Three Tips To Improve Your Online Reputation Management

Online Consumer Searching For Products
Photo by Brooke Lark on Unsplash

When it comes to today’s online world, consumers today are looking for brands that they can trust. One of the biggest mistakes I’ve seen brands both big and small make today is not paying attention to the needs and concerns of the online consumer. In other words, they’re taking them for granted, and in this competitive online world, that is a difference maker in determining whether or not consumers will do business with your competitors. A great way to combat that is with a little something that we like to call Online Reputation Management (ORM). ORM is the online practice of shaping public perception and reputation of a business online. With that being said, we will now go over three key tips that will help your ORM flourish for the better.

Respond To Reviews

One common mistake some brands make is that they ignore reviews and don’t comment on them whether they’re good or bad. This can make the impression that your brand isn’t human and could care less about their customers. No brand wants to have that happen to them so responding to reviews is crucial. In fact as ReviewTrackers has reported, 52% of customers expect a response from brands within 7 days after leaving them a review, especially reviews that are negative. When you receive a positive review, make sure to respond to it in a way that shows appreciation towards your customers. When you receive a negative review, make sure to respond to it in a way that shows that you’re taking responsibility and showing commitment to resolving their inquiries in a timely and efficient manner. By doing those things, they would be more likely to do business with you in the future and recommend others to do the same.

User-Generated Content

Another great way brands can improve their online reputation is with User-Generated Content (UGC). This strategy is a winner as 70% of consumers consider UGC when making their purchasing decisions. This just comes to show you that what consumers trust the most before making their buying decisions are their peers. A great way to make use of that UGC is to highlight those positive reviews along with testimonials in order to help your brand stand out in a big way. If you really want to go the extra step in accomplishing that, invite one of your customers to do a video testimonial like Dove did.

Molly Burke Testimonial For Dove

Video is of the most easily consumable forms of content for potential consumers. Dove sure went the extra mile in highlighting how Molly Burke had a positive customer experience with them. This type of content will help your brand stand out towards your customers in a positive way and the search engines will reward you for it. The best SEO is indeed what I like to call “People-Based Marketing”.

Influencer Marketing

When it comes to Influencer Marketing, it can help bring quality results to your ORM strategy. Influencers aren’t not necessarily celebrities but they are people who have a decent-size following on social media and are much more in line with the persona of today’s consumers. Having an influencer on board in helping get the word out about your brand can help increase your brand reputation and online presence. After all, 8 out of 10 consumers have purchased a product or service as a result of a recommendation by an influencer according to a study by Rakuten Marketing [4]. This comes as no surprise as online consumers are much more likely to believe the recommendations of their peers than they would traditional advertising. It all comes down to finding the right influencer that best resonates with your brand. By doing just that, you’ll be on your way towards success online.

Consumer-First Strategies Help Your Online Reputation

Group Video Chatting With Customer

When it comes to ORM, it is similar to dating. Only difference is that you’re working towards building relationships with many people. You have to always work each day towards building that relationship and do it in a way that shows care towards the needs and inquiries of the consumer. Like in any relationship, it takes so long to build and can only take mere moments to destroy. With ORM, the importance of being proactive in ensuring that you always build trust with your consumers because without trust, you have nothing. People may think that ORM is small but in reality, it’s a big deal. These three tips that we just went over will help your brand make that next big step in improving your online reputation. By adopting a consumer-first strategy, you’ll be on your way towards success with your ORM and eventually, a loyal consumer base.

Navigating The Digital Marketing World During The COVID-19 Crisis

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These past few weeks have indeed been hectic for all of us whether you’re a worker who has been laid off or a small business facing uncertainty due to this pandemic. With that comes big time changes in the Digital Marketing landscape that we’re already seeing happen. These changes will have an impact on how consumers go by satisfying their needs going forward. Even after the COVID-19 pandemic, the behavior of consumers will more than likely stick so this will make Digital Marketing crucial for those small businesses going forward. There are four key areas of Digital Marketing that small businesses need to get ahead of in order to thrive in these uncertain times. Let’s explore them shall we.

Video

Whether you’re a recruiter looking for talent or a small business looking to show off your products, video is a great way in helping accomplish your goals. In fact, we are already seeing companies conducting their work meetings with their employees in increasing fashion via video conference calls. I know I’ve been in several of these myself with my potential Digital Marketing acquaintances near and far. 

