Online reviews have been around a while. But in the past few years, they’ve increasingly become more important than ever, and the statistics to support its relevancy are overwhelming. Think about it: when you are considering buying a product on Amazon or searching for a restaurant to go to, do you ever look at the reviews to help make your decision? The answer, most likely, is yes.
Today, you can find just about anything online, whether that’s a product or a service, and everyone out there is in the business of marketing. Oftentimes, it’s hard to tell if the images and descriptions are really what you’re getting, or if you’re being scammed. But when we see online reviews from real people just like ourselves who are willing to testify for this brand, it gives us peace of mind that we’re making the right decision.
In a 2016 Local Consumer Review Survey conducted by BrightLocal, 91 percent of consumers read online reviews for local businesses either regularly or occasionally. This means that only 9 percent of consumers don’t read reviews at all. If you don’t have any online reviews, or if they aren’t properly displayed on your site (more on this in a minute), you could be losing out on 91 percent of potential customers who make their purchasing decisions based on online reviews of your business.
Mark Kresge, president of kitchen and bath remodeling company Kresge Contracting , said having testimonials shown on his site had a direct impact on attracting new, high-profile clients.
“When clients are signing paperwork to move forward with their remodeling project, they mention the reason they chose to work with us was because of our online reviews,” Kresge said.
Since Kresge Contracting started requesting and displaying reviews, it saw an increase in both the number of leads and overall project price. You can see why it is crucial to take advantage of satisfied customers and get them to leave you a review.
Part of utilizing your online reviews is managing where those reviews are displayed. Reviews have become an important local ranking factor, as Google boosts companies with good online reputations over those with no reputation. Basically, if your company has a bunch of great reviews, you’re more likely to show up above your local competitor who has only a few online reviews.
Great reviews—and a lot of them—boost your business’s online credibility.
For those reviews to have merit with consumers, it’s important for them to be posted on various social media and review sites , where viewers can see who wrote the review and trust that it’s a legitimate post. Sites like Facebook, Yelp, Google and Houzz are some of the top places people look for reputable reviews.
Once you have a collection of positive reviews, you will want to display them on your own website, so visitors can view all your testimonials directly on your site. By utilizing an onsite testimonials section, you’ll be able to control which reviews show up on your website. For example, most successful businesses choose to only display 4- and 5-star reviews on their site.
Even positive reviews are no good if they are outdated. Just like the design of your website , it’s crucial that some of your reviews are current. In the same BrightLocal consumer survey mentioned above, 73 percent of consumers think that reviews older than 3 months aren’t relevant. This means that you need to constantly be asking customers for reviews if you want to appear as an up-to-date business. It’s great if you have hundreds of glowing reviews, but if they’re all from over a year ago, they won’t help your business.
Now, you may be wondering, what about negative reviews?
Most businesses hate negative reviews, and with good reason. You never want anyone making a complaint about less-than-stellar service from your business. But it is actually possible to utilize negative reviews and turn them into a positive for your business.
The first thing you want to do when you see a negative review about your business is respond. Start by apologizing about the experience, and offer a solution of some sort. If they weren’t happy with the service they received, do what you can to fix the issue. If there’s nothing you can do at this point, tell them you are working to fix the issue or offer an explanation as to why something happened the way it did, making sure you keep an understanding and respectful tone. Even if you are not able to change something, offering to make up for it goes a long way in customer service.
Negative reviews also allow you to find problems within your business and solve them. You may not have been aware of an issue that was brought to light by a customer. Whether you can learn from the review or not, you can still use it to your advantage by publicly responding, which will show consumers that even if they have a complaint, you are willing to go out of your way to make the customer happy.
The goal of publicly responding and offering a solution is to try to win them back as a customer, whether that means they will personally use your product or services again or recommend you to a friend. If you can get back into your customer’s good graces after a negative review, you’ve provided excellent customer service.
It’s also important to remember that having negative reviews make your business seem more credible . Of course, you don’t want a long series of bad reviews, but having a few mediocre reviews gives people peace of mind that all the reviews of your business are legitimate. When someone sees a company with all 5-star reviews, it can look suspicious, and leave the customer wondering if they’re being tricked.
The Bottom Line: No matter what your reviews say, if you provide good service, you can find a way to turn it into a positive thing for your business. Obviously, your business can start to suffer if you have an overwhelming amount of negative reviews. That’s why it’s important to reach out to customers yourself and ask for a review if they are satisfied (or ask them to reach out to you privately if they have an issue). By taking control of managing your online reviews, you’ll be a step ahead of the game.
If you’ve ever read content on the Internet—a blog, product pages on Amazon, instructions on how to tie a tie—you know that visuals are essential to keeping you on the page.
So as the manager of your website, you realize just how important images are to keeping your visitors engaged and interested in what you have to offer. For product- or service-based businesses in particular, quality images can be the difference in total success or total failure of your site.
But did you know that images can do a lot more for your webpage than just supplement your content?
