What Is A CDN And Why You Should Use One

What And Why Your Company Website Needs A CDN

You may or may not have heard of CDNs before. There are a lot of important parts to your website, especially if it’s the life blood of your business. However, a CDN can be considered an important external part of your site. In this short article we will cover more on what and why you should be using one.

What is a CDN and why your company website needs one

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What is a CDN

CDN – it stands for Content Delivery Network. What it actually amounts to is other servers across the web that contain your website and deliver your site content to a user remotely closer to the user that your website is hosted on. That was a little confusing 🙂 Here is a better definition from Webopedia by Vangie Beal:

A content delivery network (CDN) is a system of distributed servers (network) that deliver webpages and other Web content to a user based on the geographic locations of the user, the origin of the webpage and a content delivery server.

This service is effective in speeding the delivery of content of websites with high traffic and websites that have global reach. The closer the CDN server is to the user geographically, the faster the content will be delivered to the user. CDNs also provide protection from large surges in traffic.

Read The Full Definition Here

Her first sentence explains it better than we did, with less words. We wanted to include the second paragraph as well because this is another great advantage of using a CDN – and that is speed and security.

By now you should now that how fast your website loads is not only a ranking factor, but better for the end user also. Your customers will not wait 7 to 10 seconds for your website to load. While proper construction of your website has the biggest effect on site speed, a CDN will help improve speed even more.

Smart Insights did an article that goes more indepth about CDNs and the impact of site speed:

Speed

Remember, if you ignore speed, you will be ignored… Speed is a ranking factor for Google.

If it takes time for Google to crawl your content, you need to re-work on the speed. Speed makes a huge difference when it comes to page loads. If you are slow, users will engage less with you.

Statistics from recent studies indicate that one in four people discontinue browsing a web page if it takes more than three seconds to load…
Seriously, this is something to be worked on.

Content that loads more slowly will get fewer visits.

Reports indicate that mobile devices lag behind in customer engagement metrics due to low speed. Nearly 53% of mobile site visits are abandoned if pages stretch beyond 3 seconds to load. Wait time not only affects performance metrics, but it can be costly for the companies too.

Amazon recently revealed that an extra second in loading its content page will cost the company close to 1.6 billion in sales. With more than 244 million active users, Amazon constantly tries to optimise its presence with a special focus to reduce the load time of its content.

Be it games, software, advertisements, mobile or website content, ecommerce etc., the speed of delivery marks success. CDNs play a huge role in achieving this.

Read The Full Article “How to use CDNs to increase your site speed by 200%

We wanted to give you that snippet just in case you didn’t believe us about how important speed is to your site. Those are crazy numbers from Amazon and how much just ONE second of extra load time cost the company 1.6 BILLION! Granted, you are probably not running a site as large as Amazon, but you should take into consideration the same things they do for a successful online presence.

CDNs help with Website Security

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CDNs For Website Security

This is a subject that we are adamant about, Site security. Hackers can do a lot of damage whether they are gaining access to your site or DDoS attacks.

How it helps with security. David Attard wrote on SitePoint about some statistics and how your site will be safer by using a CDN:

Your Website Will be Safer with a CDN

The next reason why a CDN is essential for your website is security.

Did you know that more than 51% of the web’s traffic actually comes from bots rather than humans?

When I first saw this report, I was completely taken aback: (See Info Graphic)

The even scarier statistic from the above is that 29% of web traffic comes from malicious bots.

That means your website is constantly under a deluge of bad bot traffic. If you’ve ever taken a look at analytics data, or used a security plugin like WordFence, you’re already aware of this fact.

These bots are constantly probing your site for vulnerabilities. If you slip slightly in your security efforts, if you have not chosen a good WordPress host, or if you miss a WordPress security update or a plugin update, rest assured your site will soon be suffering the consequences.

Most CDNs are able to identify and block bad bots rapidly, making your site safer when plugged into a CDN. The collective knowledge gained by the network can be used to prevent attacks on your own sites.

Read “4 Reasons to Use a CDN for WordPress

Good article from David. He also gives the same reason earlier in his article that it helps increase speed. He also goes on to talk more about DDoS attacks. DDoS stands for “distributed denial of service”.

