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Get More Reviews With These 9 Review Acquisition Tips

Review Acquisition Tips (Cover)

Getting customers to leave reviews of your business has never been more important to success. In an age where people are turning towards self-guided business research, customer reviews shed the most telling light on your business. And potential customers are paying attention to customer reviews. They value the input of someone who has experienced your product or service over your own advertising efforts and even the endorsements of other professionals in the field.

To put an exact number on it, RevLocal states that 91% of people trust online. That’s a huge portion of the consumer pool. Furthermore, 86% of consumers report that online reviews affect their purchasing decisions. 

Have we hammered the point home enough? To reiterate; reviews are important. Vastly important! But how do you get more reviews for your business? As mentioned a bit earlier, satisfied customers are actually less likely to leave a good review than customers who have something bad to say about your business. Galvanizing your happy customers into a small army of marketing outlets takes some practice and discipline. And we have gathered some of the best tips for getting more business reviews from your customers to help you get started.

1) Cast a Wide Net

Reviews are still a numbers game. The more business profiles you have set up the more people will see reviews for your business. If you have a Google My Business profile set up, that’s a great start. But don’t rest on your laurels. Take an hour or two to set up profiles on multiple review websites like Yelp, Better Business Bureau, Trustpilot, Citysearch, and other such websites. If a consumer sees your business across multiple review platforms, they will feel more comfortable about deciding on your product or service. Remember, transparency is important.

2) The Good Ole’ Fashioned Way

The most effective method for acquiring reviews is still to simply ask. As we read in this BrightLocal article, 68% of consumers will leave a review if they have been asked. But it’s not good enough to ask every patron who walks through your doors. These days you have to personalize your requests. Try sending a personalized video to your patrons, thanking them for their patronage, and asking them to leave a review. This is a good way to build rapport with your customers. It will also make them more inclined to comply with your request since they will be able to put a face to the request – it’s easy to simply delete an email asking for a review.

3) Specify Your Requests

People are more likely to leave a review for a specific transaction or interaction they recently had with your business as opposed to a general review. For example, if a repeat customer has just bought some new merchandise from your online store, hit them with a review request of their last purchase. Or if someone is using your service online, send them a follow-up email with a link to leave a review. It basically boils down to this principle: people will be more inclined to review a specific experience than a general impression. You won’t get many results if you simply say “hey, what do you think of my business?” You will, however, incentivize your customers into leaving a review of you to say, “how did you like that shirt you bought from us?”

4) Respond to Reviews

Another great way to get more reviews is to perpetuate the conversation. This means responding to your customers’ reviews of your business. In another statistic provided by BrightLocal, we learn that 89% of consumers look for and read a business’s response to customer reviews. Responding to reviews shows that you care about the customer experience and that you are willing to engage. This will make current customers more likely to leave another review and show potential customers that their future input will be valued. People really relish hearing from the owner of a business that they like. Creating a culture of engagement and interaction can work wonders for your review prospects.

5) Stay Human

People are a lot more empathetic than you probably think – especially if they like your business. Therefore, reminding your customers that reviews are important to the success of small and local businesses is an important way to get more reviews. A lot of customers simply don’t think their opinions matter. Letting them know that a simple review would help out a great deal is a great way to inspire empathy and get your customers to leave a review. This is the human approach to getting more reviews. It is your opportunity to remind your customers that there is a person behind the business. Also, let your customers know that their review helps other customers learn what they liked and even disliked about your business.

6) Make the Review Process Easy

No one wants to take a lot of time out of their busy schedule to leave a review. That’s why, if you intend to get more reviews, you have to make the process as easy as possible for them. Provide them with direct links in an email drip campaign. Place QR codes around your place of business and on your products that lead directly to a review submission page so your customers can simply scan and leave a review. Another great way to make it easy for your customers is to simply write part of the review for them. When you feel you have a happy customer on your hands, be sure you have a positive review template that they can either just sign off on or add a few words to.

7) Encourage Reviews

Don’t incentivize reviews because it’s against the guidelines and could lead to your listing being suspended. However, you can encourage people to leave reviews by making the process extremely simple. By using automatic SMS and email reminders from BrandRevu, you can ensure they don’t forget to leave a review, and that they can do so with just a couple of clicks. Most consumers are open to leave a review but the process is too hard and takes too much time. Make sure that’s not their excuse by making it easy.

8) Employee Rewards

Getting more reviews is a team effort. If you try to get reviews on your own, you won’t have very good results. That’s why it’s a good idea to train your employees to gently encourage the customers they interact with to leave reviews. You can even incentivize your employees as well. Start an employee rewards program in which employees are given a gift or recognition for every review they garner.

