Utilization of Testimonials and Reviews

  • By Jackie Petre
  • 28 Jun, 2017

Is Your Website Helping or Hurting Your Business? Pt. 2

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.

Displaying Reviews & Relevancy

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.

Negative Reviews

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.

This article is just one part of a larger series, “Is Your Website Helping or Hurting Your Business?” To read the article in its entirety and learn more about leveraging your website, click here .

The Science Behind Digital Marketing

By Jackie Petre 16 Aug, 2017

Everywhere you look nowadays, people have their eyes glued to their cell phones. Between text messaging, taking photos and browsing social media, it’s hard to keep the attention of anyone under the age of 50 for more than a few minutes if their phone is nearby. That’s exactly why marketers started jumping at the opportunity to be right where they wanted to be: a few inches away from their target’s face on a cell phone screen.

In recent years, many small businesses--especially those that use a scheduling system of some sort—have started utilizing SMS (short message service, aka text messaging) as a form of marketing and communication with clients. SMS marketing is an immediate form of communication that has the capability of reaching a largescale audience within seconds, something that emails and phone calls can’t compare to anymore. And with 75% of millennials in a recent survey choosing texting over talking, it makes sense that SMS marketing is a tool small businesses need to start utilizing.

By Jackie Petre 09 Aug, 2017

When was the last time you pulled out your phone to find a nearby restaurant or coffee shop? Probably pretty recently. And when you did, what phrases did you type into the search engine? Probably something along the lines of ‘Mexican restaurant near me,’ or ‘nearby coffee shop.’ With more and more people using their mobile devices to perform Internet searches on-the-go, there has been an increase in usage of the phrase ‘near me.’

And this doesn’t just apply to food searches.

People are searching for specific services using the terms ‘near me’ in industries of all kinds. This simple change in search terms can give users better search results, and can market your business in a wider area. However, this isn’t something Google can do on its own; first, you need to make sure your company’s website is optimized for ‘near me’ searches.

By Jackie Petre 03 Aug, 2017

Google’s latest technological asset for businesses has recently launched, and it’s a game-changer for small businesses that are just starting out. It’s called Google Sites.

For those who have a business but are just figuring out the best way to establish an online presence, Google Sites might be the tool for you. This feature, provided by the search engine, allows business owners to build and manage a mini website on their own, all without the help of a programming professional. It’s not a high-tech website, but for those looking to make basic information about their company and services available to the public, Sites can get the job done.

Anyone who runs a Google My Business account —which should be all business owners—can access this feature and create a mini site in as little as ten minutes. Plus, everything is done through Google, so when you make a change to your local listing, such as updating business hours, the changes will automatically be updated on your website, too. For a small business owner, saving valuable time like this adds up.

Sounds pretty great, huh?

By Jackie Petre 27 Jul, 2017

When you look at your business’s website, are you proud of the way your company is represented? Do you feel like your level of work is accurately portrayed through your photos, web design and site optimization? If you can’t stand using your own site, chances are that your customers won’t either. But before you give up on your company’s online presence, consider the difference your business could see when your website is gaining you new clients rather than repelling them.

When it comes to your company’s online presence, your website can go one of two ways: either it can help your business, or it can hurt your business.
By Jackie Petre 26 Jul, 2017
While it’s obviously important to have quality images of your products or service jobs on your website, you don’t want to overlook the content portion of your site , particularly in the form of descriptions. Providing the visitor with detailed product and service descriptions gives a better idea of what to expect when working with you.
By Jackie Petre 20 Jul, 2017

The purpose of a call-to-action (CTA) is, first and foremost, to provide an instruction to website visitors to contact you immediately, as well as a reason why. It tells them what they will gain from working with you and motivates them to take action to make that happen. Therefore, a good CTA will invoke the customer to contact you on the spot. 

Here's how you can create the perfect call-to-action that will have consumers off your site and in your office. 

By Jackie Petre 17 Jul, 2017

SEO. There it is, that daunting acronym. If you’ve done any research whatsoever about having a successful website, you know that SEO, or Search Engine Optimization, is the foundation of an effective site. It means that your website does a good job of incorporating a bunch of elements, like specific keywords, location and load time, making it easy for people to find your site when they’re searching for local services like yours.

For the sake of keeping this at a basic level, we won’t delve too deep into SEO and how it works . But there are a few parts of it that you can easily incorporate into your website that can help immensely.
By Jackie Petre 11 Jul, 2017

One of the quickest ways you can drive people off of your site is by having an unresponsive website. You might be wondering what makes a website responsive or unresponsive, and what you can do to change that. This all starts with the most important part of your website: your web design.

There are so many elements that factor into website design, and if you don’t utilize your site’s design, your online presence has the ability to hurt your business.

By Jackie Petre 06 Jul, 2017

When it comes to marketing your business online, making your business’s website reflect your brand is an absolute must in any service-based industry. It’s what sets you apart from your competition, establishes your credibility and shows people why you are the best choice for them.

Metric Marketing’s “ Guide to The Importance of Branding in Your Marketing ” breaks branding down to a simple definition:

By Jackie Petre 28 Jun, 2017

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.

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