Review sites received a huge boost in ranking recently, thanks to Google’s new Pigeon update. Suddenly, when you’re searching for a home improvement company — say, “Orange County Shutters” — the top page results now include sites like Yelp, Yellow Pages and Google Reviews. While word-of-mouth will still bring you some of the best customers, there’s no doubt that soliciting reviews are a “must” for your online marketing arsenal.
Why Your Home Improvement Business Needs Yelp
According to Search Engine Land, 79% of consumers trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations! The majority of people read just six reviews before forming an opinion — good or bad. Authenticity is important, especially with older readers, so don’t think you can get away with paying people off for reviews or spamming these sites yourself.
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With 100 million unique visitors and a thriving “home services” category, Yelp is a site with a huge footprint. Furthermore, a Zendesk poll found that 90% of consumers said positive reviews influenced their purchasing decisions. Similarly, 86% of those polled said negative reviews also affected what companies they opted to hire. For home improvement businesses, the benefits of having a presence on Yelp are many:
– Let locals know where to find your business.
– Get added exposure for your main business website.
– Post your contact info and operating hours.
– Allow the reviews to do the talking and sell your business for you.
– Include photos to demonstrate your expertise.
– Use Yelp For Business Owners to monitor traffic statistics.
How To Make The Most Of Your Yelp Page
Review sites can be a double-edged sword, so many business owners are hesitant to get involved. Yet, the conversation will continue, whether you participate or not. So follow these tips to transform your Yelp page into a referral generator:
– Avoid knee-jerk reactions. It’s all too easy to lambaste someone who unfairly criticizes your business. Yet, being seen as a little too hot-headed or condescending can really hurt you in the long run. Take a “time-out” before responding, but remember to always, always maintain an air of professionalism.
This business owner response perfectly sums up how NOT to get involved on Yelp:
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– Reach out to disgruntled customers. Many customers lash out online when they feel they are ignored in real life. Perhaps they were not happy with the service they received or the compensation you offered. If someone seems unhappy, make sure they go away feeling validated. Online, thank the unhappy reviewer for pointing out an area of weakness and announce what you’ll do to correct the perceived problem. Respond to online complaints with an invitation for discussion. For instance, you might say, “I’m sorry to hear you were unhappy with your experience. Please give us a call so we can better serve you.”
– Reward your advocates. Ivy Lea Construction, a home improvement contractor from Buffalo NY, makes sure their customers feel valued by sending them “surprise” holiday coupons, local baseball game tickets, and invitations to expenses-paid boat cruises. What a thoughtful way to say “thank you” to customers! While it’s bad policy to offer customers incentives for favorable reviews, you can encourage customers to make reviews in general in some of your marketing materials. Use quotes from reviewers (giving them credit of course) to reinforce the fact that you’re listening and approve of people’s kind words. Go one step further by chiming in with a direct response, thanking people who leave particularly glowing testimonials. This will make you look tuned into the conversation and appreciative.
– Make sure your profile is complete. You’d be surprised how many businesses leave typos, errors, or incomplete information in their Yelp listings. Be sure all information is complete and accurate, including: Name, Category, Address (with cross-streets and landmarks), Phone Number, Website URL, Price Range, Hours, and the About tab. Upload as many quality photos as you can.
– Use advanced tools offered by Yelp. The Yelp for Business Owners section will alert you to the latest tools to get more visibility on the site. There is much you can do for free, but you may also consider purchasing ad space on Yelp, which removes competitor ads on your business page, gives you an enhanced slideshow, and allows video on your profile. You may also choose to run a Yelp Deal to offer exclusive coupons to site visitors who just may reward you with a favorable review.
Want More Hands-On Help With Review Sites?
If all this “Yelp” stuff still sounds like Greek to you, then you’ll be happy to know Mod Girl Marketing can help! Our team of dedicated professionals have many years of experience working with home improvement businesses including franchises. We can make sure your local footprint is visible enough for everyone to see, including search results such as Google, business profiles on all important review sites and social media networks. We can also help you with any branding or content needs. Whether you would just like a one-on-one consultation or you need someone to put in the hours for you, Mod Girl Marketing has custom packages for all types of businesses. Contact us today to take the next step.Tags: bad reviews, contractor, good reviews, google pigeon, home improvement, local business, review sites, roofer, yelp, yelp business, yelp business tips, yelp optimization, yelp reviews, yelp seo