Author Archives: Chris Weatherall

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About Chris Weatherall

President and SEO Strategist Chris has over a decade and a half of website development, SEO and organic link building experience. He manages the strategy for each client and drives the search engine rankings and traffic Eminent SEO is known for. When you hire Eminent you hire Chris, which means you have a veteran organic search expert on your team. Oh, and he’s funny too!

The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly: Online Reputation Management Helps All Three

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How to Deal with Bad Reviews

As a business owner in this day and age, you are likely no stranger to the concept of online reviews. The ability to view constant, updated feedback on the products or services your business offers – including the ease of access your website provides your users – is a great way to gain insight into what you’re doing best. In addition, it helps identify potential areas that need improvement. However, reading a scathing customer review – whether founded or unfounded – can leave business owners second guessing themselves and wishing there was some way to prevent customers from leaving negative reviews.

Should you respond to or remove negative reviews? How can you prevent further reputation issues? Do less-than-stellar reviews affect your business or brand?

Here’s how online reputation management can help you become well-versed in online reviews and know what to do about them to maintain a positive online reputation, for years to come.

Do Consumers Really Read Reviews?

Before we begin to discuss how reviews affect your business, it’s important to point out that the mere ability to leave a review can have a positive impact on your reputation. In fact, according to Forbes, as many as 97 percent of people who find businesses nearby do so while online, A good deal of those (75 percent) say that they wind up patronizing a business they found to be thoroughly-reviewed online.

How can the nature of the reviews your customers leave impact future consumer decisions? Whether your reviews are positive or negative, Nielsen’s most recent Global Trust in Advertising Survey found that 66 percent of people trust the opinions of others who have chosen to rate a business online.

Even more impressive, multiple studies suggest that a similar number of people trust online ratings as much as or more than an ex-significant other’s opinion. Simply put, most people are reading your business’s online reviews, and the majority of them trust the anonymous reviewers enough to base some of their decision making on what they’ve read online.

smartphone reviews


How Do Reviews Affect Your Brand?

How much sway do online reviews have? Enough that the majority of people – 57 percent, according to Brightlocal – will only purchase a product or use a service that has four or more stars. A majority of positive reviews, or at least a positive average of at least four stars, is important for drawing in customers looking for excellent ratings.

Similarly, negative reviews can have a lasting impact on your bottom line. The same Forbes report states that even one negative review can cost you as much as 22 percent of all business revenue. The number balloons to over 55 percent when three or more negative reviews appear on the first page of your business’s reviews.

How Can You Address Online Reviews?+

customer review ratings

While positive reviews can do your business’s reputation a great deal of good, the helpful effects can only keep rolling in once you know about your positive reviews. In the same way, you can only begin to address the circumstances that led to a negative review – and attempt to reconcile with the consumer – if you are aware of the review. It’s a classic scenario we like to call, “What you don’t know CAN hurt you.”

If you’ve crafted a high-quality website for your business, chances are, some of your very best reviews appear right there on your homepage. However, as the internet continues to expand, so does the ever-increasing list of consumer product and service rating pages, most of which you are not able to control directly. Dependent on the nature of your business, you may garner customer reviews on many or all of these sites:

  • Google My Business
  • Yelp
  • Angie’s List
  • Consumer Reports
  • Trustpilot
  • Amazon
  • TripAdvisor
  • Better Business Bureau
  • Choice
  • Foursquare
  • Yahoo! Local Listings
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Glassdoor

Certainly, it is important to respond in some way to all reviews, whether that response be sharing a positive review so your potential customers can see it or reaching out to a customer who left a negative review in the hopes of retaining lost business. However, since this is not an exhaustive list, how do you begin the process of finding and reacting to the reviews your company garners?

Performing a brand reputation audit is an excellent way of rounding up your feedback so you can determine next steps.

What Is a Brand Reputation Audit, and Should Every Business Get One?

At its primary level, a brand reputation audit involves a professional, deep scan of the internet for each and every mention of your business. Once the data is in, experts analyze the reviews and each listing of your certifications and accreditations to ensure that the information reflected is up to date and accurate. This data provides an extensive overview of your business’s online reputation.

Every business should perform a brand reputation audit to build a comprehensive picture of how current and potential consumers view your business, individual products or services, and even your personnel.

Reputation Audit

Once you have a handle on your brand’s current reputation, the information enables you to develop strategies to address and promote the positive aspects found. On the flip side, it also helps you formulate a plan for dealing with any negatives or missing information. Further, a brand reputation audit is a first step toward longer-term solutions that strengthen your business’s reputation through ongoing and consistent online reputation management.

What Is Online Reputation Management?

We’ve already established the importance of customer reviews and the best way to go about locating them. Now what? It’s time to address the reviews and other mentions of your business.

By highlighting the positives and retaining potential losses by dealing with the negatives, this provides the highest chances of keeping your current customers. Keeping firm control of your business’s reputation is referred to as online reputation management.

Benefits of Maintaining Social Control

ORM is a great way to highlight the very best reactions your consumers have to your product or service. Earlier, we mentioned the extremely high numbers of potential patrons who choose to only use companies with four or more stars on a given rating platform. In addition to your overall rating, showcasing some of your most brilliant, concise, positive comments in a prominent location can go a long way towards influencing consumers still on the fence.

ORM takes this strategy a step further and helps you structure your interactions with customers in a way that encourages them to leave reviews.

What about Negative Reviews?


When a brand reputation audit reveals negative reviews lurking amongst the positive, the common, knee-jerk reaction is to remove them. However, sanitizing your brand’s reputation may do you more harm than good; there isn’t a business in existence that has a perfect, five-star, customer satisfaction rating, and consumers know it. For this reason, a professional response to helpful critical reviews can reassure your potential customers that your brand is trustworthy in a few important ways.

  • You are actively looking for feedback and receptive of both praise and criticism
  • You’re invested in how satisfied your customers are
  • You want to take action to rectify any negative experiences
  • A variety of reviews is substantial proof that your brand is real and not a scam
  • You are transparent and open to helpful criticism

In fact, a recent survey showed that 68 percent of people found online reviews more trustworthy when both positive and negative reviews were included.

Think ORM First

How should you respond to those negative reviews? First, it is important to build an overall ORM strategy that gets you thinking before every action you take online. ORM helps you remember that while every negative review is visible to the public, so is your response. Never respond without first taking a moment to cool off and review your business’s unique ORM strategy.

Then, respond to the review while remaining mindful of your ultimate goal – to resolve the issue quickly; a response lamenting the customer’s poor experience does neither you nor the customer any good.

Conversely, a response resolving the issue actually increases the chances the customer will do business with you again. Depending on your business, resolution may include:

  • Inviting the customer to your location
  • Providing an answer you or an associate may have missed
  • Locating shipment information

After you’ve crafted your response, it’s a good idea to consult with an ORM professional regarding its potential outcomes. Explore the potential positive and negative outcomes of the response, particularly regarding your long-term plans for future reputation management.

At the very least, get another person’s opinion on what you’ve composed. Finally, if the customer responds and continues to raise an issue, invite them to discuss the matter privately – a maximum of two public responses is a good rule of thumb.

review stars

How ORM Boosts Your Business’s Reputation

Managing your business’s online reputation is not a quick fix, but it is an issue you can – and should – take swift action regarding. Moving your business in the right direction by gaining an overview of your brand’s current reputation via a brand reputation audit is an important first step. It’s also the price of doing business in today’s digital age. Think of it as both reputation management and marketing.

Online reputation management strategies can address what’s already out there on multiple review platforms, while building a strategy for improvement moving forward. If you’re ready for more control over your brand’s reputation, Eminent SEO can help. Together, we can visualize your social strategies for tomorrow by reshaping what you’re doing today, by optimizing your ORM.

Talk to Eminent SEO about Your Online Reputation Management Plan

Avatar for Chris Weatherall

Chris Weatherall

President and SEO Strategist Chris has over a decade and a half of website development, SEO and organic link building experience. He manages the strategy for each client and drives the search engine rankings and traffic Eminent SEO is known for. When you hire Eminent you hire Chris, which means you have a veteran organic search expert on your team. Oh, and he’s funny too!

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RIP Google Keyword Tool: We Now Have the New Google Keyword Planner to “Love”

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Eminentseo -- RIP Headstone -- 08-28-13The SEO/SEM world has not taken kindly to Google’s new Keyword Planner that officially replaced the old AdWord Keyword Tool yesterday.

To use the Keyword Tool now users must login to an AdWords account in order to access the Planner. The Planner has no match type data for any search volumes (search volumes are displayed for exact match data only), ZERO device targeting, ZERO local vs. global monthly searches, and the AMAZEBALLS option to filter by “closely related” terms has been terminated.

Of course, the reactions aren’t 100% negative. There are new features like more geographic segmentation and the ability to bundle geographic regions that allow local SEOs and ad planners to drill down to the city level to get keyword search volume data.

Users are able to upload more keywords from their own lists (up to 10,000 keywords) to get performance data. The Planner will also show search volumes by ad group, landing page and any other categorization you set up.

Still, search volume differences between the two tools have been a source of anger, and the variances are due to two key sources of contention — match types and device types getting eliminated.

Google tells us:

“In general, you’ll notice that the average search volume data is higher in Keyword Planner as compared to the exact match search volume data you got with Keyword Tool. That’s because we’ll show you the average number of searches for a keyword idea on all devices (desktop and laptop computers, tablets, and mobile phones). With Keyword Tool, we showed you average search volume for desktop and laptop computers by default.”

Hopefully Google will continue to update the Keyword Planner and add our old fav “closely related” to the offering. If you are accustomed to the old tool, using the new Planner will be a major adjustment that you will likely have a love/hate relationship with. If the Planner stays the way it is this will for sure drive up a few sales numbers for all those competing keyword research tools on the market.

What tool do you use for Keyword Research?

Avatar for Chris Weatherall

Chris Weatherall

President and SEO Strategist Chris has over a decade and a half of website development, SEO and organic link building experience. He manages the strategy for each client and drives the search engine rankings and traffic Eminent SEO is known for. When you hire Eminent you hire Chris, which means you have a veteran organic search expert on your team. Oh, and he’s funny too!

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The Diet Food Misinformation Age

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Hello ESEO Fans!

You know that we taDried fruit is badke care of you in every way that we can and with this post we want to highlight a major concern most of you planted at a desk daily deal with…….


Well the answer is simple if you can find the time and discipline to exercise and eat right in your daily routine. Yes, I know that is VERY easy to say (type) and not so easy to do (de-butter). While you may not be able to find the time to do what you would like for yourself, you can avoid certain foods. That’s ideally the best place to start because you can’t exercise your way out of poor nutrition. Yes you know to avoid Cheetos (mmmmm) and soda, so we are going to take some time to tell you about a few foods you probably didn’t know to avoid.

Juice From Concentrate

There was a time when we were informed that orange juice was good for you and we all need a glass every morning. Nowadays things have changed quite a bit and we have gone past the information age and into the age of MISINFORMATION. Concentrated fruit juice has been filtered and extracted to make its form easier to store and ship while greatly extending the shelf life. During the filtration process chemicals and byproducts are added and subtracted to get the condensed version. This new “juice” has lost many of the vitamins and nutrients that made it the healthy choice it was before and worse yet been given additives to maintain the desired color and taste. What’s left is a glass of concentrated sugar water and food coloring that goes straight to your belly. Get natural juices, not from concentrate, which won’t spike your blood sugar to unnatural levels fooling your body in to thinking it needs to increase fat storage.

Soy Products

It has been touted for years that soy is nearly the perfect health food, again proving that MISINFORMATION is the norm. Over 90% of the soy beans from the United States are genetically modified and can cause a host of issues. Malnutrition, immune system breakdown, infertility, heart disease …… the list goes on and on. Everyone knows that genetically tampered foods are bad but even organically grown soy is full of anti-nutrients. The anti-nutrients in soymilk are soyatoxin, phytates, saponin, trypsin inhibitors, phytoestrogens and goitrogens. These all have adverse effects in the long term but there is also an immediate response your body has by releasing the “Hunger Hormone” Ghrelin. When you’re body needs nourishment it releases this hormone which affects the pleasure seeking region of the brain making you crave high calorie foods. Naturally Ghrelin levels fall when food hits your intestines and your body releases Leptin which in turn decreases your appetite and promotes calorie burning. The unfermented soy we consume increases Ghrelin levels making you feel the urge to eat even when you’re full while also diminishing your ability to burn calories.

Whole Wheat Breads

On your next trip to the grocery store look and notice that if wheat is added to any random item it’s highlighted and labeled as a healthy “Whole Wheat” MISINFORMATION product. Before you get those Whole Wheat Nutter Butters let’s think about how these could possibly be healthier. The gluten we get from modern wheat is completely different in structure due to decades of hybridization and selective breeding. The Glycemic Index (GI), which compares our blood sugar effects of carbohydrates, tells us that whole wheat will increase blood glucose more than pure sugar. So eating two slices of wheat bread isn’t so different than having a Snickers bar when you consider the sugar spikes. To add to that wheat is high in amylopectin A and gliadin which is converted to glucose faster than any other carbs and is also an appetite stimulant that can cause prolonged hunger feelings. When people quit eating whole wheat they typically eat 400 fewer calories a day because of the reduced exposure.

Fat Free Flavored Yogurt

Don’t fall for this major MISINFORMATION campaign. Fat free food isn’t health food because fat doesn’t make you fat, sugar makes you fat. Those convenient little yogurt packs contain 15 grams of sugar and it’s usually High Fructose Corn Syrup sweetener. So eating these puts food in your body that 95% of it you can’t do anything with except convert to fat and nearly all the rest is waste. Toss these out and replace them with plain Greek yogurt and add your own fresh fruits and/or honey. Even the flavored yogurts with fruit chunks in them are packed with preservatives and sweeteners to extend the shelf life that in turn extend your waistline. Don’t let the bad information steer you away from real organic full-fat plain yogurt which is packed with positive affects when consumed in its healthier form.

Let’s Get Started on not Getting Incorrectly Started

So we just scratched the surface on some of the foods you should avoid and there are likely many, many others you may not know of. Margarine, dried fruit, trail mix, reduced fat peanut butter, veggie omelets, granola bars, sushi rolls and “Organic” snack foods are all out there and these foods are just some more examples of food that we are given MISINFORMATION on routinely. If you spend some time researching online before you make diet changes you won’t have to ask yourself “Why am I still gaining weight after switching to eating the healthy stuff?”.

P.S. If you want to read more on healthy living, check out our Eminent Healthy Living blog.

Avatar for Chris Weatherall

Chris Weatherall

President and SEO Strategist Chris has over a decade and a half of website development, SEO and organic link building experience. He manages the strategy for each client and drives the search engine rankings and traffic Eminent SEO is known for. When you hire Eminent you hire Chris, which means you have a veteran organic search expert on your team. Oh, and he’s funny too!

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Halfway to Thanksgiving

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May 16th is the halfway point to Thanksgiving and I want everyone to take time and reflect on something to be thankful for. Sure the weather is warm and sunny, resembling little to nothing like it will in 6 months, but that’s no reason to not get in the spirit. Health, family, love, peace and cashews! Yes that’s my cookie cutter list to “thank-bomb” on but the list below is full of those other things that spring up and put a smile on my face during the months with no major holidays.

In no particular order …

1.      George Takei

I won’t forget how awesome he was as Mr. Sulu – helming the Enterprise through life and death Klingon jerk situations in weekly reruns throughout my entire childhood. Nowadays he is awesome on his Facebook Fan Page ( rehashing his deep voiced coin phrase “Ohh My” and posting hilarious pics while fighting for equal rights and maintaining the same haircut since 1966. Seriously I get 2 LOL’s per day minimum and endless “Ohh My” shenanigans every trip in front of a mirror. Thank Him.

George Takei in uniform

2.       Suck UK Punching Bag Laundry Bag

The dark ages ended one thousand years ago, yet they still claim it was impossible to carry laundry in a masculine way – until this bag. Every guy who owns one of these should give thanks for feeling like they’re filming an 3. Old Spice Commercial while doing laundry. There has to be macho cupcake bakery on the horizon soon, I can feel it, but hey… this post is about giving thanks…

Suck UK Punching Bag Laundry Bag 2 Suck UK Punching Bag Laundry Bag 1

 4.       The Cloud

There was a time when everything I purchased was real… those times are over.

My movies, music, pictures and games were on memory cards and discs. This would have lasted forever except for the fact that children wish they could fly. Since children can’t take to the skies themselves they make sure that your discs do… amazingly well. Most of the huge entertainment monopolies are getting their act together and more than just music is available in the cloud. Now I find myself passing on purchases if the content isn’t available for download. Forget about the disc I just want the digital copy. Recently my Android tablet took to the skies and even though the device was broken, all of my content, pics, settings and apps are available to me (through the cloud) when I replace it. All of my video games are now on the Steam digital delivery service and available on any computer that has internet. Toss That Kiddos!!!!!!! Oh Damn 🙁

Chris Weatherall - Games The Cloud Zaviah Rae

 5.       Hovertrax Is Going Into Production Soon

This invention is amazing to me. You can roll around looking at other people walking with their own feet like a sucker while not feeling like a tool because this doesn’t have handle bars or wheelchair tires. I can balance, who da man?

Look at you using your feet. SUCKER!

 6.        Internet Food

Right now internet bandwidth isn’t at the point where we can download a 12 inch sub sandwich and that’s sad. You can, however, get ideas and recipes that you could never have imagined on your own. The resources have literally reached one billion. Pictures, recipes, tutorials, (epic) videos, forums, blog feeds…  All of the information is there for you and every angle is covered from healthy food to goodies that can double as transportation. I asked my mom why we never had certain things growing up and her reply was that she didn’t know or have access and that was valid. Now I’m thankful that excuse is gone and in my house all I have to say is “I’m lazy, cook these things for me.”

Sexy Food

Every work day at Eminent SEO is an opportunity for me to be creative and work on tons of various ideas. That is something that I’m thankful for this Half Thanksgiving BIG TIME!

What are you thankful for? Share in the comments.

Avatar for Chris Weatherall

Chris Weatherall

President and SEO Strategist Chris has over a decade and a half of website development, SEO and organic link building experience. He manages the strategy for each client and drives the search engine rankings and traffic Eminent SEO is known for. When you hire Eminent you hire Chris, which means you have a veteran organic search expert on your team. Oh, and he’s funny too!

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