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Posts Tagged ‘Search Engine Results’

Comments Off on Tips to Manage Your Social Media Reputation

Tips to Manage Your Social Media Reputation

Are you managing your online reputation?

Reputation can affect purchase decisions and influence the growth or decline of a business.

Many businesses are using social media to develop online reputations, manage and respond during a crisis and monitor the conversation to prevent future crises.

In a concise article on Social Media Examiner, Sarah Lokitis offers three big tips that can help you deal with the challenge. She says…

Try searching your company and product names to make an assessment of your online reputation. What do you see in the top 10 search results?

What follows are three tips to help you manage your reputation with social media.

#1: Establish Your Online Reputation

When someone Googles your brand name, your business should be sitting right there on the first page waiting for the user. And yourbrandname.com shouldn’t be the only branded search result.

Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and other social brand pages should assist in owning the first search engine results page. Especially if you have a common name, owning your brand name search queries is important for users to find the right information.

Social media can help you create a stronger online presence, so old news doesn’t turn up at the top of search results. If you don’t control your brand, someone else may post inaccurate or derogatory information that could tarnish your reputation.

Take a look at the search results from Lululemon. The first result is for their website, but the next four listings are all social media channels that they own or have the ability to edit and monitor.

According to a click-through rate study published by Slingshot at the end of last year, the number-one ranking on Google gets about an 18% click-through rate and the number-two organic listing gets about 10%. Regardless of the actual percentage, the data proves that the first search engine results page is the most important for your brand’s reputation.

The reason you want to control several of your first page search results is if a crisis strikes and you have set up several social channels, your brand will have plenty of platforms ranking well to disseminate your message.

These branded channels help push down negative or competitor results that you don’t want representing your brand.

Creating social media profiles has given people the channels to voice their joys and complaints about your company. Owning your social media profiles can help you better control and manage the conversation, so you can respond in a timely manner.

If you aren’t marketing with social media, those conversations are going to happen on other channels that may prohibit you from getting involved in the conversation.

#2: Control Responses During a Crisis

A crisis for a company can range from unexpected website issues to a lawsuit. How a crisis is handled online makes a huge difference to the future ramifications. It’s important to monitor and respond to customers who write on your wall or send you messages to resolve any issues and let users know they’re heard.

Facebook was one of the channels Anthropologie used for announcing a huge online sale in May. Right after they posted about the event, the site went down for maintenance. It didn’t take long for Facebook users to complain and point out that they couldn’t get to the site to buy any products.

The social media team did not respond to every comment personally, but was smart to send out a note to fans that they were working on the issue and the site would be back up soon.

Customer complaints were acknowledged and customers were told that the company was addressing the issue.

When the site was back up, a user still couldn’t access the page, so the social team provided a direct email contact to resolve the issue off of Facebook. Providing an email was a good solution because it gave the user somewhere to go to have her issue addressed.

If you can’t solve a user’s problem with a simple post, take the issue offline and out of the public eye as soon as possible.

Within 10 minutes, Anthropologie responded with another method of customer service.

Sometimes brand ambassadors will even step in to resolve a conflict for you. Though it is helpful when customers support you enough to calm a disgruntled customer, do not assume that will be the case every time. Set up tools and a strategy to monitor the conversation, so you aren’t surprised with the conversations happening about your brand.

#3: Monitor Conversations

Now that you’ve created and are updating several social profiles on behalf of your brand, you may find it a bit overwhelming to keep up to date with what is being said about your brand online.

Savvy businesses are monitoring their brand for mentions with social media monitoring tools.

Read the full article…

Comments Off on How Will Google+ Effect SEO?

How Will Google+ Effect SEO?

“How Google+ Will Effect SEO?” is a question being asked a lot today.  At this point in time, there are early indications how the new social network from Google will impact site SEO. I thought this post from AddThis was insightful and wanted to share it. – BG

The Internet is buzzing with headlines and reactions about Google’s new social network, Google+. Recently launched this summer, Google+ is set to become Facebook’s greatest rival yet. Considering that the new social media platform is another product that Google has under its belt, Google+ may just be more than a Facebook contender. If it really uses the power already wielded by Google, G+ may have a tremendous impact on search engine rankings.

Signs That Indicate Influence on Search Rankings

Even before G+ was rolled out, Facebook and Twitter were already integrated into the search engine results pages (SERPs). In fact, before Google and Twitter’s real-time tweet stream deal expired just a few weeks ago, the number of times a link is retweeted would directly affect how that link is indexed in the search results.

Now that Google+ is here, users can engage in online social activities within Google itself, although the chances of G+ beating out Facebook and Twitter look pretty slim as of now since the new Google product is still very new.

With that said, it’s hard not to expect that Google+ will influence a page’s organic rankings, especially when Google pulled the plug on its real-time Twitter stream feature.

The +1 Button

Speculations about Google+’s search engine relevance have sprouted, but you may not speculate anymore once you’ve understood Google’s equally promising new tool, the +1 button.

