Guidelines and Roles for Content Management

Today nine out of ten companies are managing their own website content. This content is used to retain customers, bring in new ones, pass on to social media, blogged about, sent in newsletters, used in webinars, and even handed out at events and fairs! That’s a lot of reuse for the same content and a heavy strain on specific resources.

The Content Marketing Institute has said that just one in three companies feel their content is actually being used in the right manner and bringing in customers. This is because most organizations don’t have the specific skills to create the right content to drive in new customers. With content being used in so many different ways, it takes vertical knowledge and specific research to understand what is going to work and where.

Take these statistics for instance:

  • Sans-serif fonts work on the web, while serif can work on paper.
  • Warm colors tend to draw more customers on paper, with the opposite online.
  • Online content is generated to be optimized for size, while offline has no such restrictions.
  • Online media are “first-fold” oriented, meaning the first part of the page you see without scrolling down


These are some examples that show the differences in approach required for your content management strategy.

Content as an Asset
Strong brand advertising uses specific content that is meant to pull at your heartstrings, cause you to engage with the brand, and build a connection that is endearing over the long term.

However your marketing strategy changes, your content is going to rise to the top if it has value. It will remain accessible for years and will continue to engage people. Once you create an active audience for your content, you can sell current products and services as well as cultivate your target audience to introduce new and similar products.

Robert Rose says, “In many businesses (especially in B2B), the marketing department is an order-taking, tactical function that runs on the hamster wheel of demand generation, trying to keep up with ‘client’ orders for new collateral, press releases, case studies and, at times, marketing-qualified leads (MQLs).”

In the next decade, we will need to build and grow audiences that are genre specific and have been nurtured to like our content. This will require some thinking as Internet marketers and a change of mindset when companies are hiring new talent.

New Age Marketing Roles
With the changes that marketing will face, there are new roles to be filled. Whether you are a marketing firm that is scaling up to new demand or a small store that is planning its expansion strategy, you need to start thinking about these roles and how you can best fill the gaps in your organization.

Chief Content Officer
This position is your king of the castle. The CCO will be the one who tells the story for your organization. They will be the person spelling out the direction that the content is required to take, based on the mission that the organization has in mind. As different parts of the organization spin out different content for newsletters, brochures, search optimization, social media, etc, the CCO will be required to go through it all and ensure that the mission of the organization is intact.

Managing Editor
The managing editor will push into action the CCO’s content plan and vision. The managing editor is responsible for the execution of the strategy the CCO has planned out for different departments and verticals. This includes ensuring that style, scheduling and tone are in sync with the company’s vision.

Chief Listening Officer
The CLO is the eyes on the ground, the person in charge of listening to what the feedback from the market is saying. He/she also ensures that the content is received correctly and people have access to the correct content they require.

Director of Audience
The DoA ensures that the content generated is in sync with the mindset of the target audience, that the content has the right passion points, and that it is pushing towards the right action. They are also responsible for building mailing lists, both online and offline, and social media interactions.

Channel Master
With the differences in media, there is a requirement for someone to define how content is generated and how it will be optimized for different channels. The channel master provides the strategy for different areas of content. What time it should be released, what technology should be used, how it is to be released and so on.

As you can see, the future of content marketing is huge. It will weather search engine updates, changes in fashion and taste. We need to ensure that we use media correctly and plan out our strategies effectively. Keep in mind that these roles are not necessarily unique. Depending on the people available and the size of your organization, you will probably need to tweak them based on your specific requirements.

Local SEO for Your Business

With Google’s new Penguin updates, local is making bigger inroads into the Google SERPs. Local SEO is relevant for a business with a local presence requirement, whether you are a lawyer, a dentist, a doctor, a restaurant or a painter.

Local vs. National SEO

Local and national SEO share a large number of factors in common such as on-page, links, social, indexing, etc. But local does have a few differences. For local, you want to claim your Google profile, which is the page that will show up in the local search results. Next, you need to get a citation. A citation is a website that uses your name, address and phone number – all on the same page. Make sure that your details are the same everywhere. Changing your address or zip code could confuse Google. Third, generate reviews. Lots of reviews. The more, the merrier. The quantity and quality of the reviews for your page are one of the most important local ranking factors.