A great way small businesses can thrive even in these tough times is via live video streaming. Even before this pandemic, we are already seeing companies in southeast Asia try this and achieve success via this route. Video Streaming has helped in bringing that online shopping experience as if you were in-person at the actual store. South Korea’s LF Corp was able to achieve a 30% year over year sales increase since 2015. The way they accomplished that is by allowing their users to have real-time conversations with the presenter and other users with the ability to purchase the products with just one-click. Video Streaming is indeed a great way for brands to grow their presence in a big way.

Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

When it comes to building up your online presence during an economic downturn and pandemic like this, SEO is a great way to accomplish just that. Even before this crisis, SEO is heavily utilized by small businesses in order to help accomplish their long-term online goals. With the situation that we’re in now, SEO will be even more important going forward. The search term “SEO” and other related search terms have seen a big time increase in interest since February as Google Trends has indicated.

With these trends in mind, there’s no doubt that investing in your SEO game will be key to success during this pandemic and beyond. People these days are looking towards brands that they feel that they can trust. To build trust with your target audience, get away from those sales jargon and instead work to build content that follows the E.A.T. method. Building content that rallies around Expertise, Authoritativeness and Trustworthiness will help your cause in helping grow your online presence in a positive way towards your desired customers. It also will help save you money in the long run assuming you continue to always stay ahead of the game in adjusting to the fast-changing needs of today’s consumers.

E-Commerce

With consumers less willing to endanger their health by going in-person to crowded shopping centers and stores during a pandemic, they will be looking towards online options and that’s where E-Commerce comes into play. 42% of consumers are now shopping online more as a result of this pandemic according to a survey by Valassis. These changing shopping habits are more than likely here to stay even after this pandemic so it’s important for businesses to get ahead of the E-Commerce game.

To have success in your E-Commerce game during this time, what you must have to begin with is a banner at the top of your website talking about COVID-19 as far as shipping updates are concerned. Of course, it would also be a great idea to go a step further to keep in touch with your customers via email and social media talking about how your business is responding to this pandemic. This would help make your customers feel safe and in control in doing business with you.

In addition to that, it is important to also keep your site up to date and up to speed especially on mobile devices. Definitely work to give your customers a great shopping experience by having shopping cart/wish list options handy for your online customers as well as a search function and an easy-to-use payment feature to ensure that their online experience is quick, flexible and easy for them. After all, website experience is crucial now more than ever especially in E-Commerce.

Reputation Management

During these unprecedented times, managing the reputation of your business and responding to adversity in a timely manner is important now more than ever. According to a recent study done by Bright Local, 71% of consumers are more likely to do business with brands that respond to reviews. Whether the reviews left by consumers are good or bad, it’s important to respond to them on each review site in a timely fashion. That’s especially true if it’s bad. The way to respond to them is by showing commitment towards resolving the situation at hand.

Today’s customers mean business. With some businesses trying to game the system by getting fake good reviews, customers are looking towards multiple review sites and their peers to ensure that what they’re getting into is legit and will advance their cause in a positive way. It’s also not a deal breaker if you get a negative review. All businesses get them as there are no perfect businesses. What customers pay attention to the most is how you respond to adversity. If you ignore it or are careless towards complaints, of course they won’t do business with your brand. If you show commitment in going beyond the ordinary to listen to the consumer inquiries and work towards solutions, consumers will be more than likely to do business with you. With that being said, it’s important now than ever to work on upping your game when it comes to Reputation Management. It will benefit you greatly long after this pandemic.

Stay Committed To Your Loyal Customers While Staying Safe

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Indeed these are tough times for us worldwide whether you’re a customer or a small business looking to achieve great successes. Change is always upon us and this pandemic is another reminder that we must always be adaptive to the fast-changing needs of the customer. We just need to plan accordingly in these four key areas of Digital Marketing and always keep the needs of the customer first before anything else. People-Based Marketing is the name of the game today and every day. By staying true to your customers and showing commitment towards providing them a great customer experience, you will no doubt be set up for success in the long run. 

On a special note, may you all stay safe during this pandemic and listen to all the safety measures put forth by our medical community. I look forward to posting even more Digital Marketing articles like these in these next few weeks and I value each and every one of my loyal readers.

