Review sites can be a blessing or a pain, depending on how well you make them work for your business’s inbound marketing strategy. BuildZoom, Angie’s List, Yelp.com and Google+ Local all give disgruntled customers the chance to bash you miserably and there’s absolutely nothing you can do about it.
They can also become a source of great new business leads, however, but you need to maximize your listing to make that happen. With 79 percent of users trusting online reviews more than advertising, you really need to make sure you have some good ones. Here are some of the most common things you can do to improve the leads you get from these sites.
1. Complete Your Profile
You can be passive, or you can choose to participate. Either way, you’re going to be there. BuildZoom, for example, uses data publicly available to list registered home building and remodeling contractors across the country. You might want to ignore it, but you’re listed regardless and if someone wants to post an online review they’re going to do it. It’s far better for your inbound marketing strategy to be an active participant. You have to pay to join Angie’s List but the other three are free – all you have to do is claim your listing and fill out your profile with the information you want people to have.
2. Post Photos
As you know, a picture’s worth 1,000 words, and in the online environment that’s as true as ever. Nothing sells you better than fabulous photos of completed projects, so post as many as you can on your profile. Most online review sites allow a reasonable number of photos, and BuildZoom offers the option to upload project albums. Make sure that when customers come looking for reviews of contractors and find your listing, the content available is good quality, informative and attractive.
3. Build Your Score
Both BuildZoom and Yelp offer scoring options, based on the scores allocated by reviewers. There are ways to improve your score, and on BuildZoom in particular you can increase your score by posting more information, more photos and details such as your website address and social media profiles. The higher your score the more leads you are likely to receive, and the more your reputation will benefit from the listing. Make sourcing online reviews an active part of your inbound marketing strategy.
4. Respond to Comments
In all cases you should respond to comments on online review sites, whether they are positive or negative. On BZ, prospective customers have the option to ask questions and the contractors that respond to more questions improve both their score and their chance of generating leads through the site. Direct leads also increase with a greater level of interaction, because customers can see that you’re present online and interested enough to respond.
Make online review sites work for your business by building up your profiles and keeping on top of the activity and leads from the sites.