Online rating

How Online Reviews Affect Your Home Improvement Contractor Business

Online rating

If you manage a home improvement contractor business, one of the most successful approaches to attract new customers is managing your business’s online reviews. That’s right - you can actually take control of how customer reviews affect your home improvement business’s online reputation. In fact, you could be seriously hurting your business by ignoring online reviews.  

When conducting research for services online, 95 percent of users read online business reviews. The right digital marketing strategy can help you to cultivate more consistent and effective reviews that drive business your way. With over 12 years of providing digital marketing expertise to Monterey Bay Area businesses, I affirm that taking a proactive stance to managing your customer’s reviews online can have a positive impact on increasing sales. 

 

How Online Reviews Affect Your Home Improvement Contractor Business

1. Social Proof

Social proof is the driving factor behind potential customers choosing your business based on online reviews. An online review is similar to word-of-mouth marketing. People trust that these reviews are unbiased and truthful, as well as written by real people. 

Google and Yelp are examples of a user-friendly platforms that focus on the customer’s experience, making it easier for people to leave and read reviews. Both companies require user names and basic information before allowing users to provide feedback. These online reviews are also highly accessible to internet users - a potential customer does not even have to click a link when using Google to see reviews for general contractors in the Monterey Bay Area! 

It can be tough seeing negative reviews, and a business owner cannot alter or remove these reviews in anyway. This provides more validity in online feedback for home improvement businesses and creates a trusting environment for your customers. Customers are not only interested in positive reviews, they also want to know about customer experiences that were not up to par.

 

2. Wisdom of the Crowd 

The more online reviews, the better! Large corporations have been using this marketing strategy for years. With help, local contractor businesses can achieve this as well. The more reviews your company has online, the greater perceived legitimacy. For example, people are more likely to believe 2,000 Facebook reviews than the 3 reviews that could have been left by family members of a company owner. The belief is that 2,000 people can’t be wrong about a business. 

People are even more likely to base decisions off reviews and wisdom of the crowd when they are spending more money. For example, if a customer has a major pipe issue with their home, online reviews will be a greater factor when choosing a Monterey Bay Area plumber when compared to minor plumbing issues, such as a clogged toilet. 

 

3. Impact on Sales

Research has proven that higher online ratings have led to an increase in revenue. For example, a study conducted at Harvard Business School concluded that a one-star increase in Yelp rating led to a dramatic 5-9 percent increase in revenue for restaurant business. 

Displaying reviews on your website can increase conversion rates by 270%. If you choose to not display your customers’ feedback on your website you could be losing business to other home contractors who openly post their reviews online. Showing transparency builds trust with a potential buyer before they have even picked up the phone to ask about your home improvement services!

 

4. Boost Your SEO

If a customer is searching for a service online, having more positive ratings can boost your SEO ratings. SEO algorithms are configured to determine which websites deserve top-of-the page search results and positive sentiment is highly rewarded. The SEO algorithm establishes positive sentiment by looking into online reviews provided by customers. The more reviews and the higher the ranking, the better. 

 

5. Relationship Building with Customers

Online reviews provide a means to communicate with your past and future customers. If a customer writes a review describing the pleasant experience hiring your company to remodel their home, you have the chance to reply and thank them and invite them to use your services again. It’s an additional point of contact that is easy to take advantage of and can provide a high reward. When you reply to these reviews, you are also communicating that you care about what your customers think about your business. This message can highly impact a decision to choose your company over another.

The same applies to when you display reviews on your website. I have helped many local businesses publish client testimonials and reviews to their websites. This digital marketing strategy establishes trust and validity with potential clients requiring your home improvement service.

 

6. Your Customers are on the Internet

Consider this: three out of four people who search for a product or service online end up physically visiting a business within one day, and 28% of those online searches result in a sale. Buyers looking to spend money for more expensive goods and services spend an even greater time reading online reviews and conducting research before making a purchase. 

People are relying on web-based research more and more each year to make decisions on which businesses are trustworthy. This highlights the need for your online feedback to be actively managed and prominently displayed on your website in order for potential customers to understand why they should choose your business.

