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Online Customer Reviews For Your Business

Online Customer Reviews For Your Business

If you run a business, you need to get good online customer reviews. These online customer reviews are can help you grow your top and bottom lines, and it can also help to insulate you against the online complaints of the occasional disgruntled customer. A recent comprehensive study covering 2017 found, among other things, that 97% of consumers look online when seeking out a local business and that 93% of consumers read local reviews to decide if a business is good or not. And since this trend is likely to continue and accelerate, it’s clear that online customer reviews (or a lack thereof) can make or break a business.

The value of positive online customer reviews is fairly self-evident. As consumers, we often weigh recommendations more heavily when we feel that they’re coming from disinterested third parties. We are more likely to heed the advice of a friend who had a positive experience with a company than we are a paid advertisement put out by that company, even if they both say basically the same thing.

That said, outside of reviewing restaurants and hotels, most customers simply don’t think about leaving online customer reviews. It’s not that they don’t want to help businesses that serve them well. Most customers are happy to show appreciation when they’re pleased with how they’ve been treated. But oftentimes it just doesn’t occur to many of them. And some of them may want to, but just don’t know how. As a business owner you should be attentive to your online public image. That means you must prioritize encouraging customers to write reviews about you and make sure they know how it’s done.

If you don’t take the reins and actively ask for reviews, you may have to face this challenging reality: Most of the online feedback you’ll receive from customers (if you get any at all) will be negative and likely not an accurate reflection of your customers’ satisfaction overall. That’s because some people have a tendency, when they’re disappointed or upset over what they see as lackluster service or a faulty product, to seek attention through posting scathing online reviews, seeking a chance to vent or hoping, perhaps unreasonably, for redress or compensation. Meanwhile, customers who are pleased with how a business has treated them may walk away after a handshake and a smile, feeling that the transaction is now complete and that there’s no need to give it an afterlife.

With this in mind, it’s good to know that with some helpful guidance, you can inspire your customers to write online reviews and make sure that they will understand how to utilize different online forums for posting feedback. And you can be confident that this will raise the profile and the visibility of your business.

Google, Facebook, and the Better Business Bureau (BBB) are all places where you can direct customers to write reviews. (Yelp strongly discourages businesses from soliciting feedback, and claims that their recommendation software actively targets reviews obtained in this way, so it’s best to let customers use that one on their own.)

Getting a lot of positive reviews on Google is a great place to start, especially if your business is one with a fixed location that comes up when potential customers search for “[your type of business] near me.” The best way to illustrate this is to take a look at what comes up when you use Google to search for a business such as “Triple Canopy Media.” Here is a screenshot of that search:

Google Review Page for Triple Canopy Media

Google will display vital featured details about the business as long as that business has set up a Google My Business profile. (If you haven’t created a Google My Business profile, you should do so right away—it’s free! You can start the process here.) Notice that the most prominent pieces of information about the business, after the name and photos, are the reviews. Not to boast, but notice also that Triple Canopy Media has a 5-star rating based on nineteen reviews.

Triple Canopy Media obtained the bulk of these reviews within a period of six weeks as part of a deliberate front-loading outreach campaign. TCM actively solicited reviews from customers during this time period. These results demonstrate the ability of a business to generate positive online buzz relatively quickly by making a conscious effort to do so. Of course, getting positive feedback from customers should be an ongoing process for any business, and one that you, as the owner, might even want to delegate to a particular member of your staff, just to make sure that someone has the responsibility for it and that it will always be done. But it is essential that you start strong, since more positive reviews leads to more customers and a larger customer pool leads to more potential positive reviews and so on.

It’s important to remember that prospective customers often base their decision-making not just on the quality of the reviews they see but the combination of the quality and the number of reviews a business has. For instance, one 5-star review is not likely to have as great a positive impact on a potential customer as fifteen reviews that average out to a rating of 4.2 stars. The larger the number of people who have had a positive experience, the better.

The main thing that you need to do to make sure that you get reviews on Google (or elsewhere) is to ask for them! And if customers don’t know how to write reviews on Google, then go ahead and show them. And if they forget, then feel free to give them gentle reminders to do so.