On-Site Optimization

Make sure name, address and phone numbers are on every page of your site, in the same format as your Google local listing. Use schema markups to better help search engines identify and show your location. Also include a KML file on your site. While some of this may seem redundant, it never hurts to send as many legitimate signals as you can.

Maximizing Local SEO Rankings

The fundamental way to do this is to increase citations, overall number of reviews and positive reviews. At this point, local results are quite Google specific. So, the more you can do in terms of  getting a better page for your business, the better your outcome is going to be. Ask clients to leave positive reviews and to +1 your page, keep it updated and keep linking to it. Location being close to the city center helps, since Google assumes you are close to city center when doing a search.

Getting Local Search Results

Go to Google place to sign up for your listing and complete all the details. This includes adding images, videos and all the other information you can share about your business. But don’t get too “SEO” on this listing. You don’t want to over-optimize for SEO and make it look unnatural in any way.

Sign up at Yext. They will send out your information to other major local platforms in the same format. Each of these will become a citation, which is hugely valuable. Next, use a tool like KnowEm to get your social profiles. Yext and KnowEm do have a charge for setting up profiles, but it is well covered in terms of returns. Invest your money as you feel comfortable for your budget and start with Yext.

Along with making your profiles, don’t ignore SEO on your website. Make sure that at least some of the links you build towards your website contain your target city/state combo. And, although it isn’t entirely correct to encourage people to go to your profile and write reviews, do suggest that if your customers are happy with you they leave a review at your pages.

Tools for the Task

WhiteSpark provides services for locating local citation sources, and you can try them out. In case you are doing some local guest blog posts, you can add your bio into the post data and generate some citations from it.

Ways to Get Reviews

Let your customers or clients know that they can rate their experience with you on your Google Places profile. Have logos up in your windows or in your office showing the places where people can leave reviews. Include your profile links in your email communications (particularly in follow-up emails after a purchase or visit), direct mail and anywhere else you can think of to get in front of customers. Of course, if you want poitive reviews, you need to provide a product and/or service that warrants them.

And while this should go without saying, DON’T BUY REVIEWS. While Google doesn’t always catch fake reviews, they are working constantly to get better at it. Yelp, on the other hand, errs on the site of extreme caution and often banishes overly positive reviews.

Outsource or Self-Promote

Depending on what your budget is, you can make a few choices. From the tips above, you may be able to do a large part of this on your own. Or you can hire an agency that will take the pain away for you. While we can’t specifically make a recommendation for an agency, keep in mind that typically with SEO, what you pay is what you get. There are a large number of agencies, but as a start you can check the WhiteSpace service at $16.

Keep building up reviews and citations for your business over time, and you will rapidly see the number of visitors coming to your local business go up.

Adobe to Acquire Neolane

For Immediate Release

Acquisition Brings Cross-Channel Campaign Management to Industry’s Most Comprehensive Offering for Marketers

SAN JOSE, Calif. – June 27, 2013 – Adobe Systems Incorporated (Nasdaq:ADBE) today announced it has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire privately held Neolane, a leader in cross-channel campaign management technology, headquartered in Paris, France, for approximately $600 million in cash.

Neolane integrates online and offline marketing data from across an enterprise – performing robust audience segmentation and delivering marketing messages across channels. It offers a best-in-class platform for sophisticated automation and execution of campaigns across the Web, email, social, mobile, call center, direct mail and point of sale (POS). This enables marketers to deliver consistent customer experiences, personalized campaigns and increased ROI.

“The acquisition of Neolane brings critical cross-channel campaign management capabilities to the Adobe® Marketing Cloud,” said Brad Rencher, senior vice president and general manager of Adobe’s Digital Marketing business. “Adobe has long been the trusted partner to creative professionals and we are now extending our lead in the digital marketing space with the addition of Neolane. From campaign creation through planning, execution and optimization, Adobe technology is driving the entire marketing process.”

Neolane will become a sixth solution in the Adobe Marketing Cloud, complementing the existing Analytics, Target, Social, Experience Manager and Media Optimizer offerings. This creates an unparalleled platform for delivering rich, personalized experiences to consumers across channels and devices, and giving a unified view of the customer to marketers. The Adobe Marketing Cloud enables marketers to drive what once were incredibly complex campaigns – delivering marketing ROI that is highly measureable.