 

How to Manage Online Reviews

1. Respond to Negative Reviews

Unfortunately, not every online review is going to be five stars. Your company will occasionally receive a low rating from an unhappy customer. The good news is that a negative review can provide an opportunity for you to change that customer’s mind! 

Consider this: a customer is not happy with a recent roofing project and left a poor rating on your company’s Google profile. Once this happens, you should reply to the review online and try to clear the air, and you can even call the customer to rectify the situation. The negative review provided an opportunity to let your customer service skills shine and win back a customer as well as prove to potential customers that you are actively involved in taking care of a negative experience.

 

2. Stay Active

As I previously mentioned, staying active in managing your online reviews is key. By responding to both positive and negative reviews you are demonstrating that you care about your customers. In turn, this builds trust and fosters a positive relationship with your clients. Customers may not trust reviews or testimonials on your website that are more than three months old. Search engines are also looking for the most up-to-date reviews. It is important to consistently manage your online reputation or all the work you put in could be considered outdated. Ask customers to leave a review online at the completion of a service.

 

3. Hire a Professional

If you are like most general contractors, you probably have enough on your plate and adding digital marketing to your workload sounds overwhelming. It’s easier to reach your digital marketing goals with a successful marketing agency to guide you. I have over 12 years of  experience managing online reputation and improving search engine optimization for home improvement contractors and other Monterey Bay Area businesses. My agency, Coastline Marketing Group, quickly grew to be the dominant highest-rated digital marketing agency in the region, which it still maintains to this day.

Improve your online reputation and build towards higher SEO rankings today by starting a conversation with us. You can set an appointment for a consultation so that we can get to know your business a bit better. From there, you can be on your way to building trust with potential customers, driving more sales, and ranking higher online.

 

If you’re looking for more digital marketing ideas for home improvement contractors, we can help! Coastline Marketing Group can answer your questions about Google Ads, Website Design, Paid Advertising, Social Advertising and more. Please contact us today to learn more about how to grow your contracting business online.

 

Article by Phil Fisk
CEO, Coastline Marketing Group, Inc.
831-789-9320


google business page

Have You Claimed Your Google Business Page?

As a business owner, you have likely heard about the importance of claiming your Google Local Business Page. Yet, you may have been putting it off due to a lack of information about its importance or just simply not having time to explore all that it has to offer for your company. While having a company website is a great start for building your online reputation, it is important to understand that your Google Business Page provides a roadmap for getting your target audience to visit your business along with opportunities for interaction that drive growth.

Google Business Page Benefits

Showing up on that first page of a Google search involves using several strategies such as AdWords and search engine optimization. However, claiming your Google Local Business Page puts you on the fast track toward showing up in your local listings. The local search results can vary due to differing factors among users, but your main goal should always be to end up in the top three results offered. When you do so, your business is automatically presented to potential new customers without any additional advertising money from your budget.

How To Find Your Google Business Page

Not sure how to find your Google business page? Take a look at the image above. First, go to Google on a desktop computer and type in your company name. In this case, I typed in "Mohr imports monterey ca". If you have been in business for a few months or more, chances are, Google has already generated a page for you. If by chance you do not see your business listing off to the right of the page, you can visit https://www.google.com/business to start from scratch.

If you do see your listing on the right of the results page, take a close look to see if there is an "Own this business?" link within that listing (see image above). If you do, click that link and follow the steps to claim your page.

How To Claim Your Local Page

Setting up your Google Business Page is a relatively simple process that is easier if you already have a Google account. Ideally, any Google services you use should be set up under the same account to streamline your activities. Once you have all of your information entered, Google will require postcard verification to prove your company is legitimate. This simple procedure simply involves a postcard being mailed to your company address with a PIN number on it. Once you receive the card, go to your account and enter the PIN to activate it.

Getting the Most Out of Your Page

Attracting customers to your website is the main goal of your Google Business Page. However, it also has additional benefits for bolstering your sales. For example, you can add photos of your business, products or services to give potential customers a visual picture of what you can do for them. Current customers can also leave reviews regarding your company for others to read, and you can respond to both negative and positive comments to demonstrate your business’s dedication to providing quality experiences for every customer. Helpful information about your business can also be added. For example, letting potential customers know your hours and services that are offered allows them to make an informed decision about visiting your company.