Facebook has more than two billion monthly active users, so chances are, nearly all of your customers will have profiles there and many of them likely already spend time there every day. This makes asking for a review on Facebook relatively easy. Of course, if your business doesn’t have its own Facebook page, then your customers can’t find it and write reviews, so creating one should be a priority for you. Get started here. Once that’s accomplished, you can promote your business on Facebook by doing all of the things that you would do on your personal Facebook page: post status updates, announce upcoming events, and share relevant photos and videos. Then you can reach out to your customers and ask them to give you feedback. This is pretty straightforward, but if any of them need a helpful how-to, you can direct them to this short Facebook article. For your reference, here is a screenshot of some of the reviews on the Triple Canopy Media Facebook page:

Facebook Review Page for Triple Canopy Media

Finally, there’s the Better Business Bureau, which has the most formal set of procedures for both business owners and reviewers. Businesses that wish to gain accreditation from the BBB must apply for it and meet certain eligibility requirements, such as being in existence for at least six months, and being fully licensed and bonded wherever they operate, among several others. You can learn more and start the process here. For your customers, sharing feedback here can be a bit more involved, in that the BBB vets reviews and may reach out to those who write them to prove that they interacted with the company they’re reviewing. You can help your customers out by sending them to this page showing them the steps they can take to write a BBB review for you. And, again, for reference, here is the portion of the BBB Triple Canopy Media page that showcases customer reviews:

Regardless of which of these forums you or your customers choose to emphasize the most, your constant vigilance is essential. You should not stop at simply asking and reminding customers for online customer reviews. You should also make sure to monitor the online customer reviews that you get and do your best to mitigate the potential damage that any negative feedback might bring to your business. This may mean having to endure the task of responding to these reviews so that they don’t just hang out online as the definitive word on how you do business.

Better Business Bureau Review Page for Triple Canopy Media

You can find a detailed summary of how to deal with several types of negative reviews here, but it’s best to approach them in the same cool-headed manner you would use to deescalate any disagreement in real life. You should own up to and apologize for mistakes that your business actually did make. Feel free to tell your side of the story, but stick to the facts—don’t let your emotions do the talking. Finally, show that you have worked to ensure that the circumstances that brought about the negative review have been addressed so that no future customer will have an experience like the disappointed one who left the online customer review review.

Remember that the power to shape the online story for your business lies largely in your hands. Treat your customers well, and they will give you some positive feedback. Ask them to do it, show them how, and then keep reminding them, and they will give you even more.

Search and SEO Trends for 2018

Search and SEO Trends for 2018


When the technology that we use evolves, the way that we interact with it inevitably changes as well. How we search for information today might be very different from how we will search for it even just a year from now. It’s essential that your business stays on top of the changing trends that will affect how you can reach your desired audience.  In this article Triple Canopy Media keeps an eye on search and SEO trends for 2018 so that you can keep two eyes on your business.



Way back in 2015, Google announced that queries conducted on its search engine using mobile devices had outnumbered those made on desktops.

This shift has inspired Google to change how it discovers results and ranks listings. Formerly, it had used the desktop browser’s view of the web to search for pages online, by crawling from link to link. Now, it’s using a mobile device’s point of view.

If you don’t have a mobile version of your website, Google will still be able to find and rank the desktop version. That said, if you have both a desktop and a mobile version, Google will likely just see the latter. This means that it’s vital that your mobile site have all of the same content as its desktop counterpart. And if your site is not mobile-ready, then now is the time to update it and make sure that it is. This is an important SEO trend development for 2018.



A recent consumer survey revealed that people have fewer inhibitions about talking to their phones—even in public—than they did only just a year ago. The respondents of the survey noted the ease of this mode of search (as it’s quick and involves no typing) as well as their general satisfaction with their device’s ability to understand them and what they were asking for.

