Guide to SEO Must-Haves: Rank Higher & Convert More Customers
Search engines strive to create the best user experience possible, providing the most relevant, useful information based on the user’s search terms. If they didn’t, users would no longer rely on them for information.
This is good news: the more relevant, informative and useful user experience you create, the better the chances that search engines will serve your pages. By practicing good search engine optimization (SEO) habits, you can continually work to increase your search engine results page (SERPs) position. Here are some top SEO practices for SERP success.
On page (your website) SEO practices:
1. Relevant keywords: Using a keyword tool can help determine which words will help attract the most visitors based on popular search terms. Pick the most relevant, popular keywords for your business and try to rank for different keywords on your web page.
2. Short, catchy and original title tags: Title tags describe what your website is all about while attracting the user’s attention enough to (hopefully) click through to your pages. Limit the title tag description to 55 characters so it will display well on SERPs. Keep title tags descriptive yet short and sweet to help crawlers and users determine the relevancy of your page.
3. Keywords at the beginning of page title tags: Google puts more weight on the start of the title tag, so try to keep the keywords at the beginning.
4. Keyword focused meta descriptions: The meta description appears under the title tag on SERPs and gives users a chance to learn more about your company before clicking into your site. Aim for a meta-description length of 150-160 characters.
5. Proper sitemap: Make sure your website’s structure is up-to-date and easy to navigate. The better the site structure, the easier search engine crawlers can find and index pages. Aim for a three-click rule—customers should find what they need on your site in three clicks.
6. Properly structured, SEO-friendly URLs: URLs help crawlers to figure out page topic and relevancy. Creating short URLs with your keyword in it, using “-” instead of “_” between words as well as static words (rather than numbers) will help users and crawlers read URLs faster and easier. Also, try to use sub-directory root domains instead of sub-domains.
7. Link internally with anchor text: Linking internally to your other web pages adds keyword-rich internal links to every page. Internal linking helps search engines crawl and index your site, provides readers with more reading options and improves ranking for some of your keywords.
8. Outbound links: Referencing and linking to reputable (authoritative) sources shows you are a helpful internet information steward that is willing to share pagerank. On the internet, helpful sharing is caring.
9. Website’s loading speed: Search engines do not like slow pages as they know that users will not wait long for a website to load. Strive for lickity-split load times.
10. Really helpful content: Create relevant content on your pages that is easy to read, unique, helpful, fresh and grammatically flawless. Your content should be so helpful and relevant that your target audience will want to stay on your page and others will want to link to it.
Off page SEO practices:
1. Search engine submission: It can take a while for search engines to find and crawl your site. You can help to speed up the process by submitting your website to popular search engines.
2. Local directory submission: Submitting your business listing information to top or niche directories creates more places where users can find you and crawlers can confirm your business information. Be sure to submit NAP (name, address, phone number). And, if possible, website and category. A high percentage of searches are by keyword rather than business name, so strive to use category information wherever possible.
3. Social media marketing: Be present on all relevant social channels and manage your online reputation. Strive to get likes, shares and links by being 80% helpful and 20% promotional.
4. Video marketing: Help users find out about your business by sharing your relevant and helpful videos on sites such as Youtube, Vimeo, etc.
5. Backlink outreach: Earn backlinks by conducting content PR to get others to read your pages and possibly link to you. The more quality backlinks your web page has, the more authority it has, and the more search engines will deem the page as relevant and useful.
6. Forums and communities: Answering questions in forums and communities (and your content, too) can help to build your reputation as an industry expert. This can provide a possible opportunity to include your website or blog link if it is relevant to the answer.
Paid Facebook Posts Guide: Because Facebook Is ‘Pay to Play’ for Businesses
So, you’ve got your Facebook Business page setup and you’re posting regularly. You’ve even got some likes and shares. That’s great! But why stop there? With over 1.80+ billion users active on the platform every day, there’s a lot of real estate to cover, and your content can only reach so far without a little help. That’s where Facebook Paid Ads come into play.
Let’s start with the basics.
What is a Facebook paid ad?
According to Facebook, “With Facebook Ads, you can create targeted ads to reach different audiences and meet your business goals.” It seems pretty straightforward, but let us elaborate.
Facebook Paid Ads are a simple and cost-effective strategy for your business to reach a specified demographic. You can promote your custom ads and content to reach an audience of your choosing. What’s more, you can use the ads to collect data that will help you improve the ads to increase their efficiency.
