The internet, social media, and the major search engines have enabled customers to research and learn about companies before they shell out their hard-earned dollars on the services they need. This is good news for reputable companies—at least those with savvy marketing skills and a knowledge of the review sites. However, these review sites are not alike.
Learn more about some of the best-known review websites today, so you can make sure your contracting firm is listed—and that you are getting the high-level reviews your business deserves.
Yelp is a review site—and that is it. The site was designed to help consumers find local enterprises of all types. Yelp reviews often rank high on all search engines for local searches, making it crucial to get listed and even more important that your reviews be accurate and ideally with plenty of 5-star ratings. Additionally, Yelp reviews are syndicated to other services including Apple Maps (for the iPhone), Bing and Yahoo.
Google is the leader in search engines today. Nearly 65% of searches are completed using Google. Anything you can do to improve your standing on this search engine Behemoth is vital. Google reviews are one of the simplest ways you can do just that. All it takes is creating a Google + business account, and then customers can review your business plus you get the social benefits of Google + too.
Bing is the second largest search engine and a crucial player in the review market. Bing reviews work much the same way as they do on Google except that local searches on Bing utilize the reviews from the Yelp Engine. Customers can search reviews locally to find nearby contractors and other service businesses—making it vital that you show up in these listings.
Yahoo is the third largest search engine, but that still translates to millions of searches ever month. Like Bing, Yahoo local searches pull from the Yelp engine. However, due to algorithm differences, you may find that your site shows up higher or lower on one site versus the other, so it is worth looking at the rankings and comparing results.
You may think of Facebook as just a social media platform, but it as quickly grown into much more. When you create a business page for your company, customers can leave reviews. This makes your page more visible through standard search and gives you authority on the Facebook platform as well. This is just one more reason to consider upgrading your page to a business page on Facebook (which is free, by the way).
You may wonder; why doesn’t this article include reference to Thumbtack, Home Advisor or the heavily advertised Angie’s List as important review sites? In actuality, these are not review sites at all. They are paid lead generation tools.
Websites like these may be part of your marketing plan. However, these sites are quite a bit different from a free-form review site (such as Yelp!) that encourages all visitors to leave online reviews and read those left by others.
Now that you know a little more about how online reviews and reputation management for contractors work you may want to explore the concept a bit further.
Poke around our site to learn more about our unique software. We would love to help you start driving more web traffic and getting more calls by harnessing the power of 5-star reviews on the sites that matter most.
Image: Courtesy of Huffington Post