9) Automate Review Requests

Lastly, one of the easiest and most effective ways to get more reviews is to automate the process. Personal requests, face-to-face interaction, and even video requests are great but sometimes you simply won’t have the time. Review acquisition services like HubSpot are a great way to launch email campaigns specifically to get more reviews and take the task out of your busy hands. It lacks the personal touch that is typically more effective, but it’s an effortless way to cast a wider net

Success Through Reviews

Consumers trust online reviews because they think like consumers. They know that as a consumer, they are much less likely to leave a favorable review for a business than they are to leave a negative review. So if they see a business that has a lot of positive reviews online, it is a signal to them that the business is doing something really right. 

People also trust businesses with a lot of online reviews (negative or positive) because it signifies transparency. While you don’t want to rack up a bunch of negative reviews, you’re not going to be able to please everyone. Most consumers understand that and empathize. But it is far worse to have no reviews. The bottom line is that most people won’t even give your business the time of day if they see you have no customer reviews. It tells them that you are either unprofessional, have something to hide, or are simply not keeping up with the times. 

Customer reviews can make or break your business in the modern market. But you have to start with getting any kind of reviews you can. It’s akin to that modern financial adage that says “bad credit is worse than no credit at all.”

Getting started is often the most difficult part. If you are ready to reach new heights of success through reviews, reputation management, organic web ranking, and other forms of digital marketing, we can help. We are BrandRevu, and we can not only help you get more reviews but turn those reviews into a brand that people know and trust.  We offer a number of services for your business and can personalize your marketing efforts. So give us a call and find out how we can grow your business.  

The #1 Review Software for HVAC Companies

Review Software for HVAC Cover

Looking for review software for HVAC contractors? BrandRevu is a great solution. This software provides jobsite check-ins that are populated onto your website based on the area served. When you combine this with BrandRevu’s ability to help generate reviews from satisfied customers, you have the basis for the strongest local SEO campaign in your community. Reputation management for HVAC companies can change the game in 2020.

Taking your reputation into your own hands as an HVAC contractor is crucial. Reputation management is vital to growing your customer base and making sure that warm leads see your company when they perform local searches for HVAC contractors. Reviews are an integral part of reputation management. They can make or break your business. There is a host of stats to back up the assertion that customer reviews are integral to a company’s success such as 71% of consumers won’t make a purchasing decision until they have read some online reviews. 

Rest assured, there are plenty more but you probably get the picture by now. If you already have a robust review page on your HVAC company’s website then kudos to you. You have already tackled one of the most difficult parts of reputation management: procuring customer reviews. But how diversified are your reviews? Are you missing out on even more reviews? Are you able to reply to your negative reviews and your positive reviews?

Getting Reviews

Before you walk you have to learn how to crawl. If your business is in its infancy or you simply haven’t been able to pay much attention to review acquisition then pay close attention to this section. There are lots of ways you can procure reviews for your HVAC business. But the first and most effective way is still through word of mouth requests. In a study conducted by Bright Local, 70% of surveyed consumers said that they would leave reviews if they simply asked. So don’t be afraid to ask the people you service. After a routine air conditioner tune-up, ask your satisfied customer to leave a review on your website. After replacing a busted coil, tell your customer how much it would mean to your business if they left a review too. Here are a few more helpful tips for getting more customer reviews:

  • Make Sure your Team is Asking – You probably aren’t able to be on every job your company gets. That’s why it’s important to train your team to ask for reviews when the job is done. Teach them the polite and non-intrusive ways to ask customers for reviews. You may even want to incentivize review acquisition for your team by starting a rewards program for your team (think gifts, gift cards, special recognition, etc.)
  • Email Campaigns – Email drip campaigns that target reviews are another way to get the reviews flowing. HubSpot is a useful resource to help launch email campaigns for acquiring reviews as well. But of course, if you have your customers’ email addresses, you can have a templated email that you send out yourself in which you gently request a review. Make sure that your email has a link to where they can easily leave a review. Remember, if the process of leaving a review isn’t easy for your customers, they will be less likely to do so. 
  • Keep the Conversation Going – If you have a few reviews on your website but want more, be sure to respond to the ones you have. Bright Local has another telling statistic that we can all learn from when they report that 89% of consumers actually seek out companies that reply to customer reviews. Replying to reviews (we will get into more detail about this a bit later) is a great way to show customers that you care about their experience. And new customers who use your business because they see that you reply to your reviews are much more inclined to leave a review themselves.

