seo

“STOP wasting money on SEO…. It could actually HURT your Business!” Here’s How…

As a Business-to-Business Reputation Specialist, I say this with tangible proof – SEO will hurt your business badly” – UNLESS they are also doing Reputation Marketing as well.

SEARCH ENGINE OPTIMIZATION (SEO) ALONE IS A BIG MISTAKE

Don’t get me wrong, getting your website optimized for specific keywords is great. In the past SEO, with a little clever Pay-Per-Click (PPC) campaign was all you had to do get to the top of the search results on Google. The reality today is that if you do get to the top of search engines like Google and Bing you better have a good reputation to match. If your reputation is not in the 4 to 5 star range you could be setting yourself up for failure.

Did you know that Google ranks businesses with 4&5 star reviews higher in their search results than those without?

A recent survey conducted by Zendesk, states that90% Of Customers Say Their Buying Decisions Are Influenced By Online Reviews. You must admit that this is an incredible number of people who will be reading reviews about your business  BEFORE they decide to do business with you. Smart SEO marketing may get customers to your website or business but ONLY a Good Reputation will make them buy.

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A TRUE STORY AS A CASE STUDY

Imagine this situation: You are the owner of  EatGreekNow Restaurant in New York City.  You have signed up for SEO service and you are now ranked FIRST for keywords “Greek restaurants, “Greek restaurants in New York.  Visitors from Toronto are visiting your city and are looking for a Greek restaurant to dine.  They searched for Greek restaurants in New York and your restaurant shows up on the first page of Google results.  Great job, your SEO efforts worked!  Hold on – don’t break out the celebratory champagne just yet.  

At closer inspection, the Torontonians discovered that Google has you ranked 2 stars for your reputation due to a ton of negative reviews posted all over the internet! Can you guess what these potential diners did? They will look at your listing and wondered “What the heck is wrong there?” and just kept on scrolling UNTIL they found a Greek Restaurant in New York City with at least a 4-star rating.

The moral of the story is … Online Reputation trumps SEO any day!

Your SEO page 1 result did not matter to these visitors – your reputation did. Even though you were proudly sitting on the top on page 1 of Google search results, these potential customers did not care.

The Bottom Line Is…

Customers will choose business or products with good reviews.  Your competitor may be 5-6 pages back in the search results, clients will search until they find a 4-5 star establishment to do business with.  Statistics shows that 79% of customers go online to review a business or product before making a purchase.  Large companies like Amazon understands the power of reviews as evidenced by their 5 Star rating system which they take very seriously.

Here is another study that may surprise you, a 2016 Local Consumer Review survey conducted by BrightLocal finds that “84% of people trust online reviews as much as a personal recommendation.” Incredible!

In other words, online reviews are the equivalent of “word-of-mouth” but on steroids due to the potential reach of the internet

WHAT IS YOUR PERSONAL EXPERIENCE?

Have you ever experienced poor service in a restaurant? Would you have gone to that restaurant if previous diners had rated the restaurant as 1 star?

On the other hand, when you receive great service do you give 5-star online feedback? Don’t feel bad if you don’t  – Most people don’t either, however, if the experience is bad – most will.  This is not good news for your business if mostly bad reviews are reported online.  

YOU CAN’T FIX WHAT YOU DON’T KNOW

Now that you understand the significance of managing your reputation just how do you do it?  There are many and varied solutions to online reputation marketing the first thing to do is to get a free reputation scan here, to see what your reputation looks like.  In the next post, we will take you through the Online Reputation Report that you have scanned. In conclusion, SEO is a wonderful service as long as it is paired with Online Reputation Management.

 

ADDITIONAL SOURCE:
http://www.nielsen.com/us/en/press-room/2012/nielsen-global-consumers-trust-in-earned-advertising-grows.html

 

Next article in our Online Reputation Series: “Understanding your Online Reputation Report card” …Coming Soon!

 

 

Damali Thomas BA, M.Ed

Damali Thomas is a Managing Partner at Go Social Or Die Digital Agency. She has her Bachelor's in Psychology and Masters in Education and Digital Technology.She has a cat named Cairo.Her favourite business quote: “Your most unhappy customers are your greatest source of learning.” —Bill Gates, Microsoft co-founder