ACK! Bad Reviews!!!

OK, ok before you freak out you have to remember that no business is perfect. Every business from time to time has an unhappy customer or client. It’s how you handle their expectations and resolve any negative comments. This will prove to the world that not only are you willing to face a difficult situation, but that also willing to work with a customer.

So what if the negative reviews are showing up on the first page of the search engines? WHAT!? Really!?Bad-Review-Recovery

Yes, there are instances where negative reviews can be published on multiple review sites and since they are the “big guys” such as Yelp, Merchant Circle, social networks, etc., you need to find a way to restore your reputation. Now, how do you do that?

  • If your review is on a site such as Google+, Facebook, Twitter, Yelp, Trip Advisor, etc. post a response to the reviewer by FIRST AND FOREMOST thanking them for taking their time to post their thoughts. (Remember, if they spent the time to post a review they either had to have an account to do so, and are passionate about their feelings);
  • Secondly, address their comments in a positive way;
  • Next, offer a resolution. No, it’s not expected you offer them a free “FILL IN THE BLANK”. Perhaps offering some friendly advice on how to resolve the issue will go a long way. It may or may not convert the reviewer back into a glowing customer, but it will diffuse the issue and show the public you’re willing to go that extra mile.

Now, if you find yourself with negative reviews showing up high in the rankings, one of the most important thing to do is to create AMAZING content and get it out there.

  • Create pages that contain content explaining your policies
  • How about a page or blog post outlining a case study that can also serve as a rebuttal to the negative review
  • Ooo, how about a page that yo push the features, benefits, the all around perfection of your company or service?
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What the heck is SEM?

Back to Basics: Make the Most of SEM

Written by Matt Goulart, borrowed from the Website Magazine website, 7.27.12

The world of online marketing is constantly in flux, changing and evolving as the technology of the web moves forward. Whereas once a simple SEO strategy would put your brand head and shoulders above the competition, now a more complex and sophisticated game plan is required. This doesn’t mean that you should abandon all of the carefully tuned SEO protocols that you have in place, of course, but to stay on the cutting edge, your brand should fine-tune those strategies and combine them with other online marketing techniques to form a comprehensive SEM strategy.

What is SEM?

SEM stands for Search Engine Marketing. This acronym encompasses several elements of online marketing that, when employed properly, work together to increase your brand’s web traffic, online presence, and sales. There are three key elements of SEM that work in conjunction with each other to funnel traffic towards your brand’s website and translate that traffic into sales.

SEO

This acronym stands for Search Engine Optimization, and it is the aspect of SEO that most brands are already familiar with. SEO refers to a set of techniques for generating traffic that all revolve around optimizing the efficacy of search engines. SEO is based on organic traffic and works by directing attention to your website naturally by making it show up more frequently and more highly ranked in search results. The goal behind SEO is that that search engine users are more likely to find your website when they are searching for specific terms related to your brand, products and services. Some of the key aspects of SEO include: 

- Keywords and targeted search terms strategically deployed throughout your website, including tags, headers, and text withing your website’s content.
- Inbound links to your site from other relevant websites.
- Targeted, well-researched and frequently updated content.
- Don’t forget about Content Marketing. Super important for SEO.

Paid Advertising

Whereas SEO works with organic traffic, raising your website’s rank within search engines naturally through keywords and other strategies, paid ads are exactly that: advertising that you pay for. Paid advertising usually appears in a few key forms: 

- Adwords. These are keywords that are closely associated with your brand that you pay to have even more firmly attached to that brand via Google. When you purchase an adword from Google, whenever anyone searches for that term, your brand’s site will always appear at the top of the (paid) search results. 

- PPC (pay-per-click) or CPC (cost-per-click) ads. These are ads placed on targeted websites that are frequented by members of your target audience. Each time someone clicks through to our website via one of these ads, you pay the owner of the website a fee (also the network you purchased them through). 

- Social Media Ads. These can come in the form of Twitter trending topics that you promote, Facebook ads, or other paid ads that appear on social media.