Why HVAC Companies Need Review Software

Garnering a good reputation is a dual-pronged effort. Of course, it takes quality service in the field. In fact, that is the most important part. If you offer unreliable or shoddy service, no amount of digital marketing will help your business succeed in the long-run. But the second part of establishing a strong reputation that will keep your business going strong for years to come is in the digital front. Strong digital marketing efforts are a crucial part of building and maintaining a good reputation as an HVAC contractor.

This is why review software for HVAC companies becomes so important – especially as your company grows. Take a look at what we mean:

  • Review Software Saves Time – Review software can consolidate all the various platforms where you might have customer reviews. Trying to reply to, approve, and go over reviews across three, four, or five different platforms can be very time-consuming. It can also lead to bad customer experience. As an HVAC contractor, your time is precious. Solid review software will consolidate all your review data into one inbox, saving you a ton of time and making the customer experience better.
  • Review Software Helps with Local SEO – There are a lot of online businesses that don’t have to worry about local SEO because they aren’t targeting a single specific area. But as an HVAC contractor, you run a local business and you need to show up on local searches. In a Smart Insights infographic, we see that the review signal accounts for 13% of organic local search engine results. That’s a big chunk of the SERP pie. Review software will help you manage your good reviews and prioritize ones that make mention of your locality which will then in turn help Google rank your website when someone does a local search.
  • Review Software Helps with Reputation – It all ties back to building a solid reputation. Review software will help you gather reviews so that you have a strong base of customer feedback to springboard from. By making it easier for you to filter reviews and reply to them, review software can help you manage your reputation more efficiently.

What is the Best Review Software for HVAC Companies?

Here at Brand Revu, we have the best review software for HVAC companies. Our review software emphasizes local SEO because local SEO is the key to growing your local business. What makes us the best? Take a look:

  • Diversifying your Review Platforms – It’s great to have your business profile on Google My Business, but that shouldn’t be your sole focus. When leads see that your company has reviews across a broad range of platforms like Angie’s List, the Better Business Bureau, Yelp, and others, it establishes your company as a trustworthy authority. Our software makes it easy to diversify your review platform and get reviews on more websites that will point potential customers right back to your own.
  • Response to Reviews – Ideally, you want to be able to respond to all of your reviews both negative and positive. But as a full-time HVAC contractor, you likely don’t have the time for that. But our software makes it easy to leave a reply to reviews across all platforms, increasing customer interaction, and trust in your brand. Our response software will help you attract and convert more customers. 
  • Review Widgets – It’s great to have reviews on a bunch of different websites but you should have a centralized location on your website where your visitors will be able to see all those reviews in one place. That’s where our Brand Revu Widget comes into play. We place a sleek, widget feed on your website that will display all your glowing reviews so potential customers can plainly see. The way the reviews are displayed is almost as important as what the reviews say so we make sure that our widget is smooth, attractive and professional-looking.
  • Review Management – Believe it or not, 5-star reviews are no longer the ideal. When a customer sees that you have a perfect aggregate rating, it arouses suspicion of foul play in the mind of a consumer. Our review software will help you manage your aggregate review scores so that they stay in the perfect range of about 4.2-4.9.

BrandRevu software can help with all-around reputation management. We take your business very seriously and provide a customized package so you can overcome the challenges that your particular faces every day.  At the end of the day, HVAC contractors turn to us over other reputation management software developers because we put a special emphasis on local SEO. We know how important local SEO is to the growth of your company, and we optimize our software for it. To find out more, get in touch with us. 

How to Rank Your Business on Google in Multiple Cities

Rank SEO in Multiple Cities Blog Cover

Since the inception of SEO, small businesses have consistently faced the problem of ranking for keywords in multiple cities. This is especially challenging to Service Area Businesses (SAB’s) who often serve a wide range of areas and communities. Although their office address (or home office) may be located in a small suburb, they are able to travel 10 minutes to reach consumers in a much larger metro area. But how are these consumers going to find them? Here’s what we know about multi-location SEO in 2020:

Google My Business Favors The Local Listing

As many local SEO experts have demonstrated, Google Map Pack rankings favor the local listing whenever possible. The location data is based on Google Maps business information. If you are a roofer whose business listing is set in Plano, TX you are going to have trouble showing up for terms like dallas roofer, or for searches like roofer near me when the searcher’s device is pinged within a Dallas zip code. See an example below:

