Thursday, June 14, 2012

Empower Your Website To Claim Your Search Engine Presence

SEO is usually correlated with various concepts like rankings, links, content, etc. The Google Analytics metrics report the success or the failure depending on what metrics you focus on as per your web presence, purpose and priority.

But, is SEO only about rankings and thereby traffic and conversions? The answer is an emphatic NO. I think that this sudden wave of correlating SEO with marketing is diluting the whole meaning and existence of the SEO industry. SEO though a branch of online marketing has its own purpose and identity which is beyond marketing – inbound or outbound. Good SEO empowers the website from the first link of the internal navigation structure to the last image displayed on the website.

Good SEO empowers the website in such a way that as an offshoot the following benefits are derived:

· A brand is built

· The site gets regularly crawled and indexed by the search engines

· The Technical aspects like the 301s, XML sitemaps, robots.txt etc. are up to the mark

· The social media signals are integrated

· Makes it immune to the negative effects of the algo. Changes

· The site gets targeted locally and globally

· Links get built naturally

In order to derive those benefits the SEO needs to follow the strategic steps over a period of time . 

The SEO Cocktail

The SEO Cocktail

· Optimum On-Page SEO (Neither more nor less)

· Strengthen the internal architecture and navigation

· Ensuring that the content falls under the category of quality content

· Ensuring that content on the site is available in a balanced form of images, text, video, podcasts, news, etc.

· Set canonical and duplicate content issues

· Work on reducing page load time

· Future proof the site with relevant microformats

· Make sharing the content easy so that the site has the potential for getting natural links built gradually

· Monitor the social media presence from the search engine perspective i.e share knowledge and information to add the value aspect to the social media account

· Claim local presence via Google places and submission in important local directories.

· Regularly suggesting and ensuring the execution of ideas for quality natural inbound links

· Defend the site against negative SEO

· Take corrective measures if the site gets affected adversely impacting the search engine presence negatively

· Improve landing page design for better conversions

· Improve upon the existing links and discard any if harmful

· Customize 404 pages so that traffic from broken links is not lost

· Monitor the analytics metrics to keep on improving continuously

All these tasks involved in achieving SEO targets are a cocktail of logical, technical, management, design & development, promotion and psychological efforts which carve a special niche for SEO in the online world.

SEO is a complete package due to which all roads from the web lead to your website or some online presence of the website reaping direct or indirect benefit.

Measuring SEO success by the marketing perspective and the standard analytics metrics like visits, conversions, bounce rate, pages per visit etc. is a very narrow approach. All SEO benefit cannot be quantified as all the SEO efforts help build an online goodwill, reputation, persona, brand, reflect the company culture, add to the trust and authority factor and much more.

The benefit accrued from all this cannot be quantified by any formula. You may get tired of spending on Ads. And paid campaigns, social media patterns may change affecting your social media marketing campaigns but genuine SEO efforts made for web presence keep adding on to the quality presence making it richer like old wine and empowering your overall web presence and website continously.

Monday, June 4, 2012

Dealing With Negative Feedback In Comments, Reviews And on Social Media

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Content Marketing advocates the belief that if you share valuable, relevant , analytic and insightful content in various forms then you tend to correlate your persona on the web with the shared content and thereby the industry related to it. Digital content can be in the form of blog posts, images, videos, comments, reviews, podcasts, webinars, etc.

Sharing so much content as a natural offshoot generates responses which can be an appreciation, acknowledgement or a total rejection in the form of harsh criticism and negative feedback. Everyone can face the appreciation and accept the bouquets but we need to sensibly and gracefully handle the virtual brickbats as well.

As your blog gets more readership and as more and more people acknowledge your online presence on various platforms a healthy mix of reactions are generated online and facing them confidently and gracefully adds up to the authority, trust and if I may add the character to your online persona. Not everyone is going to agree with the views that one expresses in the content shared or published by you. If everyone agrees, then it is a matter of worrisome concern.

The first and foremost rule to take negative feedback constructively is “Never Take It Personally” as most of the time the person who has expressed the negative feedback in the form of comments or reviews does not know you personally and it is his response from what he understood by reading what you have written. Hence, it is a personal opinion and a perception and not a direct attack to you as a person.

Negative feedback can be a genuine difference of opinion a person has or can arise due to malicious intent too. But a negative feedback can be a powerful tool to establish online authority and gain customer loyalty if handled in an unbiased manner.

Some Points To Ponder: 

1. Accept the fact that negative comments and feedback are bound to come your way if you are honest enough in expressing your thoughts and opinions.

2. You can accept positive comments all the time if you are a part of a mutual admiration community and not a part of the web community as a whole. In such a case you may get to read positive words about your product, company and yourself  but you develop a negative online persona in the long run.

3. Standing by your thoughts, opinions and beliefs help you establish a unique online persona with an aura of self-confidence and uniqueness.

4. Never take them personally.

5. Acknowledge the feedback and reply accordingly.

6. A conversation thus generated helps to put forward your point of views and beliefs which in a way can earn you the authority and the trust factor.

7. Read the comment carefully, gather all the details and discuss further.

8. If need be you can take the matter offline too by discussing via phone .

9. Usually the negative feedback is from a dissatisfied or misinformed customer or a jealous competitor . In both the cases communicating with a right attitude helps solve matters.

10. Surf the web and see how others have handled such situations.

11. Every experience enriches you with knowledge. Make the most of it rather than shying away from it as it can be a golden opportunity in disguise.

12. Accepting an error or mistake made is a sign of strength and if you are right then standing by what you have said reflects the same strength of character.

Rejection and getting negative feedback is a part and parcel of content marketing . Learning how to deal with it having the right spirit helps you mature as an netizen and can put you in a win-win situation.

If the negative feedback comes from unknown sources or from the same sources repeatedly you can be rest assured that that you’re doing very well and some people just can’t take it with the true spirit of sportsmanship! - Be a smiling loser and a humble winner. When a winner makes a mistake, he says "My fault", when a loser makes a mistake, he throws the blame on someone else.

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