The Neolane acquisition builds upon Adobe’s strategy of combining organic innovation with key acquisitions to deliver the most robust set of solutions for digital marketers today. This most recent acquisition complements other strategic digital marketing acquisitions, beginning with Omniture in 2009 and followed by Day Software (2010), Demdex (2011), Auditude (2011) and Efficient Frontier (2012).

“Neolane has more than 400 customers worldwide, many of whom are Adobe customers as well,” said Stéphane Dehoche, CEO and co-founder of Neolane. “Combining our capabilities into Adobe Marketing Cloud will open up a level of visibility that makes these marketers’ day-to-day work easier and more effective. Adobe has an incredible vision for the future of marketing along with a connection to the creative process that no other company can match. We’re ready to help take their market leadership to the next level.”

The transaction, which is expected to close in July, is subject to customary closing conditions. The potential financial impact to Adobe of this transaction is not reflected in financial targets previously provided by Adobe. Until the transaction closes, each company will continue to operate independently. Assuming the completion of the transaction, Adobe believes the acquisition of Neolane will not materially affect the company’s forecasted revenue and non-GAAP financial results in fiscal year 2013. Due to the absence at this time of certain acquisition-related cost estimates and purchase price accounting, Adobe is currently unable to provide an estimated impact on future GAAP earnings. Neolane CEO Stéphane Dehoche will continue to lead the former Neolane team as part of Adobe’s Digital Marketing business.

For more information, see the Adobe Corporate Blog.

Forward-looking Statements Disclosure

This press release includes forward-looking statements, within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995, that are subject to risks, uncertainties and other factors, including risks and uncertainties related to Adobe’s ability to integrate Neolane’s technology into Adobe Marketing Cloud. All statements other than statements of historical fact are statements that could be deemed forward-looking statements, including statements regarding: the ability of Adobe to extend its leadership in digital marketing and other anticipated benefits of the transaction to Adobe; the emergence of new marketing channels, the effectiveness of Neolane’s technology; the ability of Adobe and Neolane to close the announced transaction; any statements of expectation or belief; and any statements of assumptions underlying any of the foregoing. These risks, uncertainties and other factors, and the general risks associated with Adobe’s business, could cause actual results to differ materially from those referred to in the forward-looking statements. The reader is cautioned not to rely on these forward-looking statements. All forward-looking statements are based on information currently available to Adobe and are qualified in their entirety by this cautionary statement. For a discussion of these and other risks and uncertainties, individuals should refer to Adobe’s SEC filings. Adobe does not assume any obligation to update any such forward-looking statements or other statements included in this press release

About Adobe Systems Incorporated

Adobe revolutionizes how the world engages with ideas and information – anytime, anywhere and through any medium. For more information, visit

Understanding the importance of Content Marketing

There can be all kinds of definition for content marketing but the implementation aspect of content marketing is made up of some of the best practices. Like all practices, even content marketing has its dos and don’ts with regards to market research, process and governance, editorials, and execution and analysis.


The first important point to remember while conducting your market research is that content marketing should be all about the management of expectations. This can be easily achieved by having a road map with everything from deadlines to deliverables clearly outlined. This would ensure that everyone stays focused on their task. It is a known fact that market research is a tedious process. Nothing can be gained by rushing through it. The fallout of doing so is the irreparable damage to the persona of the firm involved in content marketing.

Proper market research is crucial for the generation of sales. It lays the foundation for the development of strong and sound strategies. For this reason, research shouldn’t be rushed, and most importantly, it shouldn’t be left incomplete. Market research is all about persona development through routes like customer surveys, groups and customer interviews, customer service division interviews, reports of external markets, surveys of readers and interviews of bloggers, and a host of other ways to develop a required persona.


Traditional publishing mediums like magazines and newspapers have been in the business of content production for a long time. They can be the perfect source for organizing your perfect content producing workforce with a clear cut demarcation of roles and responsibilities. This is essential in order to avoid any kind of internal conflict or confusion. Various teams need to work together to create content that has continuity and consistency for the perfect user experience. This is paramount for ensuring mess free content on your website.

It is essential to have a thorough understanding of your company’s legal stance in order to avoid any kind of obstacles with regard to compliance and editorial reviews. This is essential since the internet is abounding with problems like copyright infringement and plagiarism, and a marketer might unknowingly break some kind of law. Legal woes can be further avoided through the incorporation of a clear cut policy among various content producers.


