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Archive for April, 2012
Let’s face it, online reviews can make you or break you. People rely more than ever on online review sites before making purchases or doing business with a company. If you’re not already monitoring reviews of your company then it’s time to start.
Claim Any Listings Floating Around the Web
The first thing you should do as a business owner is be sure to “claim” your local listings so you can have full control over the details and this also enables you to respond to reviews as a business owner. Popular review sites you should search for your business listing on include Google Places, Yelp, Bing Local, Yahoo Local, Smile Reminder (doctor reviews), Angie’s List, Kudzu and MerchantCircle.
Chances are you already have a listing on one of the above sites just waiting to be claimed.
Respond Online and Take it Offline
Once your listings are claimed they are ready to be monitored. And this is where the main point of this blog entry begins! You must respond to reviews, good and bad. The one thing our clients seem to be most confused about is how to address the bad reviews. Well, here are some tips to follow:
1. Do not respond “in the moment.” You may feel heated when you first read a negative review so step back and think about your response before you respond angrily. This is the time to take in some constructive criticism (assuming it’s a legit review).
2. Once you’re ready to respond, start off positive. Here’s an example of how to positively start your response, “We are open to all feedback from clients, as we believe it helps us adjust to better serve our clients.”
3. You should also discuss how you tried to resolve the issue (if you did) or how you plan on resolving the issue.
4. End the response by giving your contact information.
Be Known For Your Excellent Customer Service and Responsiveness
One of the companies I most admire for their customer service is ModCloth. They encourage customer feedback and will respond to any negative product reviews in a very personable way. They refer to the reviewer by name and make it known that they appreciate the feedback. Here are some screen shots of the great customer service I’ve witnessed on ModCloth:
He offered useful insight for successful marketing, some of it surprisingly simple. For example, recording and listening to phone calls: if your sales people give inaccurate information or fail in some other way to appropriately respond to potential customers, it really doesn’t matter if your marketing campaign generates 100 leads from Fortune 500 companies – the sales people are not converting the leads.
He also touched on the hot topic of Organic vs. Paid advertising. Agreeing with a study by Google showing that 89% of the clicks generated by paid ads would not be generated by organic search*, he recommends maintaining a PPC campaign even when your Organic rank is high.
The idea is explained by the basic psychological principle that humans prefer familiar things – the more times customers see or hear about a product or company the more likely they are to trust or prefer it.
Think of Billboard charts: the average song increases in popularity for about 6 or 7 weeks, meaning that people like it more as they become more familiar with it. For brands and companies familiarity drives brand equity: the recession resulted in a 30% earnings decline for companies overall, whereas familiar, trusted Best Global Brands saw only a 4% decline in earnings.
In other words:
People need to see your company lots of times, in lots of places (PPC and search lists), and they need to keep seeing your company show up over time.
* Clearly Google is incentivized to present their findings in a way that encourages companies to pay for advertising, and indeed analysts point out the limitations of Google’s interpretation of their results (Google presents an average rate of Incremental Ad Clicks unique to PPC, and doesn’t explicitly talk about the fact that lower IAC means your PPC is “cannibalizing” more of your organic clicks). In general though, there’s over half a century of robust research demonstrating the familiarity effect, so shelling out for those paid ads is probably worth it for your company.
Last month I wrote about a few ways to use Google’s AdWords Desktop Editor to more efficiently manage campaigns in Google AdWords. This month I’ll share some of my favorite tricks in the Microsoft adCenter Desktop Editor program, starting with two of the same things I highlighted in Google AdWords Editor: advanced bid changes and copying campaign settings. Just like Google’s AdWords Editor, the Microsoft adCenter Desktop Editor lets you make changes to your adCenter PPC campaigns offline and post those changes live after you’ve had a chance to Q/A your work. The Microsoft Desktop Editor also allows you to do some bulk changes that cannot be done in the adCenter UI, so it’s a great time-saver. While adCenter Desktop program doesn’t have all of the functionality of Google’s AdWords Desktop Editor, it’s come a long way in the last several months. I’m excited to see what additional features they’ll roll out in 2012.
Here are three of my favorite tools in Microsoft’s adCenter Desktop editor:
1. Advanced Bid Changes
If you find yourself wanting to increase or decrease bids on multiple keywords in one fell swoop, look for the “Change bids” button at the bottom of the adCenter Desktop tool. Note that you can only find this option in the Keywords tab for adCenter, unlike the “Advanced bid changes” option found in multiple tabs of AdWords Editor. (Fingers crossed, the “Change bids” button will soon show up on adCenter’s Ad Groups tab as well!)
To change bids, simply select the keywords that need adjusted bids, and then click on “Change bids”
As in AdWords Editor, the pop-up box lets you choose to increase or decrease bids by a certain percentage amount or dollar amount. You can also choose to “Set bid no higher than” or “Set bid no lower than” a certain amount.
2. Copying Campaign Settings
There’s now an easy way to copy campaign targeting settings from an existing campaign and paste them into one or more additional campaigns in adCenter. The following campaign settings can be copied: Locations, Day of Week, Time of Day, Demographics, and Devices.
To do this, simply right-click on the campaign whose settings you need to copy and then select “Copy” from the menu. Right-click on one or more campaigns into which you want to copy the settings. Select “Paste special” from the menu. A pop-up box will then give you the option to “Paste settings only,” and any available settings will appear on the right-hand side. Select the settings you want to paste (in this case, “Targeting”).
Double-check the campaign settings in one of your edited campaigns, and they should match the settings you copied over – much easier than going in and adjusting each of those settings manually!
3. Change Target Settings (Multiple Campaigns)
The trick above is great if you have a campaign that already contains the settings you want to add to other campaigns. But if you need to apply the same brand-new settings to multiple campaigns, here’s what you can do.
Start by selecting all of the campaigns you want to apply the settings to, and then click on the “Targeting” button at the bottom of the “Campaigns” tab. A pop-up box will appear that gives the option of modifying: Exclusions (websites and keywords), Locations, Day of Week, Time of Day, Demographics, and Device.
You can modify any or all of these settings, and they will be applied to all selected campaigns. This is great when you’re launching or modifying several campaigns at once.
The adCenter Desktop Editor is still somewhat behind AdWords Editor in terms of functionality, but if you’re spending any amount of time in adCenter, knowing the efficiency-based features is vital. If you have suggestions for features you’d like to see added in the Desktop Editor, leave a comment!