The things that can be done online are evolving. These include searches, reverse searches, search engine optimization (SEO) and online reputation management (ORM). Up to a few years ago, ORM was something that an SEO practitioner would do for specific clients. Nowadays, ORM has its own set of skills, tools and the dedicated professionals. Along the way reputation management software has also evolved to be more all-encompassing, and gives immediate results due to continuous monitoring for ORM purposes.

When ORM started out, it was a one-way street without adequately using social media. When a person or company wanted to maintain a good reputation, he resorted to search engines. The aim of early ORM was to keep bad press and publicity from getting to the first page of searches. The objective was simple but the work was not easy. ORM at the time used the same techniques and strategies which were used by SEO, including back linking and profile creations. Due to the tools and strategies used, the results were not immediate. It took at least two months before there were any appreciable changes on the search engine results pages (SERP).

Today’s reputation management has gotten far more advanced and has also moved away from contemporary SEO strategies. Even as SEO strategies and work flows have changed, reputation management emphasis has also changed. The most important consideration for today’s ORM is immediacy. The other is social media. Reputation management has less to do with searches, and more in line with social media interactions. As an example, an establishment’s reputation is usually given as a comment on social media. A customer could comment on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest, Tumblr, Google+, Yelp, Foursquare, or some other social networking or social media website. It can even be a blog on WordPress, Blogger, LiveJournal, or even on a forum. Customers more often than not would give comments, whether good or bad, on social media.

If a restaurant were using a reputation management software, it would know immediately if a customer was satisfied or not with the food or services. The reputation management team can then give a rebuttal, or a spin on the comment. For positive comments, they can re-blog these, or post them on some other social media, or on their own website. This serves as a testimonial. In the case of negative publicity, they can instigate strategies to bury these comments where they are not visible. Alternatively, they can use the comments to do better next time.

More than a decade ago, even before Larry and Sergey created Google as their school project, Altavista was the dominant search engine. When someone wants his website to rise up in the search results, he simply needs to optimize his website based in on-page factors. That was all there is to SEO. At the same time, paid search took the spotlight most of the time, since if compared today, it was very inexpensive then. SEO then was fairly straightforward and simple mainly because of lack of competition.

However, as the turn of the century arrived, Google came into the picture. We all know how big a game changer Google is. In fact, it has such a huge impact that it didn’t take long before it was pretty much the only search engine people are using when they want to find something on the internet.

It’s important for every person who deals with SEO to be up-to-date with game changers; and if possible, even try to be ahead of the curve. Because in this industry, those who are able to adopt their SEO strategies on the fly are often the winners.

We all know that Penguin 2.0 has just entered our premises. Whether it was invited or not, it doesn’t matter really. With that said, here are some game changes you are forced to make if you want to remain competitive.

Streamline Your Content

Let’s say you have a blog that is in the smartphone niche. The recent update wouldn’t penalize you as long as you stay within that niche. Publishing content that talks about something else in nature, no matter how great a content is. It would most likely do more harm than good. It’s obvious that what the changes Google has applied in its algorithm wants webmasters to specialize. They might be under the impression that having a blog that stretches to any topics depending on what the mood of the owner is that day is unprofessional.

Ensure that you’ve Now Switched to Advanced Content

If you don’t know what advanced content at this point, then you’re in trouble. It means that your content probably isn’t as effective as they used to be. Advanced content includes the likes of white papers, systematic tutorials, a post complete with video, images and even an infographic even. Hence, what Google is trying to tell anyone who wants to rise up in the ranks, is that they should be real experts in the niche they’ve chosen. Publishing half-baked articles that took only a few minutes to create wouldn’t cut it as it has before.

Association with Reputable Online Media Outlets

Since Google is set to only give the top spots to credible and reputable online media outlets, anyone who wants to squeeze in needs to let Google think that you’re one of the big boys. Being cited by credible online media outlets is a huge boost in the SEO efforts of websites post Penguin 2.0 era. Hence, you should work hard to have a link posted in one of your favorite websites.