The way we like to explain DDoS goes like this. Let’s say you actually have a brick and mortar store. Then you have a competitor that doesn’t like you. This competitor pays a bunch of people to stand outside in front of the door, not allowing customers to get in. This is the basic premise of a DDoS attack. A bunch of computers or servers all going to your site at once. Then your regular customers can’t access your site because your hosting server is overwhelmed by the DDoS attack. A CDN will help eliminate this threat.

Summing It Up

If you didn’t know what a CDN is, you do now, as well as why you should be using one. Speed and security are the 2 biggest in our opinion. You can either setup a free account with someone like CloudFlare, or get a paid account with someone such as Amazon CloudFront, or a host of others. We have everyone of our clients on a CDN.

For more on how we build and design websites, visit our site. Until next time 🙂

What Is A CDN And Why You Should Use One was
originally published to MD Internet Marketing Solutions
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Search Engine Optimization Tips For Small Businesses

What Does It Take To Rank In 2017?

We get this question all the time. In reality, there are a lot of variables that come into play, and what it will take to get your site highly visible in search results will vary depending on your location and niche. However, there are a few things that you MUST do to establish a foot print on the web and give your site an edge.

How To Get Good Rankings With Local SEO

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SEO has been around a long time, and what SEO involves has changed dramatically over the years. It is still one of the best ways to get more traffic to your site, and ultimately grow your business.

When most people think of SEO, the first thing that comes to mind is backlinks. While backlinks are still the driving force of the web, there are a lot of other factors the search engine bots take into consideration now as well. They are looking at engagement on your posts, dwell time on your site, page load time and many other factors.

Tony Messer wrote an article on Pickaweb last week where he explains and gives an exhaustive list of what it takes to get started with small business local seo:

Local Listings – How To Setup and Optimise

Before you do anything, you need to set up your main local listings. These are Google My Business, Bing Place for Business and Yahoo Local.

These are really important and you don’t need any special skills to do this. The only thing you need to do is to make sure you optimise your listing – filling all the details available, not just the basics like address and map. Include a full description using keywords that people are likely to search on.

Also add photos and videos – nothing flash, you just need to put in a little more effort than your competitors.

Start Getting Local Reviews

We recently did some analysis of top performing local websites and one of the key differences between the Best in Class and the Industry Average was the number of Google Reviews.

Check the local search results and you’ll see what I mean. The top sites get more reviews. It’s as simple as that.

And even simpler is getting reviews. You just need to ask and direct people to your Google listing. Even better is that you probably have loads of customers who would be happy to leave a 5 star review for you.

But don’t go crazy getting 100 reviews in a week – that looks unnatural and risks getting your site penalized by Google.

Steady as she goes is the way to think. Just get in the habit of getting reviews and if you add several each month then you will be absolutely fine.

Name, Address And Phone (NAP) Citations

There are loads of reputable local listing websites that you can list your website in. Google trusts these sites and getting listed is super easy.

They allow you to list your business with your Name, Address and Phone (hence NAP) details. The majority offer a free listing and there will usually be an enhanced, chargeable service. The main thing is to get listed and get a link back to your site.

As with reviews, nice and steady. Just pick up a few NAP Citations each month – 10 or 20 will be fine and you’ll see your rankings improve.

Read Tony’s Full Article “The Definitive Guide To Local SEO

Tony gives a ton of great information in that article. We really love his infographic that he has on the page and highly suggest that if you are attempting SEO on  your own that you check it out and follow it! Everything he recommends in his post, we recommend, and implement for everyone of our customers as well. Mr. Messer, if you see this – well done on the article!

We must add that depending on your niche and location, a lot more may be required to get, and maintain good rankings in search results. If your business is located in a major city, or very competitive, there will be a lot more involved. In this case one of the best things you can do is really dive deep into your site as to how it functions and is structured. This can be very “geeky” and too technical for some business owners.

Using Schema On Your Website

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Search Optimization With Schema

One of the components that we see gaining strength in search results is the use of Schema, or Structured Data. Aleyda Solis wrote an article on Search Engine Land that give a good explanation of why your company should be using Schema:

Structured data usage & optimization

Google SERPs haven’t been the traditional “10 blue links” for a long time, thanks to universal search results’ images, videos and local packs; however, the evolution took the next step with the launch and ongoing expansion of features like rich snippets, rich cards, knowledge panels and answer boxes. These features, according to SERP monitors like Mozcast and RankRanger, are now included in a non-trivial percentage of search results.