Dallas Roofer Local Search

Organic Rankings are Based on Other Factors

Generally, local SEO city landing pages will only rank if A) they are endorsed through links from other relevant entities within that community, or B) they have original content (like user-generated reviews and check-ins) that validate a business’s credibility within a specific geographic radius. With BrandRevu’s technology, both reviews and check-ins are added to location pages (automatically) which allows the page to rank in a city that your business has serviced, but is not actually located in. See an example:

Plano Roofer Organic Search

Google My Business Service Area Challenges

Google My Business is an essential tool for marketing your business. It makes it easier for people who need your services to find you. But what if you are a service area business? Ranking outside of your main zip code is notoriously difficult because Google prioritizes local searches based on which businesses actually have a physical address within the specified area. And, the further your venture out from your physical address, the more competition there is. You may only have 10 or so competing businesses within your own zip code but that number balloons to dozens the further you go out.

Google is always trying to enhance their user experience and location specification is a big part of that. That’s why it has been so difficult for service area business to get ranked in the areas that they serve. 

In today’s post we are going to be talking about the challenges related to Google My Business service area ranking. We will also be discussing some of the ways you can overcome those challenges and be seen by more people outside the city where your business is physically located. And if you have any questions or would like to get started ranking higher in other areas right away, contact us here at Brand Revu.

The Origin of the Problem

Like with so many other good things in life, a handful of bad apples ruined the whole bunch. Google My Business used to have a feature that allowed businesses to set their physical location and then an “areas served” radius that surrounded that centralized location. It was a nice and convenient feature to be sure. But people started abusing it. Businesses were frequently exaggerating their service area radius just to show up in more searches even though they didn’t really work in those areas.

So naturally, as part of Google’s ceaseless quest to make their user’s happy, they struck this feature down. Now, it isn’t so easy to rank using Google My Business service area as many businesses have found out. But as Google shut one big door, they opened a window at the same time.

How the Problem is Being Remedied

Service area businesses were thrilled when Google unveiled their new service area features. While it’s not as easy as expanding your areas served radius on a map, it increases the quality of search results, which in the end, is better for your business.

There is now a Google My Business wizard that helps you specify all of your unique areas served. And while it can be a bit tedious (especially if you operate in a lot of cities) it is really very simple. There is now a “Where do you Serve Your Customers” section of the Google My Business profile setup process. In this section, you can list as many areas by name as you want. The city names you enter will then appear under the Overview section of your Google My Business Profile.

Super Specific Challenges

Business owners operating in large cities like Los Angeles and Dallas may come across another challenge with their Google My Business service area. Cities like these are massive and they have within them specific areas and neighborhoods of their own. The problem is, these smaller areas are still covered under city names like Los Angeles and Dallas. So business owners in these types of areas haven’t been able to let their customers know that they serve their specific area until recently.

In addition to including city names, Google has made it easier for businesses in large metropolitan areas to be found by searchers. You can now enter specific zip codes for areas that may not have their own specific name.

Adding New Service Areas to GMB

Another way Google has made it easier for businesses to manage their Google My Business service area is by not locking them into one area after they set up their profiles. You can go into your Google My Business dashboard and make changes to the Storefront Address and Service Area sections as needed. This is a great feature for businesses that are growing and frequently adding new cities to their service coverage area. 

Understanding and Overcoming Challenges

The challenge of ranking outside of one’s own zip code is just one in a series of many more to come. As Google endlessly finds ways to improve its service, there will surely be more changes to frustrate businesses owners and DIY marketers alike. 

It’s important to understand these challenges as they arise so that you can find ways to overcome them. Here at BrandRevu, it is our job to stay abreast of all such changes in ranking criteria and other marketing trends. We can help you traverse this ever-changing terrain so call us today!

Can You Have A Google Listing With no Address?

So, can you be listed on Google My Business with no physical address? The simple answer is no. You cannot set up and verify your Google My Business with no physical address given. The reason for this is that a physical address is an important part of the Google My Business verification process. In order to verify you as a real business, Google uses the physical address you give to send out a verification number. Once you confirm this verification number with Google, your listing will be verified.

So the simple answer is no but for your intents and purposes as a business owner, there is no need to have a storefront address.

GMB Hidden Address

You Can Still Use Google My Business

Using the examples mentioned earlier in this post, you may run an online business or you may operate your business out of your home. Using Google My Business is critical for service areas businesses because it lets your customers know that you operate in their area. Yes, you do have to give some physical address for Google to verify your business but the good thing about the verification process is that the address you give doesn’t have to be a storefront address. In other words, you can give Google your home address if your business doesn’t have its own physical address. But what if you don’t want to give out your home address?