The same study revealed that a greater number of respondents wanted more direct answers (and therefore fewer search results) when asking questions to their devices. This means that a featured snippet (that page excerpt that often appears above the list of other search results in a query when viewed on a screen) may be the best way for some companies to get noticed. And you increase your chances of being a snippet by having content that answers direct questions that users most often ask about a subject. In 2018, content is still king! This SEO trend should inform your marketing strategy for the upcoming year.



Keeping with the theme of searchers asking direct questions and wanting direct answers is the concept of long-tail keywords. These are the longer and more specific phrases that people use when conducting voice searches or when they’re closer to actually making a purchase. Someone who searches for “cookware” might just be passing time. But someone who searches for a “7-inch diameter non-stick skillet” probably wants to buy that item today. As a business, the key to taking advantage of this trend is to make sure that you have specific phrases describing what you do or sell in your site’s content that can set you apart from your competition.

This is just a sampling of the changes that 2018 will bring, of course, but keeping them in mind will give you a head start as you strive to gain visibility online.


What is Influencer Marketing?

What is Influencer Marketing?

So what is influencer marketing? Influencer marketing is more or less just what it sounds like. If you want to promote a product or a service, find a person who is a prominent figure in your field of business and then have that person lead the way in drawing positive attention to what you sell. By doing this, you can piggyback on your influencer’s established following, platform, or expertise.

The use of influencer marketing is increasingly important as brands move away from traditional media platforms such as television, radio, and print, and move toward a greater focus on outreach through social media.

This seems to be a logical step for marketing to take in an era in which celebrities and their tastes and opinions are ubiquitous. Combine this with the old wisdom that potential customers often give more credence to word-of-mouth recommendations from third parties they trust than they do to traditional advertising, and it’s clear that influencer marketing can be a very powerful tool for any brand.

The Pew Research Center reports that a majority of U.S. adults get at least some of their news from social media sites. People often trust in what they see on social media, and this is where many influencers have made a name for themselves. LinkedIn, for example, uses exactly this terminology, inviting the people who use its service to follow recommended “Influencers” it thinks they will like based on their interests and industry.

Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Snapchat, and dozens of smaller sites have either launched celebrities or kept them in the limelight by being the primary way that their fans and followers stay in touch with them as well as what they recommend and consume. Influencer marketing allows you to capitalize on an audience that has already been built and that trusts what its influencers say. You can create content that your influencer then shares with his or her followers, or you can entrust the influencer to create content on their own and spread it on your behalf.

Natural influencers are often individuals who have massive social media followings. But it’s important to look beyond those who simply dominate Twitter or Instagram with their numbers. Influencers can also be activists and educators as well as early adopters in certain markets, especially in fields like tech or fashion. As with any promotional campaign, it’s essential to not just reach tons of people. You want to make sure that you’re reaching the most appropriate audience for your brand or product. And in that regard, when it comes to marketing, the more things change, the more they stay the same.

So what is influencer marketing? It’s something that your business should probably be leveraging to your benefit. Triple Canopy Media can help you do this!

Local Search Engine Optimization: Get noticed!

Local Search Engine Optimization: Get noticed!

Let’s say that you run a business. What do you want more than anything else? Customers, of course! Local search engine optimization can help you achieve that objective.

We’re pretty deep into the twenty-first century at this point, so it’s very likely that many if not most of your customers will find you through an online search—probably by using Google. You’ve surely conducted many search queries yourself that involve some form of a desired good/service/merchant combined with a location, such as: “Italian restaurant North Canton” or “dog grooming Thomasville” or “locksmiths near me.”

The first thing you’re likely to see upon doing that is a map showing your surrounding area with red indicator flags highlighting the locations of the results that match your search. Below that, you’ll see a list of the names of each of the businesses that are marked on the map along with important information about them such as the full name of the business, a short description of it, its address and phone number, its hours, and the number and quality of the reviews the business has earned. Our local search engine optimization services can help you show up more prominently in these local search results.

Unless you’re doing a really exhaustive search, you’re likely going to weigh the options that appear nearest the top most heavily. You might not even move through most of the list if it looks like what you see first meets your needs. After all, we trust Google to give us relevant and well-reviewed answers. So we’ll probably choose what it seems to recommend.

