Contractors know the importance of good word of mouth. When word gets out that you do great work, the jobs seem to come in a lot more often with a lot less effort in terms of your sales and marketing. These days, of course, your reputation is largely built or torn down by what people say about your business online, so it’s important to take a proactive stance as an HVAC Contractor or as a contractor in general. So here are three key things to consider in regard to online reviews:
- Reviews get clicks. As humans we’re curious by nature, and if we’ve got a problem that needs solving, it’s good to see some feedback before you let someone into your house. Not surprisingly, multiple studies on click through rates (percentage of times a Google search result gets clicked) proves to be heavily influenced by whether or not a result has a star rating for reviews attached to it. Check out this listing below, do you wonder who gets the most clicks? Even if you’re ranking second or third in the map listings, if you can get five reviews before your competitors do, you’ll be more likely to garner a higher share of clicks than you would otherwise, so it makes sense to actively pursue more reviews.
- Reviews get better rankings. See the above screen grab or below…or just do a search for any local services and you’ll find a pretty high correlation between the number of reviews a business receives and how well they rank. From Google’s perspective, they only have so many signals to rely upon for how often a brick and mortar business gets used, so a steady stream of online reviews gives Google a better sense that one business may be more popular than another, thereby giving them more confidence to rank you higher.
- Build reviews into your business process. It’s pretty clear that getting reviews are important, but rather than make a one-time push to get reviews it makes much more sense to build this into your regular business processes. Once service is complete, leave your customers with a professionally printed leave-behind that asks them to leave a Google review, or a review on other popular contractor sites where they found you like Angie’s List, HomeAdvisor or Yelp. For Google reviews, there are handy tools like the Grade.us Google review link generator that creates a link you can email customers that automatically opens up the Google review window. How easy is that?
Pro tip: Take the link generated by this tool and use a link shortener like https://bit.do/ and create a customized, easy to type code for any print pieces you leave behind, or even for emails so they look a little neater than the long links the tool generates.
The other key reason to build gathering reviews into your business process is that Google is going to want to see a consistent stream of reviews as opposed to a big pile of them showing up at once, and then stopping. This will reek of manipulation and could be a negative signal that works against you. Plus, if your competitors see you do this and then surpass you, you’ll be back to playing catch up.
Do you have a plan in place to take advantage of Google reviews? If your competition isn’t already taking advantage of this you have a real opportunity to move first and gain a sustainable advantage. If you’re not tech savvy enough or still don’t think you’ll be able to find the time to try to tackle reviews with your own staff, you may want to look into a service like Guild Quality who will do the legwork of getting you reviews and posting them on social media. Whichver path you choose to take, now is the time to use the power of reviews to help build your business.