Gathering Reviews: Standard Operating Procedure!

reviews as marketingOnline reviews from clients not only increase visibility, but they build trust with qualified searching consumers. Getting reviews obviously matters; however, the fear of a bad review is also a common source of anxiety for business owners. While a business must accept it cannot control the reviews it gets, it must place MORE concern with a lack of them than a negative review. Studies show that the average consumer looks for them, but also suspects foul play when they don’t see at least one or two bad reviews.

Studies also show less than 1 in 4 consumers has ever given a review, which sheds light on a business opportunity. It’s why review generation must become ‘standard operating procedure’ for all marketers! Keep in mind Google measures up to 200 signals, depending on subject- competitiveness, when it ranks sources of information for a search. Reviews are just one and, while it is an important signal, don’t be be foolish enough to believe it is all that matters either. Folks, be sure to keep that content coming as well!

Top 3 Places To Get A Review

1. Google Search / Map Listings  – far and away the most visible place for reviews
2. Facebook – massive traffic means reviews here matter, albeit people visit Google with intent and Facebook generally to socialize
3. Yelp – it shows up in search results more often than the remaining search & directory listings websites

And be sure listing profiles are accurate & consistent, incredibly thorough and verified!

5 Best Ways to Get Reviews

1. Ask for the review!
Surprising how many businesses don’t think to ask for a review, be sure yours is not one of those!

2. Educate on how to give the review!
Distribute instructions for how to leave the Google review, generously!

3. Make it personal!
Most people are kind, they appreciate a personal touch and asking them directly is just that!

4. Provide Links!
Passing out links to that Google, Facebook and even Yelp listing makes it easier for those more challenged!

5. Third party tools
Be very careful with this one!; while soliciting reviews can be a task, automating the ask to everyone you do business with will automatically include those who may not be thrilled. And so rather than risk raising the odds for recruiting a negative review from an unreasonable, be sure the tool offers some control to pick & choose who is asked. 

Generating new reviews doesn’t have to be a painful, but it’s got to be come Standard Operating Procedure!



The Value Of Content And Ideas For A Business Marketer

The Value of Content To A Business Marketer

Re- written from July 2009

An interesting piece published July 6th 2009 by Malcolm Gladwell, titled ‘Priced To Sell’, looks at “FREE” and the value of content & ideas. It’s a very useful read for the average small to medium sized business marketer.

In it Gladwell questions some of Chris Anderson’s theories [Wired Magazine and The Long Tail fame] on free products and services. Says Anderson, “…an ability to participate in Journalism extends beyond the credentialed halls of traditional media. Journalism as a profession will share the stage with journalism as an avocation.”  What Anderson is saying is digital storage, processing and bandwidth costs are so low that there’s no longer any ‘barrier to entry’ for content creation.

What he is also, indirectly, suggesting is that by sharing good content & ideas with a target- market for “FREE” a business can trigger interest for its’ actual paid- for business products or services! With the cost of distribution to people who search, who social network and who subscribe being negligible, we’d argue publishing ‘useful advertorial information on subjects a business is authoritative for’ is actually less an avocation than it is a modern business responsibility! Ultimately a business can create & distribute it’s advertorial message without any time limit = it can remain on the worldwide web forever and it can do it at a negligible cost. Versus the cost of traditional advertising, a business is either sharing useful and timely product / service knowledge for consumers to find OR … missing the boat on how those same consumers are actually evaluating future purchases.

However, time, effort and intellectual capital have cost. Entrusting them in any form of content to FREE host, communication or advertising services has downside. Gladwell doesn’t necessarily argue for or against these points so much as he questions them. Cautioning AGAINST FREE Gladwell says, “Free removes the necessity of aesthetic judgment.” Using Youtube as an example he asks, “So how does YouTube bring in revenue? Well, it tries to sell advertisements alongside its hosted videos. The problem is that the business’ video may not only be surrounded by various forms of less- desirable user-generated content, but also the sort of advertising it would NOT want to be near- to or associated with. Gladwell certainly makes interesting arguments any serious business person should consider.

By all means, give ‘Priced To Sell a quick read! 

Website Priorities For The Serious Marketer

Consumers Prioritize Detailed Information Before They Will Ever BuyWith Websites What Is Important For Marketers

While there are several powerful marketing & advertising channels (i.e. search engines, social networks, search & listing directories, email marketing platforms, etc.) online, consumers will always prioritize seeing information about your business. Everything else should be seen as a means for driving consumers inbound to that presentation! For those with a healthy ‘long term view’ for their marketing, here are the most important things to consider with websites.

