Do You Really Need A Website?

Source Neil Cummings

Before we really get into the meat of what a website could mean for you, we need to discuss KPIs, or Key Performance Indicators. KPI is something that can help you see how you and your business is doing as far as sales go. Your ultimate goal as a business owner if to get more sales and, therefore, more revenue. To be able to do that, you need to have some mile markers or check in points in place to know when and how you are meeting your goal.

A website is typically the easiest way to implement measuring systems. However you can do many without a website as well. I like to track customer phone calls with CallRail.com. You can pick a different phone number for each of your marketing campaigns and you will always know if that nickle-ad is generating any calls automatically. Asking each customer how they heard about you is good but typically impossible to track throughout the day.

Source Animated Heaven

Now we can get down to what you can do without a website. There are a few ways that you can gather business without having a website:

  • ​Google Maps/Facebook Pages

This will make it so that when someone searches for your kind of business, they can find you. Often they can't outrank a proper website but it is better than nothing. These pages also provide reviews so that when people find you, they can see how other customers have reviewed you. At the very least this should mean when someone Googles your business name your contact information comes up.

  • Referral Plan

Most service professionals we work with get the majority of their business through referrals and repeat buyers. This has been and always will be the best source of ready to buy leads. At the very leads asking each customer for a review via the feedback funnel means they are referring you to the entire internet and not just their small circle of friends.

  • Repeat Buyers

You have never needed a website to store and keep handy past customers contact information, make sure that you have a way to contact past customers and vice versa. An email can be worth its weight in gold. 

If you don't have a website, then you have to do some offline advertising:

  • Printed Materials (On-Product, Penny-ads, Newspaper, Door Hangers...)
  • Billboard (Truck/Trailer Wraps, Yard Signs...) 

We once met a business owner that got the highest returns on marketing we had ever seen just from penny-ads and good street side placement of his product. You can keep yourself busy without a website. When you go to sell the business having a system in place will be more valuable than a website.

​Don't forget to assign a different CallRail tracking numbers to each effort/campaign. No need to keep spending money on something that doesn't get results in the first 6 months.

You can also have events and coupons to draw in customers. Separate details and offers will lead you back to the winning marketing campaign/source.

Have a Website Already, Take it up a Notch?

Now you may be thinking to yourself, "But I do have a website!" when you only have a single page site. The difference between a 1 page site vs. a whole site is that 1 page can't answer all the questions customers may have each of your product offerings. A good site needs to have 6 or more pages with a very detailed page of each product/service. 

If you have a website these marketing methods will go further. However you can still do a version of each of these without a website. 

  • Contact Past Customers (Emails(Newsletters, tidings.com), Calls, Letters...)
  • Guest Blog Posting (who says you can't write for other peoples blogs?)
    • Writing on LinkedIn Pulse: This is just blogging but it's on LinkedIn. It shares your voice through your articles and helps you sell your business to other businesses.
  • Giveaways (social media, physical raffles, rafflecopter...)
  • Google PPC Call Only Ads: This helps to get people in contact with you without having to visit your site. I think you have to have at lease a 1 page website but people will never see the site because clicks are calls to you not visits to your website. Facebook is also starting to offer lead campaigns.
  • Online Directories: Yelp, Yellow Pages, Angie's List... Get your information on more sites/apps when they are looking. Bing pulls a lot of data from Yelp.

If you ask me, I'd say that yes! You really need a website. Websites really help get the word out there about your business and bring in customers. But websites really just amplify / support good marketing anywhere. I hope this was helpful to you and your business!

P.S. Websites can track what got more web form fill outs. We like to look in Google Analytics for SEO, Social Media and Google PPC web form leads. Don't forget that, whichever way you choose to track your KPI, you should ask how your customers heard of you but as a secondary source for the truth. 

Lesson 9 Bonus – The Getting Reviews Course

I know if you opened my email or clicked on my links to do anything I asked for. I’m an internet marketer 🙂

But I was to lazy to check and that is really boring and a bit creepy. So lets assume you didn’t read all my emails or do something I asked you to do.

You’re not the first. My parents in law didn’t listen to me either.

Image

Remember that example I gave about a Google search for “Home security Portland OR”? My parents in law are the first business in the maps section. They haven’t really listened to my marketing advice except for 1 thing, they ask for reviews. And that is the only thing keeping them ranking number 1 in Google Maps. But it will not last forever. They like you need to have a more rounded marketing plan.

Ways you could help me out:

Contact me to work on your marketing plan.

Leave me feedback.

Connect on LinkedIn and leave a personal recommendation.

Buy the The Referral Engine – by John Jantsch. Maybe you will listen to him.

Bonus Tip: Many sites have power reviews and a way to search for them such as Yelp. If you want a reviews with some kick to it, it may be worth inviting them to become a customer.

Kyle Hunt: Tips for Better Marketing

This month I had the privilege of talking to and interviewing Kyle Hunt from remodelyourmarket.com. His goal is to make life easier for customers and for yourself. He started his own company in Michigan about 9 years ago and, while his own business focuses on home repair and re-modelers, the tips he has apply to all of us marketing online. 

