05. November 2015 · Comments Off on Online Reputation Management: Earning Positive Reviews · Categories: ORM, SEO, Training Courses · Tags: , ,

earning positive reviewsMountain Woods Media, LLC, a content development firm, has released its latest e-learning course on Udemy.

The course “Online Reputation Management: Earning Positive Reviews” is designed for large and small businesses; professional and medical services, and other firms who need to find and utilize ethical methods in earning positive reviews online.

“Many businesses worry too much about the one negative review in their Yelp profile instead of trying to earn more and better reviews,” says Mountain Woods Media Vice President Steve Phillips.

“In this course, we present some unique methods – many of which your competition won’t know about – in which you can earn more reviews. All of these review tactics are ethical and none of them violate policies set forth by online review websites,” he adds. “The important thing to remember with online reviews is to never ask for an online review.”

“Online Reputation Management: Earning Positive Reviews” covers:

  • How do Online Review Websites Work?
  • How do Customers Use Online Review Websites?
  • How do Businesses Use Online Review Websites?
  • Claiming, Confirming and Optimizing Your Businesses Online Review Profile.
  • The Top 25 Online Review Websites.
  • Techniques and Tactics To Help Your Business Earn More Online Reviews.
  • Worksheets and much more.

Currently, students can preview two (2) course lectures for free, including:

  • Lecture 1: “Course Introduction”
  • Lecture 2: “What Are Online Review Websites and How Do They Work?”

The 90-minute course features 16 lectures and several downloadable documents. Students may participate in online question-and-answer discussions with other students and Phillips. Mountain Woods Media, LLC will announce “office hours” soon in which students can connect live via Skype for more one-on-one training and instruction at no additional charge.

“Online Reputation Management: Earning Positive Reviews” is currently available for $149 and is available at https://www.udemy.com/earning-positive-business-reviews/

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Mountain Woods Media, LLC is a content development firm specializing in Search Engine Optimization; Online Reputation Management and App Search Optimization. Online Reputation is how a business or a person appears online through search results. The process by which one continuously improves their online reputation is called “online reputation management.” Fresh and positive content helps improve your online reputation in overcoming bad publicity; bad business reviews or making a life mistake.

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Udemy is the world’s online learning marketplace, where over 7 million students are taking courses in everything from programming to yoga to photography and much, much more. Each of Udemy’s 30,000+ courses is taught by an expert instructor, so every course is available on-demand, so students can learn at their own pace, on their own time, and on any device. For more information, visit http://udemy.com.

20. October 2015 · Comments Off on Taking Caution With Your Online Reviews · Categories: ORM, SEO · Tags: , ,

use caution with online reviewsMany business owners spend a lot of energy and focus when it comes to earning five-star online reviews with Yelp, Manta, CitySearch and other online review websites.

Perhaps, the aggressive drive to a perfect pattern of reviews and online praise has created a few black eyes in the industry recently, including:

  • Amazon has decided to file more than 1,000 lawsuits against Fivver individual accounts who have offered fake five-star reviews to Amazon vendors and Amazon hosted online retailers. So, the person “selling” the review is in trouble and not the Amazon vendor who is probably breaking Amazon’s terms of service by buying the reviews for products they sell within the Amazon platform?!
  • The New York Attorney General has announced that it has cracked down on bogus customer reviews and has fined 19 companies for posting grand reviews while giving bad reviews to the competition.
  • Some companies have a “gag clause” in their customer agreements. Weight loss marketer Roca Labs was recently shut down by the Federal Trade Commission for false claims and for its “gag clause” which threatened retaliation against any customer who bad-mouthed Roca Labs or its products.

Some businesses choose to ignore the entire online review process. Recently, we talked to a prospective client, who not only wanted hire us to delete a negative Yelp review, but they also wanted their entire Yelp profile removed (we explained that businesses can’t delete Yelp profiles; even if a business is marked as closed, the profile remains within Yelp).