What do you feel is important in keep your online presence active during these unprecedented times and setting it up for success in the long run?Questions? Comments? Feel free to share this article & don’t be afraid to share your thoughts below.

White Hat SEO vs Black Hat SEO

White And Black Hat

White Hat vs Black Hat? Whatever could that mean? You might be thinking that a battle in the Wild Wild West is about to go down. While it might not be exactly that Old Western battle that involves cowboys, vaqueros and prospectors, there definitely is a battle between brands in standing out in the Search Engine Results Page (SERP). The way that brands accomplish just that is via Search Engine Optimization (SEO). Most good brands would work towards focusing their SEO strategies around their ideal consumers. There are others who focus their SEO strategies on trying to trick the search engines like Google and Bing in order to get ahead. The latter my friends is what we call Black Hat SEO.

Six Black Hat SEO Tactics To Avoid

Black Hat SEO is best defined as the practice of obtaining website traffic by means of foul play against the rules of the search engines. While Black Hat SEO may get you some wins in the short term in terms of attracting web traffic, it can doom you in the long run in a way that you’ll never recover. With that being said, I’m about to describe to you six of the most common Black Hat SEO tactics you’d be wise to avoid.

Irrelevant Keywords

There are some who try to use keywords that are not relevant to their cause just for the sake of attracting search engine traffic. It might bring you plenty of traffic at first but at the end of the day, the users will bounce away from your site. Eventually you’ll lose your credibility with the online users and the search engines.

Keyword Stuffing

There are some that will use the same phrases over and over again throughout their online content just for the sake of trying to attract search engine traffic. For example, take a look at this sentence below:

“Come shop at out Doggity Dog Shop and get the Doggiest Dog Dog clothing for your doggity dog so that your dog is the doggiest dog of all the doggity dog.” 

Definitely a head-spinning experience for online users (By the way, I love dogs 🐶. They’re so adorable as is my sister’s dog Zeus.) Like with irrelevant keywords, it won’t end well when it comes to where you’ll end up in the SERP. Not to mention that you’ll bore and annoy the online user.

Irrelevant Links

There are some that will seek backlinks towards their site just for the sake of attracting website traffic. Seeking just any link from websites that provide no relevant content from what your brand is about will make you look spammy. Obviously, participating in online spammy-like behavior won’t go over well with the online user and could even get you penalized by the search engine.

Cloaking

There are some that will attempt to fool the search engines into giving their site a higher ranking by showing the search engines a different set of content than what it actually is. Most of the time, the actual content is of low quality and provides the online user content that gives them no value or worse, a negative experience. This is an absolute NO-NO and could get your site greatly penalized or banned entirely from the SERP.

Spam Blogging

There are some that will comment on the blogs of others or let others comment on theirs just for the sake of obtaining link juice in hopes of getting higher rankings in the SERP. Let me tell you something, simply blogging on posts that have nothing to do with your cause will do you no favors and will make you look spammy in the face of the online user.

Duplicate Content

There are some that will take content from other pages and then put it on their own page making it look like it belongs to them in hopes of getting a decent ranking in the SERP. Let me tell you that will not go over well with the search engines and could get you penalized. Also, that is online plagiarism as we all learned in English class during grade school.

As you can see here, Black Hat SEO tactics will do you no favors in the end. On the contrary, it will greatly hurt your standing with both the online user and with the search engine. In other words, DON’T do it. Black Hat SEO is poison, evil and potentially deadly when it comes to your standing with the search engines. Thankfully, there’s a better way to go by making your brand’s voice heard in today’s online world. That something is the exact opposite of Black Hat SEO which is called White Hat SEO.

Five White Hat SEO Tactics To Embrace

White Hat SEO is best defined as the practice of obtaining website traffic via online consumer-oriented means that actually focuses on building relationships with your ideal target audience while being within the rules of the search engines. While this route may take time for you to see strategic results, it will pay off in the long run while helping increase your online presence towards your potential customers in a positive way. With that being said, here are five of the most common White Hat SEO tactics that will help you achieve quality results.

Keyword Research

What everyone must do in order for their ideal consumer to find you is to think like them. Study their search intents at every stage of the customer journey. Are they asking a question? Are they ready to make a purchase? These are questions to ask yourself before choosing keywords that are most relevant to what you offer and that will best attract your audience to your website. Keyword research will make a big difference when planning your content that will help attract the right people to your website.

