Online reviews are crucial to managing your reputation, gaining trust and building confidence. Trust is a key element to gaining and maintaining customers.

Do you remember asking for a friend’s opinion about a product before deciding to buy? Didn’t you become more excited after hearing encouraging feedback?

That’s exactly how online reviews work.

Let’s take a look at these statistics from BrightLocal:

• 84% of people trust online reviews as much as a personal recommendation
• 7 out of 10 consumers will leave a review for a business if they’re asked to
• 90% of consumers read less than 10 reviews before forming an opinion about a business
• 54% of people will visit the website after reading positive reviews
• 73% of consumers think that reviews older than 3 months are no longer relevant
• 74% of consumers say that positive reviews make them trust a local business more
• 58% of consumers say that the star rating of a business is most important

Your potential customers are now checking what others say about your products or services before buying!

So you need to always provide a good experience, earn those positive reviews, get them published, and see more repeat and new sales coming to your business.

There are additional benefits to getting positive reviews and 5-star ratings:

Improved Organic and Local Rankings
Google gives priority to businesses with stellar reviews on rankings.

Increased Click-through Rate
Consumers will most likely click on a business with impressive reviews in the search results.

Create Consumer Loyalty
Your customers who take the time to leave a 5-star rating are far more likely to feel a certain bond with your business.

Let your Customers Do Your Marketing for You
Even just a handful of positive online business reviews are worth a great deal and can attract new customers to our business.

Contact us at to learn more about boosting your revenue with reviews.

If you’re among the business owners who are posting and sharing content through Facebook, Twitter, and other social media platforms, then you’re off to a good start.

But if you’re not getting the results you’re looking for, chances are that’s because your social media isn’t actually very social. Posting and sharing content just isn’t enough!

However, how do you put the ‘social’ back in social media and take your social media marketing game to the next level? By creating opportunities for your customers to get involved in the conversation and get to know you and your brand.

1. Post conversational status messages.

This will humanize your brand. Remind people that your business is run by individuals who care about their products and their customers, not by some faceless corporate machine. Allow your customers to connect with you on a human level.

2. Post videos of yourself talking to your target customers.

As a business owner, showing your face builds trust and, again, humanizes your brand.

3. Ask questions. Hear their story.

Ask about their needs and get feedback on your products or services. The exchange will benefit both you and your customers. You’ll be helping your customers feel like they are a valued part of your business, and as a business owner, you will gain valuable insight about your target customers.

4. Respond to comments.

Being social means engaging in a two-way conversation. When your customers reach out to you, make them feel heard and keep them engaged by responding thoughtfully to their comments.

Do these things, and your business will not only have gone social, but it will start taking off.

Need help? Contact us at

Your Customer’s Journey goes through these stages: Awareness, Interest, Desire, and Action. There’s no telling how long they stay in one stage before jumping to the next. Sometimes the progress takes months, and others the jump is almost immediate.

Many websites concentrate on the ‘Awareness’ and ‘Interest’ stage without signals toward a purchase while others focus on the ‘Action’ stage without providing sufficient information.

Strategic Marketing Solutions Inc. ensures that your website speaks to your visitor relative to their stage in the buying process. Does your website’s navigation and content address all of the needs of your potential customers in every step of their journey?

Navigational cues such as menu buttons, bread crumbs, overview of next steps, suggested readings, and calls-to-action must guide your visitors from whatever buying stage they are in and on whatever page and content they are currently on to the next logical and intuitive step.

This strategy requires a deep understanding of your customer, what they need and how you meet that need. This means knowing what information in certain media formats they need to absorb to learn more about your offerings in a way that will resonate with their motivation to buy. This strategy also requires getting rid of all possible barriers to buying, making the actual purchase process as smooth and satisfying as possible.

Contact me at to learn how I can help you fix your website.