This shift means that attracting more clicks and visits through SEO efforts is now achieved not only through ranking well in organic listings but also by maximizing your site’s page visibility through these SERP features. In many cases, obtaining these display enhancements is a matter of correctly implementing structured data, as well as formatting and targeting your content to answer queries, where even modifiers can generate a change.

It has become critical to understand which of your popular and relevant queries can provide you more visibility through these various SERP features. By understanding which content has the opportunity to gain an enhanced display in SERPs, you can optimize that content accordingly with structured data and relevant formatting. You can identify these opportunities with search competition and keywords tools like SEMrush, Ahrefs and the Moz Keyword Explorer.

Once you identify which of your content you should format and optimize with structured data, you can use Google’s search gallery examples as a reference to do it and verify its implementation with the Structured Data Testing tool (as well as the Google Search Console’s Structured Data and Rich Cards reports).

Continue Reading Aleyda’s Article “5 must-do technical SEO audit items in 2017

She produced a great article with a lot of technical information that will make most people’s head spin that aren’t in the industry. However, she does give good reasons why your site should be using Schema. We would like to add that in our tests, adding Schema and structured data in the form of JSON-LD to your site can make a significant difference in how well your site ranks in search. This is because you are talking directly to the bot and telling it what your site is about without the bot having to try and figure out your site by the page content.

Summing It Up

SEO, rankings and getting visitors to your site has changed over the years, and continues to evolve. It is doable for some small business’ to take on their own search engine optimization, but will take a considerable amount of time from their daily schedule that could be spent instead focusing on daily operations. It will also involve a bit of a learning curve as well. Don’t let it scare you if you don’t have the budget to hire an outside firm. It is important to start creating a “foot print” on the web for your brand to compete in today’s online landscape.

As usual, if it’s too much for you to handle, or you don’t have the time, you can always contact us to handle your local seo at MDIMSolutions. You can also connect with our CEO on LinkedIn.

The following blog post Search Engine Optimization Tips For Small Businesses See more on: MD Internet Marketing Solutions Digital Marketing

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2 Easy Ways To Help Improve Brand Reputation

2 Cost Effective Ways To Establish Or Improve Your Brand Reputation

 

Your company’s brand reputation is extremely important to it’s success. In our last article we covered what Brand Reputation is. Here is something to think about – the lack of having any comments or reviews about your services or products can be just as detrimental as having bad reviews. In this short article we will give you 2 easy ways to start building a good reputation for your brand online.

2 Easy Ways To Help Improve Brand Reputation

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Blogging

Probably the easiest way to start building or improving your Brand is with one of the most over looked marketing strategies by small business owners. If you have a website you should most definitely be utilizing the power of the blog, writing articles for your potential customers and prospects to read. You can be your own sounding bullhorn for your services and/or products.

Best part of blogging is that it’s almost free. The only thing it will cost you, or someone on your team, is time. (Nobody has enough time in the day!)

ReputationDefenderBlog.com recently wrote a post that covers a few more good reasons that you should be using blog content:

Here are 6 ways a blog can help your company:

  • Be Your Customers’ Best Resource – Some people visiting your website know exactly what they want and are prepared to purchase right away. Others have questions. Maybe they already bought the product and want to know more about it. Maybe they have a future purchase in mind and want to educate themselves before they make a decision. If customers know they can find answers on your blog, it will keep them coming back to your site.
  • Boost Rankings – More people visiting your site will generate more traffic and this will improve your rankings with Google and other search engines. Getting your website at the top of the search result page for your brand is the goal of any ORM campaign and blogging will help accomplish this.
  • Increase Revenue – Every time someone clicks on your website is another chance to gain a new customer. New customers who keep coming back to read your blog are likely to turn into long term clients. This all adds up to a sustained increase in profits.

Continue reading “6 Ways A Blog Can Improve Your Company’s Reputation

Good advice from them, especially their point of creating sharable content. It’s a great idea to take your content and share it across as many Social Media platforms that your company has. Don’t forget, Google isn’t the only place you can reach your target audience.

So how do you go about setting up a blog? If you are using WordPress as your CMS (Content Management System), it’s super easy. Right inside the admin panel you can ad posts. A lot of other CMS platforms have this feature as well.

But what if you have an HTML site or something else that it’s not so easy to make posts on? Our suggestion is go ahead and set up either a free or paid WordPress.com site, or a BlogSpot site that you can get free as well with Google. With either of these options you can link back to your main website inside the posts, or direct them where to go or whatever call to action you want.

