Web Development and Internet Marketing by Virtual Tech Solutions LLC

At Virtual Tech Solutions LLC, we let businesses know that search engine optimization is important to marketing your business online.

Seo and Google Branding for Small BusinessThe marketing world has changed a great deal recently because of the internet.  Marketing is no longer focused on things like print ads and email marketing, etc. It is now laser focused on the internet, because that’s where the people are at.

People don’t read newspapers or magazines any longer.  They do those types of things online.  They even watch tv online.  A successful business these days has to focus their marketing where their potential customers are at, and those customers are online.

It used to be enough to just have a website that you could send your customers too.  However, in today’s world, your website has to actually bring customers into your business.

How this happens is called SEO (Search Engine Optimization).  This means optimizing your website and your marketing efforts to rank higher in the search engines.

People don’t use the phone books anymore when they need something.  They use Google.  If your website shows up at the top of the rankings for a particular word, chances are very high that the person will click over to your site.

Unfortunately, it isn’t easy to get to the top of the search engine rankings.  Google alone has more than 200 different elements that it considers when deciding where to rank sites and you need to find an SEO consultant who is familiar with these items.

However, the payoff is that once you reach the top spot, you will likely stay there for a long time. That means customers will be coming to your website for years into the future based upon work that was done in the past.  It’s a very powerful marketing tool.

Another reason you need to focus on SEO and Google is credibility.  If people do any research on your business and you are at the top of the rankings, it gives you instant credibility, which means they will be more likely to buy your products or services.

Interesting Article from Forbes by 

 

 

Here’s Why Your Business Needs Its Own Mobile App

So Today I’d like to talk about mobile apps in combination with business, and why you should consider building a mobile app for your own company.

If you think that mobile apps are solely for big name brands like Walmart and Bank of America, you are wrong. More and more small and midsize businesses are following the mobile trend, understanding that an effective mobile strategy involves more than just a mobile-friendly website.

In fact, these days you’ll notice that many small businesses you interact with in your everyday life have their own dedicated mobile app — be it the corner coffee shop or the beauty spa downtown. These companies are ahead of the game when it comes to taking their marketing to the next level.

In case you are still not sure why anyone would want to build their own mobile platform, here are the top seven benefits of going down this path sooner rather than later.

app icons coming out of phone

1. Be Visible to Customers at All Times

Statistics show that the average American spends more than two hours a day (!) on his or her mobile device. While probably only a handful of applications make up the bulk of this total usage, it doesn’t change the fact that each user has to unlock, scroll, and scan their device for the apps they’re looking for. Being “in the way” can be an advantage to your company, as our mind unconsciously does record every image and text (or well-designed app icon!) it comes across — even if it happens unnoticed.

2. Create a Direct Marketing Channel

Apps serve many functions: they can provide general info, prices, booking forms, search features, user accounts, messengers, news feeds, and much more.

One of the biggest benefits of having a mobile app is that all the information you’d like to provide to your customers – including special sales and promotions – is right at their fingertips. Through push notifications you’re getting even closer to a direct interaction, and can easily remind customers about your products and services whenever it makes sense.

3. Provide Value to Your Customers

Talking about on-hand information, how about digitalizing that loyalty program you have in place? Instead of sticking to the old point-collection card, make it possible for your customers to collect their rewards via your mobile app. The result? More downloads and more return customers. (Check out PunchMe, a service that lets you create smartphone-based loyalty programs.)

Why Online Videos Can Help You Connect With Mobile Users

Did you know that 50% of mobile traffic is dedicated to online video content? This means that at any given time, half of the people using their mobile devices will be watching online videos. This trend shows absolutely no sign of slowing down either. In fact, in the future that 50% is likely to creep up significantly.

This means that the best way to get your message into the hands of mobile users is by way of online videos. One way to accomplish this is to put some good video content up on your website. Right now, you may have some great textual content on your website; but very few mobile users are going to be reading it.

Instead of reading textual content, most mobile users are watching videos, using social media, or using mobile apps. This means that textual content on your website simply is not going to be enough to reach the massive mobile audience. If you truly want to reach them then you are going to need to put up mobile content.

