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As Soon As You Get A Website, Do This:

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All too often, people come to us having a built a website on their own or having hired someone else to build it for them. They’re often proud of their shiny new tool and eager to put it to use.

The problem is, the tool often isn’t ready for any kind of effective use. Things like semantic URLs, a blog, and SEO optimized plug-ins are completely absent. While these are things that are taken care of by us if you choose Strategy Lab, if you’re getting someone else to build your site or going it alone (a quest for which we commend you), we recommend listening closely to this valuable recommendation:

Use Marketing Grader  to review your marketing efforts. The fine folks at Hubspot.com know what they’re doing and their know-how is exhibited beautifully with their free and easy-to-use marketing grader. Simply entering your website address will provide you with an in-depth analysis of your content, social, and SEO improvement needs and the urgency of each. Basically, if you are inherently great at what you do and also take the advice this tool gives you very seriously, you’re likely going to have some success. Check it out.

Three Simple Ways to Listen Online

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As I hope you’ve read in my recent post, An Urgent Message for All Businesses on Twitter, it’s (still) time to stop shouting about yourself and start listening to others on social media platforms and in life in general. Marketing is now way more about what others are saying about you than it is about what you are saying about yourself. If there’s a disconnect between these two things, people will find out. That’s now easier than ever to do so. Think of marketing as being completely reversed. Advertising and bleeding incessant brand info is the old way. Now, you can be the most effective by zipping your lip for awhile and listening to what others are saying and, whether its positive or negative, using the information constructively to make improvements to your product or service’s core and rectify customer dissatisfaction.

I’ve tweeted my thanks to multiple businesses on this week upon receiving slightly above average customer service and quality repairs. I’ve received a response or acknowledgment roughly one third of the time. Yes, ONE THIRD. ONLY ONE THIRD. I’m basically tossing Jose Bautista an underhanded lob in the middle of the strike zone and watching him refuse to swing. As far as I’m concerned, these businesses who aren’t listening might as well delete their accounts immediately. Their tweets about themselves have very little value and EVEN LESS VALUE if they aren’t going to respond to their satisfied customers.

I’m going to cease this rant to illustrate three easy ways to listen to your customers online:

1: Twitter Search
This is so simple. Search your business name, your product name, or some industry keywords to get a perception of what people are saying. Just be sure you’ve got all your basic bases covered before you do this (replying to those who have mentioned you, thanking people for sharing your information, and acknowledging new followers). Twitter culture allows you to jump in on conversations that pertain to you without being deemed a troll. Try this out and don’t fear negative feedback. It presents a world of opportunity.

2: Net Promoter Score
Net Promoter Score is a feedback system easily added to websites and bricks and mortar businesses that asks customers to answer one simple question: How likely are you to recommend our product or service to a friend or family member? We love it and think no business should move a muscle until NPS becomes their starting point. View a quick slide show.

3. Asking Simple Questions
Sometimes listening and getting feedback is as simple as asking. Don’t be so afraid of the answers you’re going to get that you avoid asking your customers questions. Avoid asking just for the sake of asking or asking questions with the sole intention of sounding like you care. Embrace any information you receive. This is a tactic that will result in valuable information if executed correctly AND create the kind of engagement that will be constructive for your business.