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Archive for the ‘Marketing’ tag

EU Targets Google’s Latest Privacy Policy   no comments

Posted at Oct 18, 2012 @ 1:44pm News,online marketing,social media,tech news

google magnifying glass


Recently, there has been quite a stir over the EU’s response to Google’s most recent privacy policy…


From PARIS (Reuters): “Google has four months to make its privacy policy comply with requests from European Union data protection watchdogs or start facing the possibility of disciplinary action at a national level.”

France’s Commission Nationale de l’Informatique, working on behalf of the EU’s 27 national data regulators, said on Tuesday it had found legal flaws with a new approach to user data that Google adopted in March.

Among CNIL’s concerns was the way the U.S. group combines anonymous data from users’ browsing histories across its services to better target advertising.

From theguardian:  “Google’s latest privacy policy means that users get a simpler experience when signing up for a new Google-owned service. But it also means that Google can build up a more comprehensive picture of the user for advertising – for example, monitoring a person’s use of YouTube to help better target adverts within Gmail.”


I find it interesting that the EU’s various sanctioning bodies have an issue with this.  What do they think Google is going to do with the information?  Seriously!?  Google is in business to make money.  They make money by helping advertisers get in front of people who are most likely to purchase their products and services.  Let me give a perfect example – Let’s say that a feminine hygiene advertisement is placed in front of male audience members. I dare say, that is a waste of the advertisers’ money because odds are probably REALLY good that there isn’t a single purchaser in the group.

Another example: I watch YouTube all the time.  99.8% of my YouTube views are music.  Actually, I can’t imagine life without YouTube – but that’s another blog.  In the past year alone, I’ve probably watched in the neighborhood of 2,500 music videos – and once, ONCE, was an advertisement placed in front of me that I was interested in.  I actually sat there and watched the advertisement because it was something I was interested in.  That means the other 2499 times that ads were placed in front of me were a total waste.  From both efficiency and user-experience standpoints, wouldn’t it be better if YouTube, Google, or whoever is displaying the content, knew something about the viewer’s likes, dislikes, sites visited, etc.?  It irks me a little bit that I have to wait the 5 seconds before I can click on the “Skip Ad” button.  I’d much rather see an advertisement that actually interests me.

In other words, by being able to target your viewer, as Google is allegedly doing, it serves both the advertiser as well as the viewer.  My question is: Why does the EU want to make it harder on advertisers (businesses within the European Union) and the citizens of the European Union?  Ah, government regulatory bodies at their finest, once again. Apparently the EU wants advertisers to pay for ads that get displayed in front of randomly selected people who might not have any interest at all in the product or service being touted, rather than be able to target their ads to those who have shown some type of behavior that identifies them as a potential buyer.  Also, why should anyone have to sit through an ad that they have no interest in?

Now, I do agree that people should have the ability to opt out of certain things like email, but isn’t what Google is doing beneficial for everyone?

If I were an advertiser and it was costing me X dollars each time my ad was presented, I would want to be darn sure that my ad was being placed in front of people who are most likely to take advantage of what I’m offering.

I’d be interested in hearing other views on whether Google, who is allegedly doing what the regulatory bodies claim, is right or wrong.  Perhaps you are indifferent? How do you feel about the use of this alleged data?

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Written by Dave on October 18th, 2012

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Questions to Drive Marketing Insights   no comments

Posted at Jan 10, 2012 @ 6:33pm TurnKey Marketing

Sometimes one of the hardest things about marketing is asking the right questions. You may look at your marketing materials and think they’re great, but are you thinking about them from your perspective or the perspective of your clients? Removing yourself and your perspective from the equation is an important step. Before you can think like a client, you have to stop thinking like a business owner (unless of course your clients are business owners themselves). Below are a few questions that any business owner can ask herself to improve and build on her marketing strategy.

What is the Real Long-Term Value of Each Good Client?

One client may not seem like much, but in the long-term a good consistent client can make or break a company. Okay, so maybe that’s a little much. But if you think of every client as a critical part of your business, you set yourself up to treat each of them with respect. The better you treat each client, the better your business will be.

Who Do You Want to Attract?

Good marketing starts with good targeting. Consider the ideal customer. Maybe this is someone who doesn’t need a lot of extra support. Maybe this is someone who raises the profile of your business or who is tied into the business community and gives you great word-of-mouth. Whoever your perfect or ideal customer is, target your marketing materials at that person directly. It may seem somewhat short-sighted, after all there are a lot of people out there who may benefit from your products or services, but if you are aiming your message at the people you want most to attract, chances are good you’ll attract those people. If your perfect clients start arriving, they’ll bring more perfect clients with them. This is the type of equation where quality truly is better than quantity.

