Entries by Ice Cube

9 traps of facebook marketing that causes Singapore business owners to burn time and money

You probably don’t need another person to tell you that ”everyone is on Facebook” and your business should also leverage social media marketing in Singapore. It’s widespread these days. Well, these people are not lying. Facebook records a user base of about 3million people in Singapore. On average, Singaporeans spend 2.2 hours daily on this […]

How much does it cost to do Facebook Advertising in Singapore?

Unlike advertising on traditional mediums such as Straits Times where you fork out $7000 to buy a ”half-page ad space”, things are very different on Facebook.  There is no minimum cost to advertise on Facebook.   Content What are you buying on Facebook? So how much is the Cost Per Click? Factors That Influence Facebook […]

How To Use The Principles Of Influence In Online Marketing

Do you think that people take into account all the information needed to make a proper decision – a buying decision? It might be nice to think so, but researchers over the past 60 years have found otherwise. What they uncovered was a scientific approach to influencing the masses, that when followed to the letter, […]

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The Current State of Business in Singapore 2018

The World Bank has rated Singapore as the best country to do business in for the last 10 years. Unsurprisingly, there are more than 400,000 registered business entities in Singapore, according to ACRA. This is a huge number considering our modest population size of slightly over 5million people. Companies, mostly Pte Ltd companies form the largest […]

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A comparison of Google and Facebook ads auction platform

Most of us digital marketers are no strangers to Google adwords. This proven way of generating new customers has been around since 2000. Needless to say, the auction platform that Larry Page came out with is now a mature system used by advertisers worldwide. On the other hand, Facebook auctions has bewildered many advertisers to […]

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How to create a landing page that generates sales-qualified leads for any business

What is a landing page A landing page is like the airport of your business. It is where a user lands immediately upon entry to your website from 3rd party sources.i.e. Facebook, Google or other websites. Like it or not, a visitor derives an impression of your entire business from the airport. Based on this […]

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21 Digital Marketing Hacks to jumpstart your online success today

According to Statista, 2015 brought about $59.82 billion spent on digital marketing in the US, and the number is expected to grow to a whopping $113.18 billion by 2020. A field growing in popularity day by day, Digital Marketing has been the talk of the town over the last decade. To some, it remains a cloud […]

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Technical SEO 101 for getting your website ranked on Google [infographic]

Technical SEO is often an overlooked aspect of SEO. However, it’s as important as getting your content right. It’s the supporting structure behind your SEO strategy, and its immense importance is evident, as you will find out below. In this infographic, we have listed out what you should and should not do, as well as […]

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Ranking My Company’s Brand Name on Google : SEO for branding

Don’t be mistaken, it’s not the same as ranking for commercial keywords such as ‘Digital marketing agency singapore’ , ‘accounting software singapore’ etc.

Why is it so important to rank for your own brand name and/or terms on Google?

Picture the following scenarios:

– Someone stumbles across your ads somewhere, either on Facebook, Google, Linkedin or even offline. They weren’t ready to make purchase at that point, but their situation changed and they are ready to whip out their wallet now.  So they google for your company name to give you sales.

– They heard about you from friends but aren’t sure of your exact company url, hence they just google for your company name.

– They google you just to see if there are people saying bad things about you that would prevent them from buying

Traffic from organic brand searches has been found to overtake direct site visits. This means that chances of people visiting your site from branded keyword searches are much higher than those typing in a brand name in the browser.  I’m guessing you google for brand names as well, isn’t it ?

Imagine if someone makes a branded search, and your website fails to appear on the first page at the top few positions on Search engine results page (SERPs). Where do they go to? Your competitors, of course.Therefore, not ranking high for your brand keywords can potentially lead to the loss of potential hot leads to your competitors.