Online videos are popular because internet users today are short on time and don’t want to through vast amounts of text; it’s simply painful to do on a mobile device. Even if a website has a responsive design that looks perfect on a mobile device, it is still unlikely somebody will end up reading much of the content. The fact is… trying to read a lot of text on a mobile phone is just too cumbersome to bear for long periods of time.

If somebody wants an ‘information fix’ then they are going to want to watch videos. Videos are incredibly simple to load up on a mobile device. With modern units they look great too. They can be viewed easily without having to play around with the device, and mobile users absolutely love that.

The great thing for you is that it is LOT easier to convey your message through video than it is through text. You will really be able to nail down the message that you want to send to your target audience. If you make good quality content, it is likely they will watch it all the way through too. This is obviously going to be to your benefit in the long run.

Statistics have shown that mobile users are much more likely to watch a video all the way through on a mobile device than on their desktop computer (Presumably because it is not as easy to find a new video). Of course, this is absolutely no excuse for poor quality content. Remember, that video is going to showcase your brand. If it is shoddy then people will think what you offer is shoddy too.

Reputation Management Services At Virtual Tech Solutions,  Online reputation management services for doctors is a must today, I’ve seen reputations being tarnished wrongly due to an angry customer or a competitor.

The digital revolution has completely changed the way we live our lives and conduct our businesses. As this “digital integration” becomes more pervasive, businesses are finding that their reputations are primarily built and maintained on the World Wide Web. The concept of online reputation management for doctors should be considered a vital component of any physician’s practice. In an industry that is forced to contend with the constant threats of lawsuits and slander, the importance of online reputation management cannot be overstated.

Historically, physicians have always been prominent figures in the community, and the role of a physician inherently assumes a certain responsibility to maintain a high level of character and excellence. In other words, physicians are role models, whether they like it or not. Whether this is a fair assumption or not is actually inconsequential; the fact remains that if you are a doctor, people tend to hold you in high esteem, and they generally expect you to conduct yourself with a certain level of propriety. Unfortunately, in the digital age, a reputation that took years to build can be destroyed in a nanosecond. The recent proliferation of blogs, discussion boards and social media sites make it easy for people to air their grievances (whether justified or not) in a very public manner. This susceptibility to online complaints can be a veritable mine field for physicians.

The practice of managing your online reputation cannot be approached with a “laissez-faire” attitude; you must employ vigilance in order to ensure that the reputation you have worked so hard to earn will be properly protected. Since an increasing number of patients are researching physicians online, you must ensure that the results people find when they look your name up in a search engine accurately represent your professional reputation. You should have a vested interest in the status of your online reputation for the sake of your potential clients and colleagues. Clients want to know that you are someone with whom they can entrust their physical well being, and colleagues want to be sure that they can associate with a qualified and reputable peer. You owe it to yourself to engage in diligent online reputation management; the long-term health of your career may well depend on it.

JOIN US LIVE – FREE “REPUTATION MANAGEMENT” WEBINAR ON YOUR PRACTICE  

REGISTER HERE   EVERY THURSDAY AT 8:00 PM (Eastern Standard Time)

Online reputation management services for attorneysAs an attorney, your reputation is just as important to your practice as your knowledge of the law.

Since most lawyers typically receive a large portion of their clients by way of word-of-mouth marketing, the importance of reputation management for attorneys simply cannot be overstated.

In a large way, your reputation will influence your ability to win new clients, so it only makes sense to guard your reputation with as much vigilance as possible.

In today’s digital age, you could quite literally be one mouse click away from a damaged or ruined reputation at the hands of a former employee, a disgruntled client, or some other person with an axe to grind.

In order to stay properly equipped for this battle, you will need to adopt a proactive mindset when it comes to protecting your online reputation.  One of the most damaging assumptions any attorney can make is to adopt the mindset that “It will never happen to me.”   We have heard this from many clients!

As far-flung as it may initially appear to be, you can never be too careful; anything can happen. The last thing you would want is an unwelcome PR crisis happening at a most inconvenient time. It is better to play a good offense when it comes to preserving your hard-earned reputation.