Brian Weathers

The information age can be glorious. It gives customers nearly limitless information when trying to make a purchase decision, and it gives business owners like you new and exciting ways to reach those customers. It also makes it of the utmost importance to have a solidified and well-crafted website to make your case to potential customers.

Yes, your website is your virtual storefront. Open 24/7.

Not sure where to start? We can help.

Your website needs to sell you and these six things are proven to do that in the most efficient way.

1. The way that your product or service navigation is organized must be primarily based on your potential customer’s needs, and not based on, say, alphabetization.

2. With featured products or services, you can quickly direct your customer to what they are most likely to need. If the weather is heating up, make sure you don’t feature coats. Make educated guesses to showcase what’s hot for each season.

3. A product or service catalog makes sure your customers know exactly what you offer. It allows them to search through and identify what aspects of your product or service that fit your needs.

4. For each product listing, make sure you identify the benefits, features and product specifications. By ensuring you answer all the customer’s questions, you help them arrive at the “yes!” more quickly.

5. FAQs are found on almost every website. Whether they’re questions about shipping times or your return policy, you want to make sure anything a customer may wonder about is clearly spelled out.

6. Testimonials take advantage of the fact that customers trust their peers more than almost anything else when it comes to buying a good or service. If you have happy customers, make sure you utilize that to sell yourself or your products to new clientele.

Feeling overwhelmed? We’re here to help!

Send us an email at to learn more about what we can do for you!

Does your website have a blog? Are you blogging?

1. Companies that use blogs receive 67% more leads than companies who don’t!
2. Twenty-three percent of Internet time is spent on blogs and social networks, so you need to be blogging!
3. Businesses that blog get more visitors to their website (average of 55% more website visitors)
4. Almost half of the companies in the US use blogs to marketing their product/services because it works!
5. If you blog 16 to 20 times in a 30-day period, you will generate nearly 3 times as many leads as those businesses who do not blog.

We didn’t make this up. Here’s the report:

There are many things you can do to get more traffic to your door.

One of the things that are surprising is that many local physical businesses don’t have, or don’t think they need local SEO, such as getting listed on major local business listings.

Not having some type of online presence is a big mistake for companies. Take into consideration that more people are closely connected to their mobile devices more than ever.

People use their smartphones to do everything from ordering pizza, to finding out who has the best price on the car part they suddenly need. And while this is just a small example, you may or may not be surprised that many people go online to check to see if a business has what they need, what the prices are, if they are currently open.

They do these things before deciding to drop by a store!

There are many things that a local physical business can start doing besides having a website online so that they can be found easily by new prospective customers. Getting yourself listed on Google My Business is free, and the page is likely to get indexed very quickly since it is Google.

The next best thing to do is get listed on local directories and review sites. Many people are using these sites to check business reviews and will be able to find your business quickly.

Some other things that you want to be sure to do are building links from local news sources, establishing partnerships with other businesses and of course, utilizing search engine optimization using locally targeted keywords which very well could be easy to rank for.

If all this sounds great to you, and you need more information on how to get started, then contact us now, and we can help you get your business in the important places that matter most and help increase your foot traffic.
Brian Weathers

If your search engine optimization (SEO) campaign isn’t going as well as you’d hoped for, you may not have the right SEO service provider for your business.

Choosing an SEO provider should be done carefully to ensure the long-term success of your campaign, website, and business. It’s important to find a provider that not only has a strategy but who utilizes a strategy that is specific to the needs and goals of your business rather than a one-size-fits-all approach.

The SEO industry is constantly changing. What works today may not work six months from now. Finding a provider who customizes their services for your business will ensure that you won’t get left behind.

Here are 3 key things that the best SEO providers do for the businesses they serve.

1. Top providers perform SEO audits. SEO audits document baseline performance and analyze the impact and quality of previous work to ensure continued success.

2. Good providers provide SEO blueprints. SEO Blueprints lay out a comprehensive plan designed specifically for your business. They establish benchmarks and goals, integrate a budget, provide SEO strategy recommendations, and provide a backup plan in case things don’t go as well as they should.