How to build an effective Facebook ad
When you’re building your ad, there are a few important factors to consider:
Choose your audience
Deciding which demographics you want to target is one of the most important parts of optimizing your ad. Choosing a broad range is effective for some businesses, but you’re more likely to see results by narrowing your terms. For example, if you’re selling video games you might want to target men and women between the ages of 15 and 40 with interests in video games and entertainment, since that’s where your customers are likely coming from. If you’ve optimized your audience to your business, you’ll reach people who will want to follow your page.
Create a compelling message
Your Facebook Ad has limited space, so make sure you’re saying exactly what you want to. Are you offering a deal? Hosting an event? Showcasing products? Make your message relevant to your audience and give it a call to action! Don’t forget to add an image, too. Ads with photos are much more likely to attract attention than those without.
Switch it up
Why make only one ad when you can make two? Creating more than one ad gives you multiple sets of analytics so you can determine which ads work and which ones don’t. If you find your ads are working well, it’s still important to switch them up every so often so the message doesn’t stagnate. People get tired of seeing the same thing over and over again, so keep it fresh!
You’re all set to get started! Facebook Ads are a great way to get your products and services in front of potential customers.
Facebook has some great resources to help you get started. Even a low ad budget each month can help you attract new customers and find new business. Although Facebook advertising is extremely important, creating and running ad campaigns can be a time consuming project. Consider using our Digital Advertising, and with our reporting, you’ll be able to clearly see the ROI and what you’re getting for your money.
99 Blog Post Ideas We Want You To Steal: Social Media Marketing Edition
One of the most common questions those new to digital marketing ask (especially when it comes to content): “How will I come up with topics and ideas for blog content?”
While there are a ton of tactics and strategies (many based on actual data), we thought we’d give you a head start and list 99 click-worthy blog post titles. Today’s subject? Social Media Marketing.
Are you drawing a blank every time you sit down to write? It may be easy to simply write a product feature or fluff up a sales pitch, but it’s important to remember that the point of your blogs is to provide value to your audience, not to sell to them. Take a look at your buyer personas and their pain points or problems, and assemble them into categories. These categories and their relevant personas will focus your writing and guide your use of keywords to optimize the SEO boost that the post provides. From here, you can begin to address some general topics.
Content (not copy) is King
Getting the copy down is one thing, but your blog will be as dry as a bone without engaging content to supplement that copy. The content that your copy supports, more than anything, is what sets your blog apart from your competitors and drives the solution to your readership’s problem.
You Can Pick Your Friends & You Can Pick Your Topics
You just can’t pick your friend’s topics. Unless DMTG is your friend! Steal (or remix) as many of the topics as you’d like, below!
99 (Steal these!) Blog Post Topics for Social Media Marketing Blog Posts:
Where Will Social Media Marketing Be 1 Year From Now?
13 Things About Social Media Marketing You May Not Have Known
15 Things Your Boss Wishes You Knew About Social Media Marketing
The Biggest Problem With Social Media Marketing, And How You Can Fix It
20 Up-and-Comers to Watch in the Social Media Marketing Industry
What NOT to Do in the Social Media Marketing Industry
14 Savvy Ways to Spend Leftover Social Media Marketing Budget
How to Sell Social Media Marketing to a Skeptic
12 Reasons You Shouldn’t Invest in Social Media Marketing
7 Little Changes That’ll Make a Big Difference With Your Social Media Marketing
Meet the Steve Jobs of the Social Media Marketing Industry
What’s Holding Back the Social Media Marketing Industry?
14 Common Misconceptions About Social Media Marketing
16 Must-Follow Facebook Pages for Social Media Marketing Marketers
5 Cliches About Social Media Marketing You Should Avoid
10 Undeniable Reasons People Hate Social Media Marketing
Will Social Media Marketing Ever Rule the World?
10 Things We All Hate About Social Media Marketing
20 Resources That’ll Make You Better at Social Media Marketing
30 of the Punniest Social Media Marketing Puns You Can Find
Ask Me Anything: 10 Answers to Your Questions About Social Media Marketing
The 17 Most Misunderstood Facts About Social Media Marketing
10 Best Mobile Apps for Social Media Marketing
Social Media Marketing Poll of the Day
7 Horrible Mistakes You’re Making With Social Media Marketing
24 Hours to Improving Social Media Marketing
Why Nobody Cares About Social Media Marketing
How to Get Hired in the Social Media Marketing Industry
15 Secretly Funny People Working in Social Media Marketing
15 Undeniable Reasons to Love Social Media Marketing
Think You’re Cut Out for Doing Social Media Marketing? Take This Quiz
10 Compelling Reasons Why You Need Social Media Marketing
Addicted to Social Media Marketing? Us Too. 6 Reasons We Just Can’t Stop
7 Things About Social Media Marketing Your Boss Wants to Know
The Anatomy of a Great Social Media Marketing
10 Startups That’ll Change the Social Media Marketing Industry for the Better
5 Laws Anyone Working in Social Media Marketing Should Know
How to Create an Awesome Instagram Video About Social Media Marketing
How to Win Big in the Social Media Marketing Industry
Responsible for a Social Media Marketing Budget? 12 Top Notch Ways to Spend Your Money
Why It’s Easier to Succeed With Social Media Marketing Than You Might Think
Why We Love Social Media Marketing (And You Should, Too!)