Relevant And Quality Links

When it comes to link building practices, it is important to not just seek any links. Definitely focus on seeking quality links that are most relevant to your cause. Focusing on getting those right links will help your brand stand out towards your audience in a positive way. It will also be a win-win situation for both you and your linking partner as they would both benefit from that quality web traffic due to your discipline in seeking the right links. In other words, Quality over Quantity wins out here as it does in countless Digital Marketing situations.

Quality Blogging

Just like when it comes to link building, the best blogging practices come when you focus your efforts on those who are most relevant towards your cause. When reaching out to the blog owners, important to be authentic when composing that message. Show interest in their work and offer something that is of value to them that will help grow their cause. Using the Quality over Quantity approach while showing genuine interest in your outreach approach will help lay the foundation towards achieving strategic online results.

Quality User Experience (UX)

Definitely important to give your online audience a quality experience while they browse your website. Websites that are easy to navigate and up-to-speed are more likely to be viewed favorably by your online audience. In order to ensure maximum success, making your content easy to find in the least possible amount of clicks or taps will help your audience find what they’re looking for in a much quicker fashion. It also is a great idea to ensure that your videos on your site are no more than one minute and make sure that your website is optimized for mobile as mobile takes up a large percentage of today’s online searches.

People Over Search Engines

When it comes to developing your actual content, it is important to develop an approach that is Customer-Centric. While you do need to ensure that your website is visible to search engines, you also need to think of your customers first. When placing your keywords into your online content, do so in a way where your sentences are clear, understandable and easy to read. Ensure that your web content focuses on the needs of your ideal consumer and helps lead to resolving their inquiries. Focusing your Digital Marketing strategies on being the solution to the problems their ideal audience faces will help your brand stand out in a positive way. Also, don’t be afraid to share your story in a way that resonates with your audience and inspires them to take action. Taking the Customer-Centric approach to Digital Marketing will help your brand stand out against your competitors in today’s online world.

As you can see here compared to what you saw in the Black Hat SEO section, White Hat SEO is much more likely to yield you strategic results that will help lay the foundation towards long-term relationships. White Hat SEO is that magic potion that will help catapult your brand towards new heights. Ranking highly in the SERP does take hard and does take time but at the end of the day, staying true to your end goal towards customer-centricity will pay dividends for the better.

White Hat SEO Wins Big In The Wild Wild Online World

As you can see here, White Hat SEO is the Good while Black Hat SEO is the Bad and Ugly. In today’s online world, Good is what wins all the time, every time. The key to success is by implementing an online strategy that is relevant to your brand’s cause, focuses on authentic outreach strategies and focuses on the needs of your target audience. In other words, Quality Over Quantity and People Over Search Engines is how you accomplish your Digital Marketing goals. By staying true to your brand and showing long-term commitment towards your goals, you’ll be on your way to success in building your online presence and grow your brand for the better.

What SEO strategies do you feel will help grow the online presence of brands in the long run? What SEO strategies do you feel we should all avoid? Questions? Comments? Feel free to share this article & don’t be afraid to share your thoughts below.

Three Keys To PPC Marketing Success

Man On Laptop Working On PPC Campaign
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When it comes to today’s online consumers, many of them are looking towards brands that address their needs and offer viable solutions to those needs. It has become increasingly important for brands to dig deep in researching the intents of their target audience. That way, they’ll have a better idea on how to plan out their Digital Marketing strategies that will help attract their ideal consumers. This is especially important when it comes to paid search efforts such as PPC Marketing. 

Pay-Per-Click (PPC) or Search Engine Marketing (SEM) is the process of obtaining traffic to your website via paid channels. Websites only get charged when a searcher clicks on the link to their site. They would also see their website traffic increase overnight as opposed to the SEO route where you must put in long-term commitment in seeing strategic results. PPC is most commonly used by businesses who seek high intent customers who are looking for immediate needs such as an emergency plumber. PPC is also used by brands who offer unique or specific types of goods that customers wouldn’t be able to obtain at regular stores. 

When it comes to PPC Marketing, bidding a higher Cost-Per-Click (CPC) amount doesn’t necessarily mean that you’ll get the top ad position in the paid search results. There are other factors that determine the ad position of PPC ads. Like with organic search results, it’s also important to research the exact intents of your target audience in order to properly plan out your PPC campaign as you would with an SEO campaign. With that being said, there are three keys to success to PPC Marketing that will help your brand stand out at the lowest cost.