What Do You Really Sell?

Sure, you may think you sell eyeglasses or security systems, but chances are what you’re really selling is something less tangible than that. Maybe it’s peace-of-mind, a competitive edge or a style statement. Getting to the bottom of what your clients are looking for will help you figure out how best to present whatever it is you’re selling. Market to the demographic and your sales numbers will improve.

Of course, this is just a beginning. But if you start really asking yourself the hard questions about what you’re doing, why, and for whom, you’ll be amazed at how much clearer your thinking becomes.

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Written by admin on January 10th, 2012

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Blogging: It’s Not Just for Kids   no comments

Posted at Nov 9, 2011 @ 4:10pm TurnKey Marketing

Okay, so maybe this is stating the obvious, but blogging has become one of the most important tools for building a business through audience, and it’s about time we all took a moment to reflect on why. Of course, I’m blogging right now… and now… making this a meta commentary. If you went to a liberal arts college, you will probably be falling all over yourself at the stunning post-modernism. If you didn’t, you’re probably annoyed. Sorry, I’ll move on.

First off, blogging matters because it’s content. Content is what the Internet is made of. It’s the stuff we consume, and we’re all hungry consumers. Content is information and, on the Internet, good, meaningful, non-fluff information is currency.  As more blogs appear every day, the heap of content begins to self-sort. What do you think rises to the top? The good, meaningful, non-fluff information that people actually care to read.

So, quality brings readers. Readers bring business. It’s a very simple equation yet so few people are really working to create blogs worth reading. In part, this is due to the hard work, writing acumen, and creativity that good writing requires. This would be a problem if it weren’t for the thousands of unemployed writers out there. So the problem isn’t finding a writer, the problem is prioritizing writing.

So, step one: write (or hire someone to write) good content. Invest in your company blog because it reflects directly on your company. Again, this is obvious. So why aren’t more people concerned with quality over quantity? I blame the search engines.

The search engines (Google) are the reason blogs became such valuable tools in the first place. Sure, good writing has always had innate value, but on the Internet, static content won’t bring in readers all on its own. With Google’s indexing and the preferential treatment Google began to bestow on fresh, new content, blogging took off, and not in a good way. For a long while (and still, to some extent, today) simply posting new paragraphs of semi-legible writing got Google’s attention. This prompted a huge increase in quantity without much of an increase in quality and, at the beginning, everyone was happy because everyone saw increased traffic. Of course, what happened next was the same thing we will see over and over again… the good content stuck around while the rest, well, didn’t.

Again, this is partly thanks to Google. As Google tweaked the algorithm to identify content that was actually read (based on traffic), it sorted the good stuff from the bad. Still, there is no shortage of poorly-written content. This is actually a great thing for the serious business writer. In a sea of bad writing, it’s not too difficult to rise up and get noticed.

This illustrates the importance of quality, but what about the other benefits of blogging? For starters, a regularly updated blog shows potential clients several things. It shows them that you are serious about building your company. It shows them that you care about sharing relevant news. It shows them that you are interested in having a dialogue. In the relatively impersonal online marketplace, engaging with potential clients about subjects other than what you’re selling creates a connection. It builds trust. The more you can foster non-sales-based connection, the more your potential clients will want to support your company and the more conscious of your clients’ needs your company will be. Let’s face it: we are all world-weary consumers. We all need a break from the sales pitch. How refreshing to find that breath of fresh air on a commercial site!

This is a little bit delicate. You may be wondering how you’re supposed to convert readers to clients if you never mention your products or services. Good point. It is important to communicate what you’re selling. We do it here. But we also work to provide plenty of other content that isn’t self-serving. In the rapid-fire world of technology there is always something that is both news-worthy and relevant to our web hosting services. By combining the two, we remind readers about who we are while offering more than a sales pitch. Really though: don’t worry too much about this. If someone is reading your blog, they’re already on your site. Let the rest of the site do the selling.

A blog doesn’t just provide your clients or potential clients with information, it also provides your employees with a window into the company, and with a forum for sharing their own observations and knowledge. Essentially, the blog creates a social network around your business. Convinced yet?

We welcome your suggestions about how we can make our company blog better. What would you like to read about? What posts do you like or dislike? We got all metaphysical with this because we believe in practicing what we preach. Amen.