5 Real-Life Lessons About Social Media Marketing
11 Ways to Completely Revamp Your Social Media Marketing
Become an Expert on Social Media Marketing by Watching These 5 Videos
10 Things Everyone Hates About Social Media Marketing
9 Signs You Need Help With Social Media Marketing
15 Best Twitter Accounts to Learn About Social Media Marketing
Forget Social Media Marketing: 3 Replacements You Need to Jump On
The Ultimate Cheat Sheet on Social Media Marketing
Why You Should Forget About Improving Your Social Media Marketing
7 Answers to the Most Frequently Asked Questions About Social Media Marketing
20 Myths About Social Media Marketing: Busted
10 Things Your Competitors Can Teach You About Social Media Marketing
Social Media Marketing: What No One Is Talking About
20 Insightful Quotes About Social Media Marketing
8 Go-To Resources About Social Media Marketing
15 Hilarious Videos About Social Media Marketing
15 Surprising Stats About Social Media Marketing
Why You Should Spend More Time Thinking About Social Media Marketing
12 Steps to Finding the Perfect Social Media Marketing
10 Pinterest Accounts to Follow About Social Media Marketing
20 Fun Facts About Social Media Marketing
11 Ways to Completely Sabotage Your Social Media Marketing
7 Simple Secrets to Totally Rocking Your Social Media Marketing
Social Media Marketing: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly
12 Do’s and Don’ts for a Successful Social Media Marketing
10 Principles of Psychology You Can Use to Improve Your Social Media Marketing
The Next Big Thing in Social Media Marketing
17 Signs You Work With Social Media Marketing
No Time? No Money? No Problem! How You Can Get Social Media Marketing With a Zero-Dollar Budget
Watch Out: How Social Media Marketing Is Taking Over and What to Do About It
Social Media Marketing: It’s Not as Difficult as You Think
How Technology Is Changing How We Treat Social Media Marketing
5 Qualities the Best People in the Social Media Marketing Industry Tend to Have
10 Signs You Should Invest in Social Media Marketing
How to Solve Issues With Social Media Marketing
10 Things You Learned in Kindergarden That’ll Help You With Social Media Marketing
10 Things Most People Don’t Know About Social Media Marketing
The Biggest Trends in Social Media Marketing We’ve Seen This Year
9 Signs You’re a Social Media Marketing Expert
Don’t Make This Silly Mistake With Your Social Media Marketing
15 Reasons Why You Shouldn’t Ignore Social Media Marketing
The No. 1 Question Everyone Working in Social Media Marketing Should Know How to Answer
15 Best Social Media Marketing Bloggers You Need to Follow
15 Best Pinterest Boards of All Time About Social Media Marketing
The Most Innovative Things Happening With Social Media Marketing
What Will Social Media Marketing Be Like in 100 Years?
17 Superstars We’d Love to Recruit for Our Social Media Marketing Team
An Introduction to Social Media Marketing
How Much Should You Be Spending on Social Media Marketing?