Over two thirds of businesses are maintaining or increasing their spending on internet marketing services in 2013, according to the recent AT&T Small Business Technology Poll. Given the high Return on Investment (ROI) that spending on digital services produces these statistics are perhaps not surprising. However given the wide range of internet marketing services available selecting the right ones for your business can be a challenge. In this guide you will learn about some of the major internet marketing services that are available and how they can help grow your business.

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Social Media Marketing

Social media marketing has become a key part of all successful businesses digital marketing strategy. A 2011 study conducted by ComScore Networks and TMP Directional Marketing confirmed the importance of social media for business, with 69% of respondents stating that they are more likely to use a particular business if it has a presence on at least one social media site. From Facebook Fanpages, to Twitter, to Google Plus, there are many different places for you to promote your brand and engage with your customer base. Not only is social media marketing a great way to introduce your business to new clients it is also a great way to develop your relationship with existing ones. By being able to interact with customers that are already familiar with and used your business you will be able to increase the lifetime value of those customers.

Email Marketing

Email marketing has arguably the highest ROI of any form of marketing, digital or otherwise. According to Marketing Sherpa’s email benchmark report the average ROI on email marketing was $40 for every $1 spent in 2012. In addition 67% of companies said that they intended to increase their spending on email marketing over the coming year. Email marketing is so effective because it does not require the customer to revisit your site. Instead you are reaching out to your customer on a weekly or monthly basis through their inbox. Using email marketing allows you to develop a relationship with your customer while at the same time educating them about your product or service. If you have a special offer that you would like to run promoting it to your core customers is as easy as sending out an email.

Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

Where the webpages of your site rank in the search engines can make a critical difference to your online presence and the number of visitors you attract. According to research released by Compete.com the first ranked site in Google attracts approximately 53% of all the clicks, and the top 3 search results attract 77% of all clicks. If you are featured outside of the first page you can expect to receive less than 1% of all clicks for that search term. This demonstrates why it is crucial to have SEO as part of your digital marketing strategy. An internet marketing services company can make sure that your content is correctly categorized by search engines such as Google and Yahoo and that maintains a sustained and well ranked position above your competition.

Featured images:
  •  License: Image author owned
  •  License: Creative Commons image source

Johan Hedin is the Managing Director of Marketing Ignite, the Company offering Internet Marketing Services in Thailand.

FacebookIf you already have a Facebook business page but you’re not getting the attention or the fans that you want, you may need to redesign it.  The person who created the page may not have known how to set it up or perhaps you are just rebranding and you want to make some upgrades.  Whatever the reason, there are some things you can do to make your Facebook business page a success.  The following are just a few ways that you can redesign your Facebook page.

Setting the Category

One of the biggest mistakes that businesses make is not setting the proper category and sub category for the business type.  If you do not want to start from scratch, you can always make this change directly from your business page.  Just click on edit page and then select the basic information link which will allow you to change your business’ category and the sub category.  Make sure you use the one that is the closest to what your company offers.  If you choose the wrong category, when people search they won’t be able to find you and your SEO efforts may not be realized.

Changing Your Wall Preferences

The default wall preference for business pages is everyone which means that anyone can make a post on your wall whether it is positive or negative.  You may not want to allow this on your page so it is best to set this preference to only allow posts from your administrators.  To do this, you want to go to manage permissions and choose the posts by page only.  This means that you have control over what is posted and nobody can either troll your page and your competitors cannot spam your page.  If you don’t care who posts on your page then you can certainly leave it as everyone can post.

Managing Your Content

You do want your fans to be able to comment on your posts but you may not want them to have free reign.  For instance, you may not want profanity on your business page and this is highly acceptable.  Not everyone who is commenting may appreciate this type of profanity and unless you are buying your likes, you don’t want to lose any fans.  In order to set your profanity blocks, you just go to edit page and manage permissions.  There is a tab that offers you no blocks, medium blocks which only block the really bad words and strong blocks that block any type of profanity at all.

It is not difficult to redesign your Facebook page and you don’t even have to start from scratch to do it.  By simply making a few changes, you can have a completely new business page that your fans will enjoy more.  Make sure that you are in the right category and manage who can and cannot post on your page and finally, manage your content by only allowing the level of profanity that you want your fans to use.

Renee Smith has been writing for five years and is well versed in social media and how to use it to promote businesses.