Using Search Engine Optimization to Manage Your Online Reputation

When it comes to managing your brand, previous PR efforts that previously were effective have now been replaced or transformed under the new online economy.

The internet has enabled everyone to advertise their services thanks to the ease of publishing online. While this is a great improvement for small business owners who do not possess a big marketing budget for newspapers and television or billboards; it also comes with downside that it might be lost within the plethora of online advertisements.

In order to get reasonable results from your online efforts, you can use search engine optimization (SEO) to enhance your visibility on the web and reach to your target audience more easily.

SEO is a constantly changing environment; because the algorithms employed by Google or other search engines undergo changes fairly regularly. However, there are some rules that you should know regardless of potential changes:

Keywords

The most qualified person to know about your products is you. That’s perfectly fine and it should be that way. But don’t forget that your target audience should also understand what your product is about.

Always try to put yourself in your customers’ feet and forget everything you know about your product. When you advertise your brand, you should be able to convey your product to your followers in a relatable way. Find keywords that your potential consumer will be searching for (not what you would search for), and mold your content around them. As a result, when someone in your area is searching for a designer, your advertisement or your content will rank high in search because you customized your keywords to the search query of your customer.

Work with Professionals.

There are resources on the internet where one can learn about SEO. However always think about if your time might be better spent leveraging your experience in your domain to move forward the business and let a professional deal with the SEO. There are qualified professionals on the market who focus on managing their clients’ online reputation. Managing a PR mistake or some bad feedbacks online can be easily done with SEO.

Extract Insights

There is plenty of competition in every industry and you will certainly have to battle it out, but SEO will also give you an insight how to move quicker than the competition and work on trending topics. If you see a potential trend forming for a certain area of service, you can capitalize on it with a marketing campaign targeting that specific trend. Your brand will be ahead of the curve and will ascend quicker in the search results. Utilising SEO, its metrics and analyzing the data will help your business find its place within the industry and form a strong identity and solidify its reputation as a result.

Navigating the Online World to Become a Successful Business

Word of Mouth is Everywhere in An Online World

In the current business world, reputation can make or break your brand. What consumers talk about your business – about your products and services – either strengthens your position, or you lose ground to your competitors. Therefore a strong online presence is essential to any brand.

Studies show that one in three UK businesses now think negative content is causing them considerable damage.

One in twenty of those surveyed in 2018 stated that this type of feedback can already be estimated in costs of more than £500,000. Bad press with subsequent negative reviews and social media posts were the most damaging cases.

So how do you build a robust online reputation that will strengthen your business to grow and move ahead of competitors?

Give 110%

Traditional customer service never fades away and this enhances customer experience. Retail giants like Amazon and John Lewis have built worldwide brands by relying on excellent consumer service. As they have correctly identified, if you treat your customers well they will return for more – and potentially strengthen your company’s reputation by leaving positive reviews.

Transparency is Appreciated

Issues always arise, but it’s important to not ignore them and deal with them accordingly. If the customer feels in any way neglected, there are now plenty of social media channels to voice their concerns, which will potentially reach a wide audience.

Responses to customers have to be dealt with as quickly as possible and appropriately. In cases when your business is in the wrong, it’s better to acknowledge it, apologise and straighten out the issue.

When KFC ran out of chicken early in 2018, it came forth with an apology very quickly and explained what had happened. The company was aware the usual type of corporate press release wouldn’t go well with its clients. KFC went the extra mile, putting out full-page ads in major daily newspapers showing what company leaders, franchise owners and customers were feeling in a disengaging tone. Its cheeky response to the chicken issue leveraged the situation to avoid negative PR and turn it around, which led to a quick recovery of their reputation.

Deliver on Your Promises

Earning the trust of your customers is very hard, but very easy to shatter. Try to deliver on your promises and offer services and products as you advertise.

If you’re an online retailer like ASOS and you are sure you can uphold to that same day or 24-hour delivery promise, it is great. If you struggle to meet the deadline often times, then you need to re-think your positioning.

Failure to accomplish everything you state constantly will quickly lead to customer dissatisfaction, which more often than not will be shared with the whole online world.

Customer faith and trust are essential. According to a recent research, 64% of people trust online search engines when analyzing a business, therefore make sure that what you promise to your customers is achievable.

A recent consumer survey found that:

  • 97 per cent of consumers search online for local businesses, 12 per cent do it daily.
  • 90 per cent of people read online reviews before visiting a business.
  • 85 per cent of consumers trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations.

Make the online world your friend, not your enemy.

