Tag Archives: Review

Hosting Advice praises 1&1: “An excellent hosting experience”

Hosting Advice reviews

As one of the most successful hosting providers worldwide, 1&1 has a deep understanding of its markets. Leveraging these insights, we provide SMBs with hosting products that are tailored to their needs, easy-to-use, customizable and offer the best price-performance ratio. 1&1 has once again been recognized by industry outlet Hosting Advice in two extensive reviews, rating it 4.9/5 in the Overall Hosting Comparison and 4.8/5 in the Best Builder for First Timers category.

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Category: Products | Server & Hosting
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What’s the Deal with 1&1? The Experts at HostingAdvice.com Give It To Us Straight.

HostingAdvise.com

With the plethora of web hosting services available, the team at HostingAdvice.com has become a popular resource for finding trustworthy and knowledgeable reviews. Recently, expert Alexandra Leslie sat down with our Head of Product Owner Server, Javier Salcedo, to discover the ins and outs of 1&1 Web Hosting. After a thorough discussion over our latest product offerings, we’re proud to report that 1&1 received a best overall rating of 4.9/5.

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Category: 1&1 Cloud Server | Cloud | Net World | Products | Server & Hosting
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Different Methods for Online Reviews

In a business world that is becoming more and more integrated with the Internet, the shopping habits of everyday customers are changing as well. Studies continue to show a rise in users that not only purchase from online websites or marketplaces, but who also research a product or service online before buying it in a physical, traditional store. Because of this new trend of online brand research, customers rely more than ever on testimonials and product reviews from previous customers of a company’s offering.

Examine your Web presence, whether it is the official company website, social media site, or review site, and see how positive your online reputation is, because it could be more important than you think. There are three types of reviews that could exist online for your brand, each with their own advantages and disadvantages relating to your company’s reputation:

Testimonials

Customer testimonials are the most common type of company review for businesses because they are relatively easy to produce and easy to control. These are usually found on the company website in its own section, and are not usually anything more than a direct quote from a customer, such as: “By using Product X for my problem, I’ve been able to get so much more accomplished! Company X was so helpful!”

These are a good way to instill confidence in any potential customers that visit your website. The downside of this type of review is that it is not as trustworthy as one that a customer wrote and provided themselves. Since the website has its own section dedicated to positive testimonials, it is unlikely that a company would ever include a negative review. Also, it is only seen by the limited audience of a customer that visits your website.

Reviews on the Company Website      

This is something a business has slightly less control over, but tends to be more trustworthy in the customers’ view. This is a technique generally employed when you have an online store that customers can purchase products directly from the website. If you allow a way for your customers to provide reviews on specific products, and showcase these reviews alongside the product on the online store, you can further influence your customers, and hopefully increase conversions.

These reviews are typically a rating out of 5 stars, and providing additional comments if desired. These are more trustworthy in the consumer’s mind because they know they were written and provided by a fellow shopper, and not your company’s marketing department. The danger, of course, is that you are unable to control negative reviews from coming in. The best thing you can do in this situation is to respond to them and attempt to remedy the situation.

Reviews on Third-Party Websites

This is the option that a business has the least amount of control over. Websites such as Yelp or Google Places allow users to rate and discuss local businesses. Even if a business doesn’t have any kind of Web presence, their online reputation could still be forming on these websites. The advantage here, of course, is that users will put a lot of trust in these ratings, so if you have positive reviews for your business, you have a good chance of winning new business.

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Category: Tips
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Never Use Fake Reviews for Your Business

Online reviews are becoming increasingly important for small businesses online. Research shows that consumers heavily rely on positive reviews for businesses before making a purchase decision. Online reviews can be found on individual business sites, online markets such as Amazon, or third party review websites such as Yelp. As more businesses learn about the importance of online reviews, there are a growing number of fake reviews popping up across the Web.

