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.
You have your flashy website ready, but the hits are very low. Have you thought why?
It is true that the colours, design, logo and photos make an impression on the visitors of your website, but what is most important is the content of your website. The quality of the content on your website is truly a deciding factor for the success of your business, as your website is the first face of your company that a customer sees. And therefore, it is imperative that your website should speak for your company.
Content Is the King
How to make your content interesting to read, increase the hits and make it successful? Here are the secrets
Know your customer
The secret to quality content is to know exactly who is reading it. It is important to know your target audience and your website having exactly what they are looking for. Instead of just plainly inserting the keywords in your pages, make the content an interesting read and also make sure it aesthetically includes the keywords for the SEO. Make it interactive as customers like to have an upper hand on what they choose, and giving the customers the upper hand lets YOU have the upper hand without the customer knowing it.
Keep it short
Remember the KISS formula – Keep it short and simple. When a customer is doing a search in Google, you have only few seconds to make that first impression. So the maximum information you could give in minimum number of words would do the magic. You might have a lot to talk about your company, but knowing what to keep and what to delete is very important. Knowing which sentences would directly end up making the visitor a customer is an important aspect. After all, nobody has the time to go through pages with tonnes of information. It’s a fast paced world, remember?
Next key is to regularly update your content. It is important to create fresh content regularly. Even if it is a small change, ensure you update the website weekly or even daily. Google loves a regularly updated website. Any content change would be helpful to bring it up in Google search.
Trust the experts
You have put all your time, effort and money in building up your business, but it is always good to leave the job to the people who do it best. There are several free websites available on the web offering free content, but there is nothing like creative and unique content which matches your business. Know that your content writers are experienced and would know exactly which words would boost your business. If good content could boost your business, bad content could kill it double fast. Therefore, choose the writers wisely. After all, a comma and a hyphen could change the whole meaning of a sentence.
A mantra for success- The content of your website is the primary tool you have to win customers, use it wisely.
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.”
One of the most common misconceptions today is that a blog is meant for personal use. This couldn’t be further from the truth. A blog is so much more than a personal diary or a daily dose of someone’s personal opinions and ideas. A blog provides an opportunity for outsiders to become engaged and active. Let me put it this way. You are missing out on a huge opportunity if your company does not have a blog. Let’s start out with the consumer’s perception of companies.
Consumers have changed the way they view companies. In the past, consumers had a limited number of choices when purchasing goods and services. Before the web, consumers purchased goods and services from a local company or possibly through a catalog. The U.S. Census Bureau estimated that total e-commerce sales for 2009 were $134.9 billion. More and more people are signing on to the web to make purchases. This has provided a significant opportunity for businesses, especially small to medium size businesses. Think about it. If I wanted to buy a bicycle ten years ago I would have went to my local Wal-Mart to make the purchase. That’s not the case today. I can get online and search specifically for the bike I want. It could be that I end up making the purchase from a small bike shop in Minnesota and have it shipped to me. The web has increased the purchasing power of consumers. We now have more choices and are not limited to what our local companies can offer. You are probably thinking what does this have to do with whether or not my company should have a blog? Everything.
It is your responsibility to differentiate yourself from your competition. It is much more difficult to do this today. Not only do you have to compete with your local competition, but you also have to compete with businesses in other cities, states, and even other countries. One way you can differentiate yourself from your competitors is with a blog. Consumers want to feel good about their purchases. I will gladly pay $10, $25, or $50 extra to a business that I feel understands my circumstances and reaches me on a personal level. That is exactly what a blog is…personal. It could be that I chose to purchase my bike from the online company in Minnesota rather than my local Wal-Mart because the company in Minnesota spoke to me in a different way through a blog.
A blog creates a feeling with consumers that they are getting inside knowledge. It helps companies establish relationships with their customers, which by default leads to trust. Do you want to see an increase in online sales or see your website become a tool rather than an expense? Get on a personal level with your consumers.
Another reason you should have a blog is because it keeps your website updated with fresh content. Common sense tells us that people are not going to visit your website repeatedly if they see the same thing each time they visit. However, if your content is changing consistently they will continue to visit your website in order to remain informed. The opportunity to sale your products and services increases greatly with the more visits you have to your website and the longer people remain on your website.
Having a blog opens up so many avenues for companies. Think about the numerous ways you can keep your website visitors engaged through a blog.
- Inform them of new products and services, or changes to existing products and services.
- Offer online discounts and promotions to your blog readers.
- Inform your readers of how your company is doing in relation to its’ goals and objectives.
- Post articles regarding your company’s involvement in charity (consumers love this).
- Post information about your employees.
These are just a few of the ways you can utilize a blog to reach out to your website visitors and customers. Do not use a blog to bash your competition. This is one of the cardinal sins of blogging. We, consumers, get really tired of negative publicity. So, keep it positive and be consistent.
If you are still unsure if your company needs a blog you apparently skipped this entire article and went straight to the bottom hoping to find a summary. Well, here is your summary. Yes, you need a blog. If you are on board and are ready to implement a blog then we recommend using WordPress.
About the Author:
Ray Goins is an author and owner of www.stopdev.com. StopDev provides web design and online marketing tips.