In today’s business environment, positive online reviews are necessary for success. Statistics have shown, over and over, that customers are hesitant to do business with any company sporting an abundance of negative online reviews; at the same time, though, consumers tend not to trust businesses that have no online reviews at all. On top of that, online reviews—whether positive or negative—can be helpful to any brand’s SEO endeavors. The bottom line: If your company does not have some positive online reviews posted to the Web, with more being added all the time, it’s time to get busy!
Easier said than done, perhaps? In a sense, it is; after all, you cannot force people to leave you positive online reviews, and penning fake ones will lead you into a world of hurt. With that said, there are a few ways in which companies can build up their positive review listings—including some helpful strategies noted in this recent article.
Offering Remarkable Experiences
The first, most profound point made in the article is that there is a world of difference between what your company offers its clients, and what it says it offers its clients. You can market your company as consumer-friendly and helpful, but this is not what motivates clients and consumers to leave you positive feedback. To earn positive reviews, you need to provide a consumer experience that your clients find to be remarkable—literally. The consumer experience needs to offer something worth remarking about.
A related point is that your business is probably not going to win rave reviews simply by chasing scores. If your entire focus is just on driving up your Yelp score, you’re not going to get far. It’s more important to look at the big picture and to think long-term. What can you do to ensure that your company is pleasing its clients and keeping them happy—not just now, but on an ongoing basis?
It All Starts with Training
A remarkable consumer experience usually begins with your own staff. Think about it this way: How much of your pleasure or displeasure with a given business is tied to your experience with that company’s customer service team? A friendly and knowledgeable staff is often what stands between a positive review, and a negative one—or perhaps just no review at all. As such, it’s important to speak with your team members about the importance of delivering a remarkable consumer experience, and to let them know what they can do to bring in good reviews.
Going through all of these efforts to provide a remarkable customer experience is necessary, though not always enough to win the reviews that you need. As such, it is prudent to go a step further and simply ask your clients and customers to furnish you with some good reviews. Train your staff members to ask for reviews. Post links to your review sites on your company website, on your invoices, and on your receipts. The bottom line is that, if you want to win those positive reviews, you’re going to need to go out of your way to let your customers know it!
Did Google’s “Penguin” update from last year leave you scrambling, picking up the pieces of an all-but-shattered online presence? For many SEO and online reputation management pros, the answer is yes—which means, of course, that there has been much dread leading up to the advent of Penguin 2.0. And as it turns out, that dread is probably not misplaced; the latest big Google change-up is allegedly coming our way any week now, and it promises to be epic.
In fact, Google Search engineer Matt Cutts has said that Penguin 2.0 will have an even greater, “deeper” impact than the first Penguin. For online reputation management pros, that sounds a bit daunting, especially since Google is not revealing exactly what the new algorithmic update will do. With that said, there are some educated guesses that can be made, and some important ways for online reputation management pros to protect themselves from Penguin’s wrath.
Penguin 2.0 at a Glance
While Google has not revealed specifically what Penguin 2.0 will do, it has certainly offered some hints. The search engine has made it fairly clear that it plans to continue penalizing sites that try to “game” the system, specifically focusing on link farms and other illicit link activity. Indeed, within the search community, it is widely anticipated that the new Penguin will be all about devaluing link spam.
How to Prepare for Penguin 2.0
For online reputation management professionals, there are a few implications here, three specific ways to guard against further Penguin tumult; all of them, of course, pertain to backlinks, sure to be Penguin’s focus.
Ready for Penguin?
The long and short of it is that a new incarnation of Penguin is coming soon, and if Google’s hype is to be believed, this new algorithmic update promises to be the most significant in Internet history. This is something online reputation management professionals will want to prepare for as best as possible. Start with these basic tips for overhauling your linking activities, and you’ll be well on your way to Penguin-proofing your ORM endeavors.
The rise of mobile technology has brought with it many benefits, but also many risks and concerns—especially for parents. Surely one of the biggest fears that any parent has, regarding a child’s use of digital technology, is the fear of sexting. Unfortunately, the transmission of sexually explicit images has become a very real problem for teens across the country, and it has become closely intertwined with instances of cyberbullying. Naturally, many parents feel powerless to protect their kids from the temptation of sexting—but by understanding this phenomenon, parents can do everything possible to keep their kids on the straight and narrow.
Why Kids Resort to Sexting
First of all, it is crucial to address the question of why kids begin sexting in the first place. There are several basic causes:
Some further points to ponder: Girls are more likely to send sexually explicit photos than boys, through not by much. Moreover, about 80 percent of teens in the U.S, say that they believe sexting is morally wrong—yet many of those same teens do it anyway.
Sexting and Online Reputation Management
There are plenty of reasons why parents should seek to prevent their kids from sexting, and one of the main ones is that it can lead to serious online reputation management problems down the road. Remember that if these explicit photos are captured, stored, saved to Facebook, or broadcast through any other online means, they’re more or less going to be on the Internet forever. There are ways to suppress these images, but no way to fully remove them from the Web—meaning the best response to sexting is to stop it before it even begins.
What Parents Can Do
For parents worried about sexting and online reputation management, and zealous to spare their kids from cyberbullying, there are a few basic tips to consider.
The bottom line is that having an open dialogue about technology, and making sure your kids know where you stand on sexting, is a great way to make online reputation management a family priority.
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