Web marketing is the cornerstone of successful business marketing. One key component of web marketing is the search engine ranking and internet presence of the business’ website. This realization urges businesses to hire professional SEO consultants to manage the internet marketing of their website. However, simply hiring a SEO consultant is not enough. You need to ensure that the firm is capable of providing world class services as well. To do that, look for business practices that are the mark of an excellent SEO service provider. Some of these qualities are:
Extensive Knowledge: A SEO guru should have knowledge of SEO consulting, keyword analysis, content development and copywriting skills, link building and directory submission guidelines. Along with these technical skills, a SEO consultant needs to have a good idea about marketing and the latest developments in the SEO domain. Marketing skills also include research orientation, which will enable the consultant to gain valuable insight which can be translated into optimization tools.
Ability to take hard decisions: The top priority of a SEO consultant is marketing of the website. So the client has to be informed of changes in the website, which might not be very welcome. In such situations, the SEO consultant needs to get the changes done in a determined way. For example, informing a client that expensive Flash designs on the website have no use from a SEO point of view.
Good SEO Consultant
Customized services: It is rightly said ‘different strokes for different folks’, and this age old proverb holds true for internet marketing as well. No two websites are exactly the same, and so the SEO strategies used for them will also vary. A good SEO consultant will not use the same set of strategies for each client. Rather, the consultant should be able to analyze the unique requirements of the client and provide suitable, customized SEO solutions.
Business understanding: To be able to provide customized services, a SEO consultant must be curious about the client’s business and marketing goals. This drive to know and understand the client’s business shows that the SEO consultant is passionate about the uniqueness and challenges of each project. And the more the consultant understands your niche market; the superior will be his SEO solutions.
Prioritization: In SEO optimization, there is often a need to prioritize content over web aesthetics and long term goals over quick gains. An SEO consultant needs to be able to look at the client’s web pages and logically analyze the level of optimization of the content to come up with strategies. He needs to identify natural integration of keywords, keyword density and remove duplicate content from the text. The tone, choice of words and writing style should be geared towards relevant content, which can then be optimized, before putting the final strategies into action.
Transparency: There are SEO firms which use illegal black hat practices to promote websites and get quick results. SEO firms which use legal and credible practices are willing to share their plan of action with the client. They communicate the basic method and its intended results honestly and professionally to the client. Only those consultants who have something to hide remain furtive.
Today people live in two worlds, the real world and the virtual world. They can do most things online, ranging from banking, shopping, socializing to entertainment. The following statistics show the reach of Internet user avenues (approximate):
- 82.9% of active Internet users watch video clips.
- About 1.2 lakh blogs are created every day.
- 72.8% of active Internet users read blogs.
- Technorati currently tracks 111 million blogs.
- 63.2% of active internet users visit a photo sharing site.
- 38.5% of active Internet users upload a clip to a video sharing website.
- There are more than 90 million users on facebook.
And that’s why companies are now striving to create a strong Internet presence for wider marketing of their products and services. However, content on the Internet can be created by anyone, including the users of business services and products.
Multiple avenues of publishing product reviews, and sharing experiences on the web, have led to the rise of user generated content (UGC) on the web. All companies have online user generated content about their business’ products and services, and these are crucial to their web reputation. Users can converge at various points on the web to share information, some of them being –
- Social networking sites such as Myspace, Facebook, and Orkut
- Media sharing platforms such as YouTube, iShare, Vimeo, and Flickr to upload photographs, audio files, and video clips.
- Knowledge sharing platforms such as Yahoo, eHow, and Wikipedia
- Specialized Online Consumer Forums and discussion boards.
- Product Review Websites like Ripoffreport and Mouthshut.
The impact of negative and unfavorable user generated content is made exponentially larger through high levels of visibility, discoverability, and networking of these online points. There are many cases where negative online publicity has caused extensive damage to businesses. For example, Tata Consultancy Services has been accused of tax frauds, at a blog tcstaxfraud.blogspot.com/, which turns up in search engines and taints the name of the entire business. Similarly, Times of India, an Indian national daily, was criticized through a blog using the slogan ‘Slimes of India’. Reviews on Ripoff Reports such as “Helen Foundation took me for 4722.00 and said my insurance would pay it, but didn’t give me the bills” also affect the brand image of a business. As user generated content is unregulated, taking legal action against it can be unproductive. Such content is fragmented in nature, making it difficult to identify the author of the information.
A professional web reputation management consultant can counter negative publicity by using new approaches and strategies, such as peer friendly language, user controlled messages, SEO content creation, and dialogue. So, web reputation management services have become a business necessity to survive and succeed in the world of ecommerce. Only a professional firm can handle the negative publicity that your business may get and make sure that it has the minimum possible impact on the image of your brand.
