How Online Reviews Impact Your Business

Posted on

Word of mouth regarding people’s interactions and experiences with a business, has been the age old method of spreading the word about the reputation of a business. Unfortunately, bad news tends to travel so much faster than good news and in this information age, the speed of travel is multiplied significantly. The fact is, that many people rely on these reviews and weight them as heavily as they would a personal recommendation, and for this reason, popular opinion can either drive traffic to your business or drive traffic away from it.

Regardless of the outcome of the review, this feature is a good, no, vital addition for your website’s interface because potential clients rely on the opinion of others more heavily than you may realize. From choosing vacation spots, to going out to eat, to simply purchasing clothing, people want to know and need to know, as well as have the added security of feeling free to go ahead and engage a business for products and or services, even if the reviews are from people they don’t personally know.

With this comes the responsibility for the business owners and operators to ensure that all involved will function in a manner that is representative of the company’s image and that a high level of professionalism is maintained.

What Positive Reviews Can Do For You

The more positive reviews that site visitors see, the greater the chances are that they will engage your business in a positive way. Even if your products or services may not be among the cheapest of their options, having numerous positive reviews increases your credibility with them, and, as a result, their trust as well. This will in turn lead to greater profit margins and even recommendations to others based on the experiences of satisfied clients.

What Negative Reviews Can Do

If a business has no reviews or too many negative reviews, these two situations may translate into a similar result–loss of business. Potential clients are hesitant to conduct business with companies for whom they cannot establish credibility or which have a perceived lack of credibility based on unfavourable reviews. This is why a high level of professionalism is important, because as many as three bad reviews can be highly damaging to a company’s reputation, the effects of which can be lasting.

What You Can Do To Ensure Favourable Reviews

Deal honestly with business prospects by representing your products and services as they are.

Provide excellent customer service interactions, by training staff (if any) and ensuring that your business standards are being maintained.

Encourage authentic user reviews rather than purchasing fabricated reviews from non-users. These have proven to be detrimental to sales as potential customers also read reviews in a bid to determine authenticity.

To really convert positive customer reviews into revenue for your business, you must actively be interested in excellence in this area, as a business owner/operator. Negative reviews may even be an opportunity for you to demonstrate good customer service by the way you address your clients’ grouses. You therefore need not be disheartened if this ever happens—it does not necessarily mean the death of your business.

There is so much more you can do to ensure the success of you business. For access to a wealth of information on how make use of the plethora of tools and methods to market your business via the internet, our done-for-you system will open the door to strategies and advice that you can channel into your business to watch it blossom into the successful venture you would like it to be.

Advertisements

Writing Web Content People Will Read

Posted on

Creating web content is hard sometimes. Creating web content that people will actually read is even harder. When it comes to writing for the web, you have to create content carefully and intentionally. People on the internet have short attention spans and with all of the content out there, you are competing for every second of their attention.

Many web content creators don’t really understand the people who read content online. This is the major problem that causes web content to go unread. People don’t read content on the web, they scan. They want to pull out the important things from the articles without spending a lot of time on it.

Thankfully, there are some things you can do to make your content more attractive to those people that scan. Here’s a quick guide to creating web content people will read.

Not every word will be read

It is important for you to acknowledge that not every word that you write will be read by the person who opened your content. The sooner you accept that fact, the better.

Because not every word will be read, make sure you make the important parts of your content stand out. Use subheadings, bolded font, and lists to capture the reader’s attention and draw them in. The more confident they are that your content has what they are looking for, the more likely they are to actually read it.

Most important things first

A lot of people only read the first few lines of an article or blog. Because of this, you need to put your most important facts and points first. Do not bury the lede. People want to know what they are reading and if they should keep going right away.

When you put the important things first, readers are more likely to continue reading to learn the specifics. The more important information you can get in the first few sentences and paragraphs, the better.

Don’t over-complicate language

As tempting as it is to use diverse and sometimes complicated language, do not do it. Use common words that are familiar to the reader. Web content should not seek to expand the vocabulary of the reader. Web content is there to drive a point home in the simplest manner possible.

If you use language that is too complicated, people are not going to read it. Using simple language makes the content easier to get through making it more attractive to people on the internet.  Bottom line, keep it simple. You readers will thank you.

Write a little lazily

People on the internet are generally lazy. They want short sentences in short paragraphs that don’t have unnecessary words or jargon. In short, write for lazy people. More often than not, people reading web content don’t want to work hard to read it. The easier it is to read, the better.

Keep articles to one topic

When you are creating an article for your website, keep that article to one topic. People who are looking at your articles are looking for specific answers and insights. For each article talk about one product, one service, or one question that a lot of customers ask you.

Articles that have too much information on too many topics are unattractive to readers. When you keep articles focused and succinct, people are more likely to read it in its entirety.