Ignoring your Google Business Page is letting an opportunity for free and effective advertising to pass you by. Don’t ignore the opportunity to increase your brand recognition and drive potential new customers to your business by showing up in the local listings. Instead, set up your page, and stay involved by responding to reviews and changing your business information as needed to keep members of your target audience informed about all that your company offers.

Need help with your local SEO? Visit my agency page at www.CoastlineMarketingGroup.com

Happy Marketing!

Phil Fisk - President Coastline Marketing Group, Inc.


Step-1-To-Improve-Your-Local-Search-Engine-Visibility

5 Steps To Improve Your Local Search Engine Visibility

The key to any successful business is valuable customers. However, getting customers can prove quite a challenge in the fast-paced world of search engines if you are unfamiliar with what to do. Below we're going to go over five simple steps to help improve the visibility of your business in the local search engine results.

1. You Must Have A Mobile-Friendly Website

Having a responsive theme on your website is imperative to landing on the first page of the Google search engine results. Searchers are using mobile devices, including tablets and smartphones, more than ever before. Google realized this and chose to reduce the rankings of websites that weren't mobile friendly. They don't want websites showing up that searchers are unable to get information from. So if you want to gain any visibility on Google you must have a responsive website, period!

2. Claim Your Google Business Page

Google is an information collecting machine. It scours websites to find the contact details for businesses in local areas. Your business is most likely already listed on Google when your business name or the services your business offers are searched in the local area. Many times your contact information, business hours, and website address can be wrong or missing.

By claiming your Google Business page you can correct and add necessary information so that potential customers know how and when to reach you. A business page will allow you to read reviews people are leaving about your business and let you keep track of your business's overall rating by consumers. In addition, Google Business pages offer valuable statistics including the number of views and phone calls your business receives.

You can claim your Google Business page at https://www.google.com/business.

3. Claim Local Citations

Citations are best described as mentions of your business on other websites. These mentions of your business name, address, phone number, and website help to prove to search engines, like Google and Bing, that your business is real.

Some examples of online local citations include Yellowpages, Better Business Bureau, Yelp, Superpages, Whitepages, Merchant Circle, Foursquare, Angie's List, Healthgrades, City Search, and Phonepages. The more local citations that you get the more trusted your website becomes in the google search engine results and the more visibility your business will receive from potential clients looking for your services.

Want to run a test on your business? Use our free visibility tool here.

4. Optimizing Your Own Website

One major factor in ensuring your website shows up at the top the search engine results is optimizing it correctly. Telling the search engine what your pages are about through keyword-rich meta titles, meta descriptions, optimized URLs, and alternative image tags are imperative.

When a user is searching for a specific service, such as a lawyer in Miami, the search engine wants to return websites that provide information on that subject. By including the necessary words of lawyer and Miami in the areas listed above, the search engine will better connect your website with being the ideal result for the searcher. If a website is not optimized the search engine has no real way of knowing what the site is about and therefore will not show the site at the top of the search results.

5. Focus On Getting Good Reviews

Search engines are paying more and more attention to the reviews that businesses are getting from customers. Google is listening to what people have to say about your business. It's important to work on getting as many good reviews as you possibly can. This will help to improve your rankings in the search results and, most importantly, give reassurance to new customers that your business is the right choice for them.

A business can get reviews from tons of online review sites. A few examples are Yelp, HomeAdvisor, and Angie's list. Having reviews in all these places is good, however picking the most popular review sites that the majority of new customers will be using is the best approach to increasing your customer base.

For example, if you are in the restaurant business, many new customers are likely to look at a site like Yelp to read your reviews and star ratings. On the contrary, looking for a contractor on Yelp may not be so popular. For that industry, reviews on sites like Homeadvisor.com are where customers are looking.

It's a good idea to take some time and think about potential sites new customers will be looking for your services on. Then work on encouraging your existing clients to leave you a review on those sites. If you provide a valuable service, many customers will be more than happy to leave you a review.

If you take action on the five steps listed above you will grow your business's online presence. Your website will start to show up for more local search results relating to your industry. And remember the more of these steps you consistently do, the more online visibility your business will receive.

Happy Marketing

– Phil Fisk, President Coastline Marketing Group, Inc.