Historically, you may have focused your team on doing great work, and word-of-mouth and referrals will follow on their own. To an extent, that is still true today, when friends and neighbors share tips about contractors they trust. More recently, however, these conversations have moved online – to Google, Yelp, Facebook, Nextdoor, and other platforms – available for all to see. That’s powerful stuff, and can be daunting and exciting at once.
As a business owner, you may feel helpless in the age of user-generated content, but we’re here to tell you that you CAN play a proactive role in online conversations if you make it part of your process and ASK for online reviews after every job. By asking your happy customers to share their experiences with your business, you can gain control and ensure that the quality of the work you do is reflected online. It’s all about incorporating online reviews into your overall marketing strategy.
How can generating great reviews make a difference in your lead gen strategy?
Reviews build trust among prospective clients and improve “social proof”. A recent study found that 82% of consumers read online reviews about local businesses. If your business has strong ratings on Google or Yelp, and if you are reviewed by dozens or hundreds of happy homeowners, prospective clients will safely assume that you do good work.
The average consumer reads 10 reviews before feeling able to trust a business. On the other hand, if you’re a low-rated business with few reviews, homeowners will assume that your work is of low quality – and you’re most likely low on anyone’s list of companies to call.
A similar study shows that 87% of consumers won’t consider a business with low ratings. Think about how that perception defines your brand. Which business would you rather be?
Reviews are the new form of referral. Word-of-mouth and referrals are now shared in social posts, comments, and through online reviews. With a few keystrokes and clicks, one person’s experience with your business has the potential to reach hundreds or thousands of homeowners in your community. If you agree that referrals are a great lead source and are interested in generating more of them, start with getting that referral in front of as many of your potential buyers as possible. Encourage happy homeowners to post their feedback where it’ll pack a punch – on Google, Facebook, or whichever platforms have the most visibility in your target market.
Reviews improve your business’s online presence and help improve your SEO. Google is purposefully opaque about how its ever-changing search algorithm works. However, we do know directly from Google that “High-quality, positive reviews from your customers will improve your business’s visibility and increase the likelihood that a potential customer will visit your location.” This is no surprise. After all, ratings and reviews are among the first thing searchers see when looking for a business by category in their area (such as “roofers in Denver”) OR if searching a business by name. By generating consistent and recent reviews, you’ll keep your business relevant to local search, strengthening your online presence and SEO.
A proactive approach to online review generation will drive more referrals, online traffic, and word-of-mouth for your business, generating a positive return on investment.
Interested in learning more about including online review generation in your marketing strategy? Contact our team to learn more.