Online reputation management is more important than ever, as research proves that reviews, testimonials and social media pages hold heavy influence over a prospect's likelihood of becoming a customer. In fact, Search Engine Land reported that 88 percent of people are as likely to trust your digital reputation as they are to trust a recommendation from a friend.
Whether they're managed by you or someone else, you'll want all facets of your digital presence to paint your company in a positive light. But realistically, that won't always be the case.
In this post, we'll discuss some of the challenges to managing your digital reputation and how you can train your team to respond promptly and appropriately. Let's start with the most common problem facing brands with a digital presence: the negative review.
A business website is an essential asset even for small mom and pop shops. But designing, updating and managing a website can often be tedious, time-consuming work. Many resource-strapped organizations find themselves overwhelmed by the prospect of taking on a full website revamp.
However, business websites and internet technologies are changing. It wasn't long ago that mobile website optimization was at the forefront of conversations regarding website upgrades. Today's efforts to improve websites are more centered around improving the user experience — specifically through emerging technologies and tools.
Here are a few ways any business can make an effort to upgrade their website in 2018 (without starting from scratch).
Retailers that are trying to navigate the changes brought about by mobile commerce likely have their hands full.
According to a report from eMarketer, mobile purchases are expected to account for the majority of e-commerce sales by 2021. Meanwhile, mobile sales solutions are transforming the brick-and-mortar retail space and raising customer expectations for the kind of experience that businesses should offer.
Between the changing trends and new technology, marketers will be busy upgrading their digital strategy. Effective retail marketing will need to find a way to leverage digital channels for improved customer engagement while better understanding the way people shop in a mobile world. Here are some key trends (and changes) to keep in mind.
One of the first things SEO professionals do when they're putting together a campaign is keyword research. This is the process of choosing and evaluating the marketability of words and phrases that consumers might use to search for a specific business — but it's not as simple as that. Search Engine Journal adds that good keyword research looks at how different demographics search across multiple devices and platforms. So, if for instance, a marketer is looking at keywords for a local plumber based in Chamblee, GA, they might research what kinds of searches different consumers in suburban Atlanta perform when they're looking for a plumber. While trying to think like your target customer is a good start (in this instance, marketers might choose keywords like "Chamblee plumber," "Chamblee clogged toilet" or even "Atlanta plumber"), there are some big reasons why you should invest the time and money in keyword research, even if you're not sure if you need to.
No matter how great a product is, a poor website user experience can be devastating to any business. Recent research from Forrester found that providing a good user experience through your business website could increase conversions by up to 400 percent — which is a hard number to ignore.
When customers need to solve a problem, they often go online. The critical first step toward capturing their attention is making sure they can find your business website, but it's just as important that your user experience convinces them to stay and convert.
Here are several simple guidelines to help you build an experience that attracts cutomers and grows your incoming revenue.
Brand reputation management is often conflated with crisis management. Many small and local businesses don't consider this critical component of their online presence until there's an emergency. However, there are real benefits to taking a proactive stance when it comes to online perception of your brand. Don't wait to get a plan in place to help manage your online brand reputation.
A Positive Review Can Make a Big Impact
According to the Pew Research Center, 32 percent of Americans surveyed in 2016 said that they highly value the ability to look up online reviews of a product or service before making a purchase.
You're on vacation in an unfamiliar city. You want pizza. What do you do? You Google "pizza places near me," and within the hour, you're sinking your teeth into cheesy goodness.
Local search is useful for instant gratification, or micro-moments, which can boost profit margins for brick-and-mortar retailers. Think With Google reported that these "nearby" or "near me" searches doubled from 2014 to 2015 — and in 2017, consumers are dropping "near me" from their searches since they expect search results to be relevant based on their location. If you're wondering how to keep up as local search trends change, take a look at how you can implement local search techniques in your own online marketing strategy.
It's easy for local businesses — especially small ones with a single location — to look at the online world of e-commerce and digital marketing and feel like they exist on their own terms outside of that world. After all, if you own a local dancewear retail company, you might think that since you aren't competing directly with retail giants, you don't really have to exist in the online marketing world, instead relying on local clients and traditional marketing only. However, even though this line of thinking may keep your doors open, it could be limiting your growth potential.
Here's why local businesses can't sit on the fence anymore when it comes to online marketing.
Write it, and readers will find it. Or, will they? Just because you craft engaging and insightful content for your clients, doesn't mean potential customers are going to flood the Contact Us link with inquiries. Why? Your SEO might be slipping, or virtually non-existent. If you've never done an SEO audit, put it on your calendar as soon as possible. Then, click the recurring button and check on your SEO efforts at least once per quarter.
Addressing an Audit
First, let's quickly define what goes into auditing your SEO techniques. This process will help identify issues, implement fixes and interpret data collected by various search analytics companies. There are multiple, detailed steps of an audit, ranging from evaluating page speed to identifying duplicate content.
Have you ever searched for a company on your smartphone, clicked on the site and nothing happens? The site won't launch, so you go to plan B, which is likely another company's site. It doesn't matter that your company has adopted the latest technology, offers incredible products and wows with customer service if your mobile user experience is frustrating.
Eighty-nine percent of people are likely to recommend a brand after having a positive experience on mobile, according to Think With Google. And, what if the experience is a flop? Another 62 percent of people are less likely to shop with that brand in the future based on negative experiences in this realm.