Social Media Marketing: Expectations vs. Reality
15 Up-and-Coming Trends About Social Media Marketing
20 Things You Should Know About Social Media Marketing
11 “Faux Pas” That Are Actually Okay to Make With Your Social Media Marketing
The Worst Videos of All Time About Social Media Marketing
The Worst Advice We’ve Ever Heard About Social Media Marketing
10 Things Steve Jobs Can Teach Us About Social Media Marketing
12 Companies Leading the Way in Social Media Marketing
How to Explain Social Media Marketing to Your Mom
5 Lessons About Social Media Marketing You Can Learn From Superheroes
What Freud Can Teach Us About Social Media Marketing
7 Trends You May Have Missed About Social Media Marketing
6 Online Communities About Social Media Marketing You Should Join
Buzzwords, De-buzzed: 10 Other Ways to Say Social Media Marketing
What Sports Can Teach Us About Social Media Marketing
Social Media Marketing: 11 Thing You’re Forgetting to Do
The Top Reasons People Succeed in the Social Media Marketing Industry
A Beginner’s Guide to Social Media Marketing
11 Creative Ways to Write About Social Media Marketing
The Most Influential People in the Social Media Marketing Industry and Their Celebrity Dopplegangers
The Pros and Cons of Social Media Marketing
How Successful People Make the Most of Their Social Media Marketing
The Most Common Social Media Marketing Debate Isn’t as Black and White as You Might Think
Your Worst Nightmare About Social Media Marketing Come to Life
5 Tools Everyone in the Social Media Marketing Industry Should Be Using
Why the Biggest “Myths” About Social Media Marketing May Actually Be Right
30 Inspirational Quotes About Social Media Marketing
The 3 Greatest Moments in Social Media Marketing History
How to Get More Results Out of Your Social Media Marketing
10 Secrets About Social Media Marketing You Can Learn From TV
The Advanced Guide to Social Media Marketing
Undeniable Proof That You Need Social Media Marketing
12 Stats About Social Media Marketing to Make You Look Smart Around the Water Cooler
Social Media Marketing: All the Stats, Facts, and Data You’ll Ever Need to Know
Social Media Marketing: A Simple Definition
What I Wish I Knew a Year Ago About Social Media Marketing
20 Trailblazers Leading the Way in Social Media Marketing
How to Save Money on Social Media Marketing
How Did We Get Here? The History of Social Media Marketing Told Through Tweets
How to Explain Social Media Marketing to Your Grandparents
Getting Tired of Social Media Marketing? 10 Sources of Inspiration That’ll Rekindle Your Love
15 Up-and-Coming Social Media Marketing Bloggers You Need to Watch
10 Apps to Help You Manage Your Social Media Marketing
14 Businesses Doing a Great Job at Social Media Marketing
This Is Your Brain on Social Media Marketing
The Social Media Marketing Case Study You’ll Never Forget
17 Reasons Why You Should Ignore Social Media Marketing
What the Best Social Media Marketing Pros Do (and You Should Too)
A Productive Rant About Social Media Marketing
20 Gifts You Can Give Your Boss if They Love Social Media Marketing
The 12 Worst Types Social Media Marketing Accounts You Follow on Twitter
Will Social Media Marketing Ever Die?
Forget Social Media Marketing: 10 Reasons Why You No Longer Need It
From Around the Web: 20 Fabulous Infographics About Social Media Marketing
A Look Into the Future: What Will the Social Media Marketing Industry Look Like in 10 Years?
The Social Media Marketing Awards: The Best, Worst, and Weirdest Things We’ve Seen
The Most Underrated Companies to Follow in the Social Media Marketing Industry
The 12 Best Social Media Marketing Accounts to Follow on Twitter
12 Helpful Tips For Doing Social Media Marketing
10 Facebook Pages to Follow About Social Media Marketing
5 Bad Habits That People in the Social Media Marketing Industry Need to Quit
9 Signs You Sell Social Media Marketing for a Living
10 Meetups About Social Media Marketing You Should Attend
6 Books About Social Media Marketing You Should Read
10 Fundamentals About Social Media Marketing You Didn’t Learn in School
The 13 Best Pinterest Boards for Learning About Social Media Marketing
9 TED Talks That Anyone Working in Social Media Marketing Should Watch
3 Reasons Your Social Media Marketing Is Broken (And How to Fix It)
What Hollywood Can Teach Us About Social Media Marketing
15 Weird Hobbies That’ll Make You Better at Social Media Marketing
15 Best Blogs to Follow About Social Media Marketing
Everything You’ve Ever Wanted to Know About Social Media Marketing
Don’t Buy Into These “Trends” About Social Media Marketing
10 Sites to Help You Become an Expert in Social Media Marketing
10 Facts About Social Media Marketing That Will Instantly Put You in a Good Mood
8 Videos About Social Media Marketing That’ll Make You Cry
How to Explain Social Media Marketing to Your Boss
Responsible for a Social Media Marketing Budget? 10 Terrible Ways to Spend Your Money
11 Embarrassing Social Media Marketing Faux Pas You Better Not Make
What Would the World Look Like Without Social Media Marketing?
Does Your Social Media Marketing Pass The Test? 7 Things You Can Improve On Today
15 Terms Everyone in the Social Media Marketing Industry Should Know
Enough Already! 15 Things About Social Media Marketing We’re Tired of Hearing
How to Explain Social Media Marketing to a Five-Year-Old
The Most Common Complaints About Social Media Marketing, and Why They’re Bunk
The History of Social Media Marketing
10 Inspirational Graphics About Social Media Marketing
How to Master Social Media Marketing in 6 Simple Steps
3 Common Reasons Why Your Social Media Marketing Isn’t Working (And How To Fix It)
Is Tech Making Social Media Marketing Better or Worse?
