70% of online consumers have said they use the Internet to research everyday grocery products. (Prospectiv, January 2008)
41% of Europeans claim to have changed their mind about what brand to buy as a result of researching choices online, according to EIAA’s latest Mediascope survey. (Mediascope Europe, November 2008)
Brands with the highest “social media activity” (includes reviews) increased revenues by as much as 18%. (Media Post News, July 2009)
Over half (51%) of consumers are using the Internet before making a purchase in a shop. They educate themselves on the best deals available. (Verdict Research, May 2009)
Do you still think online reputation is something you may ignore?
It is very important for present-day businesses to carefully listen to what is said online, even if what is said is negative. Listening gives you the ability to react, resolve problems and disprove untrue information that may negatively affect your brand and corporate reputation.
Consumers use search engines to gather information. When they search for your company or product names, you will want positive information to be found in the top positions of search engines results pages (SERPs).
Online reputation management is a combination of marketing, public relations and search engine marketing efforts. Visibility and high keyword positions are the main goals for good publicity, because you can facilitate favorable information to appear and spread and, at the same time, push negative reviews out of the SERPs and, accordingly, out of the potential consumers’ sight.
The aim of online reputation management is to make search engines index and rank highly all positively associated web sites and corporate communications. It should result in the increase of positive Web presence, i.e. occupation of multiple top positions for your targeted keywords in search engines. Online reputation management lets you defend and manage your reputation by putting forth proactive efforts to achieve predictable search engine results through a three-step process: monitoring – analysis – influence.
What to monitor and how:
Analyze sites under your control to dominate SERPs. They include:
Document positions that your sites have ever occupied, so you can monitor future movements and activities (Web CEO Ranking tool will provide you a report on how page rankings change over time. Double-click on a page address in the main Ranking report to get to that report.)
Influence your results by active participation
Your participation will give you the opportunity to improve the perception of your brand. Take part in your industry conversation, become a regular contributor to blogs and forums, make this a two-way communication experience and use comment sections of others’ blog and forums to get your viewpoint across and lead the conversations about your brand. Choose the most authoritative sites in your niche and participate in them. In addition to a constructive dialogue, think of potential sponsorship opportunities – this will help you build relationships and alliances with the authoritative sites.
Remember that online reputation management through monitoring, analyzing and influencing online communications can prevent damage to or even collapse of your business and ensure the ongoing success of your company.
You may find a printable PDF of this article in the ‘Whitepapers’ section.
SEO Companies’ Visibility Rate
Are SEO companies as good as they claim to be on their sites? Will they return the efficiency they promise? Are their skills qualified? The only way to find it out is to check how they optimize and promote their own sites.
Here we share Top 10 SEO Companies according to their search visibility rate for January 2010.
Web CEO analysts use objective evidence to rate SEO firms according to their search engine visibility. SEO companies’ visibility rate is calculated using a special formula that considers the positions of SEO companies’ sites in search engines results pages for the keywords their potential clients use, popularity of these keywords and number of competitors.
Here you can see how Top 10 SEO companies’ visibility rate has changed from November 2009 till January 2010.
Top 10 SEO Companies Trends
The Web content evolution, which has proceeded at a galloping speed during the past few years, has impelled search engines to offer Web audiences more advanced search results in the form of so-called universal (or blended) searches. This means that search engines mix various types of content – images, video, news, blogs, social networks, forums, maps, and documents – on their results pages. Site owners and SEOs, in turn, need to pay more attention to achieving top site rankings, not only in Web page results, but also in other formats embedded in the results page.
In order to be on top of the SERPs in all blended formats, it is important to control all related content that may show up in search results.
Images are the most popular and traffic-driving medium among the non-Web page type of search results. To optimize your images, you basically have to add alt text to the image source, insert an image title, and give the image file a keyword-rich name. Besides, the text surrounding the image should also be relevant to your keyword. Image optimization has been described in detail in one of our newsletters during the past year.
Posting a video is a perfect way to appear on the first results page. Similarly to image optimizations, you need to use relevant keywords in the video title and description. If you do not know what interesting video content to suggest, remember that people are always looking for “how to” information. Make a video on how to use your product, and employ some creative ideas to make it viral. Post it on a popular videohosting site like YouTube, Vimeo, Google Video, Yahoo Video, and in the event of it being viewed, commented on, and rated well often, you’ll see it mixed with the Web results for your target keywords (if it is a popular keyword, of course).
News can also drive an enormous amount of traffic. Often, search engines show fresh news from popular regional news sites (depending on your location) and sites publishing press releases (such as PRWeb, Businesswire, or PR Newswire). Some ways to get your press release published include posting your news to news sites, submitting free and paid press releases, or even creating and promoting your own news site and submitting it as a news feed. It is important to use very targeted keywords in your news text and title so they appear in the blended search results.
Blogging. If you have no blog yet, but would like to comment on your industry news or often suggest updates on your market, product, or service, it’s time to start. Google (as well as Yahoo and lately Bing) is actively including blog content in its search results. Use Wordpress, Blogspot, Blogger, or Livejournal, which are free blog-hosting leaders, or buy a separate domain and set up blog software (such as Wordpress) to appear professionally, and submit it to blog search engines.
Use social media for your brand recognition. Search engines now index them more willingly and include links to social network profiles, such as Twitter, Facebook, MySpace, Last.fm, LinkedIn, and Plaxo.
Forum threads, as well as “Questions & Answers” sections are also blended with the Web page results. Touch hot topics in your industry to attract interest, include your target keywords, and your thread will be listed.
Optimize your site for local search if it’s important for your business. To start with, improve your site’s structure and add your business to the Google local business center. This way, for example, if a person is searching for ‘Amsterdam hostel’, she will see a map with your address among others on the top results page.
Since search engines can index not only html pages, but also many other file formats – *.pdf, *.ps (Postscript format), *.dwf (Autocad format), *.xls(x), *.ppt(x), *.doc(x), *.rtf (Microsoft formats), *.swf (Flash), you may publish documents with your keywords included in the document title. This niche is not over-optimized yet, so you have a good chance of getting to the blended results.
Web CEO Metrics
Here we are sharing the generalized numbers from our HitLens Web Analytics service. It covers 300,000+ websites from all over the world.
The January 2010 Google number is the same as in January 2009. The leading search engine firmly keeps its position on the search market. Bing’s share has grown, and it is obvious that this share has relocated from Yahoo.
Global Search Engines (%)
You can see how visitors are being referred to websites.
Search engines are referring more visitors than in January 2009, while linking and bookmarking are not so popular as before. Paid advertising is now more in demand – looks like companies are allocating more means to advertising this year.
Visitor Referrers (%)
This graph shows the web browser usage data for January 2010 compared to January 2009. Internet Explorer still adds up to 63% compared to 71% in 2009 which is a major amount of web surfers. Firefox is the second popular browser thanks to its free distribution and add-ons. Safari, Chrome, and Opera are gaining popularity because of their active usage in special web circles.
Browser Usage (%)