Hiding your GMB Address

The process of listing your home address on Google My Business but keeping it invisible to the public is actually very easy:

  • Navigate to the dashboard of your Google My Business Profile
  • In the top right-hand corner, click the button that reads “Manage Now”
  • Provide the business name information it asks for during the prompts
  • Once you have filled out your business name information, you will be prompted to list an address for your business. 
  • List your home address or the residential address you wish to use
  • Check the “I deliver goods and services to my customers” box
  • Then, check the “Hide my address (it’s not a store) box 
  • Complete the setup process as normal

See? We told you it was easy. Now your business can be verified and your home address won’t be available for the public to see.

Service Areas

Now that you know how to set up your Google My Business listing without using a business address, it’s time to list the areas that you serve. Listing service areas on GMB is absolutely crucial for service area businesses. When people click on your Google My Business profile, they will see under the overview section whether or not you operate in their area. In fact, 97% of people will use online resources like Google My Business to research local businesses. 

So you simply cannot afford to omit this step. Luckily, the process is pretty easy if not a bit tedious. Google My Business now allows you enter as many individual locations as you want when you set up your listing. In the setup wizard, you will come across a section titled, “Where do you serve your customers?” In the field they provide you can type in the names of the cities that you service. You can also enter zip codes if you want/have to be really specific.

Need More Answers?

We hope you have found our post helpful. Always remember that you don’t have to be pigeon-holed or hindered in any way if your business does not have a storefront address. Arm yourself with the answers and resources you need to thrive. Get in touch with us here at BrandRevu and let us help you grow your business.

Posted: | Updated: May 28, 2020 | Categories: Local SEO

What is the Ideal Review Star Rating in 2020?

Review Rating Blog Cover

What is the ideal review star rating? A perfect 5, right? That would be the most obvious answer and the most ideal situation. After all, don’t we all strive for perfection? Doesn’t a 5-star rating shout to the world that you have made it to the apex and are the best of the best? Doesn’t everyone want the best of the best?

Well, the answers to all these questions as they pertain to online reviews management for your business may surprise you. That’s because perfection is not the ideal anymore. It has been shown in recent studies that consumers are actually more likely to trust and patronize a business that has a less than perfect star rating – in between 4.2 and 4.5-star ratings to be exact.

And while this data seems to go against everything we were told growing up and in school – be the best you can possibly be, only the strong survive, being the best will bring you success, etc. – there are actually some very logical reasons why this is now the case in 2020.

In 2020, review perfection is no longer what you should strive for and before we get into ways you can achieve the new standard, it would help to understand why sub-perfection is the new standard.

What’s The Best Aggregate Review Rating?

The average consumer prefers a business to be rated between 4.2 and 4.5 stars. A rating in this range indicates a healthy ratio of mostly positive reviews with a limited but realistic amount of negative reviews. Other variables are also at play including how often you respond to reviews and how many platforms you have a review star rating on (Google, Yelp, Facebook, etc.)

Ideal Review Rating Screenshot

Do 5-Star Ratings Cause Skepticism?

Have you ever heard the adage “if something seems too good to be true then it probably is”? This saying perfectly applies to how people perceive perfect –star review ratings online. See, people in 2020 are more skeptical than they have ever been. In a time when fake news is rampant, corporate scandals are the norm and almost nothing is as it really appears, people are wising up and second-guessing “perfection.” Think about beautiful Hollywood starlets and the most dashing leading men on the silver screen. People tend to think of this type of beauty as unrealistic or unobtainable. And if it’s unobtainable, then it must not be real. It must be a mirage.

People apply the same attitude to flawless online reviews. They think that if it looks perfect, it must not be real or it must not really be on the up and up. People who see perfect 5-star business reviews tend to think that they paid for those reviews, they wrote the reviews themselves or cheated the system in some other way. 

Can 5-Star Reviews Hurt Your Business?

It is important to note that not everyone is cynical in 2020. In fact, the number of people who outright trust the things they read online is still staggeringly high. More than half of internet users report that they trust opinions they read online as truth, including reviews. But even this majority has been historically hesitant to patronize businesses with perfect 5-star review ratings. It’s not because they don’t believe that such ratings are legit – but rather because they perceive the goods and/or services of such businesses as out of their reach.

They figure that if a business is that good then they wouldn’t be able to afford what they are offering. 

So as you can see, a perfect 5-star review rating can hurt your business in more ways than one. Yes, the new ideal is somewhere between 4.2 and 4.5 star review rating. Basically, you want to be just south of perfection. But how do you strike that perfect yet delicate balance? Here is some non-perfection to set your aim on.