Relevancy

Sheep Leading The Pack
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A great first step in ensuring success for your PPC Marketing campaign is to make sure that your ads are relevant towards your cause. One common mistake brands make is targeting their ads towards keywords that are not relevant towards their cause at all. This type of mistake will not attract the right audience and will end up wasting valuable advertising dollars that could be going to bigger and better things. In order to avoid these mistakes and work towards a successful PPC campaign, it is crucial to first research the intents of your target audience. That way, you’ll have a better understanding of how to plan your campaign in accordance to the exact needs of your target audience.

Relevance is a big part in the minds of the online consumer when it comes to making their decision of whether to buy from a brand or not. Definitely work towards PPC campaigns that target ideal consumers who are searching for relevant products or services that you offer. By making your PPC ads relevant, you’ll save some valuable advertising dollars and will be on your way towards success in your PPC campaign.

Consistency

Cat Surfing Web
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When it comes to brands, what online consumers want out of them is consistency. With PPC Marketing campaigns, this is indeed the case. Not only must your PPC ads be of relevance to your target audience but they also must be consistent throughout all phases of your campaign. This is especially important when it comes to your landing pages since that will be the first page that your audience visits upon clicking your ad. You definitely don’t want your PPC ad to say one thing and then have your landing page talk about something that’s not relevant to what your audience is looking for. That would be a great way to lose out on prospective customers. Not only must we work towards attracting your ideal audience via PPC ads but also improve the landing page experience for them once they’ve arrived on your page.

There are three steps that you can take in order to ensure that your landing page is consistent with your PPC ads:

  1. Match your ad text to at least one of your keywords.
  2. Match your ad to the appropriate landing page where customers can do what you promised.
  3. Make sure your landing page is relevant to your ad text and to your keywords.

By following these three critical steps, you’ll have the framework in setting your potential customers up for a consistent and excellent user experience on your website making it more likely that they’ll convert into customers.

Quality

Amazon Box Robot
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Having talked about the importance of relevancy and consistency when it comes to PPC ads, no doubt that those two areas are important when it comes to attracting your ideal target audience. That being said, there is still one crucial piece of the puzzle left in ensuring success for your PPC ads. That most important piece is Quality. When I mean Quality, I mean give them a reason to convert with you. Online consumers are looking towards brands that offer solutions towards the issues that they face. In other words, offer them something that is of value to them that your competitors don’t.

A great way to accomplish  that is to create a Unique Selling Proposition (USP) for your brand. A USP basically talks about what your business stands for and what makes your unique compared to other brands. By researching the issues that your ideal target audience faces, you’ll be able to gain a better insight on how to come up with a USP that will resonate with your audience. The best way to come up with a USP is to be known for something specific or be known for your expertise in serving a specific audience. For example, you could say something like “Best & Affordable PPC Marketing Services For Small Businesses” to appeal to small businesses who may not have the same marketing budget as larger companies do. USPs are a huge part of how brands like Starbucks, Wal-Mart, Zappos, Amazon and many other big name brands are where they’re at today. 

Once you’ve come up with a USP, now comes time to actually incorporate it into your PPC ads along with your landing pages. A great place to do just that is in your ad extensions. By making your USP visible towards your audience via your ad extensions and then following that promise up on your landing page, you’ll be well on your way towards turning those online users into your customers.

Excellent PPC Marketing For The Win

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There’s no doubt PPC Marketing is a great way for brands to stand out to their ideal consumer in a unique way. It all comes down to planning your PPC campaign in accordance to what you learned about your target audience and offering a USP towards them. When you stay true to your audience via the Three K’s to PPC Marketing, you’ll have no problem appealing to your ideal audience. In today’s competitive online world, staying true to relevancy, consistency and quality is what online consumers value the most. By valuing your online consumers, you’ll be on your way towards becoming the next big brand while saving yourself valuable advertising dollars.

What do you feel is key in using PPC Marketing in helping your brand stand out in today’s competitive online world? How do you feel about using USPs in your PPC campaigns in order to appeal to specific audiences? Questions? Comments? Feel free to share this article & don’t be afraid to share your thoughts below.