All stats is collected from various source from Internet. I am not responsible for authenticity of stats.
Internet has changed the face of commerce drastically. Gone are the days, when customers would call up to enquire about the services of a company. Internet has brought the world to the fingertips of the customers, and all they have to do is Google the name of a company to gather information about it! There are also numerous blogs, social media sites and online consumer forums, for consumer reviews. Business owners are severely affected by such reviews, which can make or break their brand image.
Web reputation management(WRM) is gaining importance, as indicated by the World Economic Forum’s recognition of web reputation firms as an important entity in today’s scenario. A bad review by an irate customer, internet slandering campaigns by competitors, and negative feedback indicating consumer dissatisfaction could cause considerable damage to your business reputation. In such a situation, you need to act fast by hiring professional search engine reputation management (SERM) consultants.
Web reputation management firms use a variety of strategies to prevent potentially harmful content about your business from showing up in the first pages of search engine results. Here are some of the benefits of using professional web reputation management services:
- Building Positive Brand Image: During difficult times, a web reputation management firm can build positive blogs and websites for your company. By reducing the visibility of negative comments, creating a positive PR, and pushing positive information about you in the top search engine results, they promote a positive brand image. Their reputation management services will ensure that when potential clients do a background search of you and your company, they will find positive results.
- Effective Monitoring – A professional web reputation management firm will monitor the information about your company in search engine result pages, social networking sites, and other web sphere content. They can track consumer opinion using search engine alerts, RSS feeders to track keywords, and conduct extensive research about the company’s internet presence. Through monitoring and extensive market research, they can quickly identify sites with negative user comments and deal with them effectively, so that they don’t turn up in the first few pages of search engine results.
- Creating Content – The basic tenet of SEO is content creation. To combat negative feedback, web reputation management firms create positive content which are seen by search engines as more relevant and push down the other negative comments about your firm. SEO and web reputation management usually go hand in hand, so it is essential to hire a firm that has both the skills.
- Other remedial measures – User generated content on the web impact the brand image of any business, be it an online company or a brick and mortar company. Brand management strategies cannot be limited to a few mechanical steps. Good web reputation management includes diverse measures such as social network profiling; blog, article and press release; and promotion of existing positive content. Formal take down requests and negotiations can also be used to remove negative content from the web.
Web reputation is a part of SEO itself but not all SEO firms have the expertise in this field. Only an experienced and competent firm can handle your web reputation effectively. And thus, selecting the right SEO firm gains paramount importance.
Don’t wait for a crisis to turn to web reputation management professionals. Do it right now. After all, as the saying goes, “the early bird catches the worm.”
Often, the resources available for a project are not enough to do justice to the client. Lack of time, resources and other commitments may make it impossible for you to do the job, no matter how much you may want to. Ethically, in such situations, it is in the client’s and well as your best interest to say ‘no’ and not accept the work.
Given the focus of businesses on building a bigger client base, usually they shy away from saying ‘no’ to the client. Often, they don’t even realize that they are overburdened. It is tempting for businesses to take on the client’s project and hope that it somehow gets done in time. They are blinded by money or the fear of losing valuable customers.
When it is essential to say ‘no’ to client, businesses need to do so in a diplomatic way to avoid jeopardizing long term business relations with the client. Here are some practical ways to do so:
- Do not respond immediately to a client’s request. Give it some thought, check your work schedule and then come up with a realistic work completion plan, before you take on the project.
- Respond clearly and politely, so that the client understands that you won’t be able to work on the project. Explain the reasons because of which you will not be able to work on the project. This will help the clients to better understand why you are refusing the project. For example, saying “I wish I could say yes. Unfortunately, because of the current work load, I can’t complete the project effectively and on time. So, I am forced to say no to your project.” sounds better than simply saying “I cannot take this project.” Avoid using negative or offensive expressions, such as ‘It is unreasonable …” or “It is impossible to …”. Use positive language when responding to a client. Saying “We’d love to do this project, however …” is a gentle way of declining the client’s project.
- Always give alternatives to the client – Keep a waiting list, and let your clients know when you will be free to work on their project. Give them a clear waiting time, such as one week or one month, and an approximate date on which you can begin work on their project.
- Provide recommendations – In case you do not have the expertise or resources to do the project, let the clients know that they have the wrong person. If possible, recommend other professionals who can do it. Sometimes, a client might be in a hurry or under pressure, and need the services immediately. A recommendation of alternative service providers will not only help the clients but in the long run, it will also strengthen your business relations with them.