Category Archives: Tips & Tricks

How to Respond to Bad Reviews 

If you own a business then online review management should be a consistent part of your marketing plan. Reviews affect your brand, but more importantly it’s how you respond to reviews that will have the most impact on potential customers. I would like to say that you will never get a bad review, but even the best of the best get less than 5 stars, even if very rarely. Your positive reviews should greatly outweigh your negative reviews. If not then you should look at the quality of your services or products. Here are 5 tips on how to respond to bad reviews:

  1. ALWAYS Respond – The biggest piece of advice I can give as the owner of a digital marketing company is to respond to every single review, good or bad. Positive reviews are easy to respond to because they make you feel all warm and cozy inside, so thanking someone for an awesome review comes naturally. Negative reviews are difficult to take, but you can turn the outcome into a positive experience with a professional response.
  2. Calm Down – I would say to remain calm but let’s face it, we all get a little ticked off when a bad review is submitted by a customer. It’s really hard not to take it as a personal attack, but those feelings will not lead to the best response. I manage my clients reviews for them, so it’s easy for me not to get emotionally involved after years of practice running Shayla Does It Marketing Services. If you get heated easily then wait at least 24 hours before responding and you will calm down some. I find that a glass of wine helps. how to respond to bad reviews
  3. Respond Directly – Almost every review site will allow the business to reply directly to reviews. Google even recommendeds to respond to reviews! DO NOT make a post about the review and/or rant about the person or the review – this is very unprofessional! Folks will likely be leery to give you any feedback or do business with you at all assuming you may treat them in the same manner.
  4. Apologize – Even if you know the review gives false information you should always apologize for a less than positive experience. Sometimes it’s obvious that the profile of the person submitting the review is either fake or not in your customer records. More often than not it actually IS a customer or someone who knows a customer and they are using a fake profile to hide their identity. It’s human nature to avoid confrontation, but the internet makes it a lot easier to complain anonymously. Respond to this type of review by saying something like:

    “We apologize if you had a less than positive experience with our company, however we do not have any record of you in our customer database. We would really appreciate calling us or sending us a direct message so we could discuss what happened.”

  5. Reach Out – Often times it’s appropriate to offer corrective action in addition to an apology, especially for a specific issue. I recommend to ask in the response if the reviewer would please send you a direct message so you can privately work to resolve the issue. Here’s an example:

    “We are sorry to hear about your experience with our company. We strive to offer excellent customer service and would like to discuss this with you further. Please give us a call, a direct message, or an email so we can work together to resolve this issue.”

    Another approach is to simply say you will strive to do better in the future without necessarily apologizing for anything. This especially works for a less than perfect rating or review without comments. Here’s an example:how to respond to bad reviews

If you remain calm, professional, apologetic, approachable, and prompt, then your business will still be seen in a positive light even after the darkest of reviews are submitted.

 

Shayla Does It Headshot

Shayla Robertson, owner of Shayla Does It Marketing Services is a highly respected expert Digital Marketer. She specializes in webdesign, social media management, blogging, SEO, graphic design, and more! Learn more about Shayla and why she was nominated as one of the best digital marketing companies of OKC in 2017: www.shayladoesit.com

 

online marketing is like a BLT

Online Marketing is Like a B.L.T.

Online marketing is like a B.L.T. sandwich – you have to have all the ingredients for it to work. If you don’t have the bacon, lettuce, or tomato then it’s not a winner. The ingredients for a winning online marketing campaign must include onsite seo, offsite seo, and social media marketing.

There are many factors that influence rankings on search engines (such as Google, Bing, and Yahoo). Those who practice the best and most up-to-date SEO techniques reap the benefits of appearing at the top of search results.

