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Archive for July, 2008

I do quite a bit of research and online marketing consultation for my customers. In addition to keyword and keyphrase research for a specific customer, I get into the “Zone” of their business. I put myself into the shoes of each customer and optimize their business website as if it were my own. In turn, during my research I look at several aspects of their business both online and offline. One of the main points that I stress to my customers is to ensure that they gather Customer Testimonials.

The Human Element

Word of mouth is still the key element in any marketing campaign. Word of mouth is the heart and soul…flesh and blood of your business and the referral of your business to others. You can spend as much money as you want to on Search Engine Optimization, Google Pay Per Click, Yahoo or MSN/LIve and not get the satisfaction of a word of mouth referral. The word of mouth is the ultimate in business gratification because people will do the following:

  • Advertise and Market your products or service for you via conversation if you treat them right
  • Bring Folks In to your brick in mortar store to speak with you about your products or services
  • Pass out your phone number and website address
  • Stay in touch with you for future products or services
  • The list can go on and on…

The main idea here is that you cannot forget about the “Human Element“. If you are not careful, you can spend all of your time worrying to much about Search Engine Optimization, Search Engine Ranking, Pay Per Click Advertisement, Online Leads and Recipricol linking partners and in turn get lost in the Internet Rat Race.

Let The Voices Of Your Customer’s Be Heard!

Every business that has a website outlining their products or services should have a Testimonials Page. If you have looked at other websites lateley, such as the major electronics retailers, you will see customer reviews. I know that I lean heavily on customer reviews for a couple of different reasons:

  • I want to know if the product is any good!
  • I want to know if the product is popular!
  • I want to know if the customer service was any good if the event of a product failure
  • I want to know if the business is showing both good and bad product reviews. I have to give merit to businesses that do not filter negative comments because they are concerned with overall satisfaction and opinion.

If customer reviews are that important to the major businesses, shouldn’t they be important to your business?

Harvesting Customer Testimonials

The next time you have the opportunity to provide a service or sell a product, take a minute to have the customer to fill out a “Testimonial Form“. This form can be a sheet of paper or it can be an online form located on your website. If you have an office where customer’s come to, it is best to have “Comment Cards“. On the comment card ensure that you have their permission to add their testimonial to your website. Sometimes it is better to get a written testimonial rather than telling the customer where to fill out their testimonial online. It is best to strike while the iron is hot so to speak…if they leave your business without a testimonial the chances are low that they will fill out the form on your website.

An online testimonial should be short and sweet…such as:

  • The Service or Product Purchased
  • The Customer Testimonial
  • The Customer’s First Name, City and State

Now Go Out There And Get Some Customer Testimonials!

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Everyone knows or, should I say everyone assumes that everyone who has a website knows that getting links pointing back to your website is one of the best ways to get a better Google PageRank. But, sometimes website owners struggle to find good websites to link with. This post deals with a good way to get new ideas for link partners.

Learn Your Competition

Let’s say you are in business to sell something that is fairly competitive like “garage doors“. Ok, I am drawing from personal experience here, because I need new garage doors and garage door openers…so I am drawing from recent searches.

I did a search on Google for “garage doors atlanta” and did I get some good info! I received 10 local search results for “garage doors atlanta“.

Now, let’s say I sold garage doors and wanted some good linking partners, I would look through each competitor’s website and check out the “Links” page. By looking at the links page, you can see who they link to and in turn create a potential link partner list of your own.

Google Links

A good way to see who your competitors link with is to see what Google has to say about them. This is very easy to do:

  • Go to Google
  • In the search box type in: link:www.competitorswebsite.com
  • The results in the top right hand corner of Google will tell you “about” how many websites are linking to your competitor
  • The results will also show which websites and where they link back to your competitor on their website
  • Depending on how serious you are for links, you can contact your competitors linking partners and ask for a link back to your site.

You are now ready to get some links! This may seem like a “guerrilla linking” strategy, but it is actually a great way to network with other partners!

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