There should be certain editorial standards in your content. There should be consistency in the structure and voice of your content. This is only possible if there are well defined editorial guidelines for the writer. Again, the guidelines should be the same for all the different teams. This is necessary for consistency in the content. There can be many forms of content. Content can be made different and creative through the use of different formats, topics, styles, media, and so on. At the same time, one shouldn’t sacrifice revenue for creativity. The content should be creative and should incorporate the necessary keywords, personas and funnel mapping for revenue generation.


The end purpose of any kind of content should be revenue generation. A clear knowledge of this goal and the means to achieve it will help your content to stay on track. Content should be created with the aim of improving the overall business of any firm. Before the launch of any kind of content, there should be some kind of mechanisms in place for determining the success of your content. The content list should be updated regularly. Such a practice is important for the development of new content in the future. The focus of content marketers should not be only bringing in new customers, but retaining old customers as well.
Your content marketing initiatives can only reach their full potential through well executed and best practices.

How To Recover From A Manual Google Penalty – A Step By Step Guide

Sometimes while designing your website, you put in a number of links to increase the website’s visibility in search engines, but you may often come across a typical problem where Google reviews your website citing a problem with your links. Here is a step by step guide about recovering from physical link problems.

Whenever there are irrelevant or unnatural links on your website, the Google Webmaster Tools starts giving you warnings. Sometimes, if a warning is not given it might be an algorithmic problem caused by Google Penguin. With Google Penguin, you will not have to submit any reconsideration requests because this is a process where you can discuss the manual penalty with Google.

Now, if you have received any waning from Google Webmaster Tools, then it is time to analyze your back links seriously. This can be a time consuming process, so you need to be very patient. First, sketch out an entire image of your back links. While analyzing the back links, you might need a number of back link analysis tools because there is no such tool that can provide you with an overall profile. Some of the useful and important back link analysis tools are Google Webmaster Tools, Majestic SEO, Bing Webmaster Tools, Link Detox, Open Site Explorer and LinkRisk.

An important thing about backlink analysis tools is that you should never ever consider Google Webmaster Tools as the only weapon that can help you out just because Google has warned you about the problem. Google only provides you with an example of the links causing problems and does not give you an entire image of the links on your website. So, you need a handful of different weapons to analyze all your back links properly.

A Google warning indicates a problem. There could be different problems: paid links, advertorials or manipulation of PageRank. So, first identify which problem Google is talking about. The category of the links will be chosen according to the cited problem. Anything in your website that is unnatural or irrelevant anything that is there just for SEO purposes, should be piled up and simply removed from your website.

The next step is link removal. Whenever you are aware of the list of links that are causing trouble to your website, it is time to remove them, but this process is very painstaking and not very effective at the same time. At the end of the removal process, you may come up with a very poor removal rate. But you have to carry out this unlinking process repeatedly to remove all the unnatural links from your website.

The next step is Disavow which enlists all the unnatural links and asks Google to reject those while providing a Google ranking to the website. This will help you to remove all those unnecessary links from your website that you could not remove. This step helps you to remove all the unnecessary links as a whole and not individually. Hence, it is easier to disavow all the links of a particular domain without deleting individual links from the same domain.

By completing all these tasks, you can proceed further by submitting your website to Google for reconsideration. But make sure that you are honest about your activities.

Black Hat or White Hat SEO?

You’ve probably heard about the search engine optimization being divided into two camps, “white hat” and “black hat.” The distinction between the two changes over time. However, there’s always an approach you can choose based on the target you have in mind and your mind-set. Today, we’ll look at how these camps stand apart and what you need to know to make a better decision on the course you want to take.

While we are going to speak about both black and white hat SEO, when we talk about black hat, we are talking about tactics and rules that are not part of Google’s set – activities like hacking websites and other outright illegal methods. To be clear, while we are putting general ethics aside, we are definitely not endorsing any activities that are illegal.

Black Hat SEO

Black hat SEO refers to various methods of rapidly gaming Google into believing that your website is as genuine as the established players. Keep in mind that, while these may work, they are generally short lived and Google is getting far better at catching on to these tactics. Google is on a continued offensive to find people who are trying to con their domains up in the rankings. That being said, here are a few tactics that are in use.

Link farms – These are websites that are programmed to link to each other within the group. They are obviously quite easy for search engines to catch onto.

