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Controlling Your Online Reputation

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Controlling Your Online Reputation

by Geoff Frink

How Pool Builders Should Leverage Social Proof through Online Reviews

If you own a business, odds are you already have some reviews online. Reviews are unavoidable, and every business should have a plan of action when it comes to fielding them. Positive reviews can grow a business, increase interest, improve conversions and in the long run help organic search rankings, but adversely negative reviews can do a lot of unseen damage.

Why Are Reviews Important?

Leads, sales and signups are arguably the most important part of running a business, and online reviews can make or break conversions. Especially in the pool industry, most consumers will do research before making a big decision like which builder to go with. And your reviews affect the trust needed to do business. In fact, 88% of consumers agree a positive or negative review increases their chances of purchasing a good or service.

Also, although never confirmed by Google or Bing, evidence suggests positive reviews affect your organic search rankings. Positive reviews are commonly displayed prominently on most organic search results. In the 2014 MOZ Local Search Ranking Factors, industry marketers were surveyed on search ranking influencers, and those experts believe review signals (quantity/quality) make up a significant amount of the ranking factors.

 

What You Should Aim For

Below is an example of what your customers should see when they google your business name. If you do a good job getting customer reviews from many of the review sites, they won’t even feel it necessary to read them. Social proof is very persuasive.

  

Which Review Sites Should You Focus On?

Here are the most popular review sites that often show up on the first page of Google. Keep in mind that you must first create a profile on these sites before you can solicit reviews.
Google+ for Business
Yelp
Facebook
Better Business Bureau
Houzz
Yellow Pages
Keep in mind with almost all of these sites, the user leaving the review will need to have an account. For instance, to leave a Google review, a user must have a gmail account. And to leave a Yelp review, a user must be registered with Yelp. Find out what accounts your customers have, and send them to the most appropriate one.

 

Tactics on Getting Reviews

Now that we know where we are focusing our efforts, and have the ability to interact with the community, it’s time to encourage positive reviews. Below are some of the tactics we’ve found to be successful.

1) Link to your Review Site Often
Instead of creating a designated page, you can create a graphic or button that links to your review sites, respectively, and attach this to your sidebars or footer. This will give the consumer an option to leave a review from anywhere on your site.

2) Business Cards
Business cards are meant to be informative and representative of your business, but since we update them rarely review sites tend to be left off, but are important to include. Leaving the URL on a business card does one of two things: encourages the recipient to visit the site before a purchase and gives a satisfied consumer the opportunity to leave a positive review.

3) Flyers
Handing out a flyer to say “feel free to check us out on” or “see what others have said about us on” different review sites.

4) E-mail/Newsletter
If you send out newsletters periodically a link to your review site should be imperative. Providing the consumer with good content after providing a great service, and then asking for a review will yield positive results. For instance, a gym can send a newsletter filled with recipes/work-outs and adding a review site link in the conclusion.

5) Simply Ask
This is probably the single most overlooked, yet cost-effective review driving method. At the end of every sale, every professional should suggest  to check them out on social media.  

It’s a Long Haul

As with most things, it’ll improve over time, but it should be considered a necessity. The natural progression of client reviews is a slow process, but the information above will certainly give you options that can be executed over a long period of time. If properly maintained and utilized your review-ratings and bottom-line will positively reflect your efforts.

About The Author

Geoff Frink is the co-founder of Pool Builder Lead Rocket. Geoff’s passion revolves around working with clients to improve their online presence in order to sell more pools.

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