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Written by admin on November 9th, 2011

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Advertising vs. Marketing: Clearing Up the Confusion   no comments

Posted at Oct 21, 2011 @ 5:20pm TurnKey Marketing

Often in the web hosting industry the terms advertising and marketing are used interchangeably. While this might not seem like the end of the world, the truth is, the two things are not the same. In order to achieve optimal exposure for your business, it is important to have a solid understanding of both.

Advertising and marketing are like squares and rectangles. All squares are rectangles but not all rectangles are squares. In other words, all advertising is marketing but not all marketing is advertising. Confused yet? How about a few straight-forward definitions:

Advertising refers to ads. These ads may be online, in a newsletter, in a magazine, or really anywhere ads appear. Typically these ads cost money and they are designed to attract customers to your business. Ads are incredibly important and they are critical for the success of your business but ads alone aren’t enough. It’s the ad campaign that really creates a business identity. That’s where the marketing comes in.

Marketing is the overarching public image strategy for your business. It involves the designing of ads, from the single run to the multi-ad campaign. It also involves the crafting of a company image. Marketing is the process through which you craft your company message. What image do you want your company to project? What look and feel do you want your logo to communicate? What tagline best represents the products, services and goals of your company? Without a strong marketing mission, your ads won’t have a leg to stand on.

It may also be difficult to create momentum without a solid marketing strategy. While a single ad may work well, if you don’t have a strategy, how will you follow up? Marketing should be rooted in your business. It should recognize the core values inherent in your original vision, and the changes your business has gone through as it has evolved. Sometimes it is necessary to change your business’ image. Without a marketing strategy in place, changing an image suddenly can alienate customers and corrupt a recognizable brand. A solid marketing strategy will help you incorporate your old image into your new image. This provides continuity and enhances brand-awareness so you build on what you’ve got rather than poking holes in your foundation.

The best way to begin developing a marketing strategy is to sit down and think hard about your business. What do you offer? What type of customers do you have? How are you different from your competition? Often a solid mission statement will help you to articulate your business’ goals, and from there seeing how you stand out will be much easier. If you don’t have a mission statement, write one now. It will prove invaluable for all future brand efforts and will always provide a reference point for anyone you may hire.

So advertising and marketing go hand-in-hand, but advertising is the tip of the iceberg while marketing is the core. The key idea here is representation and consistency. If you are true to your company’s vision and consistent with your message, you will continue to grow and your business will continue to solidify. So invest in some top-notch marketing! Your business will thank you.

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Written by admin on October 21st, 2011

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Using Web Conferencing as a Marketing Tool   no comments

Posted at Feb 14, 2011 @ 5:46pm TurnKey Marketing,voxwire

While most people tend to think of web conferencing as a tool for connecting with remote colleagues, there are astounding possibilities for using web conferencing for marketing new products to potential and existing customers. For many businesses, especially those selling goods and services online, one of the biggest barriers to sales is education. If you sell a software-as-a-service product, for example, and your clientele doesn’t really understand what your product is and how it can benefit them, they’re not buying. Overcome this barrier with an instructional interactive webinar!

Demonstrate Your Product
A product demo is easy with an online conferencing tool that allows you to stream video and screen share. Voxwire Gold Web Conferencing has these capabilities, enabling you to show your clients, in real time, how your product works and what it can do for them. Use images from your clients’ websites, incorporate audio and video and dazzle them with a full-blown sales presentation from the comfort of your office. While many people won’t make the time to travel for a product demo, they will sit through a short presentation online.

You can use Voxwire this way even if you’re selling big-ticket items like real estate. Upload images of houses for a virtual tour. Walk potential buyers through rooms without having to meet in person. This saves you time and money, and will help whittle down the potential buyers to the real serious customers.

You don’t have to do these webinars live either. Prepare a demo and record it. Then post a link on your site for new potential customers to learn about your product first-hand.

Interact with Clients
Sales videos are great, but only if customers actively watch. There is no way to guarantee they will with traditional video and, more than that, there is no way to guarantee that they’ll click on your link or follow up. With an interactive sales webinar, you can talk with customers while you show them your products. You can show your video in the window and talk over it, or pause to add detail. You can invite participants to enter text chat questions that you can address as you go, or even invite them to connect with video for a face-to-face conversation.

Host an Event
Everyday webinars are wonderful sales tools, but you can up the stakes by hosting your own online conference within the Voxwire interface. Invite up to 1,000 attendees to sit in on your presentation. Welcome all of them to contribute comments via text chat, or highlight specific attendees by awarding them moderator privileges mid-meeting. Large events like this attract a larger number of attendees than individual instructional webinars, and they create industry buzz in the process. Create a double-edged campaign with a regular weekly meeting and then a large, once every few months, webinar. Invite colleagues to present their own new products, and bring the marketplace to you.