Video

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Yup, video. If you have read any of our posts about video, you know how much we love video marketing. It’s our go to source for content marketing and engaging people not only on the web, but also on your site. (Ya, we know, there are no videos on our new updated site, but trust us – THEY ARE COMING!)

There are two great different ways of using video that we like, and have been using for awhile, to help in brand management. The first video you can make is what is known as an “Explainer” video, that does just that – explain your services or products. The second type of video we have been using is “testimonial videos”. These can be a little more difficult to produce, but if you have really good persuasive powers, you can talk a past client into being in a video for you.

SmartInsights.com actually wrote about this, and we weren’t surprised at all when they recommended these 2 methods in their post. Here’s a snippet from their article where they wrote about another type:

Company Story Videos

Telling your brand’s story will help you create a strong connection with your viewers.

Behind every great brand there’s a great story, and your prospects want to know it. They want to know and understand your values as a company, and showing this with video is the best way to do it.

The trick here is to be authentic. Your customers won’t believe staged scenarios, or conversations that look scripted; and it’s incredibly important that you don’t tell made-up stories! Because your customers will find out, and it will shatter your credibility.

So, authenticity is the key. Share that unique, inspiring story of your brand, and show your prospects that you and your team share their values.

Read The Full Article “Generating Brand Trust with Video Content

We totally agree with the writer that you must be authentic when creating this type  of video. We would add that one of the biggest problems we see when companies create this type of video is over promoting, or bragging. If you start going on and on about how great your company is, or how many awards it has won is a problem. Most customers really don’t care about that and will quickly click off your video. What new customers want to know is how you have helped someone in the past, and how you can help them!

Summing It Up

There you have it. Whether or not there is nothing on the web about your Brand, or if you Brand is a little tarnished, you can start making it sparkle with these 2, relatively inexpensive ways to managing and promoting your Brand.

And as always, contact us at https://www.mdimsolutions.com/reputation-management for Brand Management services that your company needs 🙂

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2 Easy Ways To Help Improve Brand Reputation Find more on: MD Internet Marketing Solutions
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Why Your Business Needs To Hop On The Video Marketing Band Wagon

Is Your Company Utilizing Video To Market To The Masses?

Video is one of our favorite forms for bringing in new customers and keeping existing customers engaged. There are all kinds of crazy estimates about the percentages of which video will be the main platform of internet consumption by the year 2020. In this write up we will cover the reasons your company has to be using video NOW to keep up with demand and continue to grow your business.

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We have been firm believers in the power of video for years. 7 to be exact. While ranking factors and the process of getting videos ranked and viewed has changed, the fact that video consumption has not, and is continually growing.

Jordan Kasteler recently wrote a post on one of our favorite blogs – MarketingLand.com. We like what he made the title of the article – “It’s time for SMBs to go all in on social and mobile video”. We couldn’t agree more. In his article he writes:

Why video marketing is now a ‘must-do’

Sure, most of the marketing sphere is already well aware of the power associated with video content. Consumption and creation are at an all-time high, and according to an April Google-commissioned Nielsen study, YouTube reaches more adults 18+ during prime time than any cable network does.

But if Cisco’s projection that 82 percent of all consumer web traffic will be video-based by 2021 comes to fruition, it’s crystal-clear that the adoption of video has to be a matter of “when” and not “if” for SMBs.

We constantly hear the cry that the barrier of entry to video content is lower than ever for small businesses, which is indeed true. The wealth of video creation apps available continues to widen, while the popularity of live broadcasts, with their lower standards for production value, make it easier for scrappy SMB marketers to feel comfortable experimenting.

By now, we’re all familiar with the top channels available to both produce and distribute video. Through YouTube alone, there are plenty of opportunities for first-timers to test the waters, right? Then why are 39 percent of businesses still sleeping on video, despite visual content being heralded as the be-all, end-all of modern marketing?

Continue Reading His Article Here…

Jordan makes a lot of great points in his article. One of the most staggering statistics he gives is that on Mobile devices alone, YouTube reaches more Adults 18+ during prime time than any cable network does! That alone should be enough reason for some larger companies to stop putting so much money into TV ads and start making more use of online video.

We also agree with him that there is no reason that any company needs to be overly concerned or overwhelmed with just the though of making a video. It is extremely easy for any company to put out a quality video now. If your company is smaller and doesn’t have the budget to hire a professional video production company, there’s no reason you can’t do it yourself. There are plenty of online editing sites where you can edit your own video and make it look very professional.