It is not at all uncommon for people to seek revenge when things don’t go in their favor, and one of the first places they tend to air their complaints is on review websites such as Yelp and RipOffReport. In order for you to aggressively preserve your reputation, you must check Google and Bing regularly to ensure that no search queries that include your name or your firm’s name produce any kind of negative results. It is also helpful to set up a Google Alert for your name and your firm’s name, so that you can keep a close watch on any new content that references you or your practice.

Although there is no doubt that you have tons of other responsibilities on your plate, this matter of protecting your reputation cannot be ignored. It is always better to maintain a proactive stance so that you can adequately protect the good name that you have worked for years to acquire.


Have you ever stumbled upon a scathing, RANT against your company from some slightly unhinged former customer?

Or perhaps a former employee? 

It’s not fun. And it’s not rare. Trust me. You would not believe the horror stories …

Interesting fact about restaurant reviews and reputation…many times the food is excellent, but business owners have no idea their staff and their customer service is ruining their reputation.  Read below about a bad rating UNBEKNOWNST BY THE OWNER… here..http://www.dooyoo.co.uk/restaurants-cafes-national/toby-carvery/1629043/

Ratings: 1 star or bad

Advantages: Food tastes great and choice is exceptional

Disadvantages: Staff and Service

Read more here at http://bit.ly/19hfYNw

Not only do negative online comments sting like hell, they can hang like an albatross around your neck for YEARS.    Especially if they appear prominently in Google when people search for your business or related terms.   How can you account for reviews that are immediately based on the first impression of staff and service?   Many of our clients need reputation monitoring not just online but in many areas that may be ruining their business and it COSTS Thousands of lost sales for many small business owners.

Don’t let a few negative people dominate the conversation about *your* business! 

Webinar: Warning: Are Negative Online Reviews Costing You Sales?

Join us on : Sundays at 11:00 am  (America/New York time)    ⇒  http://bit.ly/16Fw7IX

Register for our upcoming webinar on online reputation management and learn all about what online reputation management entails, why it’s so important, and how to leverage free tools to monitor, manage and protect your good name.

 

Join us on : Saturdays at 11:00 am  (America/New York time)    ⇒  http://bit.ly/15Vdr6Q

Register for our upcoming webinar on online reputation management and learn all about what online reputation management entails, why it’s so important, and how to leverage free tools to monitor, manage and protect your good name.

 

Reputation Management Companies aA PLASTIC SURGEON’S IMAGE…and made up stories….a reputable and reliable reputation management company is as important as running your business.

Our clients long-term goals are to be aware of what is happening to their reputation now and in the long-run!    Very intriguing article .. “Plastic Surgeon Sues Clients Over Negative Reviews on Yelp, Citysearch” Read more…. http://abcnews.go.com/Technology/plastic-surgeon-sues-clients-negative-reviews-yelp-citysearch/story?id=12227753

 Top 3 Reasons You Need a Reputation Management Solution

When it comes to protecting yourself from internet vandals, you will need help to win.

Most people don’t realize that they are vulnerable to all sorts of attacks, and while many will try to find legal action against some, the truth of the matter is that anyone can say whatever they want about your business and get away with it.

Libel cases and other issues do not enter the realm of online reviews, even though some would want them to.    If you find that your company is being targeted by unfair reviews online, it’s important to look at a way out .

There are 3 reasons that high profile clients come to me  and my company.

Erase Negative Reviews – In most cases you can get negative responses reviewed by the parent site, and even get them completely erased.

This is a matter of talking to very specific departments and citing precedent amongst other things. Sometimes a business will approach these areas and get turned away, but a management company will not be turned away as they make it their mission to ensure that you get a fair chance to respond and delete anything that has been posted against your company.

Results – A high quality online reputation management company will not only have your back, they will have proven results to showcase that they are doing their job.  You will not be blindly giving someone money and then walking away, instead, you will be able to see that their work actually is implemented on the web.   Just watch the negative reviews disappear before your eyes, and you will be impressed by what they can do.

Improved Brand Recognition – When your brand is getting all positive reviews, things can look amazing. The goal of any online reputation management company is not just a matter of getting your negativity erased, it’s to ensure that high quality things are being said about your business and any endeavor that you have on the web.