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Written by admin on February 14th, 2011

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Why Host Your Blog on its Own Domain?   no comments

Posted at Nov 8, 2010 @ 2:58pm TurnKey Marketing

Anyone with a blog faces this conundrum at one time or another. Some people start out with a free blogging service like typepad or blogger, and, as they grow their audience, decide they need their own property. Others start out managing their own blog and get mired in the wordpress updates or spam and bail for a free, fully managed option. Before leaping right in, there are several items to consider when deciding which arrangement is right for you.

What are your Goals?

Are you planning on world domination or is your blog primarily for your friends and family? If you’re aspirations are modest, there is no reason to invest your time and money into a privately hosted blog. On the other hand, if you have loftier goals and think  you might, one day, want to become a pundit or amass a million followers, hosting your own property could pay dividends.


Are you a designer? Does it matter to you to have your blog look just so? With free blogs, you have severely limited options design-wise. You can pick colors and templates, but you can’t go much beyond that. If you want to design your blog from the ground up, a privately hosted blog is right for you.


How good are you at computers? Do you understand how to configure a database? Do you understand PHP, blog software installation stuff or server-side configurations? None of this is particularly difficult, and it is very possible to learn it all with a little elbow grease. But, if you haven’t got the time, or don’t want to be bothered, a free blog is the best choice.


Generally, a blog with its own memorable domain name is much more brandable than a free blog domain (that includes .typepad or .wordpress within the URL). A private domain projects a professional image and sticks in people’s minds. Name your blog something clever to really capitalize on the memory factor. If you have big dreams, think about the promotional materials and business cards you may use in the future. Your own domain will look smashing on both.

Making Money

If your blog is popular, you can sell ads and make money, regardless of what format your blog happens to be in. Arguably, advertisers may be more inclined to take you seriously with your own domain name, but numbers talk. If you have the traffic, they’ll be interested.

Ready to Get Started?

If you’ve decided on hosting your own blog with your own domain name, look no further than TurnKey Website.

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Written by admin on November 8th, 2010

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Attention Resellers: Marketing Your Web Hosting Business   no comments

Posted at Aug 10, 2010 @ 9:00am TurnKey Marketing,Web hosting

Reselling web hosting is a potentially lucrative business with many advantages. Well, most importantly, you don’t have to worry about hardware. Partnering with a reputable web hosting business that owns their own datacenter (i.e. TurnKey Internet) will allow you to provide reliable services to your clients while you receive stellar support and 100% uptime. But providing the server space is only one small part of a successful reseller business. You have to market your business too, and that’s no small task. As a very wise CEO once told me, “Products don’t make a business. Sales and marketing make a business.” So how do you effectively market your reseller business without spending all your capital on advertising? Good question, self! Allow me to elucidate…

Press Releases

Press releases are a powerful tool for marketing your company. While press releases work best for real newsworthy items, even routine product announcements and promotions can benefit from a formal press release distributed through the right channels. The best part is that press releases don’t have to cost you anything more than the time it takes to write them.

  • Advantages

    Bloggers, journalists and online news outlets are always on the lookout for new content. Getting your press release listed is great for exposure, and it builds your website’s backlinks, which is great for SEO. If your release contains newsworthy information that extends beyond the web hosting arena, you could get picked up by print publications. This is an excellent way to build your company’s credibility and to reach an audience that may not be keeping tabs on industry-only news.

  • Distribution

    There are several traditional (and free) methods for distributing press releases, and a few more creative non-traditional ones. First, submit your release to all of the online news outlets you can find. This can be time consuming, as many of them require you to register before you can submit news, but the effort is worthwhile. It may be onerous the first time around, but if you save your registration information, subsequent releases will be easier and faster. Second, notify your clients of your releases via your email newsletter. If you don’t have a newsletter yet, you should get on that, and fast, because they are invaluable marketing tools (more on this below). Third, submit your release to all of your local newspapers and radio stations. It might sound old school, but getting listed in print or mentioned on the radio will be a real feather in your company’s cap.

  • Keywords

    Load your press release with SEO-friendly keywords and phrases. The more specific your keywords and phrases are, the better, for example: there are millions of companies using the keywords “web hosting” but not nearly as many using the keywords “New York web hosting professionals.” If you target your demographic with your keywords, you’ll maximize traffic from that demographic. And try to remember the rule: one to two keywords per 100 words.