That’s right. Your images, just like your content, can be optimized for SEO benefits, making them more search-engine friendly. Optimizing your images for SEO benefits will give your page an added boost by including more keywords and giving Google more content to rank in searches.
Getting customers to leave you reviews is one of the most important marketing strategies you can use. You know it. We know it. Let’s move forward.
Many businesses have reviews all over the Internet, from Yelp to Facebook and everything in between. But what’s the point of having an abundance of solid reviews if potential customers aren’t seeing them at the right time—when they’re on your site looking at your services? We fully believe that all business owners should display their reviews on their website in a way that proves your reviews are legitimate.
Our solution: an online review presenter.
The digital world is constantly changing. Every day, programs are updated, trends shift and Google edits its algorithms. With so many frequent changes, anyone who wants to maintain a successful online presence—like all digital marketers—has to keep up with the trends. Even the experts have to stay on top of their game if they don’t want to fall behind.
Several months ago, we published an article that explained why it’s crucial that your website is optimized for ‘near me’ searches. For example, instead of searching for “flower shop Cleveland, Ohio,” more searchers were replacing the location name with “flower shop near me.” It provided more accurate results based on the user’s physical location, rather than the broad location.
A lot of people fixate on being the number one result on Google. It’s easy to understand why; those number one results are often the first links we click on when doing a search. After all, Google puts those results at the top of the page for a reason, right?
Many times, Internet marketing performance is solely judged by rankings and how high you can get on Google. But contrary to belief, this is not the best way to measure your return on investment. There are other metrics that will tell you way more about the success of your campaign’s performance than just the average position.
We’ve discussed how important it is to have reviews of your business on your website, and you know that reviews can have a positive effect on your business. But the more difficult part is figuring out how to get clients to leave reviews in the first place. Where do you start? How do you get people to only leave positive reviews? It might seem like a tricky business—and we’ll admit, there is a formula to it—but getting clients to write reviews isn’t as hard as it sounds.
Here are five easy steps you can follow to motivate your clients to leave a review of your business.
When making any important decision, it’s important to weigh your options. In the case of creating a new website, the advantages that come with each option can be a major determinant in which website platform you decide to go with. In our two recent blogs detailing the Locallogy Rapid Platform , we’ve covered what exactly the service is and the functional features that you have access to as a user. Now, we want to tell you about the advantages to using our website platform.In addition to having a cost-effective, customized website built by our team of professionals, you’ll experience a number of management advantages that help your website run faster, safer and smarter.
We recently unveiled the Locallogy Rapid Platform , our newest web building service that allows you to have a cost-effective website created for you by our team of digital marketing experts. It’s the best way for your small business to quickly get a customized website without paying top dollar to have your site maintained by the professionals who are creating your site.
So how do we offer such a quality service for a low monthly price? We’ve built in a variety of great features that let you directly manage your website so you can quickly and easily make edits without crashing your own website.
Once your website is up and running, there are a number of helpful features that make editing and using your site easier on both the backend (what you can edit) and frontend (what visitors will see). From choosing your own color scheme to previewing capabilities, these features work together to create a flawless user experience.
These features all boil down to three specific functions that are crucial for any website platform: customization, usability and responsiveness .
When it comes to building a website for your business, you typically have two options: invest in a high-end, custom-built website made by digital marketing experts, or go with the cheaper option by using a content management system like WordPress or Wix to personally manage your site on a template platform.
For some businesses, a website fully designed from scratch is the best option. It gives the business owner the ability to customize every last detail, down to the coding on each page. For others who don’t need a complex site, a simple CMS that allows content to be easily managed will suffice. But for many businesses, neither of these options are exactly what their looking for, which is something in the middle. Something that allows for a customized website built by professionals at a fraction of the cost of a full website design.
Something like the Locallogy Rapid Platform.
Video content is taking over the Internet. Several years ago, the place you were most likely to find this kind of content was YouTube, where you could look up any kind of funny, instructional or music video imaginable. Today, you can find Internet videos everywhere you look: Facebook, Snapchat, Instagram and news network websites. And according to data, it’s a trend that’s not going away.
In a recent visual networking report done by Cisco , it is estimated that global “video traffic will be 82 percent of all consumer Internet traffic by 2021, up from 73 percent in 2016.” So it’s no surprise that businesses have been jumping on board in an effort to keep their audiences’ attention and create content that has more share potential.
Incorporating videos onto your site might seem like something that doesn’t apply to a service-based business like yours. But visuals are a pretty powerful tool when it comes to getting (and keeping) the attention of your customers. Yes, images are crucial to a successful business website, but customized videos are a more engaging way to showcase your products or services. In fact, it’s something we use as a marketing tool for our customers.
We’re all familiar with the concept of saving the best for last. But when it comes to the content on your website, your approach should be the exact opposite. You may not realize it, but the order of your content often determines the rate of conversion your website sees. This concept is known as content hierarchy. Whether you’re a business owner who is creating services pages on your website or you’re just running a personal blog on the Internet, content hierarchy is something that affects the success rate of your web page.
Let’s start at the beginning.