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What Are The Components Of A Good Marketing Video?

Before you just “wing it” making your own video, you need to put in just a little thought first to make sure you are conveying the proper message and reaching or connecting with your target audience.

Eric Schumacher-Rasmussen wrote an article last Thursday on OnlineVideo.net that gives some good tips about the fundamentals of selling with video:

  1. Understand the video sales formula: Present a hook in the first 2 to 5 seconds, reveal the problem your product solves in the first 20 to 30 seconds, reveal the solution to the problem, introduce the solution for the first time, present solution benefits, and then offer credibility and a call-to-action—and use emotional triggers like shock or humor throughout the video. Conventional wisdom says you have 5 to 10 seconds to grab the audience’s attention, but Vest believes you have 1 or 2. He pointed to the Squatty Potty viral video that grabbed audience attention from the very first frame: a unicorn pooping rainbow ice cream.
  2. The product or service must connect to the audience and seem useful: Be sure to provide viewers with a clear answer to the question “Why should I buy this product?” Also, give your customers a compelling, easy-to-navigate experience around the video in the landing page, the mobile version, and the purchasing process.
  3. Broaden distribution and discoverability: Besides ads, how are people going to find your content? Are there fan pages for the product or company? Can you send your product to hundreds of influencers? Vest says VidPow typically contacts 100 publishers for each product it creates videos for, looking for as broad distribution as possible.

Continue Reading “7 Fundamentals to Help Brands Maximize Selling With Video

He gives some great advice for businesses that want to jump into video. At the end of his article we like the fact he stated that if you are not ready to implement all 7 factors, just start with what you can and then basically fill in the blanks later!

Something else that we feel we should add is that you don’t have to try and make a video go viral from the start, referring to Eric’s first point of a video that went viral because of a unicorn pooping rainbow ice cream. To get started you can just make a video with pictures of your work with before and after shots if you have a service type business, or multiple pictures of your products, and then voice over with a description about how your services or products can help solve your customers problems. Do not drone on about how great you are or how many awards you have received.

Take Action!

We briefly covered why your business needs to be using video, as well as covered a few points about how to structure your video. So get to it, don’t let your competition get ahead of you by getting on the video band wagon before you!

If you would like to learn more about our video marketing services, please feel free to visit our site to find out more 🙂

 

Why Your Business Needs To Hop On The Video Marketing Band Wagon is republished from www.MDIMSolutions.com

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What Are The Types Of Online Marketing?

The Different Types Of Internet Marketing

Digital marketing, online marketing, internet marketing. Ask 10 different people what it is and what it involves and you will get 10 varied answers. Still, it’s probably the most cost effective way with the best ROI for reaching the masses. There are multiple platforms for companies to reach their prospective audience across the web. In this short article we will cover a few of the most popular methods, along with our favorites.

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Which type of marketing is best for you will totally depend on your field of expertise and niche.

The main types, and our favorites that give our clients the best ROI include:

  • PPC – Pay Per Click:
    These are the very first results that are available when performing a search. When searching in Google you will be able to identify these results because they have a green box with “Ad” in it before the URL of the website. PPC can also be done on other search engines as well as social media.
  • SEO – Search Engine Optimization:
    This is where you or a digital marketing company works to get your website to the top of the organic searches. For instance, when performing a search for a service, the ads come first and then the “organic” or “natural” results. When searching in Google and Bing, this also includes the “Map Pack”. It’s important to note that the maps do not always appear and depend on the search query.
  • SSM – Social Media Marketing:
    Yes you can not only advertise on most social media platforms with paid ads, but also posting information about your company and services. It’s everything from Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, Snapchat and many others and includes of course one of our favorites for our customers – YouTube.
  • Content Marketing:
    This is a big one. By just having a blog on your website and producing quality content that is helpful and informational for your audience speaks volumes. This content can also be shared across your social media platforms to help keep up engagement. Then you can also combine content with SEO to get your posts found in the search engines to gain even more exposure.
  • Email Marketing:
    This form has been around for quite some time. While it has become harder to “cold email” people because of spam defenders, we do find that this is a great way to market to your existing customers for upcoming sales or new products, etc.