A Social Media Marketing Success Story You’ll Never Believe
10 Quick Tips About Social Media Marketing
7 Things About Social Media Marketing You’ll Kick Yourself for Not Knowing
This Week’s Top Stories About Social Media Marketing
Why You Should Focus on Improving Social Media Marketing
When Professionals Run Into Problems With Social Media Marketing, This Is What They Do
10 No-Fuss Ways to Figuring Out Your Social Media Marketing
5 Laws That’ll Help the Social Media Marketing Industry
The Ugly Truth About Social Media Marketing
Why You’re Failing at Social Media Marketing
How to Outsmart Your Boss on Social Media Marketing
15 Tips About Social Media Marketing From Industry Experts
10 Best Facebook Pages of All Time About Social Media Marketing
Where to Find Guest Blogging Opportunities on Social Media Marketing
11 Ways to Completely Ruin Your Social Media Marketing
10 Wrong Answers to Common Social Media Marketing Questions: Do You Know the Right Ones?
A Step-by-Step Guide to Social Media Marketing
What the Oxford English Dictionary Doesn’t Tell You About Social Media Marketing
20 Best Tweets of All Time About Social Media Marketing
15 Gifts for the Social Media Marketing Lover in Your Life
The Urban Dictionary of Social Media Marketing
15 Most Underrated Skills That’ll Make You a Rockstar in the Social Media Marketing Industry
The Intermediate Guide to Social Media Marketing
The Ultimate Glossary of Terms About Social Media Marketing
Social Media Marketing Explained in Instagram Photos
The Most Hilarious Complaints We’ve Heard About Social Media Marketing
The 3 Biggest Disasters in Social Media Marketing History
Social Media Marketing Explained in Fewer than 140 Characters
Why People Love to Hate Social Media Marketing
14 Cartoons About Social Media Marketing That’ll Brighten Your Day
A Trip Back in Time: How People Talked About Social Media Marketing 20 Years Ago
How to Outsmart Your Peers on Social Media Marketing
The Worst Advice You Could Ever Get About Social Media Marketing
25 Surprising Facts About Social Media Marketing
10 Things You Learned in Preschool That’ll Help You With Social Media Marketing
The Best Kept Secrets About Social Media Marketing
5 Killer Quora Answers on Social Media Marketing
The Most Pervasive Problems in Social Media Marketing
Social Media Marketing: 10 Things I Wish I’d Known Earlier
10 Tips for Making a Good Social Media Marketing Even Better
20 Reasons You Need to Stop Stressing About Social Media Marketing
15 People You Oughta Know in the Social Media Marketing Industry
So You’ve Bought Social Media Marketing … Now What?
10 Celebrities Who Should Consider a Career in Social Media Marketing
How the 10 Worst Social Media Marketing Fails of All Time Could Have Been Prevented
From Around the Web: 20 Awesome Photos of Social Media Marketing
The Best Advice You Could Ever Get About Social Media Marketing
5 Vines About Social Media Marketing That You Need to See
What the Heck Is Social Media Marketing?
10 Misconceptions Your Boss Has About Social Media Marketing
The Most Common Mistakes People Make With Social Media Marketing
The Most Influential People in the Social Media Marketing Industry
What’s the Current Job Market for Social Media Marketing Professionals Like?
Sage Advice About Social Media Marketing From a Five-Year-Old
The Ultimate Guide to Social Media Marketing
Are You Getting the Most Out of Your Social Media Marketing?
4 Dirty Little Secrets About the Social Media Marketing Industry
The Evolution of Social Media Marketing
8 Effective Social Media Marketing Elevator Pitches
10 Tell-Tale Signs You Need to Get a New Social Media Marketing
5 Things Everyone Gets Wrong About Social Media Marketing
10 Situations When You’ll Need to Know About Social Media Marketing
20 Questions You Should Always Ask About Social Media Marketing Before Buying It
14 Questions You Might Be Afraid to Ask About Social Media Marketing
The 10 Scariest Things About Social Media Marketing
10 Great Social Media Marketing Public Speakers
9 Things Your Parents Taught You About Social Media Marketing
7 Things You Should Not Do With Social Media Marketing
You’ve Been Thinking About Customer Service All Wrong: This is The Digital Age, Baby!
Customer service is about solving the problems of your customers. Whose job is customer service? The truth is, customer service is the responsibility of everyone in your company. Building a brand means delivering on a promise again and again. It means consistency and maintaining effective customer relationships.