Blog and forum spam – There are automated programs available that will visit several websites and submit comments while leaving a backlink to other websites. These are generally nonsensical comments which are easily caught and removed manually.

Hidden text – This is the practice of having links within pages and then hiding those links by using color or blocking the block via CSS so human visitors can’t view the links but search engine spiders can.

Cloaked and doorway pages – Cloaking is illegal and is the activity of presenting one version of a web page to search engines while showing completely different text to human visitors. Doorway pages refers to webpages with some text for search engines and some programming for web browsers that will redirect to a different domain. Both these activities will result in domains being kicked out of Google if caught!

White Hat SEO

White hat SEO means using methods that are okay with search engines and avoiding automated pages or any of the methods mentioned above. While some agencies will tell you that they use only white hat methods to ensure your pages never slip in search results, keep in mind that these terms are often changing. For example, it used to be acceptable to have keyword-rich domains, links in the footer or paid links with no penalties until quite recently. Now all these activities are frowned upon.

Guest blogging – The process of writing posts for other websites in return for a link to your website will help your rankings and generate relevant traffic as well.

Viral campaigns – If you have ideas and infographics to share on your website that are of importance to your industry, you can be sure they will be shared, tweeted, bookmarked and passed along.

On-page optimization – Ensure that your pages have the correct titles, are named correctly, have well written HTML and do not employ hidden links.

Well written posts – Make sure your domain has regularly updated and well written content. The more relevant your posts, the more traffic you can get from search engines. A five-page domain can attract only so much traffic.

Sitemaps and internal links – Have a sitemap that search engines can use to link all the pages in your website. The easier you make it for content to be found, the quicker you can get indexed and bring visitors onto those pages.

SEO is an evolving field, and there may never be a clear-cut definition of what is right and ethical. However, following a slow and steady link building practice from relevant domains will never get you into trouble. There are tempting advantages of black hat SEO. It may allow your domain to get ranked quickly, but you may tank just as quickly. At the end of the day, your moral compass allows you to decide on which side you want to be and how much risk you want to take with your marketing campaigns.

Powerful Product Portrayal

Earlier we blogged about how to use snippets for your ecommerce based website, and we got a flood of responses. This week, we will delve further into how you can work with your ecommerce website to achieve higher rankings and sales.

On-page SEO is an important part of the strategy for ranking. Content that will help your consumer feel connected to your product is key in making a sale. Keep in mind that it isn’t just the content on your page that is important. It’s a mix of content and presentation. Your website functions like a brochure for your products, and if that brochure doesn’t catch the consumer’s eye, sales are going to be that much tougher to drive.

Tuning Your Product Portrayal

The first step is to take a look at your website’s listing on Google by typing in, where is your domain name. This will show the default pages that Google has stored for you. You need to decide whether that description is acceptable or you need to edit it by adding a meta description tag to your pages. If your site is a few thousand products wide, it will take some time. However, the investment is worthwhile. And you should get started now!

Next, take a look at the way you’ve presented your product. If you haven’t offered at least a few paragraphs about why your product is interesting to your buyer, you’re missing out. Even websites selling showers offer more than just technical information.

Also, make sure you have a few high-resolution photos of your product so the end user knows what they are going to get. A great way to set yourself apart from the competition is to create a video for your product. It doesn’t need to be very long, just 20 to 30 seconds focusing on how the product functions and its selling points.

Market Terminology and Tone

Keep the end user who will be buying your product in mind, and think the way they would. Ensure that you have a description they would understand and relate to. Think of the words your customer would use to search for the product. They can be general to start with to generate traffic for long tail terms. Then you can add more specific terms like model number or other specifics in the text for someone who is looking for details.

Don’t Duplicate Content

Most manufacturers will provide a default description for their products. If you’re just going to copy and paste that text, you’re not getting very far. A lot of other websites have probably already done the same, plus there’s a chance you’ll get a negative ranking because you’re duplicating content. So stay away from those default descriptions.

Real Benefits vs. Feature Lists

Be creative about how the product you are selling will help solve a pain point that a customer may have instead of listing a set of product features. Most users are not expert enough to understand the technicalities of the products they are buying and are looking for general information on how they will benefit.

