How to handle negative online reviews

tripadvisor logoMany businesses stand back from engaging with online reviews because of they are afraid that negative reviews will significantly harm their business.

However this is a misplaced perception. Everyone knows that no business is perfect and that sometimes things can go wrong. So most people will be wary if they only see five star reviews.

Also customers will post reviews on third party site irrespective of whether that business engages with them. They are now an integral part of business today.

yelp logoAny online review, positive or negative, can be used to increase trust in a company or brand, especially when a negative review is handled well and the customer who posted it ends up receiving a positive resolution to their issue. This can benefit a brand in two ways:

- The complaining customer is offered a solution to their problems, which can potentially lead to a positive review replacing the negative one
- Potential customers see your company resolving a customer issue publicly, demonstrating great customer service and so reinforcing trust in your company.

When faced with negative online reviews, if the situation is handled properly your customer and your company come out as winners.

Here are five important tips for handling negative reviews?

  • Respond quickly, positively and personally. And don’t get emotional.
  • Show empathy with the customer who left the negative review
  • Compensate for the mistake even if it was not your fault
  • Show how you will make things better for future customers
  • Don’t always completely resolve the issue in public. Sometime email or phone can be more effective.

And to do this effectively and consistently, it is important that the company has a process in place to monitor and deal with online reviews, and that someone has ownership of it.

Of course, there will still be the occasional awkward person who doesn’t want an issue resolved. Dealing with awkward customers is probably a topic for another blog post. The simplest additional rule to follow, courtesy of IBM’s social media guidelines, is “don’t pick fights”, but do defend your business and brand if necessary.

Online reviews can be a powerful tool for any company to build trust, demonstrate quality customer service and so build a strong online reputation for the brand and the business.

WSI Chester Named One of Constant Contact’s 2013 Solution Provider All Stars

CC AllStars 2013WSI Chester has received the 2013 All Star Award from Constant Contact®, Inc., the trusted marketing advisor to more than half a million small organizations worldwide. Each year, Constant Contact bestows the All Star Award to a select group of businesses and nonprofits that are successfully leveraging online marketing tools. WSI Chester has been recognized as a Solution Provider All Star for its success achieved on behalf of its clients. Campaign results ranked among the top 10% of Constant Contact’s international customer base.

 We’re happy to be recognized by Constant Contact for achieving strong email marketing results on behalf of our clients. Constant Contact’s tools have helped our clients to build and nurture customer relationships and engagement.

Constant Contact customers and Solution Providers using the company’s Email Marketing tools are eligible for this award. Constant Contact looked at the following criteria to select this year’s All Stars:

  • Level of engagement with email campaigns and events
  • Open, bounce, and click-through rates
  • Use of social sharing features
  • Use of mailing list sign-up tools
  • Use of reporting tools

“We’re always delighted when small businesses and nonprofits are successful,” said Gail Goodman, CEO of Constant Contact. “We’re honored to recognize WSI Chester as an All Star, and to be able to shine the spotlight on its achievements in 2013.”

Visit the Constant Contact website to find out more about these great online marketing tools, or give us a call to discuss your specific needs.






Traditional SEO Is Dead – Are You Keeping Pace With the Changes?

If you own a business and have a website, there’s a chance you’ve developed a negative stance toward SEO. Maybe you had a bad experience with an “SEO company” or you just spent too many dollars without seeing or understanding the return you got on your investment. It’s true that there was a time where shady SEO techniques were employed and then subsequently penalized, which left many businesses angry, confused and jaded about the merits of SEO.
But it’s also true that those times are well behind us and a new era of SEO – called AdaptiveSEO – is being ushered in. Moving forward, businesses need to embrace the progressions of the digital landscape and start re-focusing on SEO, regardless of their past experiences.
Publish Content That Your Prospects Are Looking For
More than ever, SEO is now about integrating various digital marketing tactics that work cohesively toward accomplishing one goal: highlighting your business’s value to Internet searchers. It’s no longer about “ranking #1 on Google” using any and all tips and tricks at your disposal because many of them don’t offer value to searchers. Think about it from the customer’s perspective in a real world example.
Let’s say you own a store and create an amazing billboard that’s visually appealing and includes a great offer. Customers see the billboard and visit your store, but the problem is your store is messy, unorganized and doesn’t match the image your billboard portrays. Trying to rank well in the search engine results pages (SERPs) with a “fancy billboard” not only doesn’t work, it’ll also drag other aspects of your digital marketing strategy down. You need substance, value and an open mind to do great SEO in 2014.
Content marketing was the big trend in 2013, and while an ever-shifting market means you need to be cautious with hot topics and buzzwords, content really is the lifeblood of AdaptiveSEO. A good content strategy means getting into the minds of your potential customers and determining searcher intent. This means coming up with the personas that are most likely to be interested in your brand and then figuring out what they’re interested in and why. Next, you need to create great content around the topics that are most relevant to your potential customer base and ensure to deploy it with good technical SEO and a social media plan.
If you can produce high-quality content that meets those requirements on a consistent basis, you’ll be well on your way to laying the foundations of a great AdaptiveSEO strategy.

Video – AdaptiveSEO – SEO Tips for 2014 and beyond!

The major changes in Google’s search algorithms in recent years, such as Panda, Penguin and Hummingbird have caused many businesses to question and re-evaluate their online marketing strategy.

Adaptive SEO from WSI is an integrated strategy to publish and promote well-targeted and interesting through a business website and its sociual media to generate informed and engaged visitors. At the same time, it addresses the major content quality requirements of both Google and Bing.

The short video below outlines the five main components of the AdaptiveSEO strategy.


If you would like further assistance or guidance in creating and implementing an AdaptiveSEO for your business, contact WSI Chester today on 01928 787026.

Are You Using PPC To Its Full Potential?

As a business owner or marketer who is responsible for driving and converting website traffic, you’ve probably encountered articles and discussions that pitch search engine optimisation (SEO) and pay-per-click advertising (PPC) against one another in a fight to the death.

Supporters from each camp will offer a range of reasons that you should use their tactic and definitely avoid “that other one”.

However be a smart marketeer – instead of narrowing your options, broaden them. Use PPC and SEO in tandem and you’ll soon discover the benefits of remaining happily neutral in the debate of one vs. the other.

It’s About More Than Just Google Searches

It’s hard not to put Google on a pedestal. The majority of us search using Google, we run our PPC campaigns through AdWords, and we keep our fingers on Google’s pulse, nervously awaiting their next update.

But too often, we lose sight of the fact that solely focusing on what ‘works’ on Google can lead down the wrong path.  That’s not to say that writing content and paying for great keywords  isn’t effective. It just means that at the end of the day, reaching, engaging and providing value for your customers is more important than using and pleasing Google at all costs.

As a primary example, Google isn’t the only cost-per-click (CPC) platform out there, which means PPC doesn’t always have to target Google search. You might have a plan to create great, targeted content that nets you a stream of organic traffic, but that could take time. Your content might be stale before anybody even sees it.

So why not promote your content on Facebook? At the very least, the paid promotion will get eyes on your content and, if it’s good, people will share it. That should get the SEO ball rolling and the rest should take care of itself. The end result is a piece of content that Google sees that people like. But that wasn’t the goal, which was to connect your content with an audience by any means possible.

Marketing – especially digital marketing – has to exist beyond Google. And by extension, that means PPC is about more than just Google, too! The sooner you can take that leap of faith and not limit yourself to one line of thinking, the better your marketing efforts will be.