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Discussion Starter #1
Which of these do you think generates more business?

1) Having your websites show up at the top of Google.
2) Having more reviews and better reviews next to your business listing on Google?

Based on the Google search results below, if you were a home owner would you be more likely to hire Diamond Certified or McCartney Painting? Why?

Painting Contractor 94116
 

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Showing up on top is more important?

Which of these do you think generates more business?

1) Having your websites show up at the top of Google.
2) Having more reviews and better reviews next to your business listing on Google?

Based on the Google search results below, if you were a home owner would you be more likely to hire Diamond Certified or McCartney Painting? Why?

Painting Contractor 94116
I think you are going to say having more good reviews, but will disagree. I won't believe that there is anything better that than being on the top. I don't think a high percent of people pay attention to the reviews.

Just like the old yellow pages, the businesses on the first three pages get about 85% of all the leads. If multiple reviews were more important then your question has more questions and I would have to ask how far from the top of the results are you asking.

When I search for businesses on the internet I start at the top and work my way down, Now, if the review on the top of the search results has only one star then I may skip that company, but I know many people, like myself, know the review system is a scam and they pay no attention to the number of stars. Consumers are also very aware that businesses post their own fake 5-Star reviews and when you read these it is almost always very obvious.

I don't believe that a high percent of people use the same system with the exception of starting at the top.

When your company's search results are on the top you are going to get a higher percent of exposure that will offset the companies below with more stars.

You asked a funny question. My first year in business I wanted to dominate the yellow pages and I wanted to be on the first page in several books in the Los Angeles ares.

The Los Angeles books used to have about 70 pages for the heading 'plumbing contractor' and the books had a total of 7 headings like Plumbing Fixtures, Drain Cleaning, Sewer, etc.

I could not get on the first three pages. The salesman sold me on putting my company near the end of each heading and his reasoning was that 1 out of every 3 people open the phone book from the back. This was a crock. I am not exaggerating when I say I spent $60k that year on the yellow pages and got only 2 leads.

The really strange thing was I had a friend that started a plumbing company the same time I did. He also put ads in the yellow pages and we had high anxiety waiting for the books to be delivered. The day the books were delivered we got really excited because each of us got a lead the first day. After that, one lead for the rest of the year.

I'll say being on the top is most important.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
I'm guessing you're going with Diamond Certified ... the business with their website listed at the top of the search results.

One vote for "Website at top of Page"
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Hi pcplumber:
Your comment brings up another question. If you went to Yellowpages.com looking for a painting contractor in 94116 would you search by:

Best Match
Distance
Rating
Name (A-Z)

Please take a look at the results on YellowPages.com before you answer.

You can click here "painting contractor in 94116" to see what potential home owners see when they go to YellowPages.com looking for a painting contractor. http://www.yellowpages.com/94116/pa...nting+contractor#