Improved recognition, indexing, and management is just the beginning of what a good company can help you with.

There is no reason why you should be crestfallen when someone writes something bad about what you’re trying to accomplish.  There are those that not only work on erasing it, but also help maintain your reputation through proper channels.   You are not helpless as a business owner, and that’s the thing that you have to remember about these modern times.  You have rights and there are those that fight for them, you just have to call them.

Reputation management for restaurantsThe internet has become a giant soap box.   We find that all our clients, especially restaurant owners, worry excessively about reputation management  and they should be worried, without a good review your business could be ruined.

Millions of people are connecting and talking about their favorites, but there is a dark side. The dark side of things has many companies reeling because of the amount of negativity that is starting to take over in a lot of ways. You may not know this, but there are a lot of different companies out there right now that are suffering because someone has touted that they are doing a bad job. The amount of negative reviews has boiled over to a point where reputation management for restaurants is something that is needed today. If you have a business and you are in need of help, you absolutely need to look into this.

The Real Problem

The problem is not so much that there are a few bad seeds out there that just want to be internet vandals, it’s that the customer is always right, and to the point where they will vent frustration about anything that you do wrong. Sometimes you do everything perfect, and you still don’t get the attention of someone that has a major influence on the web. In order to change things for the better, make sure that you look into the issue on a deeper level. Do not assume that your business is perfect, because you may find that reputation management for restaurants is not like a band aid on a wound, it’s a solution that can help you in the long term. However, if you are constantly getting hit with negativity, you may need to change things from within.

The Solution You Need Now

Ok, the honest answer to the problem that was mentioned above is that you absolutely need to look into reputation management for restaurants. When you look at getting help, you will find that there are ways to ensure that positivity flows to your company. Not only will you be able to filter out the bad options, but you will move forward with goodhearted comments that will drive traffic to your place of business. This is done through a variety of measures that not only look at what people are saying today but what they are going to say tomorrow. It’s not rocket science, but many owners are frustrated to the point where they need help, and that’s where a good reputation management company can come into the light. Test this out and you’ll be impressed by just how much things can change for the better.

Yelp Reviews affecting Online Reputation?From lawyers to doctors and real estate agents, we found that many clients are not handling their online reputation.  

For many business owners, the act of Googling themselves evokes feelings of uncertainty and anxiety. Many entrepreneurs have experienced the horror of typing their business name into Google and seeing the first page of the search results display a scathing Yelp review or a harsh Google+ diatribe completely berating every nuance of their business. In many ways, the Internet is still the “Wild Wild West” when it comes to protecting your reputation; as unfair as this may sound, the reality is that anyone can write anything about anyone, at any time. Character assassination can happen in the blink of an eye, and whether or not the claims of your opponents are justified or even true, your business can be exposed to the harmful effects of any number of “review vigilantes” with an axe to grind.

 Let’s face it: If you don’t make a conscious, strategic effort control your online reputation, someone else will by default. The most common way that an online reputation gets damaged is through negative reviews on sites like Yelp or through social utilities such as Google+. These online outposts can be toxic to the health of your online reputation. This is why aggressively engaging in the practice of reputation management is vital to maintaining a positive online presence. This is not something that you can leave up to chance; there must be an intentional, strategic effort in place to ensure that any false or slanderous web content showing up in the search results can either be removed completely or buried underneath other websites that present your business in the appropriate light.

 Lori Randall Stradtman in her book “Online Reputation Management for Dummies” shares what she terms as a “geek joke”: Where can you hide a dead body? Answer: On the third page of Google’s search results. There’s a lot of truth to this statement; sometimes the best way to ensure that your online business reputation matches what you wish to reflect to the public is to overwhelm all of the negative content on page one of Google’s search results with a tidal wave of web properties that can appropriately represent your business. One key strategic step you can take is to make sure that you have a personal domain name and web presence for your business. Many businesses (especially smaller ones) don’t consider having their own website to be necessary, because they believe they can rely on a Facebook page or a LinkedIn profile to fully represent their online presence. While having these social utilities in place is an essential component of your overall reputation management strategy, they simply will not carry a lot of weight in the search engines when someone is looking specifically for reviews regarding your company.