But what about today? How has this changed? Today, brands are working their butts off to build out and maintain their digital footprints — this means their business/brand is ‘open’ (at the very least openly visible) 24/7.
How Does a Business Approach & Maintain a New Definition of Customer Service Today?
Now, companies have to manage customer service across multiple channels. When people have a negative experience online, they blame the company. Not responding to customers on review sites and social media is worse than having a phone line that goes unanswered, because there are thousands of people witnessing the neglect.
Digital Customer Service: 10 Actionable Tips To Impress and Better Convert Customers
1. Respond to reviews quickly
When customers take time to leave a business a review, it’s essential to respond in a timely manner. Nearly nine in ten consumers read online reviews to determine the credibility of a business, and it’s important they see that the business has an active, responsive voice. Not only will other people who visit the review site see the response, but it’s possible those people could share the review and response with their own networks. All reviews should be acknowledged by your business. The only exception to this is star-only rating reviews. These are permitted on Facebook and a few other top review sites.
2. Provide a consistent experience
Depending on the type of product or service that you offer, customers may interact with several people at the company before the final transaction. Your business needs to make sure that throughout the entire experience, that your customers are having positive interactions. The same story should resonate throughout your customer service efforts, and that story should be customer-centric.
Apple is an example of a company that provides a consistent experience throughout their customer funnel. From their website with its sleek, minimalist design to the simple and elegant phone you take home, Apple products and website offer a cohesive experience.
3. Experience your customer journey
Most businesses have put together their online presence somewhat piecemeal—create an account on one social platform, add chat integration to the website, build a blog, expand offerings, etc. While this is the most common way to build out a business, it doesn’t always equal the most seamless customer journey. Go through your buyer’s process. Search for yourself online, look at the website content, sign up for the newsletter, etc. Note any bumps and bruises you find along the way and how you can make the whole experience more cohesive.
4. Use social media as a two-way street
Perhaps the best thing about social media is that it means a sort of democracy for customers and businesses alike—everyone is on the same playing field. While social media can be tiresome, let’s be sure we don’t ruin one of the best things about it—the fact that consumers can have conversations with businesses. Share helpful content, engage with consumers and occasionally share promotional info about your products or services. Asking questions, holding competitions and sharing content relevant to your audience are all good ways to engage with consumers. Don’t just talk, listen.
5. Have a high performing website
People visiting your website are not patient so your business needs to have a webpage and assets that load quickly. Nearly 50% of consumers expect a page to load in two seconds or less, anything longer than that, consumers start dropping off. The abandonment rate for viewers waiting to start up a video is a steady curve up and to the right. When website visitors have a poor experience on a company website, they blame the company, not Google, wifi issues or whatever else may be the problem.
6. Open communication and transparency
Consumers can detect sales-y language from a mile away. It’s best to be direct about your offerings, and even your shortcomings. Nail your sales approach and provide consumers the information they’re looking for. Even if you are unable to solve every problem your customers have, they’ll appreciate your honesty and will be less likely to leave. Set your brand voice, share your truths. Being honest with consumers, even if it appears to be a negative, usually pays off.
7. Get your listings right
Having a thorough understanding of listings is essential in the digital space. Getting business listing information accurate (name, address, and phone number) across the web, though, is one of the most important things your business can do to create a better digital customer service experience. There are many important directory and listing sites. Also, having correct listings with the four major data aggregators (Factual, Acxiom, Neustar-Localeze, and Infogroup) is one of the keys to disseminating accurate listing data across the web.
8. Positive attitude
The power of a positive attitude and its influence on customers should never be underestimated. Optimism is a cornerstone of customer service. Small changes in language and wording can make a huge impact on customers:
Option one: I’m sorry, we won’t have that product in our software this month.
Option two: That functionality will be available at the beginning of next month! Our development team is hard at work on a few other features that are useful to you, as well…
Abrasive or abrupt language is very off putting in customer service, even if it is not directly rude or negative.
9. Use email effectively
Make sure when you email your customers, that you have something to say. The communication should be timely, relevant and helpful. Having an effective call to action is essential—give them a reason to read and engage with the email. An automated newsletter is fine and can be a good piece of communication, but never have a do not reply email.
10. The heartbeat of digital customer service
Your customers may say they want the best product, and that they want it at the best price. While that is true, what they want most is authenticity. Authenticity is delivering on a promise. Authenticity is consistency. Authenticity is digital customer service.
Positive Reviews Need Responses, Too: The Ultimate Cheat Sheet
A good or bad reputation can mean the difference between a business thriving and expanding, or closing their doors for good.
