It was once enough for a retailer to rely on word-of-mouth and yellow page ads to build a successful business. But the internet has dramatically changed that. Today, more than 80% of people looking for local home improvement companies are searching the internet, and online customer reviews are often the first thing they see.
This has become even truer since Google released its latest update (Pigeon) because it gave review sites a huge boost in search rankings. So, for example, when you search for a home improvement company such as “Long Island New York Roofers,” the top results now include pages from customer review sites such as Home Advisor, Houzz, Yelp and Google Reviews.
That means positive online reviews give you an advantage over your competitors by ranking you higher in organic search results. In fact, the website ranking first in a Google search has a click rate higher than 30%. A website at the bottom of page two has a roughly 2% click rate.
According to research by online daily search marketing publication Search Engine Land, 79% of consumers trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations. Further results found that the majority of people will form an opinion after reading just six reviews; so having your most recent reviews being positive ones is essential.
Yelp is a review site with a huge following in many verticals, not just restaurants and hotels. The site generates 77 million unique visitors each month from people on home computers (there are almost as many on mobile), and its “home services” category is rapidly growing. For home improvement businesses, a presence on Yelp:
- Lets local consumers know where to find your business
- Provides exposure for your company website
- Lets your customers sell your business for you
- Includes photos to demonstrate your project expertise
- Allows you to monitor traffic statistics
So having your home improvement/home entertainment company on Yelp can deliver a variety of benefits.
THERE IS SIGNIFICANT BUSINESS TO BE FOUND ONLINE
In research conducted this year by online home improvement, interior design, landscape and architecture website Houzz, their users own homes with an average value of $450,000 and they have an average income of $124,000. Also:
- 27% are in their first home and actively building, remodeling or decorating
- 40% plan to build an addition or remodel
- 10% are planning to have a custom home built
- They spend quite a bit on projects (average kitchen remodel approximately $27,000)
The Houzz research also found that in the next two years:
- 57% plan to hire a general contractor
- 57% plan to hire a kitchen and bath professional
- 32% plan to hire a carpet and flooring professional
- 30% plan to hire an architect
- 26% plan to hire an interior designer
- 24% plan to hire a landscape architect or designer
Having a presence on this site with positive online reviews can only help potential consumers find your business, which can generate more leads for you. It makes good business sense to ask your clients to review your company after finishing every project.