Having an active, integrated presence on social media is absolutely necessary to an effective SEM strategy. Also, your social media presence should be incorporated into your main site in the form of “like” buttons, sharing options and other widgets. For example, brands with a Facebook page generally see a 300% increase in referral traffic through that social media site. Social media presence also positively effects e-commerce behaviour; for example: Giantnerd.com saw a 100% increase in revenue from Facebook within a month of adding a “like” button to their site. Being able to interact with a brand via social media has a tremendous positive influence on your target audience, and they respond to social media not just by boosting your brand’s profile and proving your SEM strategy effective, but also by buying your products and services. Don’t forget you might need a Community Manager to assist your Social Media strategy. Important to keep everyone in the loop! 

By combining these three aspects of SEM effectively, you can create a well-executed and coordinated SEM strategy that is sure to drive traffic to your site, result in a rise in your brand’s online profile and translate directly into sales.

SEO How Fast For Results?

http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-pTB4vSTNlpQ/Tu6-z8aPxAI/AAAAAAAADZI/VEdRldYomf0/s200/tortoise-and-the-hare.jpgI just read a great post on Search Engine Journal by Nick Stamoulis, who was writing about how a new client was saying they were burned by an SEO firm yet couldn’t find any evidence of any black hat SEO. Black Hat SEO is the practice of trying to “doop” the search engines by using techniques that are violations of the engine’s policies, often resulting in penalties.

Read the SEO article to see what a trusted SEOer has to say about recognizing success in an SEO campaign. Here are my favorite quotes from the post:

“One thing I constantly stress with my clients is that SEO is a marathon, not a sprint. If they need to see results right away they will be sorely disappointed. While I understand how frustrating it can be, patience is definitely a virtue in the world of SEO.”

We have several SEO clients and the majority of them understand the you win at SEO by being steady, not speedy.

If you have a website that you feel needs SEO evaluation, give our SEO experts a shout and we’ll give you our honest recommendations on how to improve your rankings, and visibility.

Facebook Customization Yes We Do!

Facebook Tab Customization by graphXevolutionWe’ve entered the realm of Facebook customization for Fan pages with GREAT success! We’ve just completed The Delaware Highlands Conservancy fan page, Karl Wanger for 2011 Commissioner fan page and The Steve Roesler Group’s fan page. Of course we have our own Welcome page (fan page) and would love to create an awesome looking way to interact with Facebook users to your brand. We say it over and over. Consistency is the building of a brand, why not get all of your marketing efforts in line?

Drop us a line to have a chat! PHONE: 610-625-2272 | EMAIL US

Here’s some additional information from HubSpot on ways to utilize Facebook Pages.

Will Groupon Really Boost Your Local Business?

AS SEEN ON SOCIAL MEDIA EXAMINER…

Groupon has been hailed as the new miracle advertising tool. It has also been accused of being a ruthless corporate giant, preying on the ignorance of small businesses.

Read the entire story about Groupon and whether it’s a business booster or not.

eBooks Outsell Print Books on Amazon

Read the story about the tragedy (to some) how eBooks Outsell Print Books on Amazon.Thanks to http://www.icons-land.com for the icon

This is a sad day, but I will say that I do purchase quite a few Kindle books to use on my iPad. That does NOT mean in any way that I don’t still enjoy opening up a brand new book.

Ahhh to hear the cracking open of a new cover, freshly printed pages, the smell of the ink 🙂 However, I live over an hour away from the closest book store (since they closed Borders 45 minutes away). The lengthy drive can be a deterrent for me when my gas costs $4.22/gal and when I find a great title online I MUST have NOW! Since I do most of my “surfing” in the evening, and rarely am near a book store, eBook downloads are a matter of convenience and paper saving to me. I know it’s a huge downfall for publishers and manufacturers but saving paper, money and convenience is in my personal interest as apparently by the statistics, many other readers.

Is there an answer to the industries who count on physical books? I don’t know. I do wish I had one and really have thought about it since we have a manufacturer as one of our clients. Offer exclusivity to print only publications? Incentives to authors to hold off on allowing their books to be electronically published? Any thoughts?