Online business citations and the need for consistency in your NAP

Why your online business citations need to be consistent

When it comes to local search engine optimisation NAP consistency is critical. NAP is an acronym for the name, address and phone number of your business. When your business’ NAP is mentioned on the web this is called a citation. Search engines analyse the number and quality of citations your business has to help rank businesses in local search. The more high quality citations your business has, the higher it ranks for local search queries. Search engines also use these citations to help verify the credibility and trustworthiness of your business information, which again can be an important factor in ensuring your business appears high in local search rankings.

Unfortunately inconsistencies in business citations occurs often across the web, particularly if your business has moved location or changed its phone number in the past. A lot of online web directories use company databases to populate their websites, leading to some outdated and potentially harmful information about your business. Even the slightest of variance in a business’ NAP can confuse search engines and stop them from crediting you for a particular listing. (more…)

Business Facebook page comment

Why it’s so important to follow up sales leads quickly (especially within one hour)

With the continued growth of social media and realtime communication our ability to be patient is diminishing. We expect near instant responses from our online interactions. When it comes to potential customers online it’s no different.

In today’s world sales leads usually derive from two sources – online and offline. While you may approach the two differently, one thing that both sources demand is to be followed-up in a swift and timely manner. In fact, you’re 60-times more likely to convert a sales prospect if you respond within the first hour than you are if you respond after 24 hours. (more…)

Who should own Social Media?

Who should own social media? Advice for businesses on outsourcing social media

The emergence of social and digital media has pushed ad, marketing and PR agencies into a battlefield where the format is suffering a bit of an identity crisis. Above and below the line in this realm has become blurred, and brands and businesses don’t know where to turn. It’s a baffling tug-of-war between digital agencies, media-buying, advertising and PR all vying for this space. The likelihood is, that if you’re a brand or business with a serious growth plan, it’s a necessity for you to engage with one of more of these agencies in their traditional disciplines, with layered social responsibilities and input.

My background is in Digital Public Relations, so naturally I have a biased attitude to how this should be divided. In a break with convention though, I truly believe your social media should sit exactly where your aspirations and goals are as a brand or business. Let me explain. (more…)

Social Media: Feel the fear and do it anyway

Social Media: Feel the fear and do it anyway

Social media for small business can be a blessing and a curse. The same immediacy that makes social media so effective for connecting with customers is exactly what can work against a brand if things go wrong. Couple this with the traditional media’s (print, radio and TV) glee at reporting “social media fails”, you can understand why some Irish businesses are still apprehensive about social media. This apprehension affects everyone from small mom and pop operations to large multinational corporates.

While social media, like all communications channels, does have its pitfalls, the positives far out way the negatives. It allows you unparalleled reach, it’s relatively inexpensive and it allows you to communicate directly with your target customer. However, what happens when things go sour and you find yourself on the receiving end of negative attention? Do you ignore it and hope it will go away? Do you respond? How do you respond? (more…)