Digital marketing to win customers, search rankings

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NASHVILLE, May 14, 2019—The customer experience as they navigate through your online marketing and website is paramount, according to a marketing expert.

Kevin Steeland, CEO of PISTn Digital Marketing, said during his iFLEX presentation that these online tools are a big part of customer service. And it takes an active presence to stay atop pole position in Google search rankings.

That includes staying on top of reviews. Steeland said that 87 percent of customers won’t consider a business with low rankings on sites like Google or Yelp.

“If customers are making a decision on your business based on your reviews, I think it should be a priority,” he said.

It’s best practice to respond to both negative and positive reviews, he said. Lead customers to leave reviews first on your own company’s website, helping you control the flow of information.

Another tip Steeland shared was to make sure that online business listings are updated. There can be dozens of listings across the internet for one business.

“I would say 75 percent of the time, there are 50 to 60 errors” when he audits all listings for a business, he said.

Think of a Google result for a business. The images, address, hours of operation and other information should be up-to-date on every listing. Inconsistent information can impact your ranking in Google searches, Steeland said.

In fact, most of the tips Steeland shared were ultimately in service of the Google search rankings. Consistent listings, an active web presence, a secure website and other things let Google know that you’re a legitimate business.

“They’re running things, pretty much from a digital marketing perspective because 80 percent of searches happen on Google,” he said.

And while a strong web presence might appease the Google rankings, it’s the customer who will experience those offerings.

“Do more than just let that site sit out there, and that’s going to help you get more from it,” he said.

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