Digitally, a business’s reputation is often controlled by customers using online review platforms like Yelp, Google and Facebook to describe the quality of their business publicly — good, bad, and downright ugly.
The Good News for People Who Love Good News
Online reviews can be easily monitored and managed, a super power businesses owners can put to good use by responding in a timely and effective manner. If you haven’t seen our guide on how to respond to negative reviews, head there right after you read and share this post!
And while we’re on the topic of negative reviews, it’s true – the negative reviews often get this most attention. If you have more than one child, do you spend all your time cracking down on the cranky, ornery child? Clearly no! Positive reinforcement is something we all look for (subconsciously) because it does exactly what it says! It reinforces — positively.
It’s not only important to respond to positive reviews (to thank customers for taking the time to review your business) it’s an actionable marketing tactic that can often go unnoticed. One thing that responding to positive reviews does? It encourages others to review your business.
With 92% of consumers reading reviews online, businesses can’t afford to sit on the sidelines. An effective response will help ensure that a happy first time customer becomes a regular, and 70% of complaining customers will come back if you resolve the complaint in their favor.
The first step is engaging with them.
4 Simple Steps To Responding to Positive Reviews Effectively
True story: it’s simple. Thank the customer, name drop, promote and tell the customer what to do!
Say thank you and be specific: No one would let a compliment pass them by in real life. Apply that same principle to a review response! And make sure to reiterate your customer’s compliment. This lets the customer know that a real person took time out of their day to acknowledge them, and that feels good.
Use the business name and keywords: Don’t miss out on the opportunity to drive your business up in search results—positive reviews work wonders in search. Referring to your business name, location and category (restaurant, coffee shop, hotel, etc.) helps index that review online.
Market, market, market: Is your business famous for a certain secret sauce? Are you having a promotion next month? A review response is a great place to get the good word out.
Give your customer a task: Not as scary as it sounds. Invite them to try something different the next time they visit, or bring a friend!
As you can see, there’s a ton of potential hidden in a positive review response. Instead of one advertisement to rule them all, each review is an opportunity to sell your business — without spending any more marketing dollars!
Let’s face it — people are social animals and people are strongly influenced by the experiences of others. Google will tell you too: During the customer journey, if the ‘reputation’ factor in a customer’s decision process is on the up-and-up, they’re much more likely to convert.
On the contrary, if the ‘reputation’ piece to the conversion puzzle isn’t strong, consumers often jump straight to the next competitor in line; reviews and reputation problems or not!
Outperform Big Brands With Content Marketing: Small Business Edition
“Big brands have an advantage…they have the brand awareness, the huge audiences talking about them online, hundreds, of not thousands of reviews. How in the world can my small business compete?”
Great question young marketing grasshopper. Let’s master this concept, shall we?
Let us ask you a question:
Why do avid cyclists go to smaller specialty bike shops instead of a big box store that offers bikes?
Simple: Because of the level of knowledge and expertise that the smaller shop offers is something that cannot be easily replicated by the bigger box/brand stores.
Publishing valuable content will lead consumers to discover your business and product offerings as they search for solutions to the problem they are facing. By making content available to consumers, your business will communicate an awareness of consumer needs, humanizing your brand with a personality that is friendly and helpful, as well as creating the opportunity for customers to form a relationship with you.
Content Marketing Breeds Brand Equity
Content that is relevant to the needs of consumers and offers them a valuable solution establishes your business as a thought leader in your industry, which helps build a trusting relationship with consumers. Attaining this level of credibility will lead consumers to prefer your goods and services over alternative solutions, since they are aware of the unique value proposition offered by your business: that you are the knowledgeable experts in your field.
The Speciality Bike Shop (above) is an example similar to how content marketing can work to increase thought leadership and brand equity for your business. By sharing your expertise in the form of content (with consistency, frequency, and recency), you will easily boost your credibility with customers. They know that they can come to you for solid advice because you have provided them with relevant, helpful information in the past.
Content marketing, also referred to as inbound marketing, involves the creation and distribution of relevant content that provides value to your business’s target audience. Content marketing can be shared with consumers in numerous forms: infographics, ebooks, white papers, case studies, how-to guides, etc. The main purpose of content marketing is to offer consumers value by presenting a solution to their needs, thus influencing the buying cycle.
Effective Long-term Results With Stellar Content
If the content your business releases is designed to be a mix of time-sensitive and evergreen pieces, your business’s content library will still be relevant to consumers as time passes. High-traffic content will also improve search engine rankings, and the consistent release of content can serve as a continuous source of interested consumers.