ONSITE SEO

Onsite SEO refers to optimizations made on a website to make it more readable, crawlable, and content rich. The main purpose of onsite SEO is to make sure your website is optimized for the keywords that are most appropriate for your industry and area. These are the keywords that you wish to be found in the search engine results when folks are searching for what you have to offer as a business. There is a lot to onsite SEO and people working on their own websites often overlook steps so it’s best to outsource your SEO to a professional. There are hundreds of small changes that can be made in the course of a campaign, as SEO is very much an ongoing process. Here is a checklist of the things Shayla Does It Marketing Services uses for on-site SEO techniques that are in accordance with Google recommendations:

  • Page Titles & Meta Descriptions
  • Headings
  • Page Content & Descriptions
  • Images
  • Links
  • Site Speed
  • URL structure
  • Current Content
  • Mobile Optimization

OFFSITE SEO

Offsite SEO refers to strategies made on external sites – or links. The Interweb you know today operates through links. When Google decides which website to show a searcher, one of the factors it considers is how trustworthy a site is. This is determined by the number external websites linking to your site and the amount of links that one site is sending. Directory listings (sites that list local florists, services, etc.) are a quick way to build links to your site.

Another link building strategy is content marketing. This involves creating a piece of content (article, blog, infographic, video, etc.) to host on another site with a link pointing back to your website. Relevant content marketing with engaging content that users want will always have a place in digital marketing. Throwing up a 400 word “article” to post on an unpopular site, also called “guest blogging,” can put your site at risk of a Google penalty which will remove your site from appearing as a result to searches.

Also, don’t buy any links. This is a big no-no with Google. Earn your links organically.

SOCIAL MEDIA MARKETING

Yes, social media matters when it comes to SEO. Day by day, social media sites are increasing their authority in search engine marketing, so you need to be active on more than just Facebook! The almighty Google takes social media into account when forming page rankings, mostly in the form of links and activity. This is commonly referred to around the web as “link juice”. If you have a lot of link juice from different social media sites that consistently link to your website, you will be creating an ongoing flow of traffic which contributes towards your Google ranking. The 7 most popular ranked social media sites today are: (reference: http://www.ebizmba.com/articles/social-networking-websites)

  1. Facebook
  2. Twitter
  3. Linkedin
  4. Pinterest
  5. Google+
  6. Tumblr
  7. Instagram

Why Do You Need SEO?

It’s simple. There is an industry in SEO because it’s a full-time job. When a company, such as Shayla Does It, works on a client’s site, it shouldn’t be optimized one time and then left alone. SEO is an ongoing process of developing new content, keywords, and blogs to reach your customer as Google continues to update its algorithms. SEO dramatically changes almost every year and the strategies used when your site was built a couple of years ago aren’t going to work today. Many people say that SEO is dead, but it has merely evolved into a different creature. SEO used to be about tricking search engines, now it’s about communicating with them clearly. So hire Shayla Does It for your SEO needs. We’ll be your sandwich maker.

Shayla Does It Marketing Services of Oklahoma

online reviews are important

Importance of Online Reviews

One of the many wonderful things about the Internet is the opportunity for people to express their opinions on almost anything. If you own a business, it’s a way for customers to comment on your service or products in order to share with others. These comments are posted on the web as online reviews, either directly to your business’s website, social media pages, or to other sites which aggregate online reviews.

How Important Are Online Reviews?

In the digital age, online reviews have largely taken the place of the word-of-mouth referrals. After all, it may be easy to ask your neighbor who mows his lawn, but harder to find someone you know who has ordered a polka dot cat sweater from an affordable website in the past year. Potential buyers can easily seek out online reviews of products and services offered by various companies all around the world — including people who have used your business in the past.

Positive online reviews also increase your appearance within search engine results. You will notice when you search for a service or product that Google Maps will appear in the results with the highest ranked businesses that you are searching for. This is also true for many other search engine sites such as yellow pages, yelp, bing, etc…

It’s easy to see why positive reviews are like gold, while negative ones can be toxic and dangerous.

Check out these online reputation statistics which reiterate the importance of reviews.

Check out these online reputation statistics which reiterate the importance of online reviews.

How Can You Monitor Your Online Reviews?

