June 17, 2016 · Filed Under Branding
, Social Media
· Comments Off on How to Research Niche Questions for Better Reputation Management
Someone may be publicly asking questions about your brand at this very moment. Or someone asked it two weeks ago and got an answer (but not from you) and now this thread is ranking for your brand name.
Few people are buying from a company without trying to find the answers to their questions first… How reliable is your service? How fast is the delivery? What are the alternatives?
You should be there to answer those questions! Or better yet, all those questions should already be answered on your site for your potential customers not to have to search for the answers elsewhere.
The following research will be quite helpful in both of these scenarios:
- For competitor research (For you to be aware of their problems and to be able to avoid them or offer their clients better solutions)
- For your brand reputation trouble-shooting and monitoring
1. Research if Question-Related Google Features Appear for the Brand Name
Google is paying more and more attention to immediately guessing and answering users’ questions. Thus, they currently have two search features they are trying to accomplish :
- Featured instant answers: A box featuring an answer to the query showing above organic search results (More on that here).
- “People also ask”: Google is showing which questions users tend to type in the search box using the current query or before / after searching for that
Both features are worth looking into for competitor research and reputation management purposes.
The easiest way to do that is using SERPstat, a newer tool that has Google’s special features integrated into their keyword filters. Just type the brand name into their search field, navigate to “organic”, open the list of filters and select “Answers” and “Also ask” filters:
The search results will indicate queries triggering those chosen features with the icons:
From there, you can scroll through the brand-related search results checking the actual search featured elements to see which opportunity or challenge they pose for you or your competitor.
2. Research Which Brand-Related Questions Users Type into The Search Box
Google Suggest is your invaluable source of brand-related queries you need to be keeping an eye on:
Luckily there are tools that make finding and extracting question-related queries much easier. SERPstat does have that option too:
Another tool that makes this research huge fun by visualizing it is Answer The Public (Which I described here). Just type the brand name into their search box and the tool will find tons of questions containing that name:
Here, I am showing part of the visualization for you to easier see the beauty:
Now export these search results and start sorting them into “Create a FAQ page”, “Forward to the customer support team”, “Forward to the product development team”, etc.
Tip: There are lots of FAQ WordPress plugins which you can use to easily add a separate section covering all sorts of niche-related questions. Installing plugins is easy, so there’s nothing stopping you from moving forward with this idea immediately!
3. Monitor Brand-Related Questions on Social Media
Google queries only scratch the surface: Google and related tools record only most popular queries. User-generated content and real-time search will uncover more problems you should be handling.
Here are a few ideas:
1. Search and archive Tweets containing brand-related questions.
The search query to use:
“brand name” ? -infilter:links -http
? filters out tweets containing questions
-infilter:links -http excludes tweets containing links to only keep real conversations
Cyfe is a great way to create an archive of these search results to effectively collect them and use for customer service training or content inspiration.
Cyfe will start archiving tweets once you create a widget, so the earlier you do that, the older your archive will be.
Cyfe allows an unlimited number of widgets per dashboard, so you can monitor and archive questions around your brand as well as your competitors.
2. Bookmark and monitor niche-related reviews sites
In most niches there exist partially user-generated sites collecting user reviews and ratings. Examples:
- [In SaaS niche] G2Crowd and its FAQ section on the listed service page
- [In hosting niche] Sitegeek and its user q&a section on the listed hosting page
- [In traveling] TripAdvisor and its q&a section on the hotel or restaurant page
I cannot stress enough how important it is to monitor these sites and engage with the community. You need to be monitoring both your brand as well as your competitors!
Are you incorporating questions into your reputation management and competitor research? Please share your tips here!
Even though we’ve been all skeptic (quite rightfully so judging from a few of Google’s miserable attempts to enter the social media business), Google Plus is still alive and even thriving. In many industries (Travel, technology, business), it’s even rocking!
In my experience (and I am in one of the most popular Google Plus niches: Search and social media), Google Plus has a huge potential of connecting you to influencers and sending traffic to your site.
Here are a few things I’ve found:
- Google Plus posts have a much longer life span than Twitter updates (especially for visual content)
- Google Plus lets you better target your updates than any other social network (Thanks to circles which are surprisingly working)
- Google Plus posts may give your Google search visibility (in personalized results: Your friends will often see you photo and your update when searching Google). This results in even longer life span: Sometimes I see my one-year-old update suddenly get new likes!
- Google Plus can send a good traffic to your site (Not as good as Google, in some industries not as good as Facebook and Pinterest, but definitely better than Twitter)
- Google Plus updates can rank in general Google search results that make their lifespa enormous. Sometimes I get plusses for Google Plys updates that date back to two years ago!
All in all, Google Plus is definitely worth investing your time into. And here are a few tools to help:
1. Google Plus /Explore: G+ Content Marketing
The first tool is Google’s own /Explore section that lets you explore Google Plus trending updates outside of your circles.
Most importantly, the section lets you monitor trending Google #hashtags: If you want a wider a reach for your G+ content, try using those hashtags from time to time to see much better interactions with your updates.
You can also use the section to explore “Related hashtags” to embrace a more targeted approach to Google Plus update tagging.
2. Circloscope: Manage Your Google Plus Circles Easier
This tool has really no alternatives. We talked to its co-founder at our Twitter chat and I started actively using the tool after that (Disclaimer: They gave me a free PRO account to play before the chat).
Some users have reported 1000% growth in followers & engagement after just a few weeks of using Circloscope. I personally got over 2k +1s on a blog post due in large part to using Circloscope smartly
Circloscope has a ton of features and I have yet to discover all of them but here are those I am currently using:
- Discover and circle active users of any community (you can filter results to set the minimum number of followers)
- Discover and circle users who have interacted (liked, re-shared, commented) with the particular Google Plus post
- Discover and circle users who are following you (Who you are not following back)
- Discover people who are not circling you back or who are not active on Google Plus for a long time
- Discover and circle people who are going to the same event you do!
Circloscope is quite powerful for free (the paid version also supports Google Plus business pages and some bulk actions). The only limitation is that you need to be using Google Plus to run it.
3. Cyfe: Monitor Google Plus Hashtags Easier
Cyfe is the only tool I know that allows to effectively monitor Google Plus hashtags. It allows to set up a separate dashboard that would be built of as many widgets you need. I have a separate dashboard for Google Plus searches:
- Monitor search for any or many Google Plus hashtags (Surprisingly, Google hashtags do actually work for visibility!)
- Monitor search for any terms you care about (depending on your niche)
- Whenever you see anything of interest: (1) Go to the update to like and better comment and (2) Add the author to circles. That’s a great way to discover new contacts and generate meaningful interactions!
This tool is browser-based bookmarklet that gives you an easy access to “ripples” (i.e. public shares of any URLs). While you can use Circloscope to add interacts to circles, this one lets you see and participate in various discussions around any URL:
You can use it to discover ripples for your own articles or for any other article where you think you can contribute to a discussion.
And yes, make sure to circle Google Plus users you discuss articles with!
5. CircleCount: Discover Trending Google Plus Communities
Participating in active Google Plus communities is one of the best ways to discover new connections, build traffic and build your Google Plus following. Google Plus does allow you to search for related communities but the search is very limited.
CircleCount ranks Google Plus communities by “fastest growing” which makes it a great discovery tool for active communities. I also like it because I can find some amazing groups there I wouldn’t have thought to look for, such as “Inspirational Quotes” and “Google Plus PRO” tips.
When you are establishing yourself within a community, don’t forget to comment on others’ posts as well. It’s a great way to build following!
Do you have any tools you are using to grow your Google Plus presence? Please share them in the comments!
About the Author: Ann Smarty is the Founder of MyBlogU, the free community allowing bloggers to brainstorm and participate in group interviews. Feel free to catch up with us on Facebook!