Keep design in mind

Your written content needs to work with visually with your website. Font choices, photo choices, and colours are all important. Articles are an extension of your brand and consistent branding is important for success.

When you are writing your article, think about how it fits into your brand look. Consider where you want to places images, what the size of the font will be, and if you will use italics or boldface type. Design is just as important as the words.

Improving your written content so people will read it is simple. If you want to learn more about how you can make your written content work for you, take a look at our done-for-you system.

Why Your Organic Facebook Reach is Declining

Posted on

It’s no secret that Facebook’s organic reach has been declining over the last few years. If you are a marketer and have noticed that fewer and fewer people seem to see your Facebook content unless it is boosted, you aren’t going crazy. That is happening and it’s because of the Facebook algorithm.

But there is a reason it is happening and there are ways to beat the algorithm and get your posts seen by the right people at the right time even with the decline in organic reach. Here is an explanation of what is happening to organic growth and how to beat the algorithm.

There’s too much content

Everyone publishes content on Facebook now and everyone wants their content to be seen. That has created a very crowded Facebook newsfeed. Facebook noticed that people were becoming overloaded with content and that organic reach was declining despite the algorithm.

Getting your content seen on Facebook has become an intense competition. Every company is battling to have their content seen by their people. The problem is, many people are fans of companies that directly compete with each other.

Because of that direct competition, Facebook had to make a choice on which content was seen. That choice was driven by two things: content and relevancy.

Facebook wants to give you the content you want

The extreme influx of new content forced Facebook to make decisions on which content was seen organically and which content wasn’t seen. Facebook has always had the goal of delivering people the content they want to see when they want to see it.

This means that whatever content is the most relevant to the Facebook user, that will be the content they will see. Facebook only wants to show people the content that they believe they want to see. Loading the newsfeed with everything that gets published every day is too much. It would drive people from Facebook.

In a nutshell, the relevancy measure is there to help you and Facebook users. There is no point in someone seeing your content if they won’t take action on it. Of course, that doesn’t make it any less frustrating for digital marketers.

Thankfully, there is a way to surpass the algorithm and get the reach you want.

More Facebook ad spend equals more reach

It’s not the ideal solution, but it’s the only one that seems to work every time. While video content and live video content have still managed to perform well organically despite the algorithm, Facebook is turning it’s platform into a largely pay for play model with companies.

Truth is, if you want your content seen, you have to pay for it. Facebook wants to make sure the users see the content from their friends, family, and pages they regularly visit first. If you want a spot on the newsfeed, you are going to have to pay for it.

As Facebook’s ads manager and ad tools have gotten more sophisticated, digital marketers have long been suspicious of the motives. There were rumblings of Facebook wanting to make advertisers hand over more and more money and unfortunately it seems like those rumbling were true.

While Facebook does still reward great content with good organic reach, if you are a brand, you have to pay to be seen. Facebook knows their worth. They know that their users are valuable and they know that brands have little choice but to pay to reach their followers.

Of course, you can still spend time on video and live video in an effort to cut advertising costs. There are plenty of ways to be creative and engage your Facebook followers. Embrace creativity and you will be able to beat the algorithm.

If you want to learn more about advertising on Facebook, our done-for-you system can help.

The Most Important 2017 Social Media Trends

Posted on

Marketers have to constantly stay up on social media trends. As cumbersome and time-consuming as it may be sometimes, social media is an aspect of business that has to be paid attention to if a company wants to be successful.

The landscape of social media is constantly changing. New platforms pop up almost every day and the algorithms of existing platforms usually change just as you have gotten the hang of the first platform.

Staying abreast of social media trends can mean that you either have a really successful social media year or a really bad year. Here are the most important trends to look out for in 2017.

Live video content

Last year, Facebook and Twitter launched their live video content services and about half of all marketers indicated that live video would be a major part of their social media plan in 2017.

In order to make live video work for you, consider which social media platform your customers used the most frequently. The platform where you get the most engagement is where you will have the most success with live video.

When you plan a live stream, make sure that you are streaming content that your audience will care about. Some good examples are big company-wide events where you’re releasing new products or announcing new initiatives, question and answer sessions with your customers or with high-level executives, and/or product demonstrations.

It is important to not haphazardly throw together live video content. Your customers expect top-notch content and you have to deliver that with your live streams as well.

Messaging apps are the new customer service tools

If you haven’t noticed already, many of your customers reach out to you on social media before they call or email you. Social media and the messaging services attached to social media platforms have quickly become an invaluable customer service tool.

People prefer when they can chat with a customer service representative one on one and don’t have to wait on hold or be bounced around from representative to representative.

Meet your customers where they are. Start to train your customer service representatives in social media. Consider investing in a social media management tool that makes customer service easy. Once you start making this change, your customers will become happier and more responsive to your customer service efforts.