  • Paid Releases

    There are several companies that offer to distribute your press releases for a fee. Typically, the fee is $50-$250 and includes submission to all the major search engines and news outlets online. We have found paid releases to be beneficial for truly newsworthy releases, especially those that involve a new product or service that we know people will be excited about. The bottom line here is sales. If we have a release we think will bring in sales, we’re willing to spend some money to make sure our customers see it.


What I’m doing here… right now… and here… is writing a company blog. This blog increases traffic to TurnKey Internet because it is regularly updated, searchable, indexed content that keeps us at the top of search results. The more I talk about TurnKey Internet’s top-notch web hosting products and services, the more easily we will be found by customers searching for top-notch web hosting products and services. It’s simple. It works. Try it!


Specials, sales and coupons attract attention. Everyone wants a deal. Everyone wants to pay less for something that used to cost more. You can advertise your specials via all the social networks (in which you should already have an account for your company). You can also include specials and promotions on your blog, with keyword-filled content that highlights the amazing features included in your special. If your special is really…well… special, you can write up a press release.

Email Newsletters

You have undoubtedly heard about the marketing power of email newsletters. If you haven’t started one yet, check out, our one-stop email newsletter shop. Newsletters are ideal tools for sending out company updates, promotions, specials, etc. They are also critical tools for building customer trust and loyalty. An active company that has a lot going on is a successful company—at least in the eyes of your customers. Finding the right email newsletter software can be a real challenge. Many of the better known products out there have major bugs that will hurt your company’s image (the opposite of what you’re going for, obviously). That is why we have just released our very own, superior, incredible, action-packed email newsletter software. Check it out here: Also, stay tuned for a whole entire blog post dedicated to this new must-have marketing tool.

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Written by admin on August 10th, 2010

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Reducing Customer Churn   no comments

Posted at Aug 4, 2010 @ 3:55pm TurnKey Marketing,Web hosting

One of the biggest challenges for any web hosting company is reducing the rate of churn. Churn, or turn-over, is the rate at which customers cancel services. In the web hosting industry, churn can be alarmingly high, especially when economic times are difficult and customers are paying month-to-month. But, while all the big web hosting companies spend thousands of dollars getting customers in the door, really tackling the problem of churn is something many fail to do well. Fortunately, there are a few tried and true techniques for retaining customers and reducing churn that every web host could benefit from implementing.

Immediate Follow-Up

Every cancelation request is an opportunity. If you have an automated billing system for your company, you can start by scheduling an email cancellation message to send out to every customer that cancels her services. Compose a friendly message that politely asks why the customer cancelled. Ask if she was unhappy with your products or services. If you receive a response, consider it an open door. Send another email, offering to significantly reduce her monthly bill. Making less money is better than making no money. If you don’t receive a response, schedule another email for a week or two after the initial cancellation. In your second email, offer specials or deep product discounts designed to entice her back to your business. Make it an offer she can’t refuse. Don’t give up. A previous customer is an extremely valuable lead. Chances are good, if you’re consistent, polite and solicitous, that customer will think of you the next time she needs web hosting. Customer loyalty is a powerful thing. Make the most of it.

Appeal to the Businessman

One tactic I have found extremely effective is to appeal to the logical businessman in our customers. Web hosting is unique in that it is the portal through which our clients reach their clients. Without a website, most businesses will fail nowadays. Sometimes a phone call with a simple sales pitch works wonders. Not only is it harder to say no over the phone, a convincing voice explaining how important it is to maintain your business presence online goes a long way. Pair that with an unbeatable offer for discount services, and reel that client right back in.

Take it from the Salesman

A good salesman can convince anybody of anything. But when you have a great product with great service at a great price, you don’t have to be the best salesman in the world, you just have to tell it like it is. Get your message out there and be consistent. Like I’m always saying, success and hard work are the same thing.

Help Your Customers Succeed

According to a whole lot of industry experts, the main reason businesses fail online is bad marketing. You can’t sell something nobody knows about. It may seem obvious, but most hosting companies don’t go the extra mile to help their customers market their services and they lose customers because of it. Give your customers tips about how to get noticed. Put together an e-book full of marketing research and ideas. If your customers are successful, you will be successful. This is also a no-brainer when it comes to building brand loyalty. If you help someone make money, they are not likely to forget it.

