Reputation Management & SEO

The internet has allowed businesses to connect with more people and to increase interaction with their client base. This increased interaction can come at a cost should a client/customer become dissatisfied with your service. Now more than ever, a disgruntled customer, with a few clicks of a button, may leave a scathing review online that can affect your bottom line for years to come. All is not lost, however, as it can be managed.

Every successful business strives to make each connection a successful one, but as the saying goes, you cannot please everyone all the time. Occasionally something will go awry, and a client/customer will not get the best possible service from your company; some may seek “payback” via various online means. This can be done in a myriad of ways, and below is the best way to deal with them should they occur.

1/ Social Media Feedback

It is no secret that social media allows customers and businesses to interact with each other like never before, but this can backfire if you get a disgruntled customer and the situation is not handled correctly. Often they will post a bad review via your social media account, and your first reaction might be to delete it if possible; this, however, is often not the best course of action. Use the negative review as feedback, work out where you went wrong, and work through the issues with the client to resolve the situation. The client has used a public domain to voice a complaint, so use the same domain to resolve the issue. Most people understand that mistakes happen, and if you are actively showing that you are willing to work through issues with clients, it actually gives more strength to all of your positive reviews,  as you are showing that you are transparent and up front. Social Media Management isn’t just about posting content, but managing interaction quickly and efficiently.

2/ Reviews on Third Party Sites

Third  party sites that allow customers to review businesses and services are in the most part an excellent way to get verification and trust for your online business;  the downside is, it’s also easy for customers to place bad reviews should they become disgruntled. The main issue is that these sites often rank highly and can impact in your SERP result when people are searching for your services. Like social media, your first step should be to engage with the customer to resolve the issue. If a customer sees a bad review and it’s noted that you resolved the issue, it can actually work to your benefit.

Of course not every situation can be resolved, and the review needs to be managed  through Reputation Management SEO. The aim is to promote positive reviews over any negative reviews, to push the bad reviews off the front page of search results;  you can’t make them disappear completely, but you can manage it so it as little to no effect on your ongoing business.  Hiring an SEO consultant, to advise and implement such a campaign, means you need not fear your customers should things not go according to plan.

Getting the Most SEO Impact from your Blog

Creating a website and launching it is just the first step in your website’s evolution. To be a success, it must rank highly in its respective niche, and a great way to help your website achieve this is by having an onsite blog. A blog is a great way to add content, keep your visitors informed, and also shows Google that your site is active and providing new experiences and information to your viewers – helping push your site up the ranks. Below are a few tips for setting up your blog and how to get the best results from it…

1/ Unique content – All content on a blog should be unique to the blog and not copied from other sources. If using quotes, refrain from posting large chunks, and keep to smaller snippets to get your point across. If linking to outside sites, make sure the link opens a new tab rather than leading away from your site, and make sure it is a no-follow link.

2/ Onsite versus Offsite blog – your main aim is to make your site an authority in the niche and give relevant information to your visitors, so to get the most out of any blog it should be hosted onsite and integrated within the site itself. You will get the most benefit from the blog content being posted directly on your URL, rather than being posted on an outside blog with a few links leading to your site. This is not to say outside blogs do not have their place, but if deciding between the two, an onsite blog is your priority.

3/ Proper navigation – put simply the site should allow visitors to browse the blog itself but also lead back to the main part of the website. The way our blog is setup is a good example of a well designed blog; it enables visitors to view its content but also navigates to the main part of the website if they so desire. The top of the blog is the menu navigation for the whole website, allowing visitors, once they have viewed our blog post, to find out more about our services. Should they wish to read more blogs they can browse through the recent posts on the right or in the archives.  Also, for added integration, use hyperlinks to other parts of your site if applicable; for example, we have linked Blogging & Content Writing Services to our main site should the reader want to enquire about our services.

4/ Frequency and blog length -The more your post the better the outcome, but obviously you do not have unlimited time, so aim for at least once a week. Keep the post to around 500 words, as too many can cause reader fatigue and you might lose your audience. If the topic you’re blogging about requires more than 500 words, consider covering the topic over several posts.

5/ Promotion – Once you post the blog on your site, let your clients know about the post via Social Media, ie Facebook, Twitter, Google + & Linked In etc. It is no use writing great content if no one knows about it.

This is obviously just a brief introduction to making the most out of your website’s blog; for more in-depth knowledge and advice contact your local SEO specialist.

Website Hosting and its importance for SEO

When a company launches a website, they spend weeks, months or even years planning how it will look, etc, but often give little thought to where it will be hosted. The foundation of anything is often even more important than what lies above, and a website is no exception. Looking at all of the available possibilities, and taking time to analyse possible website hosting solutions, can help your site not only have a trouble-free launch, but also be an important component in its future success.

1/ Use Self-source Hosting or Web Designer Hosting?

Often a web development company will offer hosting as part of the design process and, while it allows for easy integration, there can be pitfalls. Just because you use a web development company for initial design and launch, does not mean you will use them forever, and having your site hosted on their server can cause issues down the track should you change web design companies. Your web site does not have to be hosted on a particular server, so by sourcing hosting yourself, you retain autonomy of the site should the relationship sour, or you just want a change of web designers for any reason. In truth, your web developer will just be renting a server from a server farm, the same as you would be doing … so cut out the middle man and save any potential issues moving into the future.

2/ Server Speed & Stability

Not all hosting solutions are the same, and having a slow solution can severely hamper a site’s growth. When people source server hosting, they often look purely at price – which is a mistake. Not all solutions are the same, so each should be reviewed individually across various platforms. Most start-ups will look at shared server, which means you are sharing a server with other sites. Check how many sites you are sharing with? What is the average up-time of the server? Do some research into the proposed hosting solution in the form of looking for reviews etc … a bad solution will often leave a trail of disgruntled users – you just need to look for them.

Server speed and stability are attributes Google looks at when ranking sites. A poorly performing or slow site will provide a poor user experience and this affect your ranks as Google will favour sites with good user experiences.

3/ Location of Server.

This is often an over looked facet in server hosting selection, but one that can be very important. In theory you can host your site on any server in the world, but often using a server hosting in the region your website is targeting is the best option. There are two main reasons for this. Firstly, speed and reliability. The closer the server is to your potential client base,the faster it will load, and the fewer hoops it needs to jump through to deliver the site to the end user … fewer hoops means less possibility of a break in the chain, causing your site  to load more slowly or not at all.

The second reason has to do with support. Websites are hosted on servers which, no matter how reliable, like all pieces of hardware can fail. Being able to contact your host during peak business hours, should the site go down, can save you lots in terms of lost revenue. Using our company as an example, we are an SEO agency based in Sydney, and while we offer our services worldwide, we still use a Sydney-based hosting company for quick support during business hours, should our site have any issues.

Getting the right foundation for your site is the first process to building a successful website but one that is often overlooked. Making the right decision early can save you a lot of time and money going forward and give your website the best launch pad for success.