Online reviews come in all shapes and sizes, from one to five-star ratings to full paragraphs of information shared on social media, Google Business, and Yelp. Reviews can be read by current and potential future customers, shared through email and social media, and even commented on by other consumers.
For landscaping companies, online reviews play several roles. Many landscaping companies are small local businesses, and most small businesses gain awareness through word of mouth advertising. Online reviews are the new word of mouth advertising, connecting millions of users around the globe to information on businesses from every industry.
Throughout this blog, we’ll discuss why online reviews are important and how to get more for your company. Here’s what you need to know.
Why Are Online Reviews Important?
In a world dominated by digital information, search engines are king. This makes online reviews more important than ever before. When your company is reviewed it holds a series of benefits for your landscaping business, including:
Building a brand is half the battle of being a successful landscaping company. This is especially true for small local businesses as they start out. There’s a reason so many consumers choose to shop with “big box” companies, aside from potential discounts, they’re well known for what they do, and their products or services can be counted on. To create the same awareness for your brand you must show consumers that your services are trustworthy, reliable, and high quality. This is precisely what positive online reviews do.
Search Engine Optimization
SEO, or search engine optimization, is a process that improves your rank on a search engine results page by increasing your relevance in your industry when measured against other company websites. One way to improve SEO is through customer engagement and customer reviews. The more people acknowledging your brand, linking back to your site, and commenting on the information you post, the more relevant your brand appears to sites like Google and Yahoo.
Authority in Your Field
Customers want to work with companies they can trust. Nobody wants to be the “guinea pig” for a new business. Proving your authority in your field is as easy as showing customers what you can do with examples of past work, and of course, customer reviews. The greater the things your customers say about you, the more obvious it becomes that you are a leader in your industry and capable of great things.
One of the most obvious benefits of online reviews is increased sales. Why? Because when a consumer sees an online review that they find interesting, the first thing they do is click a link or perform an online search to see who you are and what your services/products are. This increases traffic to your site and in return increases conversion when a new site visitor decides to buy.
Finally, online reviews are free marketing, and who doesn’t want free marketing? It’s cheap, convenient and provides all the above advantages with little risk to your business.
So, now that you know why you need online reviews, let’s talk about what you can do to get more.
Ask Your Current Customers to Spread the Word
The most obvious and productive way to increase your review count is to ask for them. It might sound too simple to work, but it does. When you finish a job, or a client tells you in person that they love what you’ve done, ask them to post a quick rating or comment on your site, Google, or social media expressing satisfaction with your business.
Many home and business owners receiving landscaping simply don’t realize what a benefit it is to their lawn care providers to leave a review. If you’re not comfortable asking in person, you can add it to the bottom of company e-mails and invoices along with links to your Google Business, Yelp, and social media accounts. The easier you make reviewing for your customers, the more likely they are to do so.
Incentivize Reviews with Competition and Reward
An easy way to increase reviews is to make it attractive to do so. Promotional contests that include leaving a review to win encourage customers to rate their personal experience online. Not only is this an excellent way to promote reviews, but it also allows customers to share the contest with others. In some ways, this is another form of advertising because consumers who have never heard of your brand may be enticed to click the link and discover what you do.
A great reward for this type of contest is a free service. It’s a full circle, win-win situation because you’re earning reviews and the prize is something you’re fully in control of. Using your own services as a prize also leads to new customers or repeat business as a bonus.
Give Customers an Easy Place to Post
Some consumers would love to leave a review but simply can’t figure out where it goes. With so many business review platforms, social media accounts, and personal websites, it’s tough to discern which is the right avenue for rating a local business. Making it easy for your customers by attaching a link in emails, on your website, and through social media will help.
Some consumers would rather not create an account to leave a review. This excludes some of the more common platforms for business reviews such as Google and Facebook. However, you can make it easy for your customers to share their experiences right on your website. Create an easy to fill in form and post the reviews publicly on your site.
Use Arborgold Software for Landscaping Businesses
From scheduling employees to GPS and route tracking, Arborgold business software provides landscaping companies with the tools you need to be successful. How does this increase online reviews? When you use software that streamlines your production, minimizes time waste, and encourages top tier customer service, your clients notice. The ultimate way to earn online reviews is by doing a great job at every job, and Arborgold software can help.
Whether you’re looking for email automation and proposal management or a way to track tree and plant inventory, we can help. For more information on Arborgold, we invite you to take a tour today!