SEO-Friendly Descriptions

At the end of the day, you want to make sure that your descriptions are doing more than just the task of ensuring that your customer buys the product. You also want to rank your page for relevant search terms. The key, as we’ve said before, is using terms that you feel people would actually use for the product. Over time, you will see multiple phrases from your search history that are being used to find your website. Based on those terms, you can edit your product descriptions to maximize your SEO potential as well.

Test and Tweak

Finally, test and tweak your pages to the best of your ability. Google allows you to A/B test pages via their Analytics product. You can use other methods such as Multivariate and Taguchi tests as well. However, a simple split test is a great start to see what converts best for you.



Reasons to Invest in SEO

There’s never a time when your website couldn’t use a little more love at the search engines. After all, is there such a thing as too much traffic?! From time to time, you’ll notice some onsite factors that are a clear indication that you should start spending more time on your website before things get out of hand. Many of us see our websites as a backyard garden, something that we’ll tend to one of these days but just never really get down to doing.

Here’s a quick list of issues and tips for fixing up your website.

Dead Pages with Links Pointing to Them

During the course of maintaining your website, you will add new pages, update pages and remove pages. You may have removed pages because you stopped offering a product line or service. However, each page of your website can have external pages pointing to it, and search engines like to use these links as a signal about the quality of your website. When you have dead pages, you will generally have a new page that has come up in its place. You can set up a simple page redirect via your .htaccess file or via your CMS to ensure that the links you already have don’t lose potential and that your visitors have a seamless experience.

Slow Loading Pages

When your website loads slowly, it makes a difference in the end user experience. It also makes a difference in search engine rankings. If search engines notice your website can’t take the load, they will stop sending you as much traffic as you would like. The simple answer to fixing your speed problems is to get a better hosting company. The technically correct way of figuring out why your website is not working the way it should is to do a test on the loading pattern. You can run a test at Pingdom will give you a stat on how long each part of your website takes to load. The initial time taken is generally because of the programming code/logic. If you have a high first-byte time, you need to ask the programming team to clean up their code by caching or optimizing. You can also add a subdomain to store images, CSS and JavaScript files. This will make the load time quicker as you won’t have overhead data in your requests.

Checking Alternate Keywords

When you’ve optimized your website for a few keywords and have hit the sweet spot at search engines for traffic from those terms, you can always do more from there. A quick method to ensure that you are not leaving out ancillary products for your competition to snatch up is to look at your keywords log. Look at what phrases your customers are looking for when they visit your site, and see if you can create a product or service that would be useful to them. Quite often you will notice that people search for slightly similar terms to your products, and search engines will send you traffic thinking that your website has the required services available. It would be wise to invest some time and effort into making the most of that traffic and having something that your customers can use in those niches as well.

Mobile, Social and More

If you haven’t already created a mobile experience for your users, you need to look into that  soon. Mobile browsing isn’t just a fad anymore. It’s here to stay and it’s everywhere. People are looking at your website from their phones, and they need to see the data that is relevant to them quickly and easily before they move to alternate providers. Social websites like Facebook, Twitter and YouTube are a great connection point. There’s nothing like hearing the pain and pleasure points so quickly from your end users and making changes to ensure that you are ready for the next big wave that people are looking for. The new media options available today allow us to hear what people want in an instant. If we don’t adapt to those demands, someone else will.

Getting Customer Reviews

Reviews are an excellent way to tell if a business is legit or not. A recent market survey shows that as many as 72% of people find reviews as valuable as personal recommendations. Reviews are important for search engine optimization as well, and they help as local ranking factors. When your website has reviews with Google, those pages will land higher in the local search engine ranks.

With social media allowing us to have our say so easily about a product and with review websites making reviews so easy to generate, it’s time to put a plan into action. Motivating your customers to post a review takes some strategy. Here are some basic points to follow to encourage your customers to provide reviews that will raise you above your competition.

First, try to get your website reviewed at a few different websites. Google+ is ideal to start with. After that, you can move to other sites like Yelp, ReviewCentre, Brownbook, Qype, Tipped and FreeIndex.

Ask for reviews at the right time. Most of your customers won’t have more than a few minutes to review your website, so it needs to be easy and convenient for them. The best time to ask for a review is the way the big guys do it – right after a purchase is made. Websites like eBay and Amazon include this function as part of their shopping cart, and it’s easy to integrate for your website as well. If you have a manual process, make sure you have your email ready to send as soon as your product sale notification goes out. Most customers are quite excited to receive their notification and will be happy to take part in a short review at that time.