If you run a business, you want to be one of those top results.

What can you do to help put the webpage for your business there? First of all, you want to make sure to have all of your Google My Business components in order. That will help your local search engine optimization. Be sure that the basic details of your business such as its location and contact information are represented accurately. The NAP (name, address, and phone number) should be exactly the same across all local citations for the best local search engine optimization results. Businesses that have reviews and photos tend to rank well also. Content, as always, drives traffic, as websites with a lot of words on each page—especially target keywords—tend to have an advantage over those that do not. But perhaps the most important determining factor is the number of backlinks to it that any page has. The more links to your webpage from other pages (along with their relevance and overall quality) the better.

We thought it might be helpful to show you what great local search engine optimization looks like in practice, so we took a screenshot of the Triple Canopy Media local search results in Google. Just click on the image below to go to the live search results.

At Triple Canopy Media, we understand how local search works. We want your business to be found locally. We want to send more traffic your way. We want you to succeed. And we’re here for you.

Local Search Rocks!

Local Search Rocks!

Triple Canopy Media offers local search engine optimization in Thomasville, Georgia and North Canton, Ohio as well as in any city where your company is located. If your business or organization or company has a business that targets customers or clients in specific geographic areas, then local search rocks!  Why do I think local search rocks?  Because it is one of the quickest ways to enhance your presence online, and you can “lead” your SEO effort by getting listings showing your company’s website near the top of the search engine result pages (SERPS) long before your website ever makes it to the top of the heap.

So what is local search?  Local search is getting your website listed with various business directories and mapping sites that specialize in providing local results to people searching for companies that provide various goods and services.  Of course, the most notorious (and important) local search tool is Google My Business.  Google My Business is a free service that allows you to create an online listing for your company, complete with a link to your website.  When you perform a geographic search (i.e., a search that includes a geographic specifier such as “Akron, Ohio”), the local search results show up toward the top to middle of the SERPS along with a map of your business location, hours of operation (if desired), acceptable forms of payment, services offered, etc.

Of course, there’s more to local search than simply slapping together a listing.  You need to really think about what you want your company to be found for.  This may involve analyzing traffic to your website to see which search terms are most commonly used to direct traffic to your site, and then to compare these search terms with the competition for similar search terms in Google My Business.  You may discover that you cannot be competitive (i.e., expect to be displayed) for your highest volume search term, but that there is real opportunity for your second or third highest volume term.  This is the term that you should probably go with.  Better to be seen for a lower ranked term than to not be found for a higher ranked one.  It’s all about trying to aggregate traffic, and local search is a great way to accomplish that.

Why Invest in SEO?

Why Invest in SEO?

Why invest in SEO? This is a question that I encounter quite frequently as I am discussing search engine optimization with business owners.  Unfortunately, many business owners have tried unsuccessfully in the past to engage in some type of “so-called” search engine optimization campaign.  Maybe it was sold by their phone company or a clueless kid who managed their website or–even worse–an unscrupoulous provider whose interest was a quick financial score and not the longterm success and viability of the client’s business.  We see it all the time.  A business owner has been scorned by SEO, and they are loathe to “return” for another helping.  And this is completely understandable.  Probably even prudent.

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is a very time intensive and labor intensive endeavor.  Anyone who promises quick fixes is likely not on the level, and they should be avoided at all costs.  But when used properly, SEO can be an outstanding resource in your marketing toolbox.  We have who have benefited to the tune of millions of dollars from our SEO efforts on their behalf.  Perhaps the greatest thing about search engine optimization is that, unlike pay per click (PPC) advertising, SEO is the gift that keeps on giving long after the campaigns have ended.  Think of it like an annuity.  You invest in SEO today, and that investment compounds and continues to pay out benefits for years and years to come.