These fake reviews can be created in a number of ways. Some businesses actually engage in the bad practice of paying others to review their products to gain an advantage, while others may create false accounts and write positive reviews themselves as if they were a customer. Another bad practice occurs when some untrustworthy business owners will create harsh, negative reviews for other businesses to try to gain a competitive edge. No matter what method is used to create a false review, a respectable business should never use them.

If you run a trustworthy, honest business, you may not need any other reason to avoid this practice; but luckily, there is a deterrent for companies that do this. Last year, Yelp started to punish businesses by listing an alert on that company’s page that lets potential customers know that reviews might not be genuine. If customers are made aware that they cannot trust a specific company’s reviews on the site, they will be less likely to purchase from that business. The hope is that companies will be deterred from the bad practice of publishing fake reviews, since there is no longer a benefit.

What do you think about this approach?

Yelp’s initiative is a great way to make users aware that they should not believe everything that they read online, but do you think this will make the online review landscape more honest? Currently, sites like Amazon have a system where users can rate whether or not a review was helpful, with the most helpful rising to the top. Do you think this would be a better approach for reviews?

No matter how you look at it, it is clear that positive online reviews are important, but planting fake reviews to try to help your business is a not a good idea.

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Category: Tips
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Create Effective Product Descriptions on Your Website – Part 2

Earlier today we shared three tips for creating the best product pages possible for your business website. When you are competing with similar businesses online, it is important to find a way to stand out from the crowd, and the way you present your products on the website is one of the best ways for customers to notice you.

4. Include Reviews – A lot of online shoppers prefer comparing the products of multiple companies before deciding on a purchase. A great factor for influencing a consumer’s decision, in addition to listing the specific benefits of your product, is by showing the reviews of previous customers. If your website visitors can see that people have used your product in the past and were happy with them, they will be more comfortable buying from your company.

5. Make it Easy – Adding to the idea that customers will be researching several businesses before making an online purchase, you want to make the information as easy as possible to read and understand. Write in short sentences, and use bullet points when possible. Your users might be looking to read the information quickly, so a bulleted list helps them take in a lot of information at once. Also, you want to consider that many of your visitors will be accessing your site from a mobile device, which might make it more difficult to read long descriptions.

6. Optimize – Every page of your website gives you a new opportunity to optimize for search engines. Like we mentioned in the previous post, you definitely want to avoid repeating the same text on each page as this will have a negative effect on your search engine optimization (SEO). In addition to unique product descriptions, it will certainly help your SEO if you include the keywords and phrases that you have previously developed in your keyword strategy.

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Category: Tips
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Encourage Positive Reviews for Your Business

Last week we posted an article about managing your online reputation. No matter what kind of business you operate, if you have a presence on the Internet, there will be users talking about you. It is important to monitor the conversations about your brand, and it is also important to know how to respond to and prevent negative feedback.

One of the best ways for preventing negative feedback is to encourage positive reviews from your happiest customers. In this new mobile era, customers rely on online reviews before making a purchase decision more than ever. If a customer searches online for one of your products, a positive review could take them that final step before deciding to give you their business. Your happiest customers might create positive reviews without any encouragement. But besides your most loyal following, how can you get positive reviews?

Don’t be afraid to ask. It can never hurt to simply ask your customers to leave a positive review. If you manage an online store, this can be a very simple process. For example, after a customer orders something from your website, include a link that invites them to write a review for that product. Even if only a fraction of your customers follow through on it, that is still more than you started with. The only time it can hurt to ask is if you do it too much, for example through email, where customers may consider it spam.

Publish your customers’ reviews. There may be third-party websites that also have reviews for your business, but a good way to show your customers that you care about what they have to say is to allow reviews on your own website – even the negative ones. If there are negative reviews, you can reach out directly to alleviate any problems that a particular customer has, and future customers will see that you work hard to make their experience more enjoyable.

Use social media. As more and more small and medium businesses are establishing social media pages, more and more customers will start turning to them to see what other users are saying. Make sure you are monitoring the conversations about your brand in social media, and if you come across someone saying positive things, ask them if they would like to write a more official review. As always, if there are negative comments, you would want to reach out to those customers as well.

