3 Steps to Setting Up Your Reputation Marketing Strategy Today
3 Steps to Setting Up Your Reputation Marketing Strategy Today – Packed with Tips, Helpful Links, and Easy-To-Use Tools
As a business owner or manager we know you are too busy already. However, in today’s knowledge based economy your online reputation is so vital to the future success and growth of your business that you must make sure that yours is managed, built and marketed effectively.
Don’t put it off any longer! In the next few minutes you can:
• Find out what your online reputation looks like right now
• Check to ensure you’ve optimised your on-site and off-site online presence
• Have a strategy in place that manages, builds and markets your online reputation
1. Audit Your Online Presence
When someone runs a local search for your type of services, product or using your business name what do they see? Are you happy with what they see? Are you being found for your most profitable services? And remembering everyone’s short attention span how many clicks did it take to find you?
Now, with your ideal customer in mind run a Google search of your business name and your services the way a prospective new client or customer would. Take notes on when your business shows up, what is being said or seen, and where it is ranking. Do the same for your top two or three competitors. Be sure to run searches on your desktop, smartphone and tablet to see how that affects ranking. Do the same on Yahoo and Bing.
Google both your businesses top keywords and primary keywords related to your type of business. Does your business show on the first page of search results? Do you see competitors ranking higher? Use the free tools list in “6 Free Audit Tools for Your Website” to find software that will give you an SEO audit report on your website and competitor websites. Compare results to find areas where you can make improvements and rank higher.
2. Fix Your Listings and Optimise Your Online Presence
Off-site optimisation with Review Sites, Business Listings, and Social Media
Review sites can often be the doorway to new customers. Over 90% of consumers frequently use reviews as a guide to finding new products and services. Claim and optimise your business profiles on the review sites that your customers rely on to make their buying decisions. As Google is the major search engine start there first. Optimise your Google My Business listing and direct reviewers to your page. An overwhelming majority of internet searches happen on Google. Rank higher and increase visibility by giving Google all the information it needs to put your business at the top of search results.
Make it part of your processes to ask for reviews from all customers and encourage happy customers to post their reviews on the directory and review sites that matter most to your business. Respond swiftly and professionally to negative feedback and thank customers for five-star, detailed reviews.
It is important that your business listings and citations are consistent across the internet because the information is used by search engines and customers to find and verify your business location, hours and more. With hundreds of business directories available, save time and ensure accuracy by using a business listing management service.
Optimising and monitoring your business’ social media accounts gives you control over a large part of your online presence. Reputation marketing includes monitoring and controlling the conversations and mentions involving your business. To do that you need to know where your customers are spending their time. Businesses are on LinkedIn and Twitter, millennials are on Instagram and SnapChat, and baby boomers are on Pinterest and Facebook.
Regardless of what industry you are in, your customers are on social media.
When developing your website and marketing pages make sure you incorporate the following SEO tips from the pros. Search engines and users love them.
• Use SEO friendly URL’s that are short and keyword rich
• Start title tags with the keywords you want to rank for
• Use engaging images, graphics, and video, properly tagged with keywords
• Use internal and external links to related website pages
• Incorporate social sharing buttons on your web pages
• Consistently publish specific relevant, helpful and unique content
• Watch and improve page loading times (use Google’s PageSpeed Insights tool)
3. Have a Process for Managing, Building and Marketing Your Reputation.
You “own” some of your online presence, meaning you control what is being said and where and when it can be seen. This includes your website content, business listings, and online business and social media profiles you claim and fill in. Then there is “social proof”. Good or bad, “social proof” is information posted online by others. It includes customer reviews, online complaints on third-party sites, video commercials, and social media or forum comments and images. In simple terms your ravings reviews must be amplified and your less favourable reviews need to be professionally managed and turned into ravings fans if at all possible.
Few people look past the first page of the search engine whether it be Google, Bing, Yahoo or their favoured review site.
Controlling “social proof” is near impossible, but it can be influenced and must be monitored.
• Note negative trends during your reputation audit and make improvements where customers say they are needed.
• Automate your customer feedback process. Effortlessly gather feedback, get reviews posted where they matter most, and ensure you are notified in real-time when reviews are posted online for your business on various review sites.
• Designate who is responsible for managing customer reviews and have a process in place to handle negative reviews BEFORE they happen.
• Monitor social media mentions with the help of tools such as Hootsuite (free).
• Set up Google Alerts to notify you whenever your business name or the name of notable employees shows up on the internet.
Reputation Marketing is not an option, it’s Mandatory
Once you’ve designed the reputation marketing strategy for your business, you’ll see that much of the process can be automated to save time and take a lot of the work out of the building and protecting your positive online reputation. With a positive reputation across the web, you will be able to market your business and attract new customers and clients who look for social proof in the form of customer reviews and search engine results to make their buying decisions.