Use your social media profiles creatively to evoke responses from your customers. Most of your customers will have social media handles as well. Although most people use Facebook, you can leverage all the media you can to get reviews. Google+ is definitely the top one to look for. With Google+, you rely on your client having an account with Google. However, the integration with search engine results is far better than with other providers. Since these reviews can improve your local search results, make sure you ask for reviews with your circles.

Facebook has a review tab that allows anyone who visits your company page to see recommendations from other users. They can also leave their own review for your products. To enable the review tab, you need to be a local business, list your address and check “show this map on the page.” Since Facebook has a billion users and climbing, getting people to review you should be quick and easy to do. Then, make sure to keep the review URL handy to send to your customers.

LinkedIn also has a great review system. It allows you to display recommendations on your company profile page or on your name as an individual. The only condition for LinkedIn reviews is that your clients must to be on LinkedIn and connected to your profile.

Twitter, Pinterest and YouTube do not have review sections. But they can contribute to your review strategy. With Twitter, you can post snippets of your reviews and ask for retweets from your fans. When your fans see these reviews, they are encouraged to write in as well. Pinterest allows you to create specific boards for your reviews. So if you have images or written testimonials of your reviews, you can post them into your boards for people to see. YouTube is the toughest one to get a review on, of course, but a video testimonial goes a long way. And they are great to have on your website.

These are just a few ways you can generate reviews for your website. Be open to a mix of approaches on how to engage your customers. But keep one rule in mind: strike when the iron is hot, catch your customers when they’re feeling good about your business, and make sure they have all the options they need to review your business.

Brand Search and Page One Presence

Getting on page one of search results is really what it’s all about, isn’t it? About 60% of website traffic for a business name comes from search engines. Let’s talk about what kinds of content we want to show up on page one. In today’s multi-dimensional online world, there are several bases to cover. Here are eight suggestions for getting your brand displayed on page one.

Research. The first step is to get a feel for the kind of presence your brand currently has. Do a search for “(brand name)” and “(brand name) review,” check the first two pages and look at what you find. In many cases, you’ll find there is already some coverage about you. See what’s being talked about, highlight the positive items, visit those pages and keep the URLs handy for reference.

Reviews. Many people looking for Mark’s SEO Shop will simply type “Mark’s SEO Shop” into their choice of search engine and hopefully see as the first result. But that’s just part of the story, at least concerning Google and its various platforms. Others may search for “Marks’s SEO Shop reviews.” Any reviews on the business will show under the Reviews section, which is on the right side of the Google search results page, for example. Google now automatically understands reviews and will be providing direct links to review websites as well. So you should make sure your business is included in as many relevant review sources as possible.

Social Media. Next you want to make sure you have a solid social media strategy in place. First, get an account at Twitter, Google+, Facebook and YouTube or whichever of these are relevant to your business. These media services are easy to tie into your brand for searches and over time will generate followers that you can reach easily.

Industry Sources. Look for affiliations that are industry relevant. For example, for Mark’s SEO Shop, it would be relevant to be mentioned at the IMA blog. Getting a profile will help as well by enabling you to learn more about what other people in your industry are doing and for following industry trends.

Press Releases. Place announcements about your business on external sources. Press release websites are great for establishing brand authority via current news and for building long-term brand presence. They are also easy to get ranked on search engines and will create positive mentions for your business.

External Blogs. Resources like WordPress or Squidoo are free and make it easy to create and maintain a blog to share timely and relevant information. These properties are also easy to get ranked on search engines and can provide important feedback from your audience. If you have reviews from your customers, put them up on these websites after you’ve obtained permission.

Internal Blogs. If you plan to host a blog on your work domain, create it with a subdomain identity like or so updates go into a fixed area of your website and you can control the look and feel. Installing and running WordPress is a breeze and should be easy for you to manage.

Interlinking. Now that you have a number of web properties out there, make sure you link them to each other. It’s very simple to link up social media profiles to help you gain trust and relevance from the interplay between them. Whenever you read about news in your industry, make a comment and drop in a link back to your websites to generate visitors and search engine importance.

This is a dynamic process. Keep up with the linking and property creation for your websites, and you’ll have page #1 for your business dominated easily.