Google actually dropped an official announcement on YouTube regarding the use of the +1 button. According to the video, every time the +1 button in the SERPs is clicked, users are telling Google that that particular search result is more relevant to the keyword they’re searching for. The video also says that Google considers “+1’d” results in indexing pages.

So, the personalized annotations can help certain sites rank higher since users will be given search matches that are more pertinent to their keywords.

However, that’s when you use the +1 button on the search results. What about Google+’s +1 button?

Google+’s +1 button is a clone of Facebook’s “Like” button. You can click on +1 to confirm that you like a post in the way you can click on the “Like” button if you like something on Facebook.

Google+ may have copied many of Facebook’s best features, but what makes this new social network interesting is that you can view search engine results, not just G+ posts, your friends have +1’d by clicking on their Google profile’s +1’s tab.

There’s only one setback. Unlike Facebook, Google+ doesn’t post your +1’s on the homepage feed. To see your friends’ +1’s, you have to go to their individual Google profiles, hope they’ve enabled the +1’s tab, and repeat this entire process for the rest of your friends.

Social Interaction and Content Quality

If you’ve been keeping a sharp eye on Google’s latest updates and algorithm changes, you’ve probably noticed that the search company has been emphasizing high-quality content that users will find useful and relevant. When you throw the +1 button into the mix, creating valuable content becomes even more essential. While we still don’t see our friends +1’s in the Google+ homepage feed, this is very likely to happen eventually.

Google’s motives have always been tricky. Even so, every Internet marketer and webmaster should consider taking advantage of Google+ as evidence of social interaction being integrated into the search rankings is becoming clearer, even if it’s too early to say that Google+ will have a huge role in your search engine positioning.

Thanks to AddMe.com for offering this article.

Comments Off on Google Introduces the +1 Button – What It Means to Your Business

Google Introduces the +1 Button – What It Means to Your Business

We’re in a new time for marketing. In case you hadn’t noticed, it doesn’t matter how much you have to spend on advertising anymore. It doesn’t work the way it used to.  The only thing that really matters (over the long-term) is what your customers think about you. They are your advertising, and they can help or hinder your sales.

That Facebook “like” button has become more than relevant. It’s important, not only to users of Facebook, but to search engines which are now factoring “likes” and “retweets” into their algorithms.

Bing landed a partnership with Facebook, which uses Bing for its on-site search function, so the upstart company can incorporate Facebook activity into its search results. A search for a local restaurant, for example, would reveal not only information about the restaurant, but also recommendations from friends based on their Facebook profiles.

Not to be outdone, Google is answering with the “+1 button,” which is akin to a Facebook “like.” The button will be on search results as well as individual web pages, which allows users to make recommendations across the web. To build a social network around the search results, Google is requiring users to create a profile before taking part in the fun.

Similar in some ways to Facebook’s “Like” button, the Google +1 enables visitors to your web site to see who recommends you or your products. According to them, “The +1 button is shorthand for ‘this is pretty cool’ or ‘you should check this out.’

Click +1 to publicly give something your stamp of approval. Your +1’s can help friends, contacts, and others on the web find the best stuff when they search.”

See +1’s

Sometimes it’s easier to find exactly what you’re looking for when someone you know already found it. Get recommendations for the things that interest you, right when you want them, in your search results.

The next time you’re trying to remember that bed and breakfast your buddy was raving about, or find a great charity to support, a +1 could help you out. Just make sure you’re signed in to your Google Account.

Show +1’s

In order to +1 things, you first need a public Google profile. This helps people see who recommended that tasty recipe or great campsite. When you create a profile, it’s visible to anyone and connections with your email address can easily find it.

Your +1’s are stored in a new tab on your Google profile. You can show your +1’s tab to the world, or keep it private and just use it to personally manage the ever-expanding record of things you love around the web.

So whether we like it or not,  facilitating transparent conversations with your customers on review sites and social networks is becoming essential. How is your company doing in this new arena?

Get started with the +1 here.

Comments Off on PPC Innovation: How will Google’s new lead capture extension affect your pay-per-click campaigns?

PPC Innovation: How will Google’s new lead capture extension affect your pay-per-click campaigns?

Corey Trent, Marketing Experiments Blog

We have been quite busy at the labs here, but I wanted to cover a PPC development that blipped on our radar earlier this year. For many of us, PPC is a critical source of traffic, and can be quite the task to manage. Well to add to the list of things to consider, Google is beta-testing the collection of phone lead information directly from SERPs (Search Engine Results Pages).

Google generates roughly 97% of its revenue from online advertising, so it makes sense that they delve into new areas of online marketing – which now seems to include part of the sales process as well.

Given the huge potential (or threat) this represents to you, the Internet marketer, I think this is a vital development to cover on this blog (and even reached out to a search engine marketing firm to get their ideas for you as well.) While this will not affect all verticals, for some niches this might pour some gasoline (or more correctly napalm), on already very competitive areas.