  1. Be proactive – Don’t just read a few online reviews when you feel like it. Schedule time regularly (weekly is a good goal) to check for new reviews. Also, when looking at various review sites, take note if your recent positive reviews are not current; the older they are, the less impact they have on the opinions of others.
  1. Respond quickly – Whether positive or negative, you should respond to every review. If positive, thank the reviewer for taking the time to spread their great experience with others. On the other hand, you may come across customers who express displeasure about their experience dealing with your business. Do not ignore these individuals, and do not procrastinate in responding. When you respond quickly, you send the message that you care about customer input and are taking steps to resolve the problem. Always be genuine and sincere because it reflects in your response.
  1. Keep the tone civil – Some online reviews can be scathing, juvenile, inappropriate, and downright unfair. Even if a certain review does awaken some strong emotions, do not mimic the reviewer’s negative tone. Instead, remain calm and civil while leaving out emotional words, and respond to the reviewer with class. If you get dragged into the virtual mud with a reviewer, both you and your business almost always lose.
  1. Address the issue and offer to make it right – If a reviewer has a legitimate complaint — even if it wasn’t the fault of you or your staff — try to find a way to make him or her happy. Offer a refund or a discount on future services. You’d be surprised how many positive reviews are born out of negative ones that were addressed properly and in a timely manner.

How Can You Get More Good Reviews?

Ask for reviews – Make it apparent to all of your customers that they have a voice in how you do business. This means not only having a place on your website where people can post or read reviews, but also promoting the appropriate online review destination (i.e. Google+, Facebook, Yelp, Yahoo, etc…) in print and email communications.

Newsletters and emails are the best way to ask for reviews on a regular basis. Email marketing is (and will continue to be) the most important channel any business can use to continually get their name in front of their past and present clients. It’s consistent, targeted, effective, inexpensive and used by over half of the world’s population. One way to do this is outsource your email campaigns to a reputable marketing company, or you could sign up for a service that automatically emails your clients to ask for their reviews after a service is performed or a product is purchased. Emails always increase the odds that happy customers will take the time to sing your praises online.

if a customer expresses his or her satisfaction to you verbally, be sure to respond by saying, “Thanks! Feel free to tell the world by putting that in a review online!”

Encourage people to read your reviews – Display a link to your online reviews or “testimonials” on your website, Facebook page, and anywhere else you have an online presence. Not only will potential customers read your glowing reviews, but your current customers are more likely to add their positive feedback as well.

If you need help with the task of online review management, Shayla Does It Marketing Services offers online review management as a part of monthly seo and link building packages. Contact us for more information or a free consultation.

Why does SEO take time to show results?

It’s normal for people to want instant results in this age of fast food, online shopping and texting. On the internet people are naturally impatient, and websites that take too long to load are often abandoned. Also in the world of SEO, there will be some clients who want instant results, and unfortunately some SEO companies give them what they want, or more accurately what they think they want.

These clients get the instant improvements they want with paid traffic or paid backlinking, only to find out later on that Google does not agree with the SEO methods employed. After a few weeks of getting a lot of traffic, they realize that their website no longer appears on Google’s search results at all. They lose all their traffic, perhaps forever.

SEO humorProper SEO requires organic growth. Basically what this means is that you want your website to become popular with search engines in a way that seems natural and inevitable. Google prides itself on being the search engine that gives its users the websites they’re looking for. The best SEO services act as a bridge that helps Google recognize the real utility of your website for potential visitors. This is why developing an organic, aggressive marketing plan including monthly SEO & Link Building Services is necessary to increase search engine results and page rankings.

Reasons why a monthly SEO & Link Building campaign needs time to generate rank improvement:

  • Organic traffic is necessary – Google doesn’t want instant improvements (i.e. paid submissions, traffic, or backlinks). Google hates it when you suddenly shoot up in the rankings. They’ll know you tried to manipulate your rankings and they’ll penalize you for it, and in most cases they’re right to be suspicious. For example, if you have a thousand new backlinks or hits to your website overnight, that’s obviously artificially generated. They want to see organic growth over time. SEO is a marathon, not a sprint!
  • Backlinks – Google checks backlinks because they are a sign of your website’s relevance and helpfulness. It’s as if other people have found the info in your website so compelling that they link to your website on their own sites. Google algorithms know this is a natural occurance; a few links per week as opposed to  thousand websites discovering and linking to your website all at once.
  • Website Updates – It takes time to register changes to your website. Part of a proper SEO plan should be to optimize your website for search engine results through keywords, alt image tags, search engine descriptions, meta tags, etc…. Your SEO company should make changes to your website and site map when Google makes changes to their algorithms (filters) that may affect your ranking results. Keep in mind that Google doesn’t monitor your website on a 24/7 basis. In other words, the Google bots roaming the Internet and noting the features of all the websites in cyberspace may not come back to your website for a while. Therefore the changes you’ve made may not register with Google right away and may take months to register in their database.
  • Keyword searches – Part of SEO is to optimize your website and set it up properly with specific keywords that are repeated in a strategic way throughout your website. Keywords take months or longer to generate enough popularity to show up on a search result. Many businesses think their business name should show as a top search engine result immediately, but Google considers a business name to be a keyword.   Domain names help to “speed up” the process but it still takes time. Getting to the top of a Google search requires an aggressive marketing plan.
  • Complete Online Presence – Google wants to see organic traffic coming from different kinds of websites, including social media sites and other search engine sites. They will recognize how many social media sites you are on and how active you are on them (i.e. facebook, pinterest, etc…). They give some social media sites more page rank than others. Google also wants to see that you have a profile submitted and claimed on all search engine sites. They recognize traffic and reviews that come from those sites (i.e. yellowpages, yelp, bing, etc…)