Customer reviews can go a long way towards establishing a positive online reputation, or course-correcting an existing negative reputation. Take advantage of the good things customers have to say about your business –and correct the negative things – and you will attract more customers.

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Category: Tips
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Managing Your Online Reputation Ethically – Part Two

For the first part of this discussion, check out our earlier article.

Online reputation is all about what people are saying, how they are saying it, and why they are saying it. When a prospective customer, investor or journalist looks for your business on the web, they want to see relevant and positive information. So if you have a negative online reputation it is important to work on improving it. If your business lacked results in a keyword search, then you are lacking an online reputation which isn’t good for business either. It is important to be proactive about your online reputation so you have the opportunity to form it rather than let someone else form it for you.

Here are some tips to improve or gain an online reputation:

  1. Create Content: You can do this through a company blog. Writing a blog will help with your reputation by creating content for Google searches. Blogs also help to engage your customers and establish expertise in your field.
  2. Promote Your Business: Use press releases to promote newsworthy information about your business.
  3. Engage: Stay active in your social networks. Try to update on a regular basis with relevant information that your followers want to see. Don’t just talk at your followers, listen to them and engage actively in conversations.
  4. Respond: If you find negative comments or reviews, respond to the posters in a timely manner. This can help you resolve customer problems and lets prospective customers know you are actively trying to fix mistakes. Make sure to respond with an apology in a calm and clear manner to avoid looking defensive.
  5. Search Engine Optimization: Optimizing your company name can help push your business website up on search engine result pages.
  6. Contact Sites: If you find a website where there is incorrect information posted, talk to the administrator and ask them to take it down or correct it.
  7. Testimonials: Use positive feedback to your advantage by asking happy customers if you can use their reviews or comments as a testimonial on your website.

There are companies out there who focus on repairing or building online reputation management. If you choose to pay for one, make sure they follow ethical practices. Ask them how they achieve positive results. Be careful because there are companies that will write fake reviews to improve ratings.

Actively listening to your customers and participating online will be the essential factors to improving your online reputation. Spending time improving your online reputation can also help your business because you can use the feedback to improve your product.

Photo Credit: ©iStockphoto.com/pictafolio

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Different Approaches to Online Reviews

In a business world that is becoming more and more integrated with the Internet, the shopping habits of everyday customers are changing as well. Studies continue to show a rise in users that not only purchase from online websites or marketplaces, but who also research a product or service online before buying it in a physical, traditional store. Because of this new trend of online brand research, customers rely more than ever on testimonials and product reviews from previous customers of a company’s offering.

Examine your Web presence, whether it is the official company website, social media site, or review site, and see how positive your online reputation is, because it could be more important than you think. There are three types of reviews that could exist online for your brand, each with their own advantages and disadvantages relating to your company’s reputation:

Testimonials

Customer testimonials are the most common type of company review for businesses because they are relatively easy to produce and easy to control. These are usually found on the company website in its own section, and are not usually anything more than a direct quote from a customer, such as: “By using Product X for my problem, I’ve been able to get so much more accomplished! Company X was so helpful!”

These are a good way to instill confidence in any potential customers that visit your website. The downside of this type of review is that it is not as trustworthy as one that a customer wrote and provided themselves. Since the website has its own section dedicated to positive testimonials, it is unlikely that a company would ever include a negative review. Also, it is only seen by the limited audience of a customer that visits your website.

Reviews on the Company Website      

This is something a business has slightly less control over, but tends to be more trustworthy in the customers’ view. This is a technique generally employed when you have an online store that customers can purchase products directly from the website. If you allow a way for your customers to provide reviews on specific products, and showcase these reviews alongside the product on the online store, you can further influence your customers, and hopefully increase conversions.