Survey Shows Businesses Expect Budget Increases for Digital Marketing in the Coming Years

Almost half (41%) of companies with more than 100 employees invest more than $500K in digital marketing every year. This is revealed in a US-based survey with 501 marketers published by The Manifest and looks to discover how businesses invest and how their investment might change in the coming year.

Respondents are a mix of senior level employees and companies. About 76% consider marketing has undergone more transformation during the last 2 years than 50 years before. With the advent of new marketing methods, traditional marketing like pamphlets, flyers or billboards have suffered a loss in popularity. 99% of Manifest’s respondents said they planned to increase spending on “at least one” digital marketing channel in the coming year.

Another report based on digital marketing, it was suggested that traditional media spend is being ousted by marketing automation tools for email and social, which has seen budget increases by 44% in just the last year. Meanwhile, marketing intelligence companies also predicted that total spend on social media advertising was set to grow by $28bn (£21bn) to reach $76bn (£58bn) by 2020.

Indeed, 64% of businesses surveyed by Manifest said they planned to spend both more time and money on social media marketing, while optimising their website was a priority among 55%.

An interesting bit is that businesses plan to put fewer resources on display and banner ads (19%), despite the ever-growing prevalence of automatic buying.

If your company doesn’t have a marketing budget of $500K per year, don’t worry just yet. According to co-founder and head of sales at B2B lead generation agency, the spending that a business should put aside for digital marketing varies by business and customer needs.

“It’s all over the map as far as industry goes. To figure it out, you need to understand who you’re trying to sell to and define those personas.

“Get a sense of exactly how people consume information and how they make purchasing decisions. If digital is really big for these customers, then digital marketing should be a massive amount of your budget”

“If you’re in an old-school industry that doesn’t really do a lot of digital stuff, digital marketing may not make as much sense.”

 

How to Maintain Your Reputation on the Web with ORM and Digital Marketing

A fast growing discipline and business necessity, online reputation management (ORM) is widely recognized as a valuable asset which can be one of the most important causes of competitive edge in a fiercely competitive market, and with companies/brands being under constant scrutiny from the business online community, good reputation management practices seek to help firms handle and cope with this scrutiny.

What is exactly is ORM and what does it entail?

Quite simply, ORM is a set of tactics and strategies put into practice across various communication channels, as a way of influencing a company/brand’s reputation online. This could include a range of different tools used for digital marketing across a multitude of online platforms such as social media platforms, websites, blogs, review sites, search engines etc.

With the rise of the internet and mobile technology, marketing and advertising efforts have partially and progressively transitioned to digital platforms. Today’s brands reach their customers mostly through websites, social media, blog posts, videos and other channels, and seek to perfect their online performance based on a hoard of customer engagement data.

Understand the Customer

The key for any business to thrive and rise above their competitors is for them to continuously hone in on understanding their customer behavior and tailoring their products and services to the needs of their customers. As more and more consumers rely heavily on online reviews for their purchasing decisions, brands should not overlook the importance and huge influence of what consumers as well as competitors and regulators within the market say about the brand itself online. The average customer finds social media more trustworthy than brand-generated marketing, thus making social media much more effective than TV commercials or advertising signs, when it comes to drawing potential consumers.

Managing customer relationships across all social channels implies constant communication and engagement with the online community, proactive engagement by responding to comments, questions, reviews left by customers and being receptive to positive as well as negative feedback. Most social media platforms offer specific tools which can help assess how well received certain and help gain demographic insights about the audience and competitors. Apart from insights on followers, one can see the performance of posts, stories, and ads, as well as the brand’s profile in general. The deeper the insight into customer behavior and preferences is, the more likely a brand is to engage them in lucrative interactions.

ORM and Digital Marketing

Certainly, digital marketing is a huge and indispensable part of online reputation management.Digital marketing represents huge potential for brands to expand their client base and grow their business. Another valuable tool for digital marketing is managing content in search engines, which most would first associate with SEO. Comprehensive and relevant keyword phrases and high-quality content increase the chances to push undesirable content further down on the Search Engine Result Pages (SERPs). This is achieved by creating owned media such as blogs or websites that promote a brand in a positive manner, which will eventually raise a brand’s ranking on search engines.

However, SEO is not the only instrument that helps in ranking high on search engines. Paid media is another digital marketing tool that can improve an online performance, which essentially involves either displaying ads on social media or running sponsored ads on influencing blogs. With these strategies, a brand can develop a strong and credible online presence, which consequently will drive towards greater results.

Why is digital marketing important?

