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Have you noticed that map results are more prevalent lately? That might be because the Google Local 3-Packs are wider and they are now under the 4 top ads (formerly 3) and there are no right side ads on Google Search anymore.

So now with even less Google organic searches, maps are even more important. And what is so important in the maps results? Well, once you get to the top 3 with a good digital marketing strategy, the reviews.

This is one of my long standing clients, Security First Alarm. When I search for the very competitive search “Home Security Portland,” Google Maps reveals their great reviews and we see that they are the logical choice.

How To Get Good Reviews

I’ve found there are only 6 things you need to do to get good reviews. Some of them might seem obvious but a few may be a bit of a surprise.

  1. Do a great job
  2. Ask for feedback every time
  3. Give incentives for giving feedback
  4. Make it easy to leave reviews
  5. Take unhappy customers offline
  6. Give places to leave reviews

Let me illustrate this last suggestion with an example using the feedback/review funnel:

Wes, from True Roofing, is one of my customers and he had a basic website redesign and optimization. We always implement a review funnel at website.com/feedback. In this case trueroofingms.com/feedback.

He recently took my advice and texted the link over to his customer as he was leaving his completed job. Here is what he 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

If someone gives the thumbs down they would be taken to a new page to direct a complaint.

Let Us Know Your Thoughts

What has your experience been with getting reviews/feedback? Have we inspired you to try something new? Let us know in the comments and on social media.

Update I’ve been asked to make more resources for getting more reviews and how to reply to reviews. Here is a FREE 7 day email course on the secret to getting reviews.

Service Professionals – Where to buy leads

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I’ve helped service professionals for years with their digital marketing needs. Interestingly enough they all have the same problem: how to get leads and get back to focusing on what they do best–servicing their customers.

Lead Buying Services

Buying leads has always been part of the mix. Over the years a number of startups have emerged onto the scene. Each taking their own spin. None of them focused on making the process easier or better for the service providers. It’s typically a race to the bottom, with price being the central differentiation.

Enter Amazon

Amazon may be onto something by handling the payment processing and only charging a percentage of closed sales with Amazon Home Services.

Though new, some already have seen success with the new offering.

To explore more about the potential of Amazon Home Services read more about the ins and outs here. Or Signup here.

A Better Return

Amazon may be onto something. But in the end, it’s another service matching people with your competitors and sometimes you. Home shows, referrals and a well executed digital marketing campaign are common better returns for service professionals. We’ve found that directly branded leads from methods like those just mentioned, create value and that value translates into higher ROI.

Ask yourself, are you truly maximizing what you are doing right now? We recently wrote on LinkedIn about the benefits of small things like Live Chat. Feel free to schedule a free 30 minute consultation to asses easy wins.

Other Lead Buying Sites

Ignoring these lead buying services will not make them go away. Ignoring these lead buying services will shut you and your business off to the channel of customers that have been frequenting their websites. So I’ve included several of the most important sites to buy leads from for service professionals. Did we miss any?

Porch.com (owned by Lowes)
Thumbtack.com (allows you to list reviews from other sources and read leads comments before deciding to bid on it)
Proreferral.com (formerly RedBeacon.com and owned by Home Depot)
Homeadvisor.com (formerly Service Magic)
Angies List
Nextdoor (Up and coming)
Yelp (Offers are free but expensive ad options are available)

Don’t advertise on any directory without a good review plan.

Future of Lead Buying

As we look to the future of where to buy leads, we must include elephants in the room like Google. Google has been testing for years a change in map results that are paid. The advantages are paying for leads. There are many disadvantages as well but when buying leads you must consider a PPC (Pay Per Click/AdWords).

Source Whitespark.ca

Here is more on Googles HSA (Home Services Ads).

There are pay for call and other useful ways to advertise on Google AdWords that aren’t related to these HSA ads. But please do not use AdWords Express or AdWords on your own.

Let Us Know Your Thoughts

What has your experience been with lead buying services? Have we inspired you to try something new? Let us know in the comments and on social media.