These five are our favorites. But like we said in the beginning, there are a lot more opinions out there about the different types of internet marketing and what they involve. In fact some marketers actually consider Tv and radio to be forms of digital marketing.

Other Forms Of Marketing Online

There are a few other methods to get your marketing message across. Another somewhat popular form is Affiliate marketing. Susanna Gebauer wrote an article that gives a good description of affiliate marketing:

Affiliate marketing is a performance-based type of digital marketing. In contrast to PPC advertising with affiliate marketing, the advertiser does not pay for traffic but rather for conversions. The rates are usually higher but the risk on the side of the advertiser are limited since he only pays for conversions.

Affiliate marketing is popular with bloggers and high-traffic website owners who make money from selling other people’s products to their audience.

Continue Reading “10 Types Of Digital Marketing You Should Know – And Consider For Your Marketing Strategy

We couldn’t have said it better. For most of our clientele, affiliate marketing really is viable. Susanna also backs up our point for email marketing and that it has to be for someone that is already on your list and not cold emails.  She also is a marketer that subscribes to Tv and Radio as methods of digital marketing.

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Another term and form that is gaining popularity is what is known as “Viral marketing”. It’s a bit more complex and requires a little more work, but can have excellent results and involves using video. Viral marketing is when your create a marketing campaign that is hilarious, about a “trending topic” or perhaps even weird, and then gets shared – and shared a lot! It usually causes a big spike in website traffic in a very short period of time.

Ivan Ivanov recently wrote on Business2Community about what makes up a viral campaign are current events, emotional uptick, the ‘WoW’-Factor, tackling a societal issue and using the correct social media platform.  He also goes on to ad:

When it comes down to the basics, every marketing campaign has the purpose of making an impression. This is especially true for viral stunts. The mistake marketing specialist often make is to think that to achieve viral success you need to go big or go home, but this is not always the case. Each successful viral marketing campaign shines in one of five categories. Some ads successfully tackle the latest current events, while others rely on the randomness of the ‘wow’ factor.

However, to dive deeper into the five pillars of viral marketing, we’ll take a look at some of the most recent viral marketing stunts that went completely astray. Without further adieu, here’s what you need to avoid when doing viral marketing stunts, as these five companies learned the hard way.

Finish Reading “What to Avoid When Doing Viral Marketing Stunts As These 5 Brands Learned The Hard Way

That’s a good read. We especially like his advice about before launching your attempt at a viral campaign to look at other company’s failures and triumphs.  It is important to note that your attempts to make a marketing campaign go viral isn’t always possible.

Summing It All Up

So there you have 7 types of online marketing. If you dig around the web you will find more explanations and types, but for the best bang for your marketing dollars, the first 5 we listed are tried and true methods for all businesses.

To learn more about our internet marketing services, visit us @ MDIMSolutions.com

The post What Are The Types Of Online Marketing? was
originally seen on Ken Mandich’s MDIMS Blog

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What Is The Meaning Of Brand Reputation?

Brand Reputation

Your Brand reputation? Just what does this term mean and how does it apply to your business or company? That is exactly what we will cover in this short article.

What brand reputation really boils down to is how your company is perceived by customers or clients online, and offline. It’s also involves the emotions and ideas the customers associate with your brand. It revolves around everything your company does, again not only online, but offline as well. The main components that can have the biggest effect on your brand reputation involve public relations, promotions and advertising and customer service.

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This can be as simple as someone typing into Google search your company name + “reviews” and what shows up in Google My Business reviews and also reviews left on Yelp and YP.com. It can also involve what people are saying about your company on social networks and talking about your product or services.

With some careful thought and planning, you can actually use the theory of brand reputation as a great tool for marketing. If your product is used by millennials, then making your marketing campaigns stand out and geared towards them is a must. This would be done by making sure your site, product pages or service pages are mobile friendly and making use of the latest social media platforms. Then portray the image that your product or services are the coolest around, and everyone that is cool is using it.

How Is Your Business’ Brand Reputation?

There are some important things to remember when it comes to your brand reputation management. Not all of your marketing campaigns will be interpreted the way you intended, or you may have a problem with a product, or for whatever reason, things go wrong.

Amanda Marie wrote a great article on Business2Community.com about do’s and don’ts when it comes to your brand’s reputation:

Before Al Gore invented the Internet, there were fewer avenues of perception that brands had to pay heed to. It was simple, there was TV, newspaper, and radio.Through a combination of good service and well-intentioned, well-designed advertisements, brands could effectively shape their image to the one that promised them the most success. Now it’s TV, newspaper, radio, and a hundred online variations as well. In truth, there are thousands – but the average brand only needs to focus on those relevant to it’s customers and industry.