The Priorities For Modern Business Websites: 

  1. Ownership & Control: Own your website and its URL outright! You should always be able to move from host to host, at will. If not, accept the risk of losing an accumulated investment of time and money. Many free, and even some yellow page company providers, sell traps that prioritize their own business interests over yours. No one likes being trapped and no one should accept the possibility of having to start all over again. Amongst many advantages WordPress serves, why accept anything less than ownership? (See: Why A Business Should Use WordPress?) 
  2. Content: We can’t emphasize investment in content enough! Don’t ‘throw up’ all over a homepage like so many business owners do. Rather use it to define a websites’ purpose. Then dedicate pages with a depth of information for every subject relevant to your business. Sooner or later buyers will need useful information on all of your strengths, products & services. And above all other signals, search engines wish to rank pages based upon their subject- specific usefulness to people! (See:
  3. Mobile Friendly: Over 50% of your visitors arrive on mobile devices and that percentage will only increase! Use software that is mobile- responsive / friendly to visitors on phones, tablets and on PCS alike. Not only is it best for YOU with consumers, but it is also a highly weighted competitive signal for search engines. If you are not mobile friendly, assume that Google does NOT want to recommend you in its search results. (See: )
  4.  Host & Manage: Chose a host platform that serves fast loading pages or expect to disappoint people and search engines! The Internet, browsers, devices, apps’ and, unfortunately even, hacks advance. So should your website software! Most website solutions lag this reality, but to be out front of the curve and hardened against attack website software (and its host platform) should be managed! (See: )
  5. SEO: It’s common for a business owner to say, “the website is just a reference for existing clients.” In this day and age we’d argue this thinking is narrow-minded. Even when referred by a trusted party, consumers will all still search. Use website software that, at least, offers search engine friendly support for on- website page SEO mechanics. Pages are ranked on up to 200 different signals, many on and many off page; however, be assured that visibility in searches starts with the on page mechanics of content itself!
    • Web Footprint: A website should forever grow a gigantic far reaching web footprint (See: ) of direct subscribers, back links, likes, shares, reviews and bookmarks … from all over the web. All of these off page signals are prepared to send someone somewhere at any time inbound to our pages! And, by the way, they serve as the off page signals that search engines use to rank your pages competitively! 
  6. Design: Always keep in mind that for visitors it matters what your brand looks like. Your website is an immediate replacement for window shopping. “Drag and drop” gets thrown around loosely by the bottom- dwellers of website software and its rarely ever good enough. Design can’t be one dimensional; it must accept SEO, security, lead capture and various other functions. There’s got to be cooperation so that aesthetic never undermines other required layers. Choose solutions that allow you to carry page URLs from design to redesign, so that a web footprint can remain in tact! (See:
  7. Security: Like it or not, no one can guarantee your website security. What you must do, at minimum, is make sure that website code is updated in order to harden it against vulnerability to hack. Management matters as does personal computer use, but a serious marketer should also invest in highly regarded defense. Like, for instance, solutions that offer a firewall, daily malware scanning, two factor authentication and much more! Some may even guarantee they can clean a site that has been hacked, no matter the time involved. (See: )


ONLY WordPress Meets All Of These Challenges

See: Why Use WordPress

10 Reasons A Business Must Blog!

blogging copy writing by kinetic knowledge Why is Blogging So Important for Business?

New challenges arise and business owners solve them every single day. And as problems occur the people who need answers and support are going to be searching. By blogging about how a product or a service solves problems a business increases its’ probability for discovery. Why? It’s because each post generates subject specific keyword indexing for ‘search engine result pages’ (i.e. SERPs). The more subjects, answers and keywords covered the more potential visibility there is among the MOST QUALIFIED POTENTIAL new leads. They are QUALIFIED by the INTENT of their searches! And by writing to educate and also answer these new questions a business can present itself as ‘trustworthy’ versus competitors who may not ever bother. 

10 Reasons Business Blogging is a Top Marketing Opportunity!

1. Search: All consumers search and they research. Search engines reward those businesses willing to publish or blog good content with visibility in their indexes. Of note here is a search engine needs to remain relevant to its searching consumer and so organic search results should not, in theory, ever be influenced by advertising dollars.

2. Organic Search Results: Approximately 90% of all searches result in an organic search results click through and NOT a Pay Per Click Ad click.

3. Unlimited Visibility: A business can become visible in organic search result pages for an unlimited number of keywords surrounding its products and/ or services! The ‘Long Tail of Search‘ rewards a business with visibility among qualified searchers. 

4. Advertising Longevity: With search and blogs, a business is never limited by time or space. Unlike traditional advertising, where it pays for limited circulation, advertorial content or blogs may remain available online forever. Think ‘Advertising Disintermediation‘ and the breaking of barriers between a businesses knowledge and those who want it.

5. Qualified Leads: The search engine interface is a natural lead filtration system. Because consumers can search the topic keywords of their choosing, they are the most qualified leads imaginable to an advertiser.

6. Simple Content Publishing: Business blogs make it very easy to compete for the attention of qualified searchers. The publishing interface makes blogging as easy as crafting an email.

7. Builds Trust: Business blogging affords a chance to present a business in a much more human way than traditional advertising ever will. A business blog helps to keep the attention of current and future clientele.

8. Direct Subscription: A blog offers a business the unlimited potential for direct and voluntary subscribers. Blogs may offer email subscription and once a consumer is subscribed they will automatically receive a message every time the business blogs. It means staying on radar screens until a consumer is ready to buy … or buy again.  

9. Cheap Technology: Blog solutions are cheap easy to manage content publishing tools and almost routinely a feature of a website. 

10. Reduced Overall Marketing & Advertising Cost: Versus other forms of advertising a good Business Blog can dramatically reduce overall marketing & advertising costs, while simultaneously raising visibility!

Get yourself a good Business Blog ( see Copywriting | Blogging Services ), of find out about different types of SEO Services by contacting Kinetic Knowledge!