The search engines are becoming increasingly sophisticated.  Their algorithms are continuously tuned and honed to provide better search results for users.  It is becoming increasingly more difficult to “game” the system.  We don’t even try.  We use exclusively “White Hat” search engine optimization techniques on behalf of our clients.  Failure to play by the rules is a sure way to get banned from the search engine result pages (SERPS).  And that is exactly what you risk if you employ the services of some fly-by-night outfit promising overnight increases in your search engine rankings.

Triple Canopy Media has provided top search engine rankings for numerous clients.  In several cases, our work has quite literally transformed businesses from sales-starved organizations to the most widely recognized companies in their industries.  Contact us today at 1-234-200-6590 to learn more about how Triple Canopy Media can help your company or organization invest in SEO to achieve top search engine rankings.

Content is King

Content is King

When it comes to search engine optimization, content is king.  That’s why I am writing this blog post–I mean, other than to share my searing insights about SEO, SEM, web analytics, and PPC.  The team at Triple Canopy Media has drunk the content Koolaid, and we understand that, assuming a sound website architecture and conformance to other industry standards for website design, nothing can impact your site’s SEO more than an expert use of content.

Why is this?  Why is content on the web so important?

The answer is simple: Search engines are in the business of delivering high-quality search engine results.  If they falter in pursuit of this objective, they will lose market share.  When they lose market share, they lose the ability to attract advertising dollars.  Advertising revenue is the lifeblood of the search industry.  So search engines have an inherent interest in protecting the quality of their search results.  That is why they penalize tricks and reward sites that deliver good content–as measured by bounce rates, dwell time, bouce-back-to-SERP rates, etc.

The search engines don’t really “know” whether the content on your site is any good.  They rely upon proxy variables such as the ones cited above (e.g., bounce rates) to infer whether a searcher is finding what they are looking for.  If someone clicks on a search engine result that links to a page on your website, but then they immediately hit the back button in your browser before visiting another page on the site…well…Google infers that they didn’t find what they were looking for.  In our experience, achieving a very low bounce rate is a great way to enhance search rankings quickly.  One of the best ways to achieve this result is to provide good, relevant content on your website and to continue to do so until the cows come home (hint, they never come home).


Publish or Perish

There is a saying academia: publish or perish.  Upon being hired as a tenure track professor, the academic is expected (among other things) to conduct research and to publish their work.  Those who fail to meet the expectations of their colleagues, departments, or institutions are denied tenure.  Those who meet or exceed these expecations receive tenure.  It’s a simple mandate: public or perish.  This simple saying holds value for every company that relies on its website to facilitate its business objectives.

publishAs a small business that specializes in search marketing we hold firm to the belief that we should lead by example.  You won’t find Triple Canopy Media promoting its search engine optimization and web design and development services using anything but white hat strategies.  If our prescriptions are good enough for our SEO and web marketing clients, then they are good enough for us to put into practice ourselves.  That includes generating good, quality content as a means of providing value to stakeholders and to our “community.”

Go ahead.  Analyze our site.  Check our code.  You’ll find that it’s pretty tight.  Perform a couple of web searches related to our industry.  You’ll notice that we’ve got local search on lock-down, and we are continuing to increase our footprint by providing valuable content related to our business.  That’s right.  We are writing this blog because we fear the same for ourselves that we fear for every single one of our clients.  If we don’t publish, we very well may perish.  For any company that depends upon the web to deliver leads, customers, clients, or sales…falling off the front page of Google is the surest way to accomplish this feat.

So, as a hedge against this threat, we publish.  One way that we satisfy that mandate is to continuously update this blog.  We generate good, relevant content about search engine optimization (SEO), search engine marketing, content management system development, and social media marketing. Triple Canopy Media may specialize in servicing clients in Northeast Ohio, Southwest Georgia, and the Coastal Alabama markets–but our reach is global.  When blogs and other websites pickup our content and repost it or simply link to it, it helps us to accomplish our objectives.