Others, however, are purely interested in earning as many positive reviews as possible, but need to take heed and avoid these temptations:

  • Never ask customers, relatives or friends for reviews. It’s “OK” to let them know you’re on Yelp or you’re trying to improve your online review profiles, but avoid asking for good reviews.
  • Never buy reviews. Online review websites frown upon such practices and may hide your purchased reviews on your profile page (especially when the reviewer’s IP address is from Jacksonville, FL and the review claims your auto repair shop in Denver is the best in town). Yelp will place a consumer warning on your profile letting customers know they suspect many of your reviews were purchased which will quickly cast a cloud of doubt over all of your reviews.
  • Never offer discounts or trade services or products for reviews. This leads to poor business practices and things can quickly go sour if someone feels they aren’t getting a fair shake in exchange for the review.

Approach the review process just like you should your business: be honest and ethical. If you receive a negative review, be polite, professional and apologize. Show you care about your business and your customers.

12. October 2015 · Comments Off on Yes, You Can Also Review Jails and Prisons in Yelp · Categories: Mountain Woods Media, ORM, SEO, Training Courses · Tags: , , ,

reviewing jails on YelpRestaurants; beauty salons; chiropractors and many others can all receive good and bad reviews via customers on Yelp.com.

And so can prisons.

Lawyers, inmates and visitors have left reviews for prisons worldwide rating everything from the quality of food; power-hungry prison guards; lack of personal grooming supplies (i.e., toilet paper) to dress code policies for family members during visitation days.

Yelp allows anything or anyone to be reviewed as long as it has a physical address and the reviewer followed the site’s terms of service.

While you would almost expect every prison and most reviews to be negative, there are a few jails that regularly receive good reviews (see our video on YouTube at: https://youtu.be/byPwKWgOfOE). For example:

  • The West Hollywood Jail has three reviews (as of this blog post) with an average of 4.5 stars (out of five). Reviewer Jim A. “highly recommended this place,” while D.W. says “the exclusive West Hollywood Jail provides far better accommodations than what you might expect.”
  • The jail in Santa Monica has one five-star review as the reviewer says he spent “one relaxing night there last month.”
  • The Atlanta City Detention Center has earned 3.5 stars from three reviews. Unfortunately, the reviewer offering five stars gave a simple explanation unsuitable for printing here.

Most prisons and jail profiles on Yelp have been properly claimed and include directions; public transportation opportunities; visiting hours. Some have added a few photos.

Yelp doesn’t offer any statistics about correctional facilities in terms of how many profiles exist or how many total reviews are currently published (Yelp is currently available in 13 countries), however the “review-a-prison” idea is gaining a little bit of steam.

Prisons aside, if you want to learn more about your business and Yelp, check out our Udemy course “Promote Your Business and Earn More Sales By Mastering Yelp” at http://www.udemy.com/mastering-yelp.

05. October 2015 · Comments Off on Creating A Blog For Your Business · Categories: Blogging, SEO, Training Courses · Tags: , , ,

Creating a blog for your business is more than starting a blog, it’s about maintaining it for the long haul.

Creating a blog for your business isn’t enough to make a difference in attracting more customers to your website; gaining more sales and obtaining higher rankings in Google and other search engines.

creating a blog for your businessNow comes the part where most blogs fail as they lack content and new posts on a regular basis.

Unfortunately, we see many blogs start strong with daily blog posts featuring great local content; stories and profiles. However, the spark starts to fade and the content dries up. The blog is left alone with posts that are getting older and increasingly stale every day.

Don’t let this happen to your blog.

Instead:

  • Plan an editorial schedule for your blog. This helps you write in advance, especially when the creative juices are flowing.
  • If you have a staff, assign them to write one blog post per week or two per month, etc.
  • Consider hiring a local high school student; freelance writer or an intern to write blog posts. Many local writers are happy with a small stipend and a byline as they want to gain more writing experience and build their online portfolio.
  • Allow guest blog posts in order to fill in the gaps and boost content. In most cases, a guest blogger will contribute for no charge, but seeks one or two links within the blog pointing back to their website.
  • Use videos as blog posts. If you’re creating and publishing simple videos for YouTube (and you should), you can also use them as a blog post. If you have enough videos, consider publishing a new video to your blog every Friday, etc.

Many blogs fail due to a lack of time; lack of interest or lack of content. None of these should be an excuse. By utilizing other resources mentioned above, you’ll solve the time and content issue. The more you publish, the better your blog will be in more traffic and higher rankings

In addition, use your blog posts to create more interest in social media. Each published blog should be announced to your fans, followers and connections in Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and in other social networks.

