My favorite Calendar, Google Calendar, lets me set up a monthly reminder. Just click that box “repeats”.
3) There are paid services that will alert you, but the are limited to which sites they check and $30 a month, I find 5 minutes of my time is a good trade off.
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.
Strategies for picking your other 2 sites to get reviews on:
A. Where your competitors have reviews – Just google their business name or check on their website.
B. When you Google generic things about your business what sites come up?
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.
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 or 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.
Next up is getting notified when you get a review, lesson 4.
Yesterday we covered important facts about getting reviews. The two most important facts are:
How fresh your reviews are matters
88% of people trust online reviews as much as a friend’s recommendation
Today 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 with as few as 1 review. In the words of my friend Mike Blumenthal, “Great if those three are good but even one bad one can look very bad.” – Source
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.
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.
When you begin building your website, you have to make sure that you have all the necessary elements to make it a useful and comprehensible tool for clients to use. One way to make sure that you have all of these elements is to look at your website like it is a home that needs all the different building tools to make it stand.
This website takes all the different parts of a house and a website and compares them side by side so that you can see how to develop your website or build a house.
Social Engagement - Pillar 5
If you have a website and you are trying to keep customers that you already have while gathering more clients, one way to do that is sending out emails to keep people up to date on your business. Newsletters and ‘Thank You’ emails are a great way to do that. You do not want your business falling to the back of people’s minds so you need to continuously remind them that you are still there and available for hire.
What to do:
Build a list of previous clients and prospects.
Use a free email marketing tool to help you get started marketing to clients.
There are more ways to bring clients to your website and your business. One thing you can do is add the word ‘local’ to your web content. Also don’t forget to add your address and phone number to your website; create a review page; create a multiple locations page; build a FAQ page; and an About Us page so prospective clients can get to know you.
One handy tool that Google offers is Local Rank Tracking. Local Rank Tracking allows you to see where you rank in Google and where your competitors sit. This website gives you eight reasons to use Local Rank Tracking and shows you what your results will look like so you know what to look for.
Another thing that you should know about Google is their stance on adding multiple locations and phone numbers to your business. Of course, having multiple locations is great but should you put all those locations on Google? This article states all of the facts, letting you know the risks of doing this and also helps you know how to address this question.
Offline - Pillar 7
As a business owner, you do not just want out of city or out of state clients. You also want to be able to attract and gain local clients. In this podcast with David Mihm (co-creator of GetListed.org and sole founder of Tidings) they discuss how to attract those local customers and you will also hear about snippets and having your own VPN.
You would not have started a business if you did not expect it to have success. Whether success is making money or helping others, you are always looking for ways to achieve that goal. And we all have our idols, those successful people that we look up to and aspire to be like. This quick slideshow points out the many habits of some of those successful people. Maybe you share a thing or two with some of them.
Getting Reviews - Pillar 4
Getting reviews is really important to a business. Good reviews are great and bad reviews (although we don’t like receiving them) can help us improve our business. Customer success does a few things for your business such as building your reputation, driving customer success, and improving your organization as a whole.
We scour the web for the best resources we can find to help your small business by topic. We call it a News Pulse because we believe in the 7 pillars of online marketing that keeps your contractor business alive. We hope this has helped you out so you know what you can do to improve your own website and business.
I like to have experts come on the contractor podcast from time to time. This one with Luke Alley from Avalaunch is perfect for helping you know what to look for in an agency. Also his top recommendations for your business marketing online.
Contractors and service professionals need Angie's List reviews now more than ever. Angie's List recently opened up their site and your reviews for free.
There is still a member gate to read reviews so don't think this cheapens the perception of these reviews. Just like Yelp there is a core dedicated customer base that values these reviews and that super service award like gold.
3 Simple Ways to Get Reviews
Customers Mail in a Comment Card for Free
They Will Call Your Customers for Free
Make it Part of Your Ongoing Review Plan
Customers Mail in a Comment Card for Free
They have made it as easy as printing a "Review Card" A.K.A. comment card and having the customer fill it out and mail it with the pre-paid label. Customers don't event have to have an Angie's List account.