PR Media Releases – A Secret SEO Weapon When Used Correctly

I discovered the power of PR media releases for search engine optimization about 15 years ago while working on some client websites.  Not only can PR media releases–also called press releases–provide you with excellent backlinks to your website, but sometimes you’ll even have a story picked-up by local, national, or international media outlets.  Over the past ten years the team at Triple Canopy Media has written hundreds of PR media releases.  These releases have ranged in topic from the sinking of a ship in Cuba to illegal DNA testing by a major university to a client’s response to tornadoes in Mississippi and Alabama.  But an online press release needn’t be so novel or even as newsworthy as these examples in order for your company to derive substantial value.

PR Media ReleasesNews outlets are what “economic maximizers.”  This is a polite way of saying, “lazy.”  In our 24-hour news cycle, the media are starved for content.  After all, content is king!  So they don’t much care if your release is particularly newsworthy.  They just need “something” to fill their many pages.  In fact, they subscribe to services that aggregate your self-submitted news and often simply regurgitate it on their websites.  Of course, it’s always a good idea to couch your company or organization in as positive a light as possible.  But don’t make the mistake of waiting for something to happen.  Here are a few tips for using public relations to enhance search engine optimization:

1. Get on a schedule.  Commit to doing regular online press releases.  Once per month may be sufficient, but if you have multiple brands or business units, you may think about a more frequent schedule.  This helps to ensure that procrastination doesn’t set-in.  Don’t let laziness derail your search engine optimization efforts.

2. Ask your colleagues for story ideas.  You needn’t be hypercreative.  There’s a lot of stuff going-on in your company or organization.  Ask them for story ideas.  You’ll be surprised what they come up with.

3. Use standard press release formatting.  Press releases that adhere to standard formatting are more likely to be picked-up by the media.  It’s pretty easy to do, so make sure to read up on writing press releases.

4. Keep it short.  Keep your press release to about 400-600 words.  This will help ensure that your story gets picked-up by the press or other websites and blogs.

5. Use links with anchor text.  I can’t express how important this is.  If you want to optimize your site for the search term “hot water heaters”, then make sure to include links from this anchor text back to the most relevant page about hot water heaters on your website.  Otherwise, you’re wasting a huge opportunity to capture value from your PR efforts.

6. Include images, movies, pdfs, and other rich media to the greatest extent permitted.  Attaching or embedding images, videos, and documents can help you to get the word out about products as well as to help you secure additional coverage.

7. Don’t make it too “sales-ee.”  Press releases that look like advertisements are less likely to get coverage.  So resist the urge to be an e-barker, and keep the tone as editorial as possible.

Well…that should give you a good start.  Of course, writing good, effective press releases can be daunting for the uninitiated or the otherwise disinclined.  Triple Canopy Media offers a variety of public relations services for your business or organization to help you to gain an edge over the competition.

Pronouns are Bad for SEO

Pronouns are bad…for SEO, that is.  In case it’s been awhile since your English Composition 101 course, I’ve included the definition of pronouns below:


any member of a small class of words found in many languages that are used as replacements or substitutes for nouns and noun phrases, and that have very general reference, as I, you, he, this, who, what.  Pronouns are sometimes formally distinguished from nouns, as in English by the existence of special objective forms, as him for he or me  for I,  and by nonoccurrence with an article or adjective.

So why are pronouns so bad for SEO?  Everytime that you use a pronoun, you are substituting a very generic word for a more meaningful word.  Search engines are smart, but they simply cannot parse who “he” or “she” or “it” or “they” are.  Using a pronoun instead of the proper noun or the word to which the pronoun refers is a missed opportunity.  Of course, there are those times when you simply can’t avoid the use of a pronoun–such as when you are quoting material.   But most of the time you can edit your website or blog content to eliminate the use of most pronouns.

Eliminating the use of pronouns may be the easiest, most cost effective thing that you can do to enhance your website’s search engine optimization.  Don’t have the time to tweak the content on your website?  Let the content management team at Triple Canopy Media take care of it for you.  We’re expert content writers, and we’d be happy to help rein in your site content.

I’ve included a list of pronouns below as a reference.  Try your best to eliminate these pronouns from your website, and begin reaping the rewards for SEO.


A through H

each other



I through O




no one

one another

S through Y