The playing field is larger, the competition is fiercer, and there are significantly more angles to consider. Brand reputation management, once a subset of a business’s marketing plan, is now the driving force behind it.

There are several key facets of online brand reputation management, each of them equally important.

Don’t Spam Search Results

If you create a large number of web profiles in an effort to overwhelm Google, you’re digging a hole for yourself. There are a lot of reputation management companies that offer to build a lot of social media profiles, press releases, and other garbage web content. It’s both cheap and ineffective. Google and Bing are smarter today, and they don’t fall for this technique anymore.

Do Work to Improve Your Search Ranking

The view from the top of the search engine rankings is pretty great. A study from online ad network Chitika found that the first organic listing on any given Google search page (that is, the first listing that is not a sponsored ad), receives 32.5% of the traffic. The second listing receives 17.6%, the third listing just 11.4%. “Position zero” search results, like Google’s “Featured Snippet” and “People Also Ask” boxes may garner even more attention.

Your brand reputation management strategy should put particular importance on getting your listing to the top of the search page, and making sure it stays there. That means providing varied, quality content, and doing the proper SEO legwork to make sure you stand out.

Continue Reading “Some Do’s and Don’ts for Brand Reputation Management

Amanda wrote a really good article. However, there is one point that she makes that we don’t totally agree with. She says that you shouldn’t spam search results with social media profiles and press releases. We do agree that you shouldn’t just build a lot of profiles and abandon them.

We take the approach of building these properties and then pushing quality content to them. This can be extremely helpful when your company has received some bad publicity and push that bad content farther back in the searches. By building these other properties and maintaining them, you will also be able to leverage one of her other points of improving search ranking results.

How Do You Begin Working On Your Brand’s Reputation?

Getting Started With Brand Reputaion Management

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Some companies let this first step overwhelm them. It’s really not that difficult for local businesses. Angely Grecia wrote a good article on MeltWater.com that gives some great advice on taking the first steps:

Online content adds a dimension to your brand – and ultimately your reputation – because the same brand can be perceived differently by online and offline audiences. The best way to manage brand reputation is to tell a cohesive story – to a receptive audience. While controlling the message in an age of social media is no longer an option, you can still steer the dialogue.

Here’s how:

1) Make a Good First Impression

What first impression do you want your brand to portray? … Time’s up. It takes less than 50 milliseconds to form a first impression. First impressions are so important because they give way to a ‘halo effect.’ Consider how visual design and the colors you use impact the way people feel about your website open the first view, that assessment is often transferred to its functionality.

2) Own and Embrace Who You Are

Your brand is derived from a mix of who you are (your executives and colleagues), who you want to be (your brand values), and who people perceive you to be (the user experience and branding). In a perfect world, your reputation follows the brand. Help this along by making your brand present across the customer touch points in the business: how employees answer phones, what employees and salespeople wear, what language they use when describing your services or products, e-mail signatures, social media presence and how they engage online, everything one can think of. The brand is every employee’s responsibility–not only the communications team’s. As a PR pro, you can ensure the whole company understands the corporate mission, vision, values, and goals so you can all believe, live, and breathe this.

Continue Reading “5 Steps to Brand Reputation Management

Great article from Angely. We especially like that her first point about making a good first impression. That ties into what we were talking about earlier about how your brand reputation can be tied in, and to your marketing.

Summing It All Up

How your brand is perceived is extremely important to your companies survival. It can make the difference in spectacular sells, or your business going under. By managing your reviews in search, what is being said on social media, as well as “buzz” about your business, you can take your company to new heights.

To learn more, or take control of your company’s brand reputation and management, visit our site @ MDIMSolutions.com

 

 

 

What Is The Meaning Of Brand Reputation? is courtesy
of MD Internet Marketing Solutions
Blog

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What Is Reputation Management?

What exactly is reputation management, and how can it effect your business? In this brief article we will cover what it is and why your company needs to monitor it’s online presence and what your customers are saying about you and your services.

What is reputation management?

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Online reputation is becoming more important for businesses of all sizes that do and don’t have an online presence. Just because your company doesn’t have a website, which in this day and age is ludicrous, or doesn’t have a Facebook page, or Twitter account, doesn’t mean that these platforms aren’t important or relevant to your company.

