4 Painless Ways to Encourage Online Reviews

Online business reviews can influence internet search engine results. This is crucial for small business owners wanting to increase local seo results. Search engines such as Google take into account how many times your business is mentioned in reviews. Your business getting alot of mentions usuually translates into appearing higher in search results than a business that isn’t reviewed  often. Research suggests that consumers generally trust peer recommendations more than they trust advertising.

A recent Nelson survey found that of 25,000 internet consumers from 50 countries 90% trusted recommendations from people they know, while 70% trusted consumer opinions posted online.

I’m not going to lie. Getting reviews is not always easy. In fact, I find it to be challenging for a number or reasons. 1.) Who has the time to find your review site, compose a review, and get it posted quickly? 2.) Some of your clients no doubt love you and your product but they just aren’t skilled writers. 3.) Transparency is always an issue. Have you ever read an online business review that just felt fake?  False reviews are tacky and will actually hurt your seo results.

That being said, here are 4 painless ways to encourage online reviews for your business:

  1. Encourage your customers to leave ratings and reviews of your business if they are satisfied with your work. Send them a simple email after a service is rendered, give them a flyer at checkout, a call to action on your website or a phone call or  direct text message. Don’t be shy. You’ve done a wonderful job. Asking for an endorsement is fine, as long as it is authentic.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Don’t miss our updates! Subscribe here.
  2. Provide customers with a variety of sites to post reviews about you. For example, if you are asking for a review via email, send the appropriate links in the body of your message so that they can easily click on the site and get typing directly.  Instead of just providing links at the bottom of your email signature, why not kindly encourage and/or ask for a review? make this the SUBJECT OF YOUR EMAIL, not an afterthought or closing comment.
  3. Respond to Reviews. The Good. The Bad. And The Ugly. Be proactive about responding to all reviews. Say thank you. Say you’re sorry. Say something! If the comment is a postive one, thank the customer for their feedback and encourage them (by name if appropriate) to use your services again. If the post is negative, explain that you appreciate their honesty and ask the customer to get in contact with you about their concerns so you can address their problems directly. And do that. I love seeing when business owners show the negative posts and their susbsequent  tactful replies.  Through your replies, customers can get to know you  as an individual, not just ‘business x.’ Transparency and authenticity are gold in the business world.
  4. Never ever post false reviews. False reviews are eventually discovered. Because of their obvious generic transparency, you risk the chance of losing visibility in search engines. Worse yet, the visibility you do get will not be the kind you want. Exercise patience and be consistent with points 1-3 and eventually you will build a strong  business online review sampling.

Here’s to your success!

Audrey Gotto- Fina Promos

 

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Linking Your Way to SEO Success

Links from your website to other related websites, and vice versa, play a role in your business’ local SEO visibility, because they help to establish the authenticity and credibility of your business. Without appearing “spammy” use these 5 action items in your website link strategy:

  • Consistently share links to your website via your Facebook, Twitter and other social media channels, and encourage others to pass along the information as well. Speaking of links; Here’s a few of ours: Fina Promos Website  FinaPromos Facebook Page  I find myself struggling with this at times. But really, the next time you are sending off an email try and take a few seconds and include a link to a special blog post or article from one of your social sites or website that would help, entertain or amuse your recipients.
  • Include links to your website in email newsletters and other updates to customers. Posting a link back to your website on your LinkedIn and GooglePlus Page updates/posts can greatly increase your search engine optimization efforts. Again, without being a self-serving spammer, try to include your website link if it would actually be helpful to your associates or readers.                                                                             breastcancergirls
  • Host or sponsor local events, or provide discounts for neighborhood students, and then encourage neighborhood businesses, the local chamber of commerce, charity organizations and other partners to link to your website when talking about those activities. And don’t forget to return the favor.
  • Create a local directory of community resources including your favorite nearby restaurants, stores and cultural attractions, to provide an opportunity for you to link out to others (and for them to return the favor). Even consider starting a blog where you can talk about your business’ neighborhood and link to businesses and places of interest.
  • However, be sure that your link strategy is authentic in that you know who you are linking to and that they have relevance to your business. Also, do not create link schemes like spamming your business’ domain name on websites, forums or blog comments.

