Category Archives: web site marketing strategies

Online Reputation Mangement – Build Links to Good Content

26 Aug 2008 | written by Janet Thaeler for the web site marketing strategies section(s)

Sometimes getting a good online reputation is more important than getting a stellar rank. In other words, rather than rankings, you focus on getting search results about your company to be full of good news. Plus you want to bury negative or inflammatory search results. This takes a different approach than we’re used to.

Here’s an example: Let’s say someone was mad at you or your business and they wrote a negative blog post about it. So now whenever anyone types in your name or your business name, their post is one of the first results that come up.

Perhaps it was a disgruntled employee. Whatever it is, it’s the kind of information that you’d rather not be there because people read the post, and may decide not to do business with you.

Try typing in the term: “First Command” – they are a financial services company. Last I checked this otherwise very reputable company had an article from 2004 show up in the top 10 search results. It talks about a lawsuit that was settled. Again, this was from 2004 – four years ago! If I were them I’d rather not have that brought up again and again. It’s kind of like that uncle who won’t let you live down your embarrassing past!

On the third page there is an overview of their company (see http://www.sybase.com/detail?id=1056392). If they could get this higher up in the results they could push down the negative result.

To do this, you’ll need a diversity of links from different sources, not just from your site. Third party reviews and recommendations are more powerful than information on your web site. So here’s what we suggest – find good information on other sites and help promote it so the information rises to the top of the page. That’s right – build links to someone else’s web page! This is like one of Rand Fishkin’s headsmacking tips.

Do a search on Google or another search engine on your company name and see what comes up. Find the good results and start building links to those pages in hopes of promoting them to the top of the list.

Top 5 ways to promote Someone Else’s Content to the top of search results:

  1. Build a hubpage and link to the page in your article – use the name of your company as the text of the link.
  2. Build a Squidoo Lens and link to web pages with positive or objective information.
  3. Link to the page on your company blog or on your web site.
  4. Create a blog post with a list of 3rd party information about your products, company, or services and link to every good post you can find. Be sure to say thank you.
  5. Create a social media profile on a site like Facebook and link to the positive articles.

Usually OrangeSoda focuses on getting your web site to the top of search results, but in the case of reputation management, you want to get other web pages to the top too. This can be a big shift in thinking when just starting out with a reputation management campaign. It was for me!

To read more about reputation management, read what an expert, Andy Beal has to say on the subject, including a recent MarketingSherpa interview. Also, if you have a good tip to share, please comment.

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Are you Using Google Alerts?

12 Aug 2008 | written by Janet Thaeler for the web site marketing strategies section(s)

Google Alerts – a free way to track your business online

Any business online should know what is being said about their company, brand, and/or CEO online. This information can be valuable to alert you to both negative and positive feedback so that you can promptly respond or recognize it. One way to do this is through Google Alerts. You can set up a list of important terms to track. Google will send an email detailing where you show up online.

Use Google Alerts to:

  • Monitor the impact of your marketing and see who is linking to you.
  • Build goodwill. See who is writing about you then follow up through commenting, writing an email, and thanking people where appropriate.
  • Track your competitors.
  • Follow your industry by tracking specific terms – this gives you ideas on what to blog about, what to create whitepapers about, identify trends, get ideas for press releases, and to stay up-to-date.

I have a Google alert on “OrangeSoda” and “Orange Soda” (but I stopped because it was all about soft drinks, not a variation on our company name) and various other topics I want to track online.

How to set up a Google Alert:

  1. Go to www.google.com/alerts
  2. Type in the terms you want to track (your product name, your company name, your CEO’s name, etc).
  3. Choose the “type” of tracking you want (just blogs, forums, etc. Comprehensive means track everywhere).
  4. Select how often you want email updates: daily update, weekly update or “as-it-happens” (which might be too many if your term is popular).
  5. You’ll get an email with a link and short summary of information that has appeared online for each term.

A tip from Duct Tape Marketing about Google Alerts: Track your URL by putting this in the tracking box: link:http://www.yourblogurl.com or link:http://www.yourcompanyurl.com(yourblogurl is of course the address of your blog and you can also put in your company web site URL).

You can manage your alerts – or refine them by clicking the “manage your alerts” link on the Google alerts page. It will give a list of all of your alerts which you can edit, delete, or change settings.

Be sure to put your term in quotes or it will probably be too broad and give every instance of the words, in any order. By putting quotes around terms it will just alert you when those terms come up in that exact order.

It’s amazing what you’ll learn with Google alerts – sometimes you’ll discover your employee’s have a personal blog and write about your business. You’ll find out what people really think of you or get suggestions or ideas. If you’re not getting many alerts it’s a signal you need to do more to build links to your site (like hire an SEO company to build content and links).

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Getting Creative with Domain Names

18 Jul 2008 | written by Janet Thaeler for the web site marketing strategies section(s)

As of yesterday you could purchase a .me domain name. That might be just the start of a lot of domain names opening up for purchase. I recently wrote about a recommendation that ICANN, the organization that regulates domain names, open up new extensions as early as next year. This may or not be a good idea, depending on who is implementing the domains and how.

OrangeSoda’s Derek Miner and Chris Finken were interviewed for a story that was featured on KSL Radio (link goes to the MP3 file of the interview) and their site about domain names and Internet marketing. It talks about the expense of starting a new extension and when it might make sense. Generally speaking for most businesses, a .com is still the best way to go.

Have you registered a .me domain or do you plan to purchase a new creative domain extension? Let us know about it in the comments.