Tip 1: Organize Your Client List

  • Stay in touch with past clients.
  • Send out consistent emails.
  • Call four previous clients every week.​

Tip 2: Have a Kick-Butt Website

  • Make sure your website represents you well.
  • Make sure that it shows how you are different.
  • Make sure to get some Google reviews as well.​

Tip 3:​ Have Strategic Partners 

  • Find other businesses that have the same clientele as you do.
  • Have two BLBs (Breakfast, Lunch, or Beer) every month.

Tip 4: Improve Your Sales Process​

  • Be sure to convert prospective clients into paying projects. ​
  • Spend ten to fifteen minutes on a phone call to decide whether a client will be a good fit.

We sure hope this was helpful to you and that you will be able to implement these things into your own business website. Don't forget to go look at Kyle's website!

Lesson 8 Bonus – The Getting Reviews Course

I mentioned before there are a lot of wrong ways to get reviews.

5 things I have seen business owners do that land them in trouble:

  • You incentivized the review (Illegal by the way. An ethical implied bribe is still fine.)
  • You asked for a bunch of reviews from past customers all at once
  • You forgot to make it easy for them (Business card, email, text… to the feedback funnel)
  • You forgot to to make it a consistent part of your business process
  • You left the review or had them write it from your computer/device

To practice what I preach. Would you leave me a positive review? Your choice where.

A) Leave Me Feedback and a review at Google Maps or Facebook

or

B) Connect with me & leave a personal recommendation on LinkedIn

Bonus Tip: Business owners can actually review other businesses from their Google Maps account. Other business owners understand your pain so be sure to ask.

P.S. I did promise a funny article: The 7 Worst/Best Ways To Get Reviews By The Numbers

P.P.S.Here is the final bonus, learn form my parent in laws and an opportunity to work with me, lesson 9 bonus.

Lesson 7 – The Getting Reviews Course

Hopefully you had as much fun learning about online reviews as I had making this course. You are a review expert now! 🙂

When this works for your business I ask for 2 things in return:

1. Please share this course with at least 3 people and as many social media sites as you can muster.

2. (Optional) As a consultant I don’t get paid to give out free courses. People love working with me through the other 6 major challenges their marketing plan needs. My lowest monthly service starts at $25 and my highest is $5,000. If you would like to explore becoming one of my clients, I’ll pay you $100 if you even think I waist a second of your time.

Contact me here!

Here is a recap of what you learned:

  • Email 1: Importance of reviews & the secret to getting reviews
  • Email 2: Where should you get reviews (Google, Facebook…)
  • Email 3: How to get notified of new reviews
  • Email 4: Repling to bad & good reviews
  • Email 5: What is review filtering & 2 tricks for Yelp
  • Email 6: Recap
  • Email 7: Bonus

Be sure to funnel every customer through your feedback system. This will be your competitive advantage on an ongoing basis.

P.S. I know this wasn’t really a 7th day but 6 day course didn’t sound as cool, just kidding. I’ve got a bonus coming to you since I like you so deeply now, bonus lesson 8.

Lesson 6 – The Getting Reviews Course

Many are shocked to hear that review sites filter good reviews out. With Yelp being the most notorious for doing so.

Most common reasons for reviews being filtered out:

  • This is their first review
  • The user has not enriched their profile with details
  • The review is overly positive using some trigger words
  • The review is not given on a mobile device or app (Trick 1: This works great)
  • You incentivized the review (Illegal by the way)
  • Every reviews is from the same IP address
  • Too many reviews all at once
  • You left the review

I’ve only had 2 clients ever get a bad review. And one of those was at Yelp which shows right in Bing search results. So here is a tip for getting some reviews at Yelp.

Trick 2: Yelp thinks it is a social media site. So you can find all your friends/customers on Yelp by simply having Yelp search your contacts. Then you can reach out to them on an individual basis.

Image
Source Thanks Shannon for the idea.

Bonus Tip: Text over a link where they can leave a review. Here is what a client of mine had to say:

“It worked great. And very convenient it wasn’t more than 3 minutes after I texted the link I got a reply that said ‘you’ll find a review up on Google.’”
– Wes B, Roofer

Next is our final lesson, lesson 7. I know I’m crying too.

Lesson 5 – The Getting Reviews Course

Today we are going to dive into some minutiae so hang on.

Have you ever had a truly amazing experience with a local business you just had to share? Or, was your experience less than stellar and you wanted to send out a “buyer beware” message?

I once had a less-than-stellar experience and felt it was my duty to warn others. I wrote a bad review. Later I received a call from the owner demanding I take off my negative review. No apology or asking to make it right, just a demand and a bribe for a free oil change. The business found me because Google My Business Center (Google Maps) no longer allows anonymous reviews.

Now, realize that most people still buy from 4 star businesses. The other 8% only use Yelp, JK.
Image
Source

Here is is how to respond to bad reviews in the good words of Shannon Willoby:

“Let the consumer know you’re sorry they had (x) experience and you’d like to talk to them further to figure out how you can smooth things over.

