Have you ever used a new product or service for your company, or even for personal use without any recommendations or reviews? If so, you likely felt uneasy about it because you didn’t have any “social proof.” Social proof is a social phenomenon that helps us feel more comfortable about our decisions based on our peers’ actions.
We love hearing about other people’s experiences, and we use them to make informed decisions. Nearly 90 percent of consumers trust online reviews from strangers just as if they were coming from friends or family members.
Positive reviews and ratings are the #1 way users picked a business from Google’s Local Pack.
In this blog, we’ll be discussing why referral marketing is an effective way to market your business.
What do the statistics say?
Let’s start with some statistics that prove the efficacy of referral marketing.
91 percent of consumers read online reviews for local businesses
90 percent of consumers read less than ten reviews before they form an opinion about a company
73 percent of consumers think that reviews older than three months are no longer relevant
58 percent of consumers feel that the star rating of a business is more important than any other factor
65 percent of new business comes from word of mouth
These statistics tell you a lot about what you can do to push your company to the top. You want to have numerous current reviews as potential customers will use it to form an opinion about your contractor business before hiring you.
The benefits of online reviews
Reputation marketing has taken off in the past few years. Businesses are finally starting to realize that having reviews and referrals from previous customers can help them stand out among their competitors. If you’re wondering how reviews and referrals could help your contractor business, here are the top 5 benefits.
Reviews help your business rank higher on search engine results
Reviews factor into local search rankings, which means you can use it to your advantage when driving traffic to your website. If you’re looking for ways to rank higher on Google, then online reviews are a must-have! Start collecting now from past customers.
Reviews improve click-through rates
As a contractor company, one of your goals is to get searchers to click on your link when it shows up in search engines. When your business has positive online reviews, you’re much more likely to get traffic to your website. In fact, positive reviews and ratings are the top way (57%) that users picked a business from Google’s Local Pack according to a recent survey. Here were the other methods.
Liked the business name (10%)
Top result (9%)
First result noticed (7%)
Picked at random (7%)
Business location (7%)
Not sure (4%)
Reviews build trust with potential customers
Almost 90 percent of customers will determine whether they can trust a business after reading just ten reviews. Reviews are one step in the due diligence process that customers go through before purchasing a product or service. Knowing this can help you build trust and leverage the power of those reviews you receive from previous customers.
Reviews increase landing page conversions
It’s all about conversions. When you’re marketing your contractor business online, you always want to get more clicks on your organic rankings, click on your paid ads, click on the links in your blog posts, etc.
In general, a website with reviews on their landing page had a higher success rate than a site that did not. Up to 74 percent of people said they would contact the business who had reviews on their landing page because it gave them the impression that they were trustworthy and dependable.
Reviews can help improve your business
Not every review of your contractor business will be a positive one. When you allow your company to be reviewed online, you open yourself up for positive and negative feedback. However, even negative feedback can be positive. Look at what the reviewer said about your business. Is it true? Do you have some systematic problems that you can address and solve? Do you have an employee that needs additional training? Do you need to change the way your system operates?
Look at negative reviews like constructive criticism. It may not be fun to receive them, but they can help you change for the better and provide considerable benefits to consumers.
What else should you know?
While it’s essential to have positive online reviews, you always want them to be authentic. Nearly 2 out of 3 consumers say that positive reviews make them trust a local business more. However, having all positive reviews and no negative reviews can actually make potential customers distrust your company. Remember, no company is perfect, and everyone is bound to get a poor review at some point. If you only have positive reviews (or only publish entirely positive reviews), some potential customers believe that the testimonials are fake and created entirely by the business. Never fabricate reviews or censor reviews that appear on your website. Fake reviews can hurt you in the long-term.
If you’re worried about negative reviews impacting your reputation online, be sure to include how you addressed them. Reply to the review with an empathetic and authentic tone and try to help improve their experience. Replying to negative reviews correctly can show that you’re responsive and open to feedback (big bonuses for customers!).
Reviews and referrals give you the most significant return on your investment because they are a highly effective way to market your business. When 9 in 10 people feel that a review on a website is equal to an opinion of someone they value (friend or family member), you know you can influence their decision-making.
Use this to your advantage and start using reputation marketing. It will show you not only what your current reputation is online but also how you can continue to improve your contractor business.
LMM has an automated contractor review service. We help highlight your positive reviews while suppressing your less favorable ones. Visit here for more information.