For more information on local search engine optimization (SEO), check out our course “Earn More Sales By Increasing Local Traffic To Your Website” at https://www.udemy.com/earn-more-sales-by-increasing-local-traffic-to-your-website

 

28. September 2015 · Comments Off on Mountain Woods Media, LLC Releases New Udemy Course on Hashtags · Categories: Mountain Woods Media, SEO, Training Courses · Tags: ,

hashtagsMountain Woods Media, LLC, an Internet consulting and content development firm, has released a new Udemy course about Hashtags.

“A Basic Understanding of Hashtags” is the sixth published Udemy course for Mountain Woods Media, LLC.

“We see hashtags every day on television; in movie previews…even on apparel, but they’re still new and a lot of people don’t know why or how they are used,” says Mountain Woods Media Vice President Steve Phillips.

“This is a basic course that explains how hashtags were invented and how businesses and groups use them to build their audience in Twitter and in other social networks, he adds.

This 12-lecture, 52-minute course features:

  • What is a hashtag?
  • What does a hashtag look like?
  • What does a hashtag mean?
  • How did hashtags get started?
  • Who uses hashtags?
  • Finding and using entertainment and sports hashtags.
  • How hashtags can be valuable during a natural disaster.
  • How hashtag activism and cause marketing works.
  • How hashtags are being used in a negative way, and much more.

Currently, you can preview two lectures in the course for free.

The full course and more information is available at https://www.udemy.com/hashtags/ and retails for $19.

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Mountain Woods Media, LLC is an Internet consulting and content development firm specializing in training and consulting Search Engine Optimization (SEO); Online Reputation Management (ORM) and App Search Optimization (ASO).

23. September 2015 · Comments Off on Why Local Businesses Should Ignore Google · Categories: SEO · Tags: , , , ,

ignore googleYou can ignore Google if you focus on local SEO techniques. You will also avoid the dreaded “ranking stress.”

Local businesses – florists, plumbers, roofers, lawyers, dentists and many others – spend way too much time (and money) trying to earn higher rankings in Google and other search engines.

Stop it.

There are many other online marketing opportunities in which your local company can connect with new customers who need to find you for products and services.

If you focus on these techniques, not only will you earn more traffic to your website (and more customers), but your Google ranking will take care of itself. In addition, you’ll save yourself a lot of time; money and “ranking stress.”

Instead of Google rankings, work on:

  • Claim, confirm and optimize your business profile in Yelp, CitySearch, Manta and other review and mapping websites. Business information needs to be accurate and consistent in all review websites.
  • Make sure your Yelp profile is 100% complete. Include pictures and make sure you mention the location (city, town, etc.) of your business in the “About Us” section. Currently, there are over 130 million Yelp users per month and many of them use the Yelp app. In addition, Yelp typically appears in the Top 10 Google search results on many local search terms. A high ranking in Yelp is an automatic high ranking in Google.
  • Create a blog for your company website and write 2-3 blog posts per week. Typically, blogs shouldn’t be about you or your company. Instead, offer free advice to your readers on how to solve a problem; tips on how to save money, etc. Being helpful is much better than trying to convince readers that you have the best products and services.
  • Participate in social media, especially Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and YouTube. Again, be helpful; offer advice and tips; start and engage in conversations.
  • Take and publish pictures. Customers will stay on your profile page; website; blog, etc. two-and-a-half times longer if you publish pictures than they do with pages without pictures. Everyone on your staff should take pictures in the office; out in the field; on service calls; at conferences, etc. Local pictures do best for local businesses trying to gain more local customers.

This simple list is just a start, but these tips will definitely help you earn more local traffic to your website and gain more sales from new and existing customers. In addition, your Google ranking will improve, but local businesses shouldn’t worry so much about link building and Page Titles. A “local” focus will generate local business.