3. The best providers maintain ongoing SEO monitoring and consultation. Providing ongoing monitoring and consultation ensures that your campaign is performing successfully and that you are seeing the desired results.

Here at Strategic Marketing Solutions Inc., we do all three. Contact us to learn more, or leave a comment or questions below. Our experts are here to help you!

So you are a new business gone online, or you are a business that has decided to step up your marketing campaign by having a new website built, and you have created some pages on social network sites like Facebook or Instagram.

Maybe you have a blog out there as well, and you have started creating content for all of your online sites.

But if you are a new to online business, and digital marketing, and you are just getting started, you might be wondering where all your customers are.

You may be seeing little to no traffic at all for your efforts. It’s not that you are doing anything wrong. And unless you are a business with an entirely new product or service that has never been offered before, you are likely to have some tough competition who have already been marketing for years.

So how do you compete?

The answer is Pay-per-click Advertising using PPC platforms such as Google AdWords or Facebook Ads.

But getting into Pay-per-click Advertising or ‘PPC’ needs a solid strategy.

There are many things you need to have knowledge of. This include but not limited to having a starting PPC budget, a good traffic conversion tracking system for your ads, and having different landing pages that can be cycled to allow for split-testing. You should also have good ad copy with solid calls-to-action that get your targeted audience to go to your website and buy the service or product you are selling.

Any business that wants to get started in Pay-per-click Advertising should have expert knowledge on getting started, including proficiency on the tools you need to create and track successful PPC advertising campaigns.

If you want to get started in Pay-per-click Advertising which can bring you instant traffic, clients, and customers, then contact us now and we will help you get started with the right arsenal of tools and show you how to create profitable campaigns from day one.
Brian Weathers

On-the-go mobile users who are near you and who are searching for a product or service on Google at this very moment should find your business. But are they?

Are you visible in Google’s ‘Local Pack’ and expanded results?

Increased foot traffic, phone calls, or visits to your website should mean more customers for local business owners like you. That is why optimizing for local search results should be important.

Businesses listed in the Local Pack vary from the searcher’s location. If you are nearest to the searcher at the time of the search, then your business listing should appear there.

However, being closest to a potential customer searching isn’t a guarantee that you will come up in the search results. Your listing and your website must be optimized for local search.

Here are some of the important ranking factors that we can help you with based on a study by Moz:

Google My Business Listing Signals
Link Signals
On-page Signals
Citation Signals
Review Signals
Behavioral Signals
Social Signals

Sounds too technical and challenging for you? No worries, Strategic Marketing Solutions Inc. is here to help you.

Contact us if you want your business to become more visible in the local search results and get more customers!

Brian Weathers

Many businesses seem not to be taking advantage of online word-of-mouth marketing.

In fact, some businesses don’t understand how it can be leveraged so that they can take advantage of the huge rewards it brings.

One thing to remember when it comes to word-of-mouth is that friends and family will believe what they hear from each other over any other form of advertising. Word-of-Mouth has moved to the digital realm.

Online review sites exist for a few reasons, but one of the most popular reasons is that these reviews attract a lot of attention to businesses they are written for, and people love to read reviews.

They especially like to find reviews on a business they are thinking about doing business with. And some businesses have taken advantage of this situation like

Zappos decided to do something different than other big companies and instead of spending tons of money on advertising, they invested that money into creating an exceptional customer experience by having the best customer service they could offer.

The result has been nothing short of amazing as Zappos is well known for providing the best in customer service. The reviews they get drive their bottom line because those happy customers leave reviews, and those reviews get read by other prospects. Not to mention that this form of promotion costs less to manage than other forms of advertising.

If you want to learn how to take advantage of Digital Word-of-Mouth marketing, then contact Strategic Marketing Solutions Inc. at and we will show you how to get started building your company reputation in 5 easy steps.