Not only do you have to be concerned with what’s being said on social media, but also the countless directories online like Yelp, Manta, Kudzu, YP.com and a host of others.

The Affect Of Your Online Reputation On Your Business

So down to the nitty gritty – let’s first look at some statistics about online reviews and how they are perceived by the public.  In an article done by Kent Campbell on Reputatoinx.com blog, he shares some brutal statistics:

Eight Reputation Statistics That Affect How You’re Seen Online

91% of North American consumers read online reviews to learn about a business.

For better or for worse, most consumers are checking out Google Reviews, Yelp, and other customer feedback systems to get more information on businesses, says the most recent BrightLocal Consumer Review survey. Consumers often take into account what other people write about a brand, product, or service to determine if it’s a “good” business or not.

60% of consumers: Negative reviews turned them away

If reviews are overwhelmingly positive, the survey reports that 74% of consumers have greater trust in the organization. On the other hand, 60% of respondents said that negative reviews made them not want to use a business. Those with mostly 1- or 2-star reviews fail to convert 86% of prospective customers –– a major loss, especially for startups, who need the initial momentum to get going.

Recent reviews taken more seriously

The report also shows that consumers are getting better at sorting the real reviews from the fake, and they’re more likely to take a recent review seriously than an older one. Consumers will catch on when businesses hire people to write fake reviews, or resort to other automated, non-organic means of cultivating a positive reputation. Only authentic reviews will do.

Continue Reading Kent’s Full Article Here…

Good information from Kent that simply can’t be ignored. He also stated in his article that businesses with mostly 1 star and 2 star reviews fail to convert about 90% of new potential clients!

In Kent’s article,  that was mostly about what is happening with what can be found in Google search. But what about social media?

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Monitor Your Social Media Reputation

Usually with social media your reviews are in the form of comments. Now there are more platforms that you need to be concerned about. The two major sites that you must monitor are of course Facebook and Twitter. Fortunately, it’s easy to respond to these comments, but you must respond to these comments calmly, intelligently and most importantly – RESPECTFULLY. Get this wrong and it can cost your company thousands, if not millions in lost revenue!

Kissmetrics wrote an article with some great examples of “getting it wrong” or “reputation management failures” as they call it:

Here are three famous cases of reputation management failure in the digital era:

  • Dark Horse Café received a tweet criticizing their lack of electrical outlets for laptops. Their response was something like: “We are in the coffee business, not the office business. We have plenty of outlets to do what we need.” Needless to say, this kind of defensive/aggressive behavior doesn’t work in the online world. Many blogs reported the fact as a negative public relations case.
  • Nestlé received negative comments about their environmental practices a few years ago, and they did not address them. People started becoming aggressive and posted altered versions of the Nestlé logo, forcing the company to close their public page. Takeaway? Do not pretend people are not talking, and address criticism as soon as possible.
  • Amy’s Baking Company fought fire with fire against a one-star internet review. Their insults against the reviewer eventually were picked up by the local news. It is obvious that negative attention is not good publicity.

What are people saying about you? Good online reputation management is not only about reacting well to what people say about you, your brand, or your products and services, but also about whether to react at all and, if so, when. Sometimes a reaction is not necessary, and sometimes a reaction that is too late can cost you millions.

A proactive approach to the matter consists of monitoring your public reputation on a regular basis, and not just when you come to know about a specific event to deal with. How do you do this? The magic tools invented to solve this problem fall under the name of “social media monitoring.”

Read The Full Article “The Definitive Guide to Online Reputation Management

Great article for Kissmetrics. There is a lot of good information there. How you respond to unsatisfied customers and reviews for social media also needs to be applied to Google reviews and other review sites like Yelp as well.

Summing It All Up

Reputation management consists of just what it says, managing what customers are saying about your company online and giving a proper response, if required.

All to often it’s something that companies and businesses think about after it’s too late. Bad reviews and negative comments are on multiple platforms and sales are plummeting.

Our company prefers the avenue of “reputation marketing”, which is something we will get into in later posts. So stay tuned to our site for more on how you can protect your online presence.

If you would like a free consultation about your company’s online reputation, visit our site at https://www.mdimsolutions.com

 

What Is Reputation Management? was
originally published to MDIMS Digital Marketing Blog

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