Content Marketing: The Main Sell
Content marketing is an effective strategy to interact with consumers and introduce them to your business’s brand. By providing consumers with value before they even visit your store, you are building positive relationships and connections to your brand, resulting in long-lasting customer loyalty and brand equity for your business.
Undeniable Tricks To Help You Manage and Benefit from Negative Reviews
You’ve taken the (necessary) leap to jump feet first into the ocean of digital platforms, competitors, and customers. It is, after all, sink or swim when it comes to owning a business — but are the waters full of sharks? Yes. But it’s full of sharks for all businesses — not just yours.
You’re talking online. Your digital footprint proves that! Your competitors are talking, your customers, and your employees are all throwing in their two cents online.
Do you know how you know?
Simple: reviews. Yup, both positive AND negative. The first trick to managing them isn’t a trick at all, it’s a proven practice — respond, to both positive and negative. This way you’ll be able to better control the conversation — otherwise, especially with negative reviews, the public that is hiding behind a keyboard has the conversational upper hand.
No business owner should want that or let that happen.
So what’s the deal with negative reviews? What are the best practices? Who knows — there’s no definitive rule book. You know what there is, though? Data to back up the following tips and tricks to manage and even benefit from negative reviews.
Believe it or not, the same premise applies to negative review response as it does to positive reviews. How you respond to a negative review impacts not only the reviewer, but all the sets of eyes (and attitudes and customer actions) that come afterward.
Seeing a business handle a particularly challenging review online suggests that the business as a whole is proud of their business, their products, and their services. It also proves, undeniably, that you’re willing to go the extra mile to maintain not only your reputation, but that your brand truly cares about its customers.
4 Proven Steps To Manage Negative Reviews Like a Pro
Make potential clients see the light with these four steps:
- Get offline
- Keep it simple
How to respond to negative reviews using the above 4 business-saving tactics
Apologize and sympathize: The first step towards fixing a problem is acknowledging that one occurred. Regardless of what happened, a simple apology and sympathy for your customer’s experience goes a long way.
Promote : So the famous crab cakes weren’t up to par the day this particular customer visited. If they’re what you are known for, why not reiterate that? “Our crab cakes are usually a hit, we’re sorry to hear that they weren’t up to par when you visited!”
Move the conversation offline: Don’t open a can of worms. Keep the lid on tight by offering the reviewer the chance to reach out via phone, email or both.
Keep it simple: Avoid specifics and don’t ask questions. Those conversations are much better served in a space away from the prying public.
One last pro tip/trick: Leave your business name, location and category out of this. You don’t want your negative reviews showing up in search!
You Reclaimed the Conversation, Now Benefit From It
Being the stellar marketer/business owner that you are, you followed the above 4 steps. And now that you’ve responded and stoped crying yourself to sleep every night because of a negative review/mention, it’s time to use the situation to your advantage.
Awesome, but how?
It’s tempting to creep over to the dark side, but now that the process for turning things around is gaining some momentum, it’s time to do the following:
Understand that negative reviews aren’t the revenue destroyer that you think they are. In fact, less than half of polled consumers say they’d stay away from a business because of a negative review.
Additionally, consumers actually don’t mind a full spectrum of review sentiments. Consumers who have the opportunity to read the good, the bad, and the ugly feel better informed during their decision-making processes.
3 Marketing Wins from What Seemed Like a Marketing Fail
Let’s let Harry Truman chime in (who knew Harry Truman had the insight of a modern digital marketer!?):
A pessimist is one who makes difficulties of his opportunities and an optimist is one who makes opportunities of his difficulties.
So, whether you’re a glass is half empty person or a glass is half full person — the perceived set back of a negative review needs to be redefined in your mind:
The facts about what negative reviews can positively do for your business:
- They alert you to problems you weren’t aware of, so you can fix/improve them.
- They give you an opportunity to improve brand sentiment by how and when you respond.
- They can provide a search engine optimization (SEO) bump, since they add legitimacy (and trust and credibility) to your business.
When you have a negative review, it’s better to do what we’ve outlined above — but know that every failure is an opportunity — do you think Thomas Edison didn’t fail thousands of times? Amazon? Apple?
Just like we use data, as marketers, to improve our marketing campaigns, that’s all a negative review is: data for you to either use to your advantage or it’s wasted data that can hurt in the long run if you don’t wield it like a sword to cut through the noise and (instead) send the right signals — to your customers, your potential customers, and the search engines.
And don’t ignore positive reviews. They need love (responses) too! Have you seen our Ultimate Cheat Sheet for Responding to Positive Reviews?