Here’s to your success!

Audrey Gotto

How Social Media Helps SEO Rankings

Social media sites play a key role in local business’ visibility in search results. When a potential or current client Googles your business, (and believe me they will before deciding to do business with you) ideally, your business website should appear first, followed by social sites. The more proactive your social media strategy, the higher likelihood your pages will attract followers- and in turn, appear within search. Give it a try. Google your name or company name. Does your website appear first? Where do your social sites appear and in what order? I tried this with my company name – Fina Promos My website appears first followed by Fina Promos Google Plus Page, Fina Promos Facebook Page, Fina Promos LinkedIn Page, Fina Promos Pinterest,  My You Tube Page and finally my blog.

What can you (or you social media marketing partner) do to help your local (organic) SEO rankings? In two words- Engage Regularly!  Here are 5 action steps you can take to regularly engage with your online audience:

  • Develop a strong social media strategy  that includes engagement and follower goals like the one in this inforgraphic from Social Media Online Classes

 

SOCIAL-MEDIA-STRATEGY-Fina-Promos

  • Post updates on your new products or services offered. Can you feature a “product of the day, week, or month”  and highlight the benefits?
  • Create promotions or giveaways that require engagement from your audience. Everyone loves a chance to win a promotional product, branded gift or premium. Gift cards also make great promotions since they are easy to distribute and less bulky than larger gifts.  Give away a chance to win your product or service for free if this is possible
  • Highlight stories of relevence to your customers. Who is your target audience and what are their concerns? Posting about things happening in your city or town  puts you on the map with local rankings!
  • Engage on social media by responding to those reaching out to you via your social sites with questions or feedback on their orders.

I hope these few tips help  you see good results with your visibility online.

All my best,

Audrey Gotto-Fina Promos

 

 

Why Social Media Marketing is Still King in 2016

via SEO In 2016: What It Means For Your Content Strategy.

I love precise, easy-to-understand  articles that help me stategize my marketing efforts for my small business. To be honest, I do not often find them in the vast sea of “content articles” on the web. However, this morning I read an article written by Jessy Smulski, contributing author for Business2Community that I feel is share worthy. Click on the link at the top of the page to read the full article.

So, research shows us that these four factors are important aspects for SEO in 2016.

  1. Mobile Browsing is Boss.  Stop procrastinating on this. Get your website on par.
  2. Social is Increasingly Important. Yep. Stop thinking Facebook is a waste of your marketing time.
  3. Voice Search is a Game-Changer. People talk to their phones to find you.
  4. “Rich Answers” Are Stealing Thunder. Write your content intelligently.                                                                                                                                                                                                       SEO infographic from LeapFroggr                                   SEOInfographic

5 Ways to Optimize Your Business Listings

Twitter Tips, Social Media Marketing

Achieving effective local search engine optimization for your business is like striking gold. In my last blogpost,  I suggested that we begin with properly optimiizing information that appears on your business website. Read article  Today, we will discuss an issue often overlooked by small business owners-How your business appears on websites and business listings.

One of the most effective ways to boost local SEO is to be consistent with your business listing information. Google and other search engines LOVE consistency. When your business is not listed, or worse yet, the information listed is incomplete or inaccurate, this can negatively effect your placements in search results. Here are 5 tips to help optimize your business listings:

  1. Search local listings websites like Facebook, Yelp, GooglePlus, YP, Yellowbook and TripAdvisor to be sure your business is actually listed. If not, be sure to claim those listings, and be consistent and acurate with your business name, phone number and address. If your business is listed as located on 6th St., use 6th St consistently, NOT Sixth Street. Make changes as neccessary and delete duplicate pages.
  2. Include videos, photos, your website URL and any other key information to make your listings attractive, interactive and informative. I get reaaly annoyed seeing the unprofessional looking “blue silhoette” in place of a photo or logo. Really. COMPLETE the listing.
  3.  Categorize your business properly. This greatly aids in properly optimizing your business website. If you happen to have relevant key words in your business name that helps. For example my company sells promo products. I choose the company name Fina Promos for that reason, and the domain name of finapromos.net
  4. Work with a “listings provider” such as Moz.com to automate the process for all local sites. Usually the price for this service is reasonable and worth your small investment in dollars compared to your large investment in time to care for this manually.
  5. Does your business have more than one location? Create a seperate listing for each location on your website to boost visibility of your brand and each of your stores or offices.

Here’s to your success!

Audrey Gotto

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4 Ways to Optimize Your Website

Do you own or manage a local small business? If so, you’re no doubt painfully aware of the need for strong  local SEO (search engine optimization) success.  Just like your computer is the new typewriter; Local search engine optimization is the new Yellow Pages.  If you want to be found online, you must be seen online. Your website is your most important and valuable online assest, so ensure that it is properly optimized to appear high within search results. Let’s assume you do not have thousands of dollars to spend on  SEO AdWords. Here are 4 action items to boost your local SEO.

  1. Choose a domain name that reflects your business location and business typeFor example, Joe’s Lawncare located in Pittsburgh, PA  could use the domain “joeslawncarepittsburgh.com” which says it all.                   
  2. Add key words on page titles that identify with your business, its products and services and its location.            
  3. Be sure to add your business name, phone number, address and social media links on EACH INDIVIDUAL PAGE of your website, not just your homepage.                    
  4. In your website copy, be sure to mention not only your products and services, but include as much as possible about your local area. This associates your business with the nearby vicinity. Remember, we are after LOCAL optimization here. Include if possible, what sports teams plays in your city, what section of town you’re in, what special place of interest is just around the corner. Not only will this added information improve your website copy for customers, it will also boost your search visibility as a local business. 

My next post will discuss how to utilize local business listings to boost SEO success.

Here’s to your success!

Audrey Gotto

Fina Promos Website

                                                                                               

The Impact of The ” Joe-Cool Factor” On Your Brand Image

As a kid, I loved the Peanuts characters created by Charles M. Schulz. In particular, my favorite cartoon character was Snoopy. He was the original cool and trendy dude. Joe Cool was my hero. His trademark round sunglasses and “Joe Cool” turtleneck sweater (imprinted with his name, no less!) continues to be a timeless fashion statement. With his little buddy Woodstock following in tow, he projected the silent (Literally, silent. He was a character that did not speak) message that if you were to be seen with him, you must project your own trendy coolness.

What does Snoopy teach us about building our brand image? – That it’s hard to overstate the power of cool! When a product has that cool factor, you appreciate it, tell your friends about it and want to associate yourself with it. Whether that comes from a killer feature, a unique design, or a striking aesthetic, branded products that wow the recipient will give your business a trendy brand image.

So, How can your business and brand be more like Joe Cool? How do you wow your audience? One easy way is to incorporate the latest retail product trends into your marketing programs and company events. When choosing premium customer or employee gifts, promotional items, or even apparel branded with your logo, pick (appropriate) branded products that say “trendy’ like a Bluetooth Activity Band. Doing so will allow you to take advantage of an already hot trend.. 

Fina Promos Bluetooth Activity Band

Wearable technology is huge right now in the consumer market. I was meeting with a client last week who was wearing one of these and I have to admit that I felt a bit left out of the cool factor. After all, I am in the branding business. I SHOULD have the latest trendy tech products items, right?! My point is to put the latest consumer trends to work for you and your marketing brand.  Whatever promotional item you decide to align your brand with, be sure it is associated with quality, popularity, and a positive emotion.

Visit our promotional products catalog pages for the latest trends in branded products or tap on image for more products that project the “Joe Cool” factor!

See 12 More Trending Promotional Product Ideas!

13 product ideas of what’s cool and trending right now.