Yes, you read the title of this post right.
In the very near future (and when I say future I mean it could be in the next 5 minutes) a prospect or a customer could ring your business and say “I Googled your company and I saw that your products are rubbish, I also saw that your customer service stinks and your delivery times were very poor”.
Welcome to Google Real Time Search. How many of you are prepared for such comments on the web? How many of you are aware of who can see such comments? How do you control it? If your scratching your head to the words ‘real time search’ then I suggest you quit your job now.
Google real time search will pull data in from sites such as Twitter, Facebook, Yahoo Answers, LinkedIn or Blogs into search result pages if the subject or topic is trending in Twitter or being searched for in large volumes. The visibility of these comments/tweets will not only be exposed to those on Twitter but also to Joe Bloggs sitting at home who doesn’t even know what Twitter is and has happily typed in your product name on Google. To top things off, these comments will appear at the top of the SERP.
These comments could be a major factor when it comes to a business doing business with you. After all, most people including Buyers and Procurement Directors do look to Google for information on businesses and products before approaching one. Your brands reputation management strategy has just got a whole lot more complex.
Control through the use of social media and an active SEO strategy
If you are not already involved in social media then you should be and I won’t be the the only one ready to bash you round the head to tell you to get involved now or pay the price. If you rely on people finding you through the internet then I am pleased to tell you that search is changing and could impact your brand in a very big way. See my post regarding B2B and fear of social media and change. It is now time to take social media seriously….and quickly.
You will also need to devise a robust SEO strategy to push out poor comments and replace them with direct responses (customer service approach) and also look at strengthening content on your site to achieve higher rankings than those of blog articles (online PR, link building etc). It will only take one person to write something about your company or your product online and it will hurt you.
So, it’s January 4th and it’s your first day back at work after the festive break….go on….do something!!