 What is the reason for this? Google’s search engine algorithms are geared to give more weight to sites that have an integrated overall theme. For sites like Yelp an online behemoth with millions of pages, Google fully knows that the entire site is centered around customer reviews. Google will many times provide a searcher with at least a couple of review site pages in their top 10 search results when they’re searching for a particular business, and if a disgruntled customer leaves an unfavorable Yelp review on your business, Google will more than likely include it in its search results listings. This is not because Google is trying to slander your business; rather, it is because of the authority or the weight that Yelp carries in the search engines. The best way to counteract this is to bombard Google with positive web properties that you control–your own website, several social media profiles, etc. This will ensure that you can push those negative results down in the Google rankings, thus pushing them off of page one of Google’s search results, which is the virtual “leaderboard” of online reputations.

 Vigilance is a must if you plan to appropriately manage your online reputation. Customer reviews can either make or break your business, so in matters of branding and public image it is best to take your destiny into your own hands. Utilizing a razor-sharp online reputation management strategy will ultimately ensure that your business is accurately represented to your vast potential customer base on the World Wide Web.

 

Online brand reputation management ..what is it and do you need it?  Our clients from lawyers to medical doctors do not realize the harm that is involved by a few bad reviews, but it’s powerful and you need to be aware of it.   WHAT ARE THEY SAYING ABOUT YOU?Online Brand Reputation and Reviews

The most powerful thing on the internet today is the voice of the people.   Millions of users are discovering that they can say whatever they want about anyone and it won’t come back to haunt them. That is giving a great sector of the population a lot of power, but it’s also giving people a way to vent and ruin the reputation of companies that may not deserve it. You may find yourself trying to bring forward a brand or company to the masses that is doing something grand, only to find that someone has negatively spoken about you on a review site. If this is the case, you will find that it can be hard to get into the good graces of the general public, which is why online brand reputation management becomes something that you need to utilize.

Online brand reputation management is not something that many business owners think about. They just see the negative response to what they are trying to accomplish and feel disheartened. You may think that there is no hope for you, but the truth of the matter is quite different, there is something that you can do, and it relies heavily on whom you get to help. You could try to be the voice of reason, and hire people to write positives, but often times that doesn’t work, you need some leverage, and that’s where a good reputation company comes into play.

When you seek the professional services of an online brand reputation management service, they will not only clean up the review websites, they will monitor the situation across the internet to ensure that SERP and Indexes are up to date with positive things about your business. If there are vandals online talking bad about whatever it is that you’re doing, you will find that there are methods that you can employ right now, that will help you combat them at every turn. There is no reason why you should live in fear of being negatively spoken about online, because there is hope for a brighter future.

In the past, if someone said something bad about you online, you didn’t have to worry about it.    However, in these modern times, people check all sorts of review websites before they patronize your place of business, which means that you want to have the best things said about you, and your place of work. That’s where a helping hand can come in handy.

The Social Web…A Boon for Your Business

Twitter for BusinessThere’s no doubt about it. The Internet has become the social meeting place for people from all walks of life. Whether they’re looking for a new place to have dinner, need information on a certain topic or just want a little laugh, they’re turning to the social web to get what they need. In addition, search engine giants like Google are using that same social web to deliver relevant search results to their users. As a business owner, that means it’s becoming ever more important that you get involved in social media.

How involved you get is up to you, and will depend on your resources and objectives. Social media can take up a considerable amount of time and resources, so you need to plan accordingly. It’s also important to have a plan for your social media and to stay focused because the lines between “working” and “playing” are easily blurred on social media websites.

This guide will give you an introduction to four of the biggest social sites and provide you with some ideas on how you might approach them. Put your focus into the places where you can find your targets, and always refine your approach as you continue to explore. We’ve also included some additional tips to get you off to a great start.

 Top 4 Social Networking Sites

If you do a bit of searching around you’ll probably find lists of social networks, and you might be overwhelmed by the sheer number out there. The thing to remember is that most networks have a very small user base and it is not often worth investing any time into them. Of course, if you find a network that specifically targets your ideal customer, they might be worth exploring. But for the purposes of this guide, we are simply going to take a look at the top four social networking sites overall.