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ICANN Recommends Expanded Domain Name Extensions

2 Jul 2008 | written by Janet Thaeler for the web site marketing strategies section(s)

You know how hard it is to find a decent domain name these days? Doesn’t it make you mad when someone is squatting on your favorite .com? It was six years in the making but now all chaos is soon to break out on the Internet. As soon as next year a flood of new domain extensions could be available. You’ll be able to customize the exertion on your domain name. So now instead of just .com, .org, .edu there are almost endless possibilities. Here at OrangeSoda we should buy .fizz and .orangesoda.

Internet regulator ICANN passed a recommendation to consider new extensions by a unanimous vote. If the recommendation passed, it would greatly expand the number of top level domain names. I promptly got a migraine headache. Now instead of buying OrangeSoda.com we’ll have to try to cover all the possibilities and point them all to our .com. Or, come up with new sites. And think of the user! Having to remember another detail. Was that .OrangeSoda or .PurpleSoda?

They understated the impact this could have online. “We are opening up a new world and I think this cannot be underestimated,”said Roberto Gaetano, a member of the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN). It reminds me of the headache of trying to buy a domain name in Libya so I could get the extension .ly – as in “political.ly” Oh, and think of the awful legal issues – trademarks and branded terms issues that could result. What about display URLs??

Not that they took the move lightly! ICANN has been working on this for nearly six years. There is something about needing a “business plan and technical capacity” in order to prove that you need the extension.

To help you get a head start, here are some web sites that help you find a domain name (thank you Search Engine Journal). Note that these sites will have to change when the new extensions become available.

PsychicWhois

Domize

BustAName

Suggest Name

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The Mayo Clinic on Facebook

27 Feb 2008 | written by Janet Thaeler for the web site marketing strategies section(s)

Facebook started out as a place for college students to connect with their classmates. Now it’s open to everyone. It’s become not only a social network, but an Internet marketing strategy. It’s easy to see how a person or small business can use Facebook but I’m interested in how a larger organization can participate.

Today I found the Mayo Clinic’s Facebook page (and an article on their online marketing strategy at 1to1 Media). And talk about a cool title – they have a “manager for syndications and social media.” Maybe I could trade in my “seo evangelist” title for something more like “social media marketing manager” here at OrangeSoda.

Mayo Clinic Facebook Page

Here’s a quote from the 1to1 article on why the Mayo Clinic has a Facebook page: “Consumer self-expression brings authenticity and impact…If consumers are happy with their experience with the Mayo Clinic, and they tell others, it will undoubtedly help Mayo to grow its reputation and market presence.”

Notice how they used their name in the URL. Then they post stories from blogs (put a Google alert on your name and track your company or organization online). They also inserted RSS feeds to news and health information.

This is obviously for branding and for relationship-building.
Besides their reasons for building a Facebook Page, the Mayo Clinic is proactively building a strong reputation online.

When people search for them in search engines the results are full of quality information and web sites that reflect well on the company. That’s something every company should aspire to build.

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The Power of Online Marketing

26 Feb 2008 | written by Janet Thaeler for the web site marketing strategies section(s)

“That is why search is powerful. You do not hunt for your customers, they hunt for you. You pick the keywords and the customer picks you. You not only “sell what your customers want,” but you also sell it “while they are actively looking for it.”
- Aaron Wall, SEOBook.com

I’m reading the Aaron Wall’s SEOBook and he’s talking about a marketer who is selling baseball cards the old-fashioned way. The guy spammed people. He interrupted them and tried to get them to buy from him.

Rather than annoy or talk people into buying from you, how about you just find out what your customers are looking for and position yourself so they’ll find you? Using a combination of paid search (advertising) and SEO (building trust in search engine so your web site can be found by potential customers) your business can grow. No matter what size it is.

Why do so many businesses think they cannot afford internet marketing services? Businesses of all sizes and with small or large budgets can benefit. After all, what’s a fair price for unlimited distribution?

I saw this story today about how one YouTube video flooded a small business with thousands of orders for a DVD. It illustrates perfectly how internet marketing can impact a business. The web site www.a-cappella.com, a business with just two full-time employees sold 5,300 copies of this DVD. In the past their record sales were selling 100 of one DVD in a year. That’s what I call great ROI.

I can see that they could do better with their SEO and web site marketing (I’d post that video and highlight the group on the front page of their Christmas section for starters). Also, I’d start a blog and highlight the other YouTube videos of groups they carry.

Here’s the video:

 

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Why Competitors Rank Higher than You in Search Engines

25 Feb 2008 | written by Janet Thaeler for the web site marketing strategies section(s)

Here are some web site marketing strategies from Search Engine Watch. Lots of clients want to be on the first page of search results for the key terms relating to their business. They want it fast. This article talks about things to consider.

First the honesty. We can’t read the algorithm’s mind. No matter how good you are there is a lot of unknown or things beyond your control. The good news is the payoff is big and if you implement sound search engine optimization, you’ll see an impact over time. Normally over several months, depending on the competition.

Clients and readers often ask why a site that’s younger, smaller, or just plain “uglier” outranks them. There really isn’t a simple answer. More than a few times I’ve had to say, “I don’t know.”

What Matters for Web Site Marketing:

  1. Publish quality, original information on your site that establishes you as an expert in your industry. Blogs are a great way to do this. Each blog entry is like adding another web page of information to your site.
  2. A larger more established web site will generally rank higher than smaller separate sites. It pulls more weight.
  3. Get quality, relevant links from a variety of sources.
  4. Set realistic expectations – if you want to rank for the words “internet marketing” it’s going to take a while. Or, you may not have much of a chance. It’s a general term and a lot of other web sites want to rank high for it. Also, your competition may have been around much longer with many links, great content, and trust built in search engines.

I like to think of web site marketing as a relationship – it’s something you build over time. Since many clients like to see results faster, paid advertising in search engines can fill in the gap. Notice the difference – one is running an ad, the other is building a relationship. Sure you pay for every link, but it’s quick. That’s why doing both is key.

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