These reviews are typically a rating out of 5 stars, and providing additional comments if desired. These are more trustworthy in the consumer’s mind because they know they were written and provided by a fellow shopper, and not your company’s marketing department. The danger, of course, is that you are unable to control negative reviews from coming in. The best thing you can do in this situation is to respond to them and attempt to remedy the situation.

Reviews on Third-Party Websites

This is the option that a business has the least amount of control over. Websites such as Yelp or Google Places allow users to rate and discuss local businesses. Even if a business doesn’t have any kind of Web presence, their online reputation could still be forming on these websites. The advantage here, of course, is that users will put a lot of trust in these ratings, so if you have positive reviews for your business, you have a good chance of winning new business.

Photo Credit: ©iStockphoto.com/mrpliskin

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Category: Tips
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Provide Gift Certificates on Yelp

The social review website Yelp can be a great resource for small and local businesses to be seen by a wider audience. Adding your company to listings such as this allows for more prospective customers to discover your business. It also allows the opportunity to manage your online reputation with the use of user reviews, which is something we discussed the value of earlier this month. Recently, the website has created a new tool for small business owners by allowing the purchase of gift certificates directly on the website.

If your small business has a page on Yelp, you will now be able to offer gift certificates for purchase directly to consumers from your page. This option could be a benefit to small businesses as it can generate sales from a previously untapped resource. While it is unlikely that first-time customers will purchase a gift card upon finding your business page on Yelp, it can boost sales numbers from existing, happy customers as they purchase a gift for friends and family.

Gift certificates of any monetary value can be set for your business, and the buyer sends the gift for the amount they choose to someone they know. The option to purchase will be displayed at the bottom of your business page on both the traditional website as well as the Yelp mobile app, allowing for the most visibility.

The only cost for a business to utilize this new feature on Yelp is a 10% commission of the gift card price. So for example, if someone buys a $100 gift certificate for your business, the customer will have the full amount, but Yelp will keep $10. For this minimal investment, small business owners should definitely consider using this feature as an avenue to increase sales. By allowing customers to buy gift cards for other people, it increases your visibility and brings in new shoppers who otherwise may not have visited your business.

For more information about this new feature, visit the Yelp Support Center.

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Category: Tips
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Manage Your Online Reputation

Having a presence on the Internet with your business website or social media channels is a great way to control your online reputation. With social media channels especially, you have the ability to guide the conversations about your brand, as well as respond to any problems, questions, or criticism from your customers and users. In some cases, however, you have no control over the conversations about your brand. Online review sites, for instance, can be a double-edged sword.

On the one hand, reviews about your brand on third-party websites can be a big boost to your business. Many customers use online reviews as a fundamental source of research before making a purchasing decision about a product or service. If you have positive reviews on these sites, it can be free advertising for your business. The negative aspect is, of course, if you have negative reviews about your brand or company. That’s why it is important to have a strategy in place for handling online review websites.

Encourage current customers to give you a review. People are often quicker to write a negative review than a positive one, so a friendly request or reminder to your customers that urges them to leave a positive review for your business can go a long way. You could leave 98 out of 100 of your customers happy, but that isn’t reflected in your reputation if only the two unhappy customers are the ones talking about you. The more positive reviews you can have out there, the better.

Improve your online reputation in an honest way. It can be tempting to post fake reviews on these sites yourself, but not only is that unethical and a bad business practice, customers can often see through those tactics, and it can backfire on you in a huge way.  Instead, let the positive reviews come by putting energy into making your customers happy.

Respond to negative reviews when appropriate. If there are customers out there with genuine problems and concerns, you should do your best to alleviate those issues. Often times a simple explanation, or possibly a return or refund can do wonders for a customer’s perception of a company. Not only does it address that individual customer’s problem, but others can see that you care enough about their experience with your company.

Finally, it is important to realize that reviews of your company do not all have to happen on specific review sites. Social media has opened a huge door for consumers to post their thoughts on a product or service. If you don’t have a presence in social media, it may be time to consider starting one, to stay on top of what people are saying about you.

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