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Old 22nd January 2014, 09:57 AM   #2
torka
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Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Triangle area, NC, USA, North America, Earth (usually)
Posts: 4,101

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Search Engine Optimization professionals face some of the same difficulties. There are so many incompetents, scammers and spammers out there who call themselves "SEOs" that the real SEOs (who, unlike those bozos, can provide real value) have a hard time sometimes breaking through the noise. Site owners who have been burned often take a much longer time to "warm up" to the services provided by the real-deal SEOs.

Part of the problem is the bozos tell the business owners just what they want to hear: that they'll solve all the business's woes without any effort on the part of the site owner. All the businessperson has to do is sit back and rake in the profits.

(Of course, we know it doesn't work out that way.)

But when the real SEOs show up and tell them the Real Deal -- that is: they're going to have to get their hands dirty, too; real SEO will require their involvement, and it ain't gonna be cheap -- the business owners are reluctant to go along. They've been sold a bill of goods for so long, in some corner of their mind they've come to believe that SEOs can accomplish their "magic" with no intervention from the business owner, for maybe just a few hundred dollars a month (or less).

Psychologists tell us that a lie, repeated enough times, comes to resemble the truth in peoples' minds. And once they've decided something is true, it's almost impossible to get them to change their minds.

Not to discourage you. It's just that (as you've already discovered) you're fighting an uphill battle, and there are valid reasons for that.

So, in Ye Olde Day Jobbe, I handle the digital marketing for a mid-sized business. We're B2B, so we don't have a lot of issues with Yelp or Angie's List, but we have had issues with a bad review or two on Amazon. Nothing that would affect our business significantly, but we have had the experience of seeing our products dissed online.

Putting on my "customer hat" and thinking of what might be a good approach for me if I were looking at a lot of bad reviews from customers...

Make a big deal out of what makes you different from the others. Everybody's promising me help with safeguarding my reputation. Be upfront that others are making promises they can't keep, or using unscrupulous methods that could end up getting the business in more trouble than if it had just let the bad reviews stand. Point out in a really obvious way (because I'm just skimming the stuff you sent me) what makes you different.

If you have any clients you've already helped, include a case study or testimonial or two. You know, some positive reviews, for a business that says it can help others get more positive reviews.

I don't know if I'd be impressed with having a printout from Yelp or Angie's List included. I probably already know about what's there... and might not like to be reminded. A simple mention that you'd noticed some negative reviews might be enough. Or skip mentioning it all together and just start off with what you can do for me.

Hope some of this helps...

--Torka

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