Mobile advertising will become significantly more competitive

Marketing on mobile devices shot up in the last few years. Once people started browsing the web and social media with their phones instead of their laptops or desktops, mobile ads started to become more and more important.

If you were one of the few brands that were early adopters of mobile advertising, good for you! But sadly, there’s some bad news for you in 2017. Mobile advertising is going to get increasingly more competitive as more and more brands start to move from desktop ads to mobile ads.

The mobile ad marketplace is going to get crowded fast and that is going to make it really competitive. Advertisers should be prepared to up the quality of their content and add more money to their mobile ad budget.

While Facebook and Twitter are still going to command a lot of the mobile ad space, Instagram and Snapchat are going to start to become more and more important. People are responding to ads on Instagram faster and better than was anticipated, so Instagram optimized ads are going to be important.

The bottom line with mobile advertising is, companies need to take a hard look at their mobile ad spend and the mobile optimization of their website if they are going to compete. If you don’t have a mobile-optimized site, get on it ASAP as it could take you down this year.

If you want to learn more about social media trends of 2017, take a look at our done-for-you system today.

Shares Don’t Equal Successful Content

Posted on

Whenever you create content, you probably want it to get shared with a lot of people. After all, shares mean that people have engaged and that your content must be amazing. Actually, this isn’t the case.

While, yes, good content gets shared, shares aren’t the only indicator of powerful content and engagement. There are a whole slew of other factors that influence the power of your content on social media.

Ideally, your content gains both shares and links. That makes your content valuable and boosts your authority on search engines and social networks. This is called amplification.

A good amplification strategy makes the difference between a good digital marketer and a great digital marketer. This article will help you develop the tools to create a great amplification strategy to take your content to the next level.

Why have an amplification strategy

Having a good amplification strategy means that your content will be seen by a large number of people who will perform the action you want them to. Social platform shares don’t mean anything unless people are performing the type of engagement with your content that you want.

Now it takes more than just publishing your content to get people to react to it and act on it. You have to have an amplification strategy to take it to the next level. A good amplification strategy will get your content to the right people at the right time who will perform the right action with it.

A social sharing doesn’t equal amplification strategy

If you want to build an amplification strategy, you need to go beyond social shares. Social platforms are powerful discovery tools but their amplification strategy benefits are minimal. There are too many amplification limitations to social sharing to make it a proper amplification strategy.

This is because, more often than not, shared links aren’t clicked, shared content is frequently not read by the sharer, social shares have a short shelf life, and sharing goes down after a few days. This makes social sharing minimally beneficial when it comes to amplification. Sure, it can work sometimes, but it often doesn’t work.

Lots of shares doesn’t mean lots of likes

People share and like content for different reasons. For example, people share content when they find something entertaining, when they want to foster a personal relationship, when they want to show that they support a cause, when they want to share helpful content, and when they want to show that they are part of the tribe.

People like content when they view it as an authority, they support the content, the content is unlikely to change, and/or the content serves as a helpful guide. Something is shared and liked when the content is valuable and helpful. That’s the area you want your content to live.

Getting shares and likes

There are a few ways that you can get your content to get shares and likes:

  • Answer a common question that people have regarding your area of expertise
  • State strong and/or controversial opinions
  • Post original research and data you have collected yourself
  • Develop a real amplification strategy

That last point is where you, as a digital marketer, need to focus. You need to develop an amplification strategy and here is how you do it.

Developing an amplification strategy

A good amplification strategy uses five main tactics: manual promotion, target mailings, influencer advocacy, link building and SEO, and paid promotion. Each of these tactics helps you build a real amplification strategy.

Each business uses these differently, so it is best to get together with your web and marketing team and come up with a way to make all those tactics work for you.

If you are looking for a way to build and amplification strategy for your business, take a look at our done-for-you system today.

Posting Your Blog Content on Facebook

Posted on

Having a corporate blog is an important digital marketing strategy. It helps with SEO, gives your customers and clients important information, helps educate new customers and clients, and is a great platform to talk about what you do and how you do it.

Undoubtedly you spend a fair amount of time curating the content for your blog. You come up with ideas, write the content, optimize it for your website, and more. After it’s written, you want to make sure that people actually read it.

One of the best ways to get your blog content out there is to post it on your social media channels. Facebook is an especially powerful tool for posting your blog content and having people read and share it.

There are a few tactics that you can use to your advantage when you post your blog content on Facebook. Here are the ones that work the best:

Share your blog on Facebook

First thing is first, you should share your blog on your corporate Facebook account fairly soon after publishing it on your website. This ensures that the content is timely and lets people know that you published a new blog.

As an added bonus, sharing your blog on Facebook is totally free and it has the potential to spread far and wide. Encourage people to share it. Share it with your friends and business associates. The more eyes that see your blog post on Facebook, the better.