Take the case of Michael Snyder, the owner of Snyder Online Marketing

Michael told the story about how he was contacted by a customer who was recommended to a SEO specialist named Mitch Snyder. The client who was referred to Mitch, googled Mitch’s name and kept on being directed to Michael Snyder’s website. Thus, Mitch Snyder ended up losing a customer to Michael Snyder!

Don’t let that happen to you! Don’t let someone hog the top positions in Google when people search for you. (Note: It is also not uncommon for competitors to use search engine marketing to get on top of your website in the SERP, but thats another story)

Now that you know its importance, it’s time to act. Read on to find out how you can effectively rank your brand below!

Social Media

What do YouTube, Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn have in common? Answer: each of them provides incredible help for ranking your brand name. For example, Facebook’s amazing web authority providesthe opportunity for anyone to rank on the first page of Google’s results page.

Similarly, LinkedIn has massive authority as well. Staying active and well-maintained on the platform gives a high chance of ranking high. This goes for Twitter and YouTube as well. Web authority is extremely important in getting ranked high for your brand name and terms. This is because Google identifies user behaviour and supports authoritative websites. A brand that is often clicked will eventually find its way in the top rankings.

Additionally, include your brand name and terms in your social media usernames and page names too! Be explicit with your company’s name. Your page descriptions can also include them.

Of course, you would want your website to be no.1 on the results page when people google for you, but isn’t it even better to populate all the 10 results in Google with your social media profiles?

Are you indexed ?

If your website is not found on Google for your brand name, it could be that it is not even indexed yet.

How can you tell if your website has been indexed by Google ? Simple, just do a site search by googling the following term, replacing example.com with your website url.

site:example.com

If your website is not yet indexed, you can use this link to submit your website and wait for the Google spiders to come and crawl it.

 

Free bonus: Get a copy of 7 things to avoid when choosing seo company

Click here to download

 

Blog Comments and Discussions

You probably know that building back links from other websites on the internet is key to being found on Google. It is a cue to Google that your website deserves endorsements from other people and a sign of quality.

Commenting on other blogs and discussion platforms allows you to add a link back to your website. Make sure you reference your own brand name when commenting. It is not the best form of backlink, but nonetheless, a quick & easy way to get some love from other websites. It is usually enough if you are doing brand-related SEO, unless your brand name is as popular as Nike’s.

Citations and Reviews

Citations are as important as building quality links. This is especially so for local businesses. Google recognises a website containing many citations as active, current and ongoing – enough reason to include it in search results.

You can amass citations by listing your business in local directories, mentions in local blogs, and getting listed in the Yellow Pages, Yahoo Local and Yelp. Build solid citations in these local directories, and you will benefit from it.

Reviews are equally important. Get your reviews from websites such as Yelp, Google+, Yahoo and TripAdvisor. These reviews are essential in driving traffic to your website.

Press Releases

This is a simple yet highly effective way to rank for your brand name. Official press releases can give Google brand indicators with a link back to your website. When you reference your brand name in the title and content, it will also lead to the ranking of the press release for searches relating to your brand.

 

Branding Keywords

Explore your site. Where can you add in branded keywords? Use your website, business and copyrighted product names in your title tags, header tags, meta descriptions, URLs and alt image tags. In your website and blog content, reference your brand name.

Choose a brandable domain name for your website. Never underestimate its importance – a domain name paves the way for users to identify, find, share and remember you online.

Some things you can consider are being relevant to your company’s purpose, easily remembered, easy to spell, and being short. Also, having a .com extension is best because 75 percent of all websites have it. Consider how you want people to find your website and put yourself in their shoes.

 

Search appearance

Suppose you are now appearing on Google for your brand name. Do you know what do users see ?

Your website’s meta description directly affects what people see when they google your brand name. You want to be very delibrate in creating an impression in the users’ minds.

In the example below, which one are you more likely to click on ?

Tip: To find inspiration of compelling copies for driving click through, look no further than the paid results in the SERPs for your industry. Those websites doing pay per click advertising should have done lots of split-testing of their ads to find the best copy that resonates. You just need to reference(read: copy).