SEO is competitive. This is why monthly SEO & link building services are so important to continue to draw organic traffic to your website and improve your rank in search engine results. For more information on SEO & link building services, please contact Shayla Does It Business Services.

If you want to appear on the front page of Google search engine results, you must have an organic, aggressive SEO and link building marketing plan. Regardless of your plan, you simply have to accept that improvements in your rankings can take weeks, months or even longer. IN THE BIG INTERNET RACE, SEO IS A MARATHON AND NOT A SPRINT!

Email Marketing Tips & Facts

Christmas shopping is in full swing! As an email marketer, avid shopper, and shameless deal searcher, I feel the need to remind all businesses about the importance of reaching out to your customers on a regular basis, and especially during the busiest shopping months of the year. The holiday season should make up between 20 percent and 40 percent of retailers’ annual sales. But How?

Email marketing is the most effective tactic for driving sales, but don’t take my word for it. When asked which medium consumers would like to receive updates from, 90% preferred an email newsletter, while only 10% chose Facebook.

email marketingQuality and consistent communication with your customers can get you closer to that nirvana of people actually looking forward to your message, which greatly increases your return sales. 48% of consumers say that they prefer to communicate with brands via email.

If your business isn’t obtaining email addresses, then begin now! Once you begin, plan to send your first email within 1 month. Customers sign up because they WANT to hear from you. If you are obtaining email addresses then your business should be sending regular emails to your customers. Shayla Does It Business Services recommends weekly, monthly, or quarterly emails with different subject matter to mix it up and keep your audience interested.

72% of consumers sign up for emails because they want to get discounts, but only 8.2% sign up because they love the brand. Your customers opted in to receive emails from you and while they will expect to receive discounts and giveaways, they also want to get to know your business through fun newsletters, contests, reminders, bios, and education. Keep it personal and fun whenever you possibly can!

Still not convinced to begin an email marketing campaign? Maybe more facts will blow your mind:

  • For every $1 spent on email marketing, the average return is $44.25.
  • When marketed through email, consumers spend 138% more than people who don’t receive email offers.
  • 48% of emails are opened on a mobile device.
  • 91% of consumers use email at least once a day.
  • On a daily basis, US consumers interact with about 11 brands through email, compared to ~9 brands via Facebook, and ~8 brands via Twitter.
  • 44% of consumers made at least one purchase last year based on a promotional email they received.
  • Email conversion rates are three times higher than social media, with a 17% higher value in the conversion.
  • There are 4.3 billion people that have email. This is approximately half of the world’s population that have email.
  • Roughly half of an email list will be active – people either opening or clicking on emails.
  • 27% of consumers were more likely to say their favorite companies should invest in more email.

Many business owners don’t have the time or marketing expertise it takes to design a professional email campaign that will track statistics to generate results through increased sales. Hire a reputable marketing company such as Shayla Does It Business Services to handle all of your marketing needs. If you are going to begin an email campaign, make sure it is done effectively because the first impression is crucial.

Looks they need an email marketing plan to get cooking again!
Looks like they need an email marketing plan to get cooking again!

 

Statistic resources:

Nielsen Norman Group

Direct Marketing News

BlueHornet

Small Business Statistics: Email Marketing

Convince and Convert

Litmus

ExactTarget

EmailStatCenter.com

McKinsey & Company

The Radicati Group, Email Statistics Report, 2012-2016

Epsilon