 #1: Facebook

URL:  http://facebook.com

Description: The granddaddy of all social networks, Facebook boasts the largest number of users from a wide demographic. Users can post updates, photos and videos. Interaction comes in the form of comments, sharing updates and “Likes” which demonstrate that someone likes the update they just read.

Demographic Data: Facebook has 845 million active users, 483 million users of whom are active on a daily basis. Facebook is available in over 70 languages. There are slightly more female users on Facebook than male users, but their representation is fairly even. The age range of users is broad, but the 20-29 age group is the best represented.

Business Opportunity: Facebook allows business to create “Pages.” Users can subscribe to receive updates from your page by clicking a “Like” button to indicate they are a fan of your business. You can post updates about your company, interesting facts, share news, create polls and more. Facebook allows customization for branding your Facebook Page. 

 #2: Twitter

URL:  http://twitter.com

Description: Often described as a micro-blogging network, Twitter allows its users to send short updates of a maximum of 140 characters; referred to as “tweets.” They can post text updates, and while the site also allows the posting of photos, users have to click a link to view the photos. Users can interact with one another by replying to user updates or “retweeting” them – which means rebroadcasting someone else’s tweet to their own followers. Twitter also employs the use of “hashtags,” which are keywords preceded by a “#” character, that make them searchable, so people can follow conversations on specific topics.

Demographic Data: Twitter has 300 million users that post over 300 million tweets per day. 53% of Twitter’s users are female, giving them a slight edge over the male user population. 30% of Twitter’s users are between the ages of 26 and 34 and 27% of them are 35-44. Twitter is currently offered in only a handful of languages, but they are working to expand their offerings.

Business Opportunity: Businesses are allowed to set up Twitter accounts as the service does not distinguish between business and personal accounts. You can post updates about your company, share information, interact with other Twitter users and post photos. Hashtags are an opportunity to share information during events of interest and relating to specific topics. Twitter allows for custom branding of your Twitter profile page.

 #3 LinkedIn

URL:  http://facebook.com

Description: LinkedIn is focused on connecting professionals, with the purpose of sharing industry-related information, as well as job and other opportunities.

Demographic Data: LinkedIn has over 150 million members and over 2 million companies have LinkedIn Company Pages, making it the largest professional social network online. It is available in 200 countries worldwide and is available in 16 languages.

Business Opportunity: LinkedIn provides professionals the opportunity to create profiles and increase their professional contacts and connections. You can also set up a Company Page to share company news, employment opportunities and more. It is a good opportunity to meet other like-minded business owners and professionals for the purpose of sharing information, forming partnerships and more. You can create polls, share files, promote events, share presentations and more. LinkedIn allows for minor customization in order to brand profile pages.  

 #4: Google+

URL:  http://plus.google.com

Description: Google+ is a relatively new social network created by the search giant Google. As Google implements more social results into its search, SEO experts are saying that Google+ is becoming increasingly relevant to your appearance in search results, so it’s definitely a network worth looking at. Users can post updates, and share images and videos. Interactions come in the format of comments, sharing updates and clicking the “+1” to demonstrate that a user likes the update they just read. Google employs the use of “Circles” so that users can categorize the people they are following into different groups such as friends, acquaintances, business connections, etc. There is also integration with YouTube, Picasa and other Google services.

Demographic Data: It is estimated that Google+ has about 90 million users, making it a relatively small social network in comparison to the others mentioned in this guide. Publicly available demographic data is limited, but it is reported that a large percentage of its user base is technologically-oriented men. According to Wikipedia, over 71% of Google+’s users are male and 35% of all their users are between the ages of 25 and 34.

Business Opportunity: Businesses can set up a Google+ Page that allows them to connect with their followers. Businesses are not allowed to set up regular Google+ profiles, although you need to set up a personal profile before you can create a business page. Users can subscribe to your Google+ updates by putting you into their circles. You can share updates, share useful content, photos and videos. You can also create “Hangouts” that allow you to interact your followers via video or audio chat. Google+ allows for minor customization in order to brand your profile page.