When was the last time you looked under the hood of your Internet presence? The web is a huge part of our lives – especially if you have a business! It’s something that has to be managed and maintained just like anything else. If we don’t, bad things could happen.
It’s ideal if you perform a web check up at least once a month.
If you have a business to consumer model it’s crucial that you monitor your reputation. For example, if you own a restaurant when people decide they’re going out for dinner that night and they feel like something a little different what do they do? They get out their handheld and they do an Internet search for a local spot. THEN once they make a decision they’ll do a search to see what people are saying about it. Nobody wants to spent their time and money at a place that has a bad rap. ANYONE can leave feedback about you.
Today with the Internet everyone has a voice – for better or worse. I spoke with someone the other day and he said that he decided that he wasn’t going to give into that situation (reputation marketing). Guess what? I don’t need your permission. I can leave bad feedback about your place of business whether you participate in the situation or not. So to ignore it is not only not very smart, but it could be costing you money.
Large companies like Verizon Wireless for example have made very steep investments in very sophisticated tools that monitor what people are saying about them. Want to have a little fun? Go talk some smack about them on Twitter and then just count down. It won’t be long before someone is Tweeting back to you offering their assistance. Now this is how it works FOR US. We finally have a little leverage against the big guys.
There are actually tons of great tools out there but I will share with you a few of my favorites for monitoring your reputation.
1. Google Alerts -
I LOVE Google alerts! As an Internet personality I have to monitor my name and my website on a regular basis to make sure nobody is talking smack about me. Google Alerts is also how I learn when people mention me and link to my content on their websites which is always a very welcomed surprise.
Another great way to use Google Alerts is to monitor competitors. But my favorite way is to get articles written on specific topics. You do Google Alerts on specific topics and everything that was written on it and published on the Internet can be sent you daily or weekly. Click here to set up your Google updates. I read mine every day you’ll love it!
2. Tweet Beeps –
This sort of works like Google Alerts only it’s just for Twitter. There is a charge for the premium service, you can click here to check that out.
3. Topsy -
I would have to say that Topsy.com is one of my VERY favorite tools for SO many reasons! I can do a search on myself and my business to see who is talking about me and sharing my content – but the best thing is it literally searches the ENTIRE Internet. It searches through Twitter, videos, photos - you name it! I also love Topsy for a whole different reason than reputation management. It’s great for getting ideas on blog topics! Just do a search on Internet Marketing for example and you will find out what people are talking about! This is a great way to create content around relevant topics that are hot and happening!
4. Take it Old School -
This is my favorite way to do a quick Internet check. Type in the name of your business, city and state into Google. Then just glance over the first 5 pages in the search. You may be surprised at what you find. What I HATE is a lot these shady directories populate YOUR information into their fields on their websites. They want you to find it – they want you to know that it’s incomplete. Then they want you to call them so they can sell you their premium service. Don’t do it! Tell them to remove your information or you’ll sue them. That will get them to take it down pretty fast.
If you own a business and have a listed phone number I’m willing to make a bet that you get a fair number of phone calls every single day promising that they will put you on the first page of Google and that they will list you in every local directory under the sun. Let me tell you right now there is absolutely zero value in having your link spread across every single directory. In fact, it’s now considered to be spam. Google has made tons of updates lately and that is changing the entire ballgame. Now if you don’t want to take it from me, fine! Take it from Brian Dean of Backlinko and Neil Patel of Kissmetrics who are International SEO Rock Stars! I had a Google Hangout interview with them a while back and got their input on local marketing. You can click here to watch that on YouTube.
The problem is, these local marketing snake oil salesmen still prey on the fact that you don’t know any better. There’s absolutely no value in having tons of links on low-grade obscure websites that no one has ever even heard of! Now there IS value in being listed on sites like Yelp, Foursquare, Yahoo Directory, Bing Places for Business, and Google Places. Make sure you have only ONE listing otherwise your efforts are wasted.
Search Marketing – Content Theft
I’ve been lucky that this has only happened to me once, I kindly asked them to remove it and they did. I work really hard to create great content for my readership and it’s NOT cool to steal it from me. Especially when it’s considered spam to duplicate content on the Internet. So imagine having your content stolen and then Google slapping you with a spam offense. Not cool! Check out CopyScape they have a great tool for monitoring your content and making sure it doesn’t get stolen.
Search Marketing – Website Check Up
Just like you take good care of your car so it runs well – you need to take care of your website. How’s it functioning? If you have some really nasty errors on your site it can cause your page not to be indexed by search engines. Here’s a great video from Matt Cutts of Google (head of search), he talks about how errors can impact your site index, just click here. Here are a couple of tools that I love, Visible Net and WooRank. Just put in your website address and see what it tells you. You’ll want to print out the list and share it with your developer so you can get it fixed.
Search Marketing – Searchers Point of View
When was the last time you looked at your website from your ideal client target’s perspective versus your own? What do they see? Do they find what they need immediately? Was the website written for their point of view or your own? Are there lots of great resources for them there? What about how your website looks? How does it look on mobile for example? Did you know that the majority of the population now searches the Internet with a handheld device? Take your mobile phone out and look up your website. How does it look? This is what your searcher sees – are you happy with it? If not, it’s time to make some changes. Ignoring this shift in the way we search the Internet will cost you money.
Search Marketing – Measure Your Impact
Type in what people would if they were looking for what you do and see if you come up. If you’re a local business include city. For example if you’re a plumber in Atlanta Georgia the search would be plumber Atlanta Ga. If you’re a local business and you don’t come up on page one you may as well not even be on the Internet. The reason is people now have 8-second attention spans and will take the results they seek from page one. So if you’re not in the search, you’re leaving some money on the table.
It’s imperative that if you’re working on a search engine strategy (Sorry we won’t go into details on that now, that’s another article!) you optimize your site for the right phrases. A great tool for local search engine is the Google Keyword Planner which is traditionally set up for adword customers. You’ll need to set up an adword account to us this tool but you don’t have to actually place an order. Click here to check it out.
Just FYI if the SEO company you use ever asks you what search words you want, this is a red flag – FIRE THEM because they’re unqualified - it’s not like ordering fries, it’s about the facts.
Here’s a picture of an example search using the Google Keyword Tool with the plumber in Atlanta Ga as an example:
The information on this table is based on 30 days, so over a months time approximately 880 people in Atlanta look for a plumber typing in the phrase plumber atlanta. The word high means that the competition to rank for that keyword is high, but don’t worry you can still rank with that phrase with the right strategy on that low number of a search, I’ve done it many times. Now if that number was 1 million instead of 880 now that would be a different story. Here’s the mindset, the reason I’m showing you this is because I want you to realize the impact of the way people type in the information and how much power this can give you in your marketing efforts. So keywords aren’t about what you think they are, instead they’re about what people type in that you can rank for.
Now, if you’re focusing on a wider search, that’s a bit more complicated, you can use a great tool I love called Keyword Spy. See the drawing below, make sure you click on the word Keywords, then you can start typing in phrases that are related to what you do. Here you can not only use this tool for a keyword strategy but it also gives you great ideas on what you should write about in your blog based on searches. It’s great to write about things that are important – but to write about things that are relevant – now THAT gets you web traffic!
I hope you enjoyed this guide! Use it once a month to give your Internet presence a good check up and you’ll receive optimal results! Please don’t forget to share this post!