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Written by admin on August 4th, 2010

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TurnKey Internet is Not a Rip-Off – Best Value Hosting Provider   no comments

Posted at Jun 29, 2010 @ 10:32am TurnKey Marketing

It’s true. With an A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau, and a 5-star rating from customers, TurnKey Internet is the hosting provider with the best value and customer service.

Welcome to blog post #2 in the SEO-fu experiment. The truth is TurnKey Internet does have a good reputation. In fact, our reputation is excellent, thank you very much. We work extremely hard, day in and day out, to provide a top-notch service, great customer care and 100% uptime. But that doesn’t make us immune from the SEO powers that be when good customers turn bad. Like it or not, we are all at the mercy of Google. As I discussed in the last article, 2010 is the year for all of us to learn to use the Internet to our advantage—to protect ourselves and our businesses from unscrupulous bad eggs and, for that matter, unscrupulous rival businesses that don’t hesitate to seed negative reviews for their own evil benefit. Yes, I’m being dramatic, but no, I’m not kidding.

It’s an ugly practice, but many companies have taken to posting bad reviews of competitors to influence potential customers. The hope is that Google searches will return those seeded negative reviews, and customers will steer clear of the implicated companies (and steer towards the companies posting the reviews). If you don’t have a superstar PR team at your disposal, ready to re-seed with positive reviews (also an ugly practice) you’re sunk. So what do you do when cheaters game the system to make your business look bad? How do you fight back without stooping to their level?

SEO-fu. Rather than seeding reviews (which is totally cheating), you can improve your reputation by regularly updating your site content to reflect the truth about your business. It doesn’t matter how many nasty reviews your competitors throw to the winds if your well-written, informative content shows up first. Also, as I always recommend, solicit real reviews from real customers. The more real reviews you have, the better, even if those reviews include some negatives.

This isn’t about having a 100% A+ reputation, 100% of the time. A page of perfect reviews can work against you too. Think about it: if you visit a company’s website for the first time and every review you see is five stars, are you going to believe it? This is about a real life business. Every business makes mistakes, the salt is how you deal with them.

In order to protect your credibility, and to provide a quick reference-check for your potential customers, it’s a good idea to employ a third party to manage your company reviews. We use RatePoint:

TurnKey Internet Ratepoint Reviews Screenshot

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Written by admin on June 29th, 2010

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TurnKey Internet Review – Get the Unbiased Review Here, A+ Rated   no comments

Posted at Jun 28, 2010 @ 1:46pm TurnKey Marketing

TurnKey Internet has earned a 5-star rating from unbiased customer reviews and an A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau.

This is an experiment. I hope you will follow our next few blog posts as I attempt to use my SEO-fu to elevate TurnKey Internet to the top of search results for otherwise undesirable (in some cases) search terms. It’s a pre-emptive SEO strike, and I, for one, am extremely curious to see how it works.

It is no surprise that everything we say and do online affects our reputation. This is as true for businesses as it is for individuals. But reputation depends as much on what you do, as on what others say, and others don’t always tell the truth. Everyone knows that positive customer reviews can go a long way, but what about when those reviews are negative? If negative reviews are an honest reflection of your customer service, you need to step up your customer service. But if negative reviews come from a bad egg—the customer with a chip on his shoulder, the gamer who abused your services and is upset he got caught, or the deadbeat who can’t believe you won’t turn over his data without payment—your company’s reputation could be unfairly and badly damaged. So what do you do? How do you protect that invaluable word-of-mouth reputation that keeps your business strong?

There are many companies out there that offer to monitor your online reputation, for a fee. But this is something I think you can do quite well on your own, for nothing. Yes, it takes some time, but keeping yourself apprised of what is being said about your company, from the perspective of your customers, is smart business. When a customer first hears about you—through word of mouth, via forums or an advertisement—she is likely to run a simple Google search for reviews. Getting into the head of that potential customer and running that search yourself will give you a good initial sense of what’s out there. If the first thing that comes up is a negative review from a forum post, you have some work to do.

My big secret is that this blog post is meta. While I describe to you how to protect your business’ online reputation, I am protecting mine. My hope is that, by seeding this blog post with SEO-friendly keywords that could otherwise bring up negative results from bad eggs, like TurnKey Internet Reviews, TurnKey Internet scam, TurnKey Internet fraud, etc., this blog post will be the first thing a potential customer finds when searching for those terms. By doing this, I take the sting out of the immature lashing-out of bad eggs, without stooping to the level of dirty search engine warfare. This is a clean search engine pre-emptive strike, and I highly recommend it for the long-term health of your business’ reputation.

Watch this space for more SEO-fu in the coming days.

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