Pro-tip: Since this a PDF it is easy to input all your company information (required) before you print. Print it on a nice card stock and include a sticker to close the letter for mailing.
Why the hell contractors don't do this is beyond me. If your customers are older this is a must way to get reviews.
They Will Call Your Customers for Free
If you have a list of past customers asking them all for a review all at once could get you in trouble. Not so with Angie's List "Fetch" program. Submit a list of your past customers and they will call all your customers that have an Angie's List account within 10 days to take reviews over the phone.
The only draw back to this method is only the customers with an account will get called. But hey when has a company been willing to call your customers to help you get a review for free?
Make it Part of Your Ongoing Review Plan
You may be happy with your current flow of reviews but if you want to dominate you need a review plan. If you answer no to any of these questions go ahead and sign up for our free course on the secret to getting contractor reviews.
Do you have a plan to filter out bad reviews?
Do you know which sites Google wants you to have reviews on?
Do you know where your competitors have reviews?
Do you have a plan to reply to bad and good reviews
Do you have an automated way to get notified of new reviews?
To avoid an empty graveyard effect, post regularly on your social media accounts. Using a company like emphatic.co may be the only way to automate social media intelligently. At 40 posts a month for $99 it is a good option.
Automate Your Newsletter
Keeping top of mind is powerful. There is a new company that makes it easy to do just that. Tidings will take your Facebook posts and turn them into a beautiful newsletter for just $39 $19 a month (Update: you can get just 1 email news letter a month for the lower price now).
Since these are intelligent human beings you can outline things like post about carpentry and home improvement. But more then that you can give them a list of local sites/businesses to post and engage with. It is slick and the first few posts are completely free to try.
Combine these two powerful tools and you have a powerful social and former client outreach program for less than $120 per month. I dare you to find any part time person or agency for that.
This shouldn't replace posting those great before and after shots. Rather together with a few of your own posts you have hit a gold mine of value.
As a service professional you do a lot of business from your car. So I was thinking wouldn’t it be nice if somebody kept you up-to-date during your drive on the recent Google changes and what do you need to know. So that’s exactly what I’m gonna do today.
Getting Reviews – Pillar 4
So interesting enough a there has been a lot about reviews come up recently. One of the reasons that’s a big deal is Google decide that you need only 1 review to be able to start having your star rating show up in search results. This applies to your Google Maps listing and other listings such as Yelp, Facebook…
Here is what it looks like.
Why this matters is if you have very few reviews on those sites and you get one bad review that can really impact the perception of your business. So now it’s even more important to get a few reviews everywhere and to get them more reliably.
Harvard has actually done a study and found that having to overly positive reviews also hurt your business. This hurts in returns or clients being unhappy. It truly is better to under promise and over deliver. I’m sure a motto that you know well.
This next one is a tool and it’s a doozy. Have you ever wanted to be updated when your competitor site changes at all?
Here’s a free tool, visualping.io, you can automatically check two sites or page day and get a notification if there is an image section changes or wording on a page. Cheap plans available if you want to check more sites or get updates quicker.
I checked in my favorite free tool is Chatra.io and they do allow the tracking of events such as somebody interacting with you. I have found that if somebody can interact with you such as with a live chat they’re more likely to buy. It’s a very great tool to have and you can answer chats straight from your phone on the app.
I haven’t checked if Facebook’s free live chat can do that but that’s also great tool to look at.
Update: After this recording I decided to investigate live chat more. Turns out currently there is no way to track back to the source Facebook Live Chats (In the next few months there may be). So I wrote this article comparing Facebook Live Chat WordPress plugins & Chatra.IO, “Should I Use Facebook Free Live Chat“.
For beginners this is a really great video from Matt Cutts who used to be with Google. He explains how the Google search engine works. It can be really insightful to understand all the different pieces that they’re looking at to make sure there’s a great experience online.