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

Update: Microsoft came out with a bonus for all those using their paid office 365 for business. It’s called Microsoft Listings and you can track your reviews (Google, Bing, Facebook, Yelp). They now offer a MailChimp alternative and a easy invoice solution along with their calendar scheduler.

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.

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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!

All Lessons

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.

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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.

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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.
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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!

All Lessons

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
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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.

All Lessons

Lesson 1 – The Getting Reviews Course

This course will change your business—and you’re going to want to tell the world about it! Because reviews improve rankings in search engines and convert people on the fence.

So, dust off your website login and let’s get started!

First, you will add three “hidden” pages to your website. Many have called this a feedback funnel.

Tyler at Excel is Getting Reviews

If you would like a sneak peak at tomorrows lesson, Tyler at Excel Roofing uses his funnel for success.

The importance of reviews can’t be overstated. A yearly small-business survey reveals several facts.


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The freshness of reviews matters.


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Over the next 7 days you are going to learn:

Next up is the secret to getting reviews, lesson 2.

P.S. This is going to be fun!

Luke Alley on What Makes a Good Agency

Expert Marketer Interview

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.

Learn:

  • What makes a great marketing agency
  • What metrics matter (ROI, Leads…)
  • Unusual social media sites can still work
  • Where should contractors start

How to Get Angie’s List Reviews

Update

When Angie's List merged with Home Advisor the ability for mail in reviews was discontinued. If there ever becomes useful tools it will be mentioned here.

Contractors and service professionals need Angie's List reviews now more than ever. Angie's List recently opened up their site and you can get 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
  • Angie's List 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. The customer just fills it out and mails it back with the pre-paid label. Customers don't event have to have an Angie's List account.

Part of the Angies List Review Card

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 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 at one time 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?

Hopefully you enjoyed the resource. If you did chances are you are going to enjoy our article on how to put your Social Media & Newsletters on Autopilot.

Social Media & Newsletters on Autopilot

For contractors, posting something relevant weekly on Facebook or sending a customer newsletter, is the last thing on their list. 

However if you think ranking number 1 is enough on its own, you're mistaken. People are checking out your reviews and are often on your social media.​

They were finding him in the Yellow Pages and then looking his company up online.

– Christian – Plumber via plumberseo.net

Automate Your Social Media

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 about carpentry and home improvement. But more than 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. 

Final Thoughts

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, with a few of your own posts plus theirs, you have hit a gold mine of value.

If you thought these resources were helpful check out our free getting reviews course or get a list of what your customers want you to blog about.

Update: MailChimp has started to allow even free accounts to use ​automation. This means you can schedule out series of emails such as how to use that fancy new security system we installed for example. If you want to do email marketing yourself look at MailChimp.

Ryan Joos on Local SEO Link Earning

Expert Marketer Interview

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I like to have experts come on the contractor podcast from time to time. This one with Ryan Joos from Nifty Marketing/Law is a local SEO gold mine.

Learn How To:

  • Target the right keywords
  • Craft a winning message for link building
  • Guest posting
  • Scholarship
  • Super resource

All to earn links that bring traffic and rankings in your local market.

NEWS PULSE FEB2017

Contractor Digital Marketing

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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

Interesting enough, there has been a lot about reviews come up recently. One of the reasons it’s a big deal is because Google decided 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 and Facebook.

Here is what it looks like.

And

This matters 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.

Here is what it looks like with 1 bad review.

Google Lowers Local Pack Review Star Threshold to 1

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.

When Positive Product Reviews Backfire for Retailers

I went ahead and created a FREE 7 day course on everything you need to know about getting reviews. Essentially you put in your email and each day for 7 days you’ll get 1 email all about reviews.

  • The secret to getting reviews
  • Where to get reviews
  • How to know when you get a review
  • And more…

These are the secrets that I personally use and my clients have used to get more reviews. As an added bonus, I’ve made the emails easy to read.

I recommend you go check it out and get that going on your business.

FREE 7 Day Course – Secret To Getting Reviews

For those that are diehards, there’s also this great article about Facebook reviews and basically a deep dive there.

The Ultimate Guide on How to Get Facebook Reviews

Google Updates

Google recently did another update where if you have anything obscuring the view of your website on a mobile device (such as a pop-up),it is going to get penalized unless it is on exit.

Google’s Mobile Interstitials Penalty Starts Today!

Also see above for the 1 star reviews showing.

Competitor Tracking

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, where you can automatically check two sites a day and get a notification if there are any image or wording changes on a page.

We monitor webpages… so you don’t have to!

Onpage – Pillar 1

There’s a really great​​ article on tracking leads and they cover everything from tracking customer calls to web from fill outs to to live chats.

How to Track Conversions (Leads) from Your Law Firm’s Website

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, 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. So I wrote this article comparing Facebook Live Chat WordPress plugins & Chatra.IO, “Should I Use Facebook Free Live Chat“.

For Beginners

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.

How Search Works by Matt Cuts with Google

Learn More

We scour the web for the best resources for 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.

Why do some sites show ***** in their organic results?

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I’ll keep this post brief. There are experts out there that can help your reviews start showing up in Google results; both those in the paid results and those in google organic. One expert has been using getfivestars.com software for years and has helped his jewelry client so that Barbra Oliver Jewelry Reviews now shows in search results.

If you want to do it yourself in code here is a review markup generator. And a helpful article when checking your review markup work.

If you need help keeping to Googles guidelines and taking advantage of this feature contact a marketing expert.

Update: Google is not starting to show review ratings in search results with as little as 1 review.