Digital media is so prevalent nowadays that consumers readily have access to information any time and any place they want it. Digital media is a continuously growing source of entertainment, news, shopping and social interaction, and consumers are now exposed not just to what a company says about its brand, but what the media, friends, relatives, peers, etc., are saying as well. And in most cases, they are more likely to believe them than what a company says. People want brands they can trust, companies that know them, communications that are personalized, relevant and products tailored to their needs and preferences. That is why good and proper ORM along with digital marketing is crucial for businesses that want thrive and rise above their competitors, whilst building and maintaining a positive brand image online.

Redesigning Your Website? Follow These 10 Steps to Keep Your Ranking

If you’ve been using the same website for a number of years, it’s probably time for a makeover. Designing an updated site is an exciting chance to give the brand a new image, but it can be challenging as well. What if the new look doesn’t resonate with customers? What about ranking the site for key brand-terms? Are you going to have to start over with promotion for the new site?

SEO is an Important Part of Redesign

Any entrepreneur thinking about updating their website should be asking these questions. Search engine reputation management, ranking the brand’s official website high on page one of a Google search, is vital to attracting and keeping customers. At ReputationDefender, we assist business clients with building a positive reputation that will make it easy for customers to find them online. A professional, well-optimised website is part of this.

The good news is it’s possible to design a new site without losing all the work you put into the old one. In fact, this can even be a good time to fix some of the issues that are still causing problems so the updated version actually generates more traffic. However, to be successful you’ll need to put a good deal of time and effort into SEO. It might be less interesting than the more artistic elements of a redesign, but it’s worth it in the long run.

10 Steps to Updating Your Site

If you’re working with a professional website building company, make sure you communicate your SEO needs from day one. Follow these 10 important steps to make sure you don’t lose ranking.

  • Crawl the old site. – This will give you a blueprint of the existing site’s structure, including meta data, titles, URLs etc.. You can then use this data as a roadmap for designing the updated site. To crawl your site, you will need the Screaming Frog SEO Spider Tool, or a similar type of software. Free versions of Screaming Frog are available, depending on the size and complexity of your site.
  • Run an SEO audit. – After crawling the site, it’s important to examine the data and identify errors or areas that aren’t performing well. This will help show what you need to change in the new design. Audit tools such as Woorank will do this for you, or you can manually go through the crawl-data to get a better feel for what the issues are . You’ll need analyse titles, H1 headings, meta descriptions, canonicals tags and alt-image text. Check for duplicate content, missing tags and broken links. Use Google’s analytics tools to verify how the pages are being indexed, and check speed and performance.
  • Block the test site. – Missing this step is one of the biggest mistakes you can make with a redesign. If Google indexes the test site as it’s being built, then the pages will be devalued as duplicate content when you launch the site for real. Fortunately, there’s a simple fix. WordPress and many other website-building platforms have a ‘noindex box’ which you can check to ‘discourage search engines from indexing this site’. Alternatively you can also block the site using the Robots.text file.
  • Crawl the test site. – Use the software from step one to crawl the test site. Save a copy of both crawls, the current site and the test site to use for editing.
  • Analyse and compare the data – Match up the page structure and headings that are working on the current site with corresponding elements on the test site. Fix the issues that were uncovered in the audit so they aren’t transferred into the redesign. Keep or promote pages that are working well.
  • Update URLs – If you don’t redirect the old URLs to the new site, you’ll get 404 ‘page not found’ errors. To fix this, you’ll need to first create a corresponding URL on the test site, then redirect the old address to link directly to this page.
  • Optimise New Content – Some new pages won’t have a match-up link in the old site. These will need to be optimised to use keywords in the title, URL and H1 headings. Make sure there’s only one H1 tag per page.
  • Optimise Links – Links are an important ranking factor, but it’s just as important not to overuse them. Limit yourself to links that are actually useful for SEO purposes. Use specific descriptive words in your CTAs so it will be easier for Google to index them and rank their importance.
  • Unblock the Site – Don’t forget to remove the ‘noindex’ tag before you go live.
  • Test Ranking – Once the site goes is up and running, you’ll still need to test how it’s performing for important keywords. Check Google’s indexing and analyse organic traffic. If there are problems, another SEO Audit like you did in Step 2 may be necessary to find and fix the issues.

Going through these steps will help to transfer the reputation capital you’ve worked so hard to build and that will save a lot of time and money once you start using the new site. If you are not familiar with technical SEO, consider getting professional help since this is a very important part of the process. Our experts at ReputationDefender work with new and well-established companies to make sure every update enhances the brand’s existing reputation.