Boost the blog post on Facebook

Using Facebook’s boosting options is a great way to get your blog content to the right people. When you boost a post, you choose who it goes to and can see how many people it can reach with a certain budget.

You can choose to pay per click, per 1000 impressions, or per engagement. This allows you to customize your boosted blog post to garner the action you want from your readers. Boosted posts can not only help ensure that your current customers and clients see your new blog content, they can also help new people see your blog and learn about what you do.

Use great headlines

When you post a blog on Facebook, the headline is one of the first things people see. In fact, almost 80% of people never even make it past the headline. Because of this, you want a powerful headline that encourages people to click into and read the whole blog post.

Keep the headlines short and to the point. Tell readers exactly what they should expect to get out of the blog. If there are any important or eye-catching numbers or facts, those can be great to incorporate into the headline.

Imaging matters

When you publish a blog post on Facebook, it is important to add an eye-catching image to make the link stand out in the newsfeed. Stock images are okay, but images that you take or create are better.

Whatever you choose to use, make sure all the images are high-contrast and colorful. That helps them pop in the hectic and crowded space of someone’s Facebook newsfeed.

Write top-notch copy

While there are some tricks and tactics that can help your blog get attention on Facebook, nothing can beat solid copy. You can have the best headline and imaging and people still may not click on your blog post due to weak or uninspiring Facebook ad or post copy.

Those 140 or so characters that you write to describe the blog post in the Facebook post or Facebook ad are vitally important to getting people to read your blog. Make the copy stand out.

Use testimonials, ask questions, give a solution to common problems, use a clear call to action, appeal to people’s emotions. You need to capture people’s attention with your copy to get them to read your blog.

Facebook can be a powerful tool in promoting your blog content if you want to learn more about how to make it work for you, check out our done-for-you system.

Outdated SEO Practices to Stop Doing

Posted on

The world of digital marketing is constantly changing, especially when it comes to search engine optimization or SEO. SEO is one of those cornerstone practices for digital marketers that make the difference between a good online presence and a great one.

Because SEO changes what seems like almost daily, the most effective SEO practices are always changing and evolving. These changes mean that SEO practices are continuously becoming outdated as we learn more about the internet and search engines change their search algorithms.

In order to make sure that your website stays on top and current with SEO, there are a few SEO practices that you should permanently retire if you are still practicing them. To help you out, here are 4 of the top outdated SEO practices that you need to stop doing now.

Focusing on Keywords and Not Clicks

This may sound totally counterproductive to SEO, but you have to stop focusing on keyword density instead of clicks. Having all the keywords on your webpage or in your articles may seem like the best way to get a higher ranking on search engines, but if they aren’t drawing clicks, the keywords don’t matter.

Having the right raw keywords is still important for SEO, but it’s not more important than getting the click. If you want to rank higher, your webpage and articles need to have the proper balance between keywords and clickability.

Take the time to write and create engaging and interesting content that will draw the click and work the keywords in as you do that. It is important to note that we are not condoning clickbait titles and descriptions, but you should take a hard look at what is drawing the clicks and how to apply that strategy to all your pages and articles.

Too Much Anchor Text on Internal Links

It use to be that heavy anchor text on internal links would improve your SEO value. This is no longer the case. Search engines are now taking into account pages and articles that are inappropriately using anchor text to manipulate their SEO ranking.

Make sure that you are using anchor text appropriately. If the internal link is in the header, footer, site navigation, or sidebar, add appropriate anchor text. If you are using it simply to manipulate search engines and it has no other value, get rid of it to ensure that you penalized by search engines for bad anchor text use.

Creating Pages for Every Keyword Variation

Creating new pages for each variation of a keyword is still a very widely used tactic with SEO specialists and digital marketers. This use to be a highly effective tactic to ensure that search engines would rank your page for a keyword regardless of which keyword variation a person searching used.

Google has since gotten savvier about this tactic. It is now suggested that keyword variations are sprinkled into a single page in an appropriate manner instead of having multiple pages for each keyword variation. This signals to search engines that your content is designed to be helpful and useful instead of just to manipulate SEO rankings.

Paying for Links

When companies started to realize the SEO value in link building, companies started to appear that offered to sell links in large directories to help boost SEO value. This worked for a while. Search engines tracked these links as link building activities that signaled that the website being linked to was an authority and this boosted their SEO value.

Google and other search engines have since realized that companies were paying for these links to just boost SEO value and started pushing websites that were using them by downgrading their SEO rank. They recognized that these directories were not a credible source and wanted to discourage the link building manipulation.

As a general rule of thumb, it is advisable for companies to not pay for any links unless it is part of a legitimate partnership. For example, paying a blogger to write about a service of yours that they use and then have them link to your site is okay and helps boost your SEO value, but paying a random site directory to list your link is bad.

If you are interested in learning more about outdated SEO practices and how to make sure that you aren’t using them, check out our done-for-you system to improve your digital marketing.