Realistic Positive/Negative Review Ratios

Of course, you should have mostly good reviews. But preserving a good ration between good reviews and bad reviews is more important. You should always have a couple of negative reviews to balance out your good reviews. That’s because most people are reasonable. They empathize with their mistakes. They know that even the best businesses don’t bat .1000. Most people expect flaws every now and then and these flaws are what make your business more believable and trustworthy.  

In fact, studies show that up to 82% of consumers actually look for negative reviews when choosing between businesses online. They want to see what they can reasonably expect from your business. They look for about a 7:1 ratio of good reviews to bad. It tells them that any negative customer experiences were isolated incidents and not par for the course.

Replying to Negative Reviews

It isn’t enough to simply keep a good ratio. You need to make sure that you are responding to bad reviews. This shows consumers that you care about their experience.

That aforementioned statistic about 82% of people actually seeking out negative reviews doesn’t tell the whole story. That 82 % of people are actually looking to see how you reply to those bad reviews. In fact, an impressive 89% of people actually read businesses’ reply to negative reviews. People are paying attention to your words as a business owner as much as the words of their fellow consumers. 

In your replies, be sure to pay attention to the specifics of what made the customer unhappy and let them know how you intend to make it right.

Negative Review Response Screenshot

A Sub-Perfect Rating Has Appeal

A lot of testimonial widgets allow you to disapprove of or hide any ratings you choose from your website. And most business owners only approve and display 5-star review ratings. But you should show the authenticity of your reviews by also approving the ones that aren’t stellar. This doesn’t mean that you should flood your widget with a bunch of one-star reviews. But you should be more inclusive with the reviews you choose to display. Don’t be afraid to show your flaws. Doing so will make you more relatable, approachable, and believable to potential customers.

Maintaining Your Review Ratio

It can be hard maintaining a delicate 4.2 to 4.5 review rating but it is an integral part of reputation management. We are here for all your digital marketing needs at BrandRevu. We can provide you with the resources and services you need to endear your business to a wide customer base. Contact us today.

Reputation Management Statistics you Should Know

Reputation Management Statistics Cover

Reputation management statistics. Are they reliable? We know that fake online reviews statistics exist. Anyone can just make up a number and publish it as empirical data. BrandRevu has collected a series of stats that we find the most reliable so that you as a customer can understand the importance of online reputation management software for SMB’s. Reputation management is an indelible part of the business review process. The reviews that your customers leave play a part in how your business is perceived by others. That can be a scary prospect for many business owners. However, when you take control of your brand’s reputation, you can produce terrific results.

7 Statistics for Reputation Management

1|Negative Reviews are Massively Impactful

The impact of a single negative review can’t be understated. In a survey conducted by Review Tracker, it was found that 94% of respondents reported that a negative review has kept them from patronizing a business in the past. Understanding how much impact a negative review can have is the first step toward traversing the pitfalls of reputation management.

Negative Review Screenshot

2|Replying to Reviews is Important

A lot of business owners think their job is done when a customer has left a positive review of their goods or services. But to leave a good review alone is to leave a great opportunity on the table. That’s because 71% of consumers are inclined to come back to a business that has responded to their review. And so many business owners are failing to do so. A whopping 63% of survey responders say that a business has never left a reply on their reviews. Replying to reviews lets a customer know that you value their input and experience with you. It is also a great way to engage and build up a rapport with your customers – critical for reputation management.

Good Review Response Screenshot

3|Replying to Negative Reviews is Also Important

What do you do with negative reviews? Do you leave them alone and hope they get buried by positive reviews? How do you turn a negative review into a positive perception of your business? A Cornell University study suggests that one way to do this is to respond to negative reviews. When you own up to a perceived flaw in your business, you are showing customers that you care about providing good service. Be sure to reply to negative reviews kindly, and seek ways to improve your service.

Negative Review Response Screenshot

4|Business Ratings Matter

Google My Business profiles are important. And your ratings could tell the tale of your success. There are tons of statistics that point to the importance of your business rating. For instance, only 53% of consumers would consider trusting a business that has less than a 4-star rating. And if your business has just under a 5-star rating, you could be losing up to 12% of your potential customer base. It is clear that doing what it takes to achieve and maintain a high business rating can help propel your business to success.

Google Reviews Management

5|Review Content is A Commodity

What is review content? Review content is literally what a customer has written in a review about your business – and it is almost as precious as gold. People trust what other consumers have to say about your business. In a Forrester study, it was found that review content actually ranks higher than content created by a business or organization. This suggests that people are more willing to believe what others have to say about your business than what you have to say about it.

