3 Records Smashed in First Half of 2012!

by jim-stein@att.net

The old saying goes that records are made to be broken. And so they are, with three big ones for the Diamond Certified program smashed in the first half of 2012. Take a look at these charts: They compare the first half performance of 2012 with the first half performance numbers of 2010 and 2011.

Net Connected New Customer Calls
To add to our performance metrics, in March 2010 we instituted unique call tracking numbers for each Diamond Certified Company within Diamond Certified Media. A very high percentage of our Diamond Certified companies are using these tracking phone numbers in their presentation in the Diamond Certified Directory, in each Diamond Certified Company Report page on our website and in our newspaper list of local top-rated companies.

As the chart illustrates, Net Connected Customer Calls to Diamond Certified companies in the first half of 2012 increased by 7,304 compared to 2011, which was up 1,766 from the same period in 2010 (1st quarter 2010 estimated based on 2nd quarter 2010 to 2011 growth rate). That’s a two-year gain of 9,070, or 27% growth from the 2010 base. Although only part of the value of being Diamond Certified is getting calls, it’s obvious that the increased awareness and popularity of Diamond Certified is translating to customer action!

Organic Search
Today, the most popular way to find what you’re looking for is to use a search engine, and two-thirds of all searchers use Google. The term “organic search” means people arrived at a website via a search engine (without clicking on a paid ad). Google ranks each website page for trust and relevancy. Highly trusted and relevant pages for particular key words are displayed prominently in Google, and that’s where our diamondcertified.org site really shines. Because Google has rated our site as highly trusted and relevant, it has rewarded diamondcertified.org with high ranking in many searches and now even displays each Diamond Certified Company Report page in its search results (complete with Google Search Stars for each company).

As the chart illustrates, Organic Search to the Diamond Certified website in the first half of 2012 increased by 26,538 page views compared to 2011, which was up 15,840 from the same period in 2010. That’s a two-year gain of 42,378, or 69% growth from the 2010 base. During this period we’ve spent more than $1 million on digital initiatives, including creating a highly talented editorial and social media/search team. Our efforts have paid off with a huge jump in search ranking credibility!

Diamond Certified Video Profile Plays
Remember, “It’s a story about people.” If you qualify for Diamond Certified, your top-rated status will get you in the door and help make the sale, but a few of your potential customers will also want to get a visceral sense of who your company is before they call you. That’s why more than 20% of “almost sold” shoppers watch a company’s Diamond Certified Video Profile. Keep in mind, since it isn’t a music video or entertainment, shoppers don’t watch a Diamond Certified Video Profile unless they’re REALLY interested in the company. So, for shoppers who feel like they need one more data point before contacting you, it will become the last piece of due diligence and add the confidence they need to choose your company.

As the chart illustrates, Diamond Certified Video Profile plays in the first half of 2012 increased by 18,164 plays compared to 2011, which was up 17,473 from the same period in 2010. That’s a two-year gain of 35,637, or 875% growth from the 2010 base. Not surprising, more videos are being watched as the growth of the Diamond Certified brand gains in stature, which, if you qualify, will give your company a significant competitive advantage!

By: Jim Stein, Founder/CEO of American Ratings Corporation, creators of the Diamond Certified Program.

You should follow me on twitter here: twitter.com/jimsteindc