The next step- blogging

If you still don’t know the importance of blogs, get started now. Blogs are key to driving organic branded keyword rankings. When you add relevant, helpful and interesting content that attracts your audience, you’re giving your brand ranking a big hand up.

In your content, make sure to include mentions of your brand name and branded keywords. Semantic search results in Google’s association of branded keywords with the products and services you provide even without making that connection in your content bluntly.

 Conclusion

As you can see, SEO(search engine optimization)  is not just another marketing strategy where you can do without. With vast majority of people googling for brand names these days, your efforts in building your business may be sabotaged as a result of the failure to do proper branded SEO. At a minimum, you should google yourself from time to time to see what your customers are seeing about you.

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How to Get my Customer to Give me a Testimonial or Review?

Annual Local Consumer Review Survey by BrightLocal sheds light on the following:

  • 88% of shoppers trust online reviews just like they value personal recommendations
  • Excellent reviews of a business make customer spend 33% more
  • 72% trust a local business if it has positive reviews
  • 72% shoppers take action after coming across a positive review
  • 86% refuse to buy a product or service of a business with negative reviews

It is no secret that a business ought to have a good reputation in market in order to compete. With the advent of internet and social media, it is easier than ever before to gauge the reputation of a business, by simply checking it out on Google on Facebook!

“Welcome to a new era of marketing and service in which your brand is defined by those who experience it” says Brian Solis, business analyst and social media expert.

For small businesses, it could well be a cause of celebration. Even if your brand is relatively unknown, reviews can level the playing field between you and the big boys.

Reviews can be:

  • Testimonials on your website
  • Facebook reviews on your Facebook page
  • LinkedIn recommendations
  • YouTube video testimonials
  • Google business page reviews
  • Reviews on niche review sites such as Hungrygowhere
  • Reviews In local search directories

Notice that reviews need not be on 3rd party sites. Review websites such as Tripadvisor& Facebook allows you to embed reviews and testimonials of your business on your own website.

Even if there isn’t a 3rd party review website in your industry(usually B2B), you can create your own reviews and testimonials and host it on your own site! The key is to make it convincing.

So, now for the big question…

 

How to get customer to provide testimonial?

Businesses have already started to realise the importance of reviews and are encouraging their customers to leave a review of their products and services. But your customers are not always readily giving their opinion and feedback. Now what? You can try few of these ways to get reviews from your customers.

 

The earlier the better

In accordance with the bird-in-the-hand theory, you might want to try getting a testimonial when you reach a milestone, or when you attain small wins along the way instead of waiting until the end of the project. You don’t know what kind of situation may pop out that can jeopardize your grand plan of getting testimonial down the road. The sooner you get it, the better. Whats more, you can always have a new testimonial when you reach the next milestone. There is no harm in having more 🙂

 

Claim your existing reviews

Customers love to mention the brands they usually transact with. With or without asking, people are talking about you online. The good news is that you can find them with tools! You can track these mentions by setting up notifications on Google Alerts or Social Mention. Include a variety of terms that people may use to talk about your brand to ensure that you cover all grounds.  Use these alerts to get in touch with the customers who have mentioned you  in blogs/forums/other sites and seek their permission to feature the comment on your testimonials page. Usually, they oblige, more so if you have done a good job previously.

 

Systematize it

You already know the importance of creating systems within the company. You can systematize your sales process, interview process, why not your testimonials generation process as well ? Make it a part of your work process – Encourage your employees to get reviews from clients they work with at the end of a satisfactory engagement. You can also create an incentive program where they can receive cash bonuses for getting reviews; more reviews, more incentives!

 

Asking via email

When talking about systematization, you have to agree with me that robots do a better job. They never forget. Hence, if you are in a B2C business with infrequent customer contact, getting testimonials via email may be  a better idea.

