Have you ever heard the old adage, “You never get a second chance to make a good first impression”? Psychologists have, for the most part, concluded that first impressions are innate mental images or opinions that we form about others—whether they’re individuals, groups, or organizations—based largely on personal biases and perceptions.
Like people, companies and the brands that represent them are complex entities that have many layers that can be peeled back to reveal different aspects of their core values and business styles. Unfortunately, it’s a lot harder for brands to recuperate after a scandalous or negative event goes viral. That’s why it’s important to focus on updating and perhaps even completely revamping your Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and business reputation management strategies in 2020.
Here are a few great tips to help you accomplish those goals this year.
Focus on Implementing SEO Best Practices
Creating and implementing a foolproof SEO strategy for your business is the equivalent of laying down a rock-solid foundation for an asphalt paving project. What are some SEO best practices that you can and should be implementing in 2020 to make a lasting impressions on your target audience? SEO best practices are a set of well-established online marketing techniques that brands use to capture the attention of their target audiences and compel them to purchase their products or services. These include:
- Creating, fresh informative, relevant content
- Incorporating images, videos, infographics, memes, and other timely content into online marketing strategies
- Leveraging social media
- Optimizing blog posts, landing pages, content titles, images, title tags, meta description tags, product pages, and service pages
- Boosting website loading speeds
- Building user-friendly interfaces across all technological devices
With all of the new platforms and apps constantly in development and being released, it can be hard for web marketers to keep up with the demand for high-quality, enticing content. Upcycling or updating existing content on your website is a great way to improve web traffic and continue to publish timely, informative, and relevant content for your target audience to consume.
Leverage the Power of Social Media Influencers
These days, social media influencers, who often have creative and highly likeable online personalities, have managed to make a killing at establishing themselves as authorities in any given sector and can, therefore, influence their followers to support the brands they endorse.
Many brands even sponsor specific channels and influencers that get a lot of online traction. Not only is this a smart online marketing tactic because it expands your brand’s outreach online simply by being mentioned in someone’s Instagram story or YouTube video, but it also establishes your brand as a trustworthy authority in your industry. Through their favourite and trusted influencers, users all over the world can now form a more personal connection with your brand, which is much preferable than supporting a faceless large corporation.
Influencers give a more personal view of your brand by sharing their experiences and posting videos of themselves using your products and showcasing their various uses. In essence, people trust influencers, and you’d be remiss not to cash in on that.
Get in the Review and Rating Trenches
In the early days of social media and online marketing, brands played a very limited role in monitoring online reviews and engaging customers in the comments sections. While they’d take the time to delete or remove negative comments or reviews, many brands rarely took the time to actually respond to them. As the SEO landscape continued to evolve over the past decade, so did the platforms that allow customers to get in direct contact with the brands they support.
Now users can leave public product, service, and overall brand reviews in real-time for the whole world to see, making it more vital than ever to not only monitor review websites and comments sections, but to be actively engaged in them at all times. One word of advice, though: don’t feed the trolls. It’s important to determine when someone is a genuinely disgruntled customer that’s worth trying to save or redeem and whether they’re just purposely trying to push your buttons to make you look bad.
The more you feed the trolls, the more attention they get and the more ammunition they have to use against you later. The rule of thumb is that if you’re unable to resolve the issue after two courteous interactions, then it’s more sensible to just let it go rather than dig yourself into a deeper hole.
Work on Public Relations and Crisis Communications
It’s also never been more important to have a designated team that’s well-trained in responding to all types of comments and questions regardless of how negative or positive they are. Considering the ongoing rise of social media and keyboard warriors out there, you need to have a frontline of troops who are ready and willing to answer all kinds of questions and comments without letting their personal emotions get in the way.
All online communications should aim at deescalating potentially tense situations and resolving the customers’ or users’ issues as efficiently as possible. Other users will see how you handled the situation and commend you for doing it so tactfully in the face of adversity.
Considering the majority of online users perform extensive research into brands before interacting with them in any way (including applying for jobs as well as purchasing products or services from them), it’s important to keep your online image as squeaky clean as possible. Getting the occasional bad review or negative feedback is inevitable. After all, you can’t please everyone. But how you respond to that negative feedback is what matters and impacts the impressions that people will have of your brand online. Work hard and fast to resolve customer issues and answer their inquiries in a meaningful way and you’re golden.
Numero Uno Web Solutions can help you build a solid online brand reputation and maintain it through creating relevant and impactful content as part of a solid SEO and online marketing strategy. Contact us today to learn more!