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Are You A Victim Of Grand Theft Google

Continuing with the SEO theme I started, I want to share something that’s probably never occurred to you: Your competitors can (and some do) use your company’s name as one of their keywords.

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I call this “Grand Theft Google” because your competitor is essentially trying to steal your brand and use it against you. What they do is optimize your company name as a keyword in an attempt to sneak above you on the results page when prospects search your specific name.

Sometimes Grand Theft Google works startlingly well. Here’s an example…

One of our clients had a rather nasty rivalry with a competitor. Before we took over their SEO, one of the first results when you Googled their name was a page on their competitor’s website that totally trashed our client.

This competitor’s page ranked highly under our client’s name for a few reasons. I won’t go into them all, but one was that the page was set up to look like a neutral comparison (though it was anything but) between our client and the competitor. The page format made Google think the content was quality information, and not a hit piece. Worked like a charm.

So yep, the one keyword you thought was 100% safe—your own company name—is actually one of the most vulnerable. And the tactic our client’s competitor used is just one of two dozen ways in which a competitor can hijack your brand on Google.

The question is, how do you stop it from happening?

One of the most effective methods I’ve seen for preventing Grand Theft Google is having online reviews on multiple third-party websites. Google loves linking to online reviews from different sites because it sees this content as objective information that its users will find valuable.

Online reviews carry a ton of SEO power for your brand, and it shows in your search results. As an example, here’s a look at Zen Window’s page-one Google results when you search their name:

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As you can see, Google eats up third-party reviews like candy. Five out of the top eight spots are links to different review websites. Not only do all the shiny five-star ratings from review sites help build credibility with prospects, but they also prevent competitors from using Zen Windows’ name as a keyword to “steal” spots on the results page.

The Bottom Line: Being on multiple review websites is like having a can of Google-brand pepper spray in your back pocket. Anytime a competitor tries to steal your brand’s SEO mojo, your online reviews instantly halt the hijacking.

Want to know how your online reputation stacks up, and how big (or small) of an impact it has on your page-one results? Click here for a free Online Review Scan.  We’ll instantly generate a detailed report to tell you whether your online reputation is flourishing or floundering.

If it’s the latter, we can help. Our Online Reputation Management (ORM) controls and builds your online reputation to grow your business and make more profit. Here’s a sample of what MYM ORM provides:

  • Monitors customer reviews across all 170+ review websites
  • Converts happy customers into glowing, sales-producing online reviews
  • Stops negative reviews BEFORE they happen 
  • Turns positive reviews into automated SEO-friendly web and social media content 
  • Provides regular comprehensive reporting regarding the “health” and status of your online reputation

We began offering ORM about a month ago, and it’s already becoming a hugely popular service among our clients. Join them in reaping the massive rewards of a robust online reputation… and preventing yourself from becoming the next victim of Grand Theft Google.

Have a great day!

-Rich

P.S. Resistance to SEO is common in contractors who operate in smaller service areas. Tomorrow, I’ll tell you about a client in a small town who was dead-set against SEO… until we convinced him to try an SEO campaign with MYM a few months ago. Wait until you hear what he has to say now. Stay tuned.

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Why Your Facebook Posts Are Now A Google Goldmine

It finally happened. Rumors, whispers, and speculation have been swirling for months about whether it would.

“Will it happen?”

“Won’t it happen?”

“When will it happen?”

“Is it going to freaking happen already?!!”

Then on Friday, July 29th, we finally saw it. That’s when we could officially say that, oh yeah, it’s happening: Facebook posts are now showing up in Google results for keyword searches.

One of our clients—Mainstream Home Improvement of Illinois—had one of their Facebook posts show up as the fourth (yes, fourth!) organic search result for one of their keywords.
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If you’re not an SEO or social media person, you might think, “Big deal.”

Trust me. It is a big deal. Let me tell you why:

Until now, social media was a great tool for customer engagement. If you played your Facebook cards right, you could effectively advertise on the site, drum up more business, and increase customer engagement. You can still do all of those things. Except now, you can also use social media as one more path to the top of Google Mountain.

If you were in the “social media is a waste of time” camp before, this should make you abandon that sinking ship for good. Quality social media content doesn’t just get you more “likes” and comments anymore… as of a few weeks ago, it can seriously juice your SEO efforts.

A word of warning, though: Interesting, relevant content is still king on social media. Do NOT start creating a bunch of boring, keyword-stuffed posts no one wants to read—it will backfire big time. Google will hate you, and you’ll lose followers so fast that your Great Aunt Gertrude will have more Facebook fans.

To utilize social media as an effective SEO tool, you have to post targeted content that people want to read and share with others—same as you did before.  But now you will need to be a little more cognizant of your keywords when writing your awesome content.

What’s that? You don’t know how to create engaging social media content? No problem. I’ve written some blog posts that show you exactly what to do:

Listen, becoming a Social Media Sensei is not mandatory for getting to page one on Google. All of the other SEO methods are still as effective as they were before.

Trust me, though—a ton of contractors are going to take advantage of Google’s new buddy-buddy relationship with social media websites. If you kick the tire on this, you’re giving your competitors free reign over a quick and easy way to lay claim to Google’s top spots.

Do you want to utilize social media for your SEO efforts—but don’t have the time, skill, or experience to do it yourself? We can do it for you.

Our SEO package includes an optional social media component. We maintain your social media accounts and regularly post engaging, SEO-friendly content to them. No need to worry about what you’re going to post or whether it will strike the right chord with your audience (and now Google)—we take care of it all. Visit our SEO page and scroll down to the “Monthly Pricing” section for more details.

Happy Marketing!

-Rich

P.S. While we’re on the subject of social media, this post I wrote a few months ago shows you an easy and free way to drum up a ton of business on Facebook. To my knowledge, no contractors are doing this (probably because they’ve never even known this method of marketing was possible). By using the tactic that I outline in my post, you’ll essentially have a monopoly on this lucrative hidden corner of the market. Enjoy!

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