Local SEO Automation Screnshot

6|Keeping Current Reviews is Vital

A staggering 85% of consumers don’t rely on reviews that are more than 3 months old. Reputation management is an ongoing job but this statistic drives the point home. If you are not cultivating reviews from your customers and not making it easy for them to do so, you are falling behind. Consumers are very “what have you done for me lately?” oriented and you need to keep current reviews to draw new customers to your business.

3-Month Old Review Screenshot

7|Reputation Management is Important for Staffing

On the employee side, it is clear to see that reputation is essential to keeping a robust staff. As we read in another Review Trackers article, 84% of job hunters consider the reputation of a company critical to which jobs they apply for. If your company’s reputation is terrible, you may have the bottom of the barrel choices in terms of applicants – and that perpetuates sub-par service and reputation.

Bad Review Rating Screnshot

Applying Stats to The Real World

Think about it; just one bad review can negatively affect the way potential customers perceive your business. And in the digital age that is a surefire blow to your finances. But it’s not all bad news for business owners.

Reputation Management Statistics for Small Businesses

Taking Control of Your Reputation

You shouldn’t be frightened at the thought of reputation management. In fact, you should be heartened by it. Because it is so easy for people to get a gauge on your business with search engines and online reviews, you have a golden opportunity to take control of your business’s reputation and mold the narrative in your favor. 

Time is Money

We understand the challenges and time constraints of the modern business owner. In times like these, it is more important than ever to successfully manage your business’s reputation. But it is a laborious and time-consuming process. We are here to help. Here at BrandRevu, we specialize in leveraging customer reviews of your business towards the goal of more sales. We offer review management for agencies and small businesses. Our software provides geolocation coding and reputation management services.

Be Proactive

It can be easy to get bogged down in these reputation management statistics but don’t let the numbers get you down. Be proactive. Reply to reviews both good and bad, stay engaged with your current customer base, and always be on the lookout for ways you can improve your products and services. There is always something that can be done to improve your company’s reputation so stay vigilant. 

And as always, we can help manage your company’s reputation, improve it, and provide you with a host of services to help your site rank higher on SERPs.

Reputation Management Software for Agencies: The Ultimate Guide

Reputation Management Software for Agencies: The Ultimate Guide (Cover)

SEO agencies understand the importance of meeting their clients’ needs. If you aren’t providing value in one aspect of digital marketing, another agency will, and they will take your clients in the process. Keeping your customers happy is a common-sense goal for agencies, but it’s unrealistic to expect that you’ll have every solution in-house. As local SEO becomes more competitive, the value of reputation management progressively increases. Agencies require scalable reputation solutions to optimize their SEO clients locally and help them generate leads.

Introduction: Why Reputation Management Matters in 2020

According to Bright Local, 82% of consumers read online reviews for local businesses, including 94% of those between 35-54 years of age. For most of your clients, 9 in 10 of their target customers will check reviews prior to making a purchase decision. The quality and quantity of those reviews can be the difference between a qualified lead and no inquiry at all.

Local Consumers Looking for Local Businesses Online

Part 1: Reviews Management

Reputation encompasses more than just reviews, but they are certainly the most prominent and important aspect of online reputation. As a digital marketing agency, you have likely seen this reflected in your customer data. A simple review of Google Analytics for clients should indicate that businesses with a collection of positive reviews are generating more clicks to their website. That data doesn’t even account for those who call straight from the business listing on GMB.

Google Reviews Management

Speaking of Google My Business (GMB), it is the most critical review portal for 99% of your clients. Not only is it one of the most trusted review sources on the web, but it plays an integral part in where the business ranks on Google search results within the Local Map 3-Pack. The first step is facilitating a process where it’s easy for customers to leave a review on Google. Managing them requires monitoring the listing activity and responding to them, when necessary. 

Google Reviews Management

Facebook Reviews Management

Facebook reviews (aka recommendations) are considered by many as the 2nd most important testimonial (behind Google). The rationale is simple, Facebook is the largest social network in the world, and the one that hosts the most business accounts of any social networking platform. Customers with Facebook profiles can check in on a business page. If your client’s business doesn’t have a Facebook page, they are behind the curve. These reviews will be key in 2020.

Facebook Reviews Management Screenshot

Yelp Reviews Management

According to Review Trackers, 80% of Yelp users will backpedal on would-be purchases after reading through negative reviews. This statistic highlights two important factors in the world of reputation management: Yelp as a platform, and negative reviews as user-generated content. Managing Yelp reviews requires monitoring for negative reviews and generating a steady stream of positive reviews to limit the impact of a single bad review, and validate a business.

