to formulate a unified general policy for improving the brand’s reputation and edit materials so as to leave a PR component in them.
  8. Preparation of technical specifications. This is relevant for absolutely all specialists with whom the SERM manager plans to work. Programmers can also be included here, because very often when optimizing certain sites it is necessary to make quite significant changes even to the structure of the resource itself. And if you do not have the opportunity to involve a programmer in solving this problem, then you will have to do his work yourself.
  9. Promotion of graphic content. As in the previous option, you need to have a good understanding of the features of certain graphic editors. It is important to understand which pictures can be used in order to improve the ranking of text material in search engines. There are also your tools and nuances that are worth considering.
  10. Promotion of video content. We are talking about working not only with search results, but also with various video hosting sites, including YouTube. By and large, there is no particular difficulty here, but you still need to have some basic knowledge and skills. You should understand how to use video editors and understand what tools are used for text optimization. It would also be useful to know how to work correctly with cheating services.

We would like to draw your attention to the fact that this list includes only the basic knowledge that a SERM specialist should have. In fact, a more impressive amount of knowledge is often required. That is, if you want to become such a manager, you must be a generalist. This is the only way to perform work at a truly professional level.

Additional skills

Along with the basic skills, a SERM specialist also needs to have a number of additional skills. This is largely due to the fact that in his daily work he has to deal with a huge amount of information. And it doesn’t always have a positive impact on the brand. Also, this manager has to interact with other employees, find a common language with them, build a unified strategy, which will have the most positive effect in improving the brand’s reputation online. Therefore, important additional skills that a SERM manager should have include:

  • Organization of teamwork. This is where the entire cycle of work related to brand promotion will be completed. And here, along with professional knowledge and skills, you also need to be a good psychologist in order to find an approach to everyone, get the maximum from the actions of your colleagues, thereby minimizing your own work.
  • Comprehensive planning. Working with search results — This is a very creative and multi-stage process that requires very frequent revision and adjustment. Very rarely in practice do we encounter situations where the initially agreed plan of action continues to work throughout the entire promotion period. For the most part, the strategy is repeatedly revised based on how the input parameters change.
  • Stress resistance. Withstand increased workload, daily communication with different people, get the desired result, but at the same time remain flexible and loyal — This is something that not every person can cope with. If you don’t feel this way in yourself, if your level of stress resistance is far from ideal, then you should think about whether this profession is suitable for you.
  • Negotiations. In order to neutralize the negativity posted on third-party sites, a SERM specialist will need to find a common language with representatives of these same sites, select the right words, which will force them to remove negative reviews. That is, it will be very important here to negotiate correctly, find compromises, and come to an agreement.
  • Empathy. Along with specialists and owners of certain resources, a SERM manager in his daily work often has to deal with clients, including those who wrote negative reviews. And here you need to be as polite and careful as possible, so as not to provoke a worsening of the situation, but, on the contrary, to gently force the person to change his negative review.

Prospects of the profession

Despite the fact that such a profession as a SERM specialist has appeared relatively recently, it is already in fairly high and stable demand on the market. Today, such marketers are on staff of leading agencies that deal with Internet marketing. They can also be seen on the staff of large companies, which take special care of their own reputation. That is, such specialists will be indispensable wherever goods or services are provided in the field of B2C business.

But due to their rather narrow focus, not all companies and individual business representatives even think about the need to introduce such specialists into their staff. But most likely it’s just a matter of time and the situation will change in the foreseeable future. If you analyze the number of vacancies that appear on job boards in this segment, you can see that the demand for the profession in the market is gradually growing.

What are the current salaries in this area? Here the range is very wide, starting on average from 30 and up to 150 thousand rubles. For part-time work, SERM specialists are willing to pay 20-50 thousand rubles. Also, the salary level directly depends on what responsibilities the manager will take on:

  1. For a salary of 30-40 thousand rubles. can count on a specialist who will perform basic work with search engines, perform SEO optimization of company resources, check how positive a certain brand looks in comparison with competitors, and will be able to work with review books, online catalogs and other directories.
  2. Higher salaries can be received by those specialists who, in addition to the responsibilities described above, will also work in a team with other specialists, independently develop and implement a strategy to create a good brand reputation online, and will be able to neutralize negative mentions and reviews.

That is, when planning to become a SERM specialist, you should already initially understand how much work you can handle. Your level of earnings directly depends on this.

Advantages and disadvantages of the SERM manager profession

One thing you won't have to do in your day-to-day work as a SERM manager is get bored. There is a huge amount of work to be accomplished, various tasks to be solved, and interaction with different types of content and people. And this can rightfully be called an advantage of the profession. Its advantages also include a fairly good level of income, although only if you have already gained enough practice and your actions will produce good results. Ability to work in the office and remotely — this is another “plus” to the SERM specialist's collection. That is, you can easily choose the format of work that will be most optimal and convenient for you.

But such a profession also has its drawbacks. And one of the most significant — this is the inability to gain knowledge quickly and easily. Firstly, today there are practically no courses that would teach this profession. And this is mainly due to the fact that the demand for it is not as high as it could be. In addition, the trends that SERM specialists use in their work are constantly changing. That is, what is relevant today may not work in practice tomorrow.

This means that such a manager will need to develop independently. He will have to delve deeply into the nuances of SEO optimization, understand on what principles the work of an SMM, PR, and ORM specialist is based (works with reviews, fends off competitors’ attacks, establishes interaction with the client audience). You will also have to study various tools, including those designed to automate work. This solution will increase the efficiency of work and reduce the time for their implementation.

To summarize

As practice shows, SERM specialists become people who have previously worked in this niche. That is, those who already have certain knowledge and skills. Then all that remains is to expand it and check its relevance. Information that you will need in your work can be searched for freely on the Internet. The first thing you need to start with is to delve into the basics of reputation marketing and management. But today you can find quite good courses on this topic. That is, if you have a desire, if you are not afraid to step out of your comfort zone and expand your professional skills, then the job of a SERM specialist may well suit you.

Another point that we would like to initially draw the attention of all those who would like to learn a new profession is the presence of certain knowledge in the field of technical equipment. Due to the fact that in his daily work this manager will have to perform a huge variety of tasks, it is impossible to do without automation of actions, the use of specialized software, as an option for data parsing.

You can ensure high functionality, protection from unauthorized access, prevent hacker attacks, eliminate the possibility of a ban, and gain access to any sites from around the world by connecting to mobile proxies, in particular from the MobileProxy.Space service. This is the tool that absolutely every SERM specialist should have at their disposal. To learn more about the features and functionality of mobile proxies, please follow the link

In this case, you get a personal dedicated channel with unlimited traffic and access to a huge pool of IP-addresses, which you can change using a link from your personal account or using a timer in the interval from 2 minutes to 1 hour. You can also use a variety of additional services, in particular, check port availability, find out your IP-address, measure Internet speed, etc.

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