So how does it work?

According to Amber from PPC Hero, “The gist of the beta is if you’re running a PPC ad in Google, and you’re in the top position, you can click on a plus sign next to a call to action (the name you give your contact form) and Google will drop down your contact form to be submitted right there in the Google search results.”

Here is an image from that article to show the lead collection:

Google-contact-form-beta

It’s important to note that, as with all things in beta, this has the potential for change, as I believe Google does do some testing from time to time.

And since this new feature is currently in beta, limited to businesses appearing in position #1 of PPC results, and on select keywords, it may not be available to you yet. If you’re interested, the best person to contact is your friendly Google rep.

More importantly…how can I make it work for me?

While I think this could have potentially large ripples in certain areas of online marketing, I wanted to have a chat with our friends at ROI Revolution, and get another viewpoint as well.

As a quick background, ROI Revolution is a company whose main area of focus is in pay-per-click management and they are quite good at it. Here are just a couple of points they presented:

Upsides

  • Simplifies the conversion process.
  • No friction (and lead loss) from weak landing pages.
  • Great tracking for businesses that use the phone a lot, a traditional weakness of current PPC tracking solutions.  Interesting, how could this be applied to other voice communication/VOIP solutions like Google Voice?
  • The feature will be good for certain verticals (e.g., plumbers) that provide local services tied to specific keywords (e.g., “broken pipes”).

Downsides

  • Can’t have a conversation in a PPC ad. Landing pages provide a good service for addressing anxiety and questions. So how effective will this lead capture be?
  • Opportunities to increase the value of a lead with a well-optimized funnel are lost (e.g. upsells). Without the ability to do that how valuable will the leads really will be?
  • Because conversion is expected on the search page, you do not have their undivided attention.  On a landing page, you can guide their thinking.
  • Maximum cost-per-click (CPC) rates are applied to leads submitted. This will likely cause your cost per acquisition to rise.
  • Since you must in position #1, the bids for the top position might heat up significantly.
  • Many people also now use many CRM solutions for keeping track of customers and sales. Will this information be easily integrated with common solutions or sent to advertisers in a standardized way?

Won’t you tell me your name? I love you. Hello.

Personally, I am interested in seeing are how users respond to putting their information directly into a form on a search engine results page. While I think some users are very trusting, others might be turned off by your attempt to get their number so soon.

It might seem like an out-of-sequence conversation. As Flint McGlaughlin, the director of MECLabs Group (our parent company) describes trying to ask for a lead to early in the process, “You don’t ask a girl for a kiss before you have a date with her.”

That might seem kind of corny. But think about how you handle your own phone number. Many of us treasure our phone numbers and can guard them quite fiercely. Will a relatively short ad space be enough to capture users and convince them to give up this information? Are you asking for too much, too soon?

Also, some of the things we talk about in great detail here are anxiety and value proposition. While you can address these with your ad copy in a limited fashion, the fact remains you only have so many characters to work within.

Your pay-per-click ad copy and the space search providers give you is simply to get the conversation going – address why they should click, how you are meeting their motivation, and then get them to a landing page to do the heavy lifting.

In skipping that step, you can end up with spending a lot of money (especially by paying max CPC) with leads that are not as qualified or do not convert.

Also, since this is a new technology, you might be getting a fair amount of people using it because they wanted to see how it works, rather than being genuinely interested in your message.

I have some more thoughts on this that we will post soon, but I want to get your opinion on what impact, if any, you think this new Google innovation will have?

Comments Off on Never Break the Chain

Never Break the Chain

chain“With so many professionals paying so much attention and money to SEO efforts,” says Jeff Blum of MBA Depot, “I am shocked by a huge mistake I see made repeatedly—site redesigns that break old links.”

You’ve earned links by producing good content, and each one comes with plenty of dividends. “It drives visitors, enhances your site’s reputation and contributes to enhanced search engine results,” he notes.

“Broken links destroy all those benefits. If a web page is valuable enough for someone to link to, then it is valuable enough to maintain.”

Doing so takes little effort, even when migrating to a new technology platform. According to Blum, any competent webmaster can handle the task—all you need is a small script for 301 redirects that alert search engine spiders to a permanent move.

And during the transition, Blum recommends, pay close attention to 404 pages.

“This might be overkill,” he notes, “but could be useful in the days following a redesign. By monitoring 404 pages, you won’t have to rely on visitors to point out your broken links.”

The Point: When you redesign your site, remember the importance of maintaining established connections with other sites. “[Ensure] that once a page is created and publicly available it remains that way,” says Blum.

Source: MBA Depot. Click here for the full post.

Want to be sure this is handled on your site, but not sure how?  We include monitoring of those 404 errors with our hosting stats package and will routinely create internal “redirects” to make sure your old links return a valid page.  This is not just good Search Engine Ranking practice, it’s good marketing to be sure your visitor gets what they came for. –BG