Yelp Reviews Management

Niche Reviews Management

Every industry has certain directories that apply more appropriately to their niche. These directories will vary depending on the industry of your client. You should make sure your client’s NAP information is registered on their corresponding niche directories and monitor any reviews that come through those platforms. Although most users check general reviews like GMB, Yelp, or Facebook, there are specific industries like law firms, for example, that have special needs.

Niche Reviews Management Screenshot

Part 2: Check-Ins

Check-ins are the natural evolution of online reviews for small businesses. How can internet users ensure the reviewer actually used the service, rather than living with a suspicion that some reviews are fake? The answer comes in the form of online check-ins which are made possible with BrandRevu. Brick and Mortar companies can check in to their job sites and verify that they actually serviced the location they claimed to have, creating free UGC for the website.

Check-Ins by Location

Agencies know that local SEO is complex because of service-area coverage. A plumber in Fort Worth, TX may also service Dallas, TX, and each of the mid-cities between. But how can such a contractor market themselves as the go-to plumber in areas outside their GMB address city? Check-ins by location allow for the contractor to prove their work throughout cities within their service area and publish social proof on their website that supports their credibility in a zip code. 

Check-Ins By Location

Check-Ins by Service Type

Google My Business validates service types from the company website, which means it’s not enough to simply list your services on the GMB listing. By generating service-based check-ins, your site will display user-generated content that verifies your service types. By proving jobs for different service types you can begin to rank your client for both Local Maps listings and organic search results. Furthermore, you can increase conversions with the previously cited social proof.

Check-Ins by Service Type

Employee Check-In Capability

As a business owner, you aren’t working every job you book. In some cases, you aren’t working any of them on-site. With BrandRevu, the employees booked for the job will have the ability to login and check-in on the job site. You can create unique log-ins for each of your employees so that their accounts can be terminated if they leave, without disrupting your BrandRevu dashboard. Large businesses are going to benefit from sending contractors to multiple areas.

Employee Check-In Screenshot

User-Generated Content

Writing city or location pages can be very redundant for agencies and their clients. In fact, writing very similar pages for thousands of cities can hurt your SEO performance and make your website look like spam. With check-ins from BrandRevu, user-generated content is always unique and always validated with social proof. Every review that mentions a specific location or service type can be added to the corresponding web page and organically rank for those keywords.

User Generated Content Screenshot

Part 3: Branding and Local SEO

Branding is already a major factor in SEO and will become even more important in the next few years. Google is moving towards entities as a way of discerning legitimate websites from spam. Local contractors can establish themselves as an entity through reviews management and local-check ins. The most effective way to create an entity is to prove to Google that you do real business for real customers. As you accumulate check-ins and reviews, you can rank better.

Branded SERP

Your clients who perform well online have people searching directly for their brand name rather than finding them only through keywords. Any company that generates branded searches has an optimized GMB listing that showcases their reviews and NAP information. Once your brand becomes large enough, the SERP will show a knowledge panel that integrates your GMB listing. The organic results will then show your website and your profile on other review platforms.

Branded SERP Screenshot

Social Proof

Agencies know from their own sales experience that social proof is critical to converting prospective customers. A contractor won’t sign-up for SEO if your agency doesn’t demonstrate value that can be validated by external sources, like reviews. Reputation management software like BrandRevu creates that social proof in the process of doing everything else your client needs for online success, which will ultimately drive prospective customers to their own website.

Social Proof

Local Ranking

Organic SEO and local SEO are based on separate algorithms but there are tools like BrandRevu that empower them to work together. With BrandRevu, your agency clients can rank on the Local Map Pack and organic search results, based on the results from their reputation campaign. In fact, our goal at BrandRevu was to create a reputation management tool for agencies that could be used to rank their local SEO clients locally, on Maps and organic.

Local Ranking Screenshot

Local SEO Automation

Small businesses need local SEO fundamentals from their agency. An optimized GMB account to go along with a locally optimized website (with BrandRevu) covers the basics of what every small business owner needs from your agency. Clients who perform well with only the basics are less likely to expect unrealistic results from their agency, and you will retain them for longer. In addition, the time saved allows your agency to focus on other aspects of their campaign.

Local SEO Automation Screenshot

Conclusion: Choose BrandRevu for Your SEO Agency

Running an SEO agency is not easy work and it requires large-scale practices to be applied to a group of clients. BrandRevu provides reputation management software for agencies, simplifying the process tenfold. By providing each client with local SEO fundamentals, the rest of your work can focus on what separates you from competitors… which is why agencies were created.

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