Tips for Monitoring Your Online Reputation

Monitoring your name, brand, company, products and key executives will help keep your jpeg-11online reputation safe. Don’t just limit yourself to major search engines, check blog search engines, news search sites, social media sites and forums. Okay it’s a little embarrassing, but don’t forget to look up modifiers like “sucks” and “scam”. Here are a few things you can do to monitor your reputation with minimum hassle:

1) Open up a Google account so you can set up an alert system to track your name and other keywords related to your business. The alerts will track blog posts, news, articles, videos and groups.  Google alerts can be set to notify you as soon as they are found: daily or weekly, via email or by RSS feed. At a minimum, you will want these results sent to you weekly.  Do the same with Yahoo alerts. You can also use Google Reader to important any relevant RSS feeds of search results or blogs you want to monitor.

2) Create a Delicious account, which you can use for tagging and categorizing sites you have bookmarked. Use your Delicious account to sort and organize sites and blogs that mention your name or organization.

3) If you have a blog, be sure you have claimed it in Technorati. Technorati is the largest blog search engine available, and it helps you by tracking blogs that have linked to you. You can also search for your brand on Technorati and subscribe to RSS alerts (sent to your Google reader). This way, when someone blogs about you or your organization, you’ll be notified.

4) Use several different applications to track comments on blogs and social site such as Digg, Stumbleupon and FriendFeed. Backtype and Yacktrack are some of the most commonly used. Social Mention is a great search site that will let you search all different types of social media sites at once, including microblogs (like Twitter), bookmarks, comments, images, news, video and audio.  With Social Mention you can set up an RSS feed for your search results, or an email alert. You can even import your results in the CSV/Excel file.  Another cool feature of Social Mention is that it can also give you an idea of the overall “sentiment,” letting you see if the majority of people are saying positive, neutral or negative things.

5) Use search tools within a social networking platform. While tools like Social Mention can be used for searching all types of social media, you can also use the search features of social sites like Twitter and Facebook. Twitter and Facebook will allow you to do real time search. You can set up saved searches in your Twitter account or in any of the many Twitter applications, as well as import results into an RSS feed reader like Google.

Figure out what works best for you and then set up a system that allows for easy monitoring and tracking. Make sure you monitor your results daily or weekly so that you can quickly address any problems or negative comments. Don’t forget to track and respond to positive comments too, this will help you build community and engage with your target market.

What Do People Really Think of You? Monitoring Your Online Reputation

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As blogs and social media sites become increasing popular, it becomes easier and easier for the general public to share their point of view. This is great when someone has positive things to say about you or your organization, but it’s a huge downer when some anonymous blogger is trashing you online. It’s important for organizations to monitor their online reputation – gossip is gossip, and negative statements can spread more quickly online than off.  Checking search engine results regularly for your business can help you nip bad rumors in the bud.

Ask yourself: how often do you use Google to search on your name or the name of your organization? There’s no need to feel vain! Googling yourself is a useful business tool. Search engines are sort of like reputation engines, and you can use them to see if someone has posted something positive or negative about you or your company. Negative commentary can show up on the first page of a search engine’s results, and it can snowball if you aren’t careful. Even if you’ve spent years coveting a positive reputation, you may find it easily marred by a few negative comments posted online.

Blogs tend to be more personal than your average website, and you’re more likely to get honest feedback if you look for comments in blogs. You can use specific search engines like Google Blog to look for these comments. Check out what happens in Google Blog Search when you search for Greenpeace. There are negative comments from three years ago that still show up at the top of the listings!

Consider also searching through video sites like YouTube, which had over 80 million users in July of this year and has one of the largest video search engines in the world. Social news sites like Digg and Mixx are other places where you can check to see what people are saying.

Monitoring what people are saying about you online is the first step to an untarnished name and reputation. Minimize the effects of negative comments or reviews by being open and catching them early.

First Impression: Having a Great Landing Page

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A landing page is the first page a visitor to your site will see. This may be your home page or any other page you would like a reader to see when they visit. According to marketing guru Seth Godin, a landing page can cause one of five actions:

1. Get a visitor to click (to go to another page, on your site or someone else’s)

2. Get a visitor to buy

3. Get a visitor to give permission for you to follow up (by email, phone, etc.). This includes registration of course.

4. Get a visitor to tell a friend

5. Get a visitor to learn something. This could also include posting a comment or filling out a feedback form.

Godin suggests that you optimize your landing page to accomplish one or two of these actions, and no more.  Your landing page should be tightly focused on whichever action you most want your visitor to complete.

call-to-action2Here are 10 tips for optimizing your landing pages:

1. Create a call to action. Include this towards the top of the page, and then include it again a few times throughout the page.  Link this call to action to an order page or a subscription form.

2. Keep your statements short. Provide brief but valuable bite-sized chunks of information and always include a way for visitors to contact you if they have questions.

3. Ask and answer questions. Provide a Frequently Asked Questions section (FAQ) where you ask a few commonly asked questions and answer them.

4.  Make sure your copy flows in a logical sequence.

5. Make good use of white space, headings and color. Your design should complement your copy to ensure a pleasant reading experience for your visitors.

6. Provide a bonus or a free item. Offering something for free that a visitor can easily download in exchange for their email address gives you an opportunity to build an ongoing relationship with them.

7. Be careful with your uses of images. Your goal is to bring the visitor to complete your call to action. Extra images can distract your visitor as they scan the landing page for information.

8.  Include relevant, well-written customer testimonials.

9. Make sure the page will load fairly quickly regardless of your visitor’s internet connection. Keep in mind that not everyone has a broadband connection.

10. Test and track the data from your landing page. Use your web analytics and other data to determine how well the different aspects of your landing page are working for you.

Your landing page is your first opportunity to tell visitors about yourself. Give them the best first impression possible to keep them thinking well of you when they leave the site.

Visit Seth Godin’s blog for more helpful online marketing tips.