The connectivity of the Internet has made owning a small business easier while presenting a new and challenging set of problems. Thanks to the openness and accessibly, contractors are able to advertise easily, get their name in front of people, and connect to customers. From a customer’s perspective finding a contractor is as easy as clicking a button. However, for contractors it means a whole new ball game. Keeping your information up-to-date, maximizing your local search engine optimization (SEO) potential, and managing reviews are all basics of owning a business.
One of the hardest things with the frontier that is the Web, is keeping up on all the changes. Updates with the Google algorithm happen regularly and sites are constantly changing how information is displayed for customers. One of the largest changes coming for contractors and business owners alike is the removal of the paid wall for Angie’s List. This is something that will make the online review process easier for customers.
Online reviews have always been incredibly important as a way for customers to engage in digital word of mouth and as a platform for owners to address possible issues they may have missed before. Keeping track of all the different review sites can be incredibly confusing. With the major change to Angie’s List, contractors will now need to ensure they are responding to reviews on that site. We’ve waded through the clutter and have found some of the most popular sites for HVAC contractor reviews.
Google reviews appear in search results on Google and are highly important to local contractors. Although they no longer appear directly in the search results they are showing up on the right hand side in the local business card. These reviews are easy to maintain and Google will even email you when one comes in so you can respond. Google reviews are some of the first reviews a customer will see when they search your name which make them necessary to monitor. These reviews also appear in local searches done via mobile or on the Google maps app making them truly ubiquitous.
This review service previously charged customers for the ability to look at reviews. Now the company will be removing this paywall to allow consumers to access the service for free. Soon users will be able to see and add reviews without paying the $10 annual fee. Premium services will still incur a charge for users; however, the basics will be available to all. Claiming your business profile, responding to reviews, and keeping track of what is happening on this site is more important than ever. There is no date set for when this feature will go live but it’s better to get ahead of the game now.
This fast growing home network site connects homeowners with the information and providers they are looking for. There are paid and free versions for contractors. Those who decide to pay for the premium Porch services and are screened can become verified and receive the Porch guarantee badge. Porch is quickly becoming a top contender for review searches which makes it a good site to spend time setting up. There is also a separate site called Porch Pro to connect with others in your segment.
HomeAdvisor is one of the top home contractor review sites appearing in search results, making it a good investment of your time. Claiming your profile is as simple as taking a phone call. HomeAdvisor has a screening process that searches criminal records, verifies licenses, as well as other important factors before becoming an approved contractor.
YOUR BUSINESS SITE
Having reviews on your own site is important when it comes to providing customers with the right information. A good suggestion is to ask for reviews on an external site (Google Local, Angie’s List, or HomeAdvisor) and copy some of those reviews onto your website. Quote your customers but provide the link back to the original review so potential customers know you aren’t just picking the best lines. Be transparent with where you pull your reviews and people are sure to take them seriously.
Managing online reviews can be easy if you use the right sites and have your profiles claimed. Once everything is set up, taking care of reviews and replying to customers is as simple as logging on. Taking care of your online reputation is more important than you may think and in the long run can increase your digital word of mouth!