For more information on local search engine optimization; local marketing and online review websites, check out our courses here on Udemy:

Earn More Sales By Increasing Local Traffic To Your Website

https://www.udemy.com/earn-more-sales-by-increasing-local-traffic-to-your-website/

Promote Your Business and Earn More Sales by Mastering Yelp

https://www.udemy.com/mastering-yelp

Online Reputation Management: Handling Negative Reviews

https://www.udemy.com/online-reputation-management-negative-business-reviews

 

 

18. September 2015 · Comments Off on Use These Local SEO Strategies To Earn New Customers and More Sales – Part I · Categories: SEO, Training Courses · Tags: , ,

local SEO claim your listingsLocal businesses – including everyone from plumbers; heating and cooling specialists; lawyers; dentists; accountants and restaurants – need local customers in order to survive and grow.

Here are 10 ways local businesses can increase sales; improve website traffic; add new customers and keep the telephone ringing.

  1. Claim and confirm your business listing in review and mapping websites such as Yelp, Manta, CitySearch, Google+ Local, Bing Local and many others. Customers who “live” on their mobile devices constantly use location based review apps, such as Yelp, in order to find local products and services. Make sure your business’ profile is accurate and complete.
  2. Update your website’s content. There’s no need to re-design your website. Instead, you probably need a content refresh with new and expanded information about your company and its products or services. Your website isn’t a brochure. It should also reflect what’s going on with your business; new staff photos and bios; etc. Also, make sure your business hours are correct and always include your full business contact and address information. A map is always appreciated by new customers.
  3. Create and write a blog. We can’t stress this enough. A blog is like a diary or sorts, but it should be all about your business; what’s new in the industry; how you can help new customers; offer ideas; tips (like this blog post!) and much more. If you don’t have time to write a blog, get staff involved or hire an intern or local freelance writers. Try to include pictures with your blog. Blog posts should be around 300 words or more. Strive to publish two or three blog posts per week.
  4. Always be looking for ways to improve your website’s content. A blog is a great way to start this process, but update and improve your other website pages on a regular basis. Typically, the pages we see with the most content update opportunities include the About Us page and the Contact Us page.
  5. Don’t let your website developer slow you down. Content updates, especially simple ones, should be easy for anyone to correct and publish. If your website developer is S-L-O-W to update new content and new pages, then it might be time for a face-to-face chat or begin the process in looking for a new website developer. Recently, we helped a company re-write page content for their entire website. Six weeks later and the website is still missing these fresh content changes. That’s not good for the local business that needs to inform local customers of new products and services. Don’t let your developer hurt your business.

For more information on local SEO, check out our course on Udemy at https://www.udemy.com/earn-more-sales-by-increasing-local-traffic-to-your-website/

16. September 2015 · Comments Off on Press Release: SEO Workshop on Ten Effective Ways To Improve Google Rankings · Categories: Mountain Woods Media, SEO, Training Courses · Tags: , , , , , , ,

SEO WorkshopMountain Woods Media, LLC, an Internet consulting and content development firm, has released a new SEO workshop course on Udemy.

The course “SEO Workshop: Ten Effective Ways To Improve Google Rankings” features a real life review and critique of five different websites in order to find ways to help them earn higher rankings in Google and other search engines.

“Students will find that as we review our selected websites, they will see some common problems that also exist in their own business’ website,” says Mountain Woods Media, LLC Vice President Steve Phillips.

“In this course, we’ll look at websites for a plumber; a restaurant; a law firm; a brick-and-mortar business, and an e-commerce company,” says Phillips. “In all cases, these companies are ranked No. 11 or worse in Google, but they all have at least three areas that need some minor improvements that will help them move up in Google search engine rankings.”

The “SEO Workshop: Ten Effective Ways To Improve Google Rankings” covers:

  • How to apply quick and easy techniques in order to improve your website’s search engine optimization.
  • Updating and improving on-page SEO elements.
  • Revisiting often-overlooked page and picture tags.
  • How to meet and exceed page content requirements.
  • Optimizing your company’s review website profile.
  • Never missing easy chances for higher rankings in Google and other search engines.
  • Earning more traffic to your company’s website.

This two-hour course includes 19 lectures, quizzes and a course worksheet. As in other Mountain Woods Media courses, students will be able to participate in online question-and-answer discussions with course students and Phillips. Mountain Woods Media, LLC will soon announce “office hours” in which students will be able to connect live via Skype for private one-on-one training and instruction at no additional charge.