At that point, take things offline by messaging that user privately. It’s very important that you post an initial public message to that user; otherwise it will look like you never responded to any prospective customers.

Depending on the situation, you might want to get more details from the consumer, offer them a refund, a free product/service for a return visit (and hopefully a better, follow-up review), or at least a discount if they would like to come back and give your business another try.

A heartfelt apology and a desire to change whatever happened to make the consumer unhappy will go a long way in appeasing them and helping you avoid future bad reviews.

That being said, keep an eye on trends in the reviews you are receiving. If people are constantly mentioning that a certain employee of yours is rude, or a certain service is overpriced, or your selection is lacking, take note. Listening to this type of feedback – and making changes where they’re due — can be the very thing that helps your business stay in business.

Note: You shouldn’t ignore the users who are leaving positive comments about your business either. When you have time, a personal ‘thank you,’ whether publicly or via direct message will show your customers that you genuinely appreciate their business.”

Bonus Tip: People can delete or change their review on just about every website. If you send them right to their review link like in the case of Google Maps, they can edit it easily. I highly recommend emailing this to them after you have made it right.

P.S. This is also the reason you need to funnel every customer to your feedback/review funnel. Take unhappy customers offline to be heard, before it escalates.

Next we are going to learn about review filtering and 2 tricks for Yelp, lesson 6.

Lesson 4 – The Getting Reviews Course

Most websites don’t send you a notification when you get a review. If you are like me and don’t want to miss anything, try these two methods.

1) Most don’t know Google & Facebook both have free apps. The apps will now alert you when you get a new review.

Google My Business App: Android or Apple

Facebook Pages Manager App: Android or Apple

2) Manually check each month.

My favorite way is to know about new reviews is just check manually. Using Google Calendar, I set up a monthly reminder. Just click that box “repeats” when making a monthly or bi-monthly event.

Image

3) There are paid services that will alert you, but they are limited to which sites they check and $30+ a month. I’ll trade 5 minutes of my time to save $30, but hey I’m cheap.

P.S. If you have added your review/feedback funnel to your website, checking each site for reviews is a breeze. All you need to do is visit yourwebsite.com/reviews and in a few clicks you have all your review sites up.

Next it’s is all about responding to reviews so share this right now on your social media channels. We will see you next for review filtering in lesson 5!

If you missed Lesson 3, here it is!

Lesson 3 – The Getting Reviews Course

I often get the question, “Where should you ask your customers to leave a review?”

There are 2 places every small business should be getting reviews:

  • Google Maps – Because it helps you show up in Google searches.
  • Facebook – Because most have left a review there.

Image
Source

There are some other approaches regarding where to get reviews but Google Maps and Facebook are the most important.

The main thing to remember is this: GET REVIEWS VIA AT LEAST 2 SOURCES, PREFERABLY 4. The feedback funnel is perfect for this.

Image
Source

Strategies for picking your other 2 sites to get reviews on:

A. Where your competitors have reviews – Just Google your competitors business name or check on their website.

B. When you Google generic things about your business what sites come up?

For example…

Search: “Home Security Portland OR”

These directory sites come up in this order (first few are most important): Yelp, Angie’s List, Home Advisor, SafeWise(Security Specific Directory), and Thumbtack.

In most cases there is at least 1 industry-specific website, like TripAdvisor, which shows on several searches. You / your business should be there!

Here is a fun graphic I made a while back if you would rather profile the customer before asking.
Image

Bonus Tip: Bing favors and shows reviews from Yelp and Facebook right in their search engine.

P.S. Getting reviews on your website is also known as “getting testimonials”. They are not as important as reviews on 3rd party review sites such Google. Be sure to ask me (reply to this email) about review schema if you have a lot of testimonials on your own website. Done right those can also show in Google search results.

P.P.S.
Next up is getting notified when you get a review, lesson 4.

If you missed Lesson 2, here it is!

Lesson 2 – The Getting Reviews Course

Last Lesson we covered important facts about getting reviews. The two most important facts are:

  1. How fresh your reviews are matters
  2. 88% of people trust online reviews as much as a friend’s recommendation

Now I’ll show you my secret to getting reviews online. But first a news update.

Starting February 2017 Google has updated their star rating system to show stars on business in their search results with as few as 1 review – Source.

That is great an all but what if you have little or no reviews, you get 1 bad review and your rating falls under the 4-5 start sweet spot. – Jason Weaver

So what is to be done? You have to make getting and replying to reviews part of your every-day business process. And you have to do this on multiple sites.

My secret to getting reviews – Play Video
Image

Here’s what you are going to learn from watching:

  • It is hard for people to leave reviews so make it easy! (hand a business card, email, text…)
  • Make a feedback funnel through which every customer must pass!
  • How to get the pre-made pages and icons for your funnel!

If you like what you have learned be sure to share it.

Here is the download for the icons.

P.S. I know you are going to love this course so much you are going to share, review and possibly become one of my monthly clients that work with me. Next up is all about where to get reviews, lesson 3.

If you missed Lesson 1, here it is!