This is a bit trickier and difficult. People rarely check their important emails, let alone the ones about giving feedback. However, you can turn it around with the following tips:

  • The email must come from a real person’s email address
  • The pitch must be that of a personal request made by the same person
  • Give a very clear call-to-action button of ‘Review’ and nothing else
  • Use autoresponder to automatically trigger a testimonial request email X number of days after purchase. Plenty of software such as Mailchimp, Aweber, Infusionsoft can do the trick, at an affordable price.
  • Go for A/B testing, i.e, test with different subject lines, email body, plain text versus HTML, etc., to see which performs the best.

 

Facebook and other review sites

Some businesses avoid using the reviews feature on Facebook, thinking that they would rather not take the risk of having a bad reputation online. Being a smart business owner, you should know that the most adventurous, daring and transparent businesses survive in this competitive marketplace! High risk, high returns. As Warren Buffet famously said, “When others are fearful, you should be greedy”. Jump on Facebook and openly accept reviews now!

online-review

Whats more, there are direct benefits to incorporating reviews in your social media profiles, and that is higher visibility. For example, your Google business page profile is more likely to show up on Google search results if it has considerable number of reviews. Likewise for other platform sites. Their algorithmn is mostly built in such a way that prioritizes high-ratings profile.

 

Reward users who review

Psychological principle of positive reinforcement holds – the more you incentivise, the more of such behavior you receive. Offer some incentives to your customers to leave reviews about you. Incentives can be in form of samples of your products, discounts on their future purchases, free gifts or promotional products. These tempt customers to leave reviews about your products. However, incent them to “write a review”, and not “write a good review”. Your motive should be to give them some incentives, not bribe them. Else it will backfire.

 

Make it super easy

Some businesses make their customers climb a mountain just to leave a positive review.

If possible, meet up with your customer and video or audio record them saying good things about your business. And you have a solid testimonial!

If you can only interact with them online, create forms and formats, and ask them to fill spaces respectively, instead of having them draft an email. People are innately lazy. This will make reviewing process less tedious and time consuming while encouraging people to leave reviews.

 

Just ask

Sometimes, it is our own mental hurdle. Customers are usually nice people. Just ask – Gently ask them to leave a review of their experience on your website. A reasonable customer would understand how important reviews are for you as well as for other customers who would transact for the same product in future. If they use your product or service, feel free to ask them what they think about you.

In the words of Jeff Motter, CEO and chief marketing officer of EastBay Marketing Group, “The best way to get reviews is to ask for them and the best time to ask is when you finish the job and are with them”.

 

Outline of a Testimonial

Testimonials tell about a customer’s experience with you. Make sure that you never pester them to leave behind a testimonial. Asking them a few questions politely can solve your purpose. Carefully pick your questions so that your reviewer feels them to be genuine and easy enough to answer.

testimonial101

For instance you can ask –

  • How was your experience with us?
  • What would have stopped you from buying this product
  • How do you find the product after buying it?
  • What specific features of our products or services did you like the most?
  • What benefit or result did you derive from using our product/service ?
  • What more could we do to improve?
  • Would you recommend our business to others? If so, why?
  • Is there anything you’d like to add?
  • Can I add your picture, company name, job title to the testimonial ? *

The last item could be the most important of all. The more generic a testimonial, the less convincing it is. The worst type of testimonial to have would be:

“Abc company is really good. – John”
You are better off not having a testimonial with that. Hence, you need to ask questions to facilitate their thinking to  smoothen the whole process. Remember the above rule? Make it as simple & easy as possible for your customers.

A survey done by econsultancy reveals that reviews/testimonials with a photo increases add-to-basket conversion by 22%. Again, the more specific , the better. Having photo, job title and company all helps.

Reviews not only give you scope for improvement, but help you widen your reach and increase brand awareness. With society and technology evolving rapidly, reviews can help you strengthen your online reputation and brand value. Shared experiences of your customers is what shapes your brand.

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