“SEO Workshop: Ten Effective Ways To Improve Google Rankings” is currently available for $99 and can be purchased at https://www.udemy.com/seo-workshop-study.

14. September 2015 · Comments Off on Promote Your Business And Earn More Sales By Mastering Yelp · Categories: Marketing Course, Mountain Woods Media, SEO, Training Courses · Tags: ,

Seeing an enormous training need with our clients, we created a Udemy course on mastering Yelp so businesses and professionals can learn how to position themselves higher in this (and other) review websites and attract more customers.

Mastering Yelp Promote Your Business

All types of businesses and service professionals – restaurants; furnace repair; dentists; lawyers and more – rely more and more on local customers in order to maintain and improve sales and company growth.

“One of the best ways for local businesses to attract local customers is by using online review websites such as Yelp,” says Steve Phillips, Vice President, Mountain Woods Media, LLC.

“This is why we created a Udemy course on Yelp so businesses and professionals can learn how to position themselves higher in this (and other) review websites and attract more customers,” he adds.

The recently-released Mountain Woods Media Udemy course “Promote Your Business and Earn More Sales By Mastering Yelp” includes the following curriculum:

  • Learn more about Yelp and how it works.
  • Why Yelp can be your No. 1 business sales tool.
  • How to claim, confirm and optimize your Yelp business profile.
  • Why creating a strong photo gallery in Yelp is a key to earning more sales.
  • How to take your Yelp profile to the next level.
  • How online review websites work.
  • How online reviews are important for your business.
  • How some reviews never appear in your Yelp profile and why.
  • How to fix, repair and remove negative reviews in Yelp.
  • How to track Yelp Metrics.
  • Understanding Yelp Deals and other advertising options.

This two-hour course features 17 lectures, plus section quizzes and worksheets. Students will be able to participate in online question-and-answer discussions with other students and Phillips. Mountain Woods Media, LLC will announce “office hours” soon in which students will be able to connect live via Skype for more one-on-one training and instruction at no additional charge. Course updates will also be available for no extra fees.

“Promote Your Business and Earn More Sales By Mastering Yelp” is currently available for $159 and can be purchased at: https://udemy.com/mastering-yelp.

 

28. August 2015 · Comments Off on Where Does Your Business Appear When A Customer Searches For You? · Categories: SEO, Training Courses · Tags: ,

local seo flower shopLocal businesses rely solely on local customers. However, local customers almost always search Google, review websites and social media before they call or visit a business.

Why?

They want to know who is going to fix their problem and provide the best possible service.

Consider this:

If a potential customer is new to your area, the Internet is the only source of referrals and reviews.

How does your business appear when a potential customer searches for a “Knoxville Plumber” or an “Indianapolis Dentist?”

In our recent course “Earn More Sales by Increasing Local Traffic To Your Website” ($69, Udemy, http://bit.ly/1fFFNLl), we conducted a simple search in Google for a “Greenville SC Florist.”

We discovered one firm – Twigs Florist – was doing it right in terms of local SEO. Within the Top 10 Google search results, Twigs was No. 1 in the Google Map (also known as Google+ Local or Google Maps) and No. 2 in Google organic search results.

In addition, Yelp was No. 7 with Twigs Florist taking the top position in Yelp. Therefore, of the Top 10 Google search results, Twigs owned the most “real estate” by owning three positions.

This is a result of the florist properly optimizing not only their own website for local SEO, but also properly claiming, confirming and optimizing their business profile listings in Yelp, Google+ Local and other review and local listing websites and mapping sites.

Each one of these listing websites acts like its own little search engine. Customers can search for businesses within Google or within sites like Yelp, Manta, City Search, etc.

These searching options create two scenarios and two different searching results. Your website, for instance, may rank high in Google, but your Yelp profile might not rank high within Yelp. Therefore, local businesses not only need to optimize their website for Google, but they need to accurately (and fully) complete their business profile within local listing and review websites, too.

You can learn more about higher rankings in Google, Yelp and other local listing websites in our course “Earn More Sales by Increasing Local Traffic To Your Website” http://bit.ly/1fFFNLl.