Online Reputation Management for Local Businesses Simplified Thanks to
Weblocal.ca - Local businesses can now collect, analyze and manage
information about their Web presence

MONTREAL, March 16 /CNW Telbec/ - With thousands of Internet sites, blogs, forums and social media sites available to consumers, it can be difficult for local businesses to keep on top of all the public comments about them - and to ensure continued vigilance regarding their online reputation, or "e-reputation." With this in mind, weblocal.ca offers local businesses Canada's first Internet reputation management system. This system enables them to examine, gather and analyze important online information related to their organizations.

"The new weblocal.ca Canadian Internet Reputation Management System offers local businesses a complete, easy-to-use and flexible solution that supports their marketing strategies to enhance their reputation among Internet consumers," explains Andrei Uglar, General Manager, weblocal.ca"

For example, following an analysis, a business could take a number of actions to adjust its business strategy:

    
    - Improve the impact of its marketing activities
    - Enhance brand awareness on the Internet
    - Establish and maintain dialogue with customers
    - Ensure the accuracy of its coordinates on the Web
    

Consumer Internet trends

Web 2.0 has changed the way consumers make their purchase decisions -they consult other Internet users' comments and accounts of their experiences before buying. In fact, 90 per cent of consumers rely on comments posted by their relatives, and 70 per cent rely on comments posted by their peers(1).

"In the Web 2.0 era, Web users are not only potential customers, but also potentially important influencers in their virtual environments," specifies Mr. Uglar. "In very little time, a comment can find its way to a forum, get tweeted a number of times, and become the subject of a new Facebook page: there are thousands of Web users who are informed in real time."

Up until just recently, the concept of reputation has been primarily associated with word-of-mouth communication. With Web 2.0, this has transformed into "e-reputation" and spreads quickly, given the large number of Internet users. As a result, businesses need to implement strategies to follow these trends and commentaries, and to act accordingly so that they can meet customer expectations.

A solution adapted to local businesses' needs

Reputation management is important. According to some experts, reputation represents 70 per cent of the total value of a business.

An Opus Research study of more than 2,000 businesses shows that close to 44 per cent of these monitor their business names through search engines, and a little over 15 per cent use alerts on an informal basis. However, this approach requires a significant - and often underestimated - investment of time and effort.

"Our system's intelligent dashboard facilitates analysis of information gathered, and enables a business to quickly identify which elements have generated customer reaction," explains Mr. Uglar. "Thanks to an interactive timeline, the system can also target precise periods where lower or higher levels of activity have been found. Then, the owner can adjust and adapt his business strategy in real time, without the need for significant manpower or time investments."

Additionally, the system also detects every Internet site where an organization's coordinates (for example, telephone number, postal and Internet addresses) appear. It enables business owners to see and take control of their online presence, saving them time, effort and frustration of finding and correcting every incorrect business listing on the Internet. "A business without its own virtual portal relies on its presence in Internet listings so that its clients can locate it and contact it," explains Mr. Uglar. "The publication of inaccurate contact information can translate into customer attrition and lower revenues."

The system provides electronic as well as printed reports, if required. Email or SMS (Short Message Service) alerts keep the user informed about the latest posted comments, enabling them to react quickly when required.

"We are delighted to be able to help increase local businesses' visibility and presence on the Internet, thanks to this innovative service which responds to a real need," adds Mr. Uglar.

Please click the following link to view a weblocal.ca demonstration video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tFowrYUcghw.

Please click the following link to download the weblocal.ca Canadian Internet Reputation Management System data sheet: http://media.myweblocal.ca/orms-media.pdf

The weblocal.ca Canadian Internet Reputation Management System is made possible thanks to the technological expertise of YellowBot. weblocal.ca, a division of Transcontinental Media, is a partnership alliance with YellowBot, a leader in the local search industry. Always at the vanguard of industry trends, YellowBot earned the Search Engine Strategies award for most innovative search engine in 2008. "We are proud to be an industry leader by bringing to market a technological solution that is truly innovative in North America" states Erron Silverstein, CEO of Solfo, owner of the YellowBot platform. For more information about YellowBot, please visit www.yellowbot.com

About weblocal.ca

Weblocal.ca was launched in November 2008 to help local businesses to enhance their Internet presence. In less than six months, the site began to attract more than two million unique visitors each month, offering more than a simple online ad - by providing a real experience to businesses and users. At the leading edge, weblocal.ca is an online business directory which distinguishes itself through its "Web 2.0" approach - which offers the possibility for both business and user to add photos, videos and reviews. Each weblocal.ca member business can change his or her profile (business description, hours of operation, payment modes, menus, brochures, price lists, etc.) directly online, at any time, and maintain customer relations by consulting and replying to user postings.

In 2010, weblocal.ca continues to position itself as a leader in local search technology in Canada. Its introduction of new functionality - the Canadian Internet Reputation Management System, is a first for Canada. This permits businesses to manage their online presence, as well as all the information about their businesses on the Internet. A companion iPhone mobile application has also been launched, which lets people research local businesses' basic information as well as reviews, photos and videos, in addition to position the businesses on a map and indicate directions.

For more information about other weblocal.ca services, please visit www.weblocal.ca

weblocal.ca is owned by Transcontinental Media, a subsidiary of Transcontinental Inc.

    
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    (1) Nielsen Global Online Consumer Survey
    

SOURCE WEBLOCAL.CA

For further information: For further information: and to arrange an interview: Frédérique Henry, Massy-Forget Public Relations, (514) 842-2455, ext. 10, fhenry@mfrp.com; David Barrett, Massy-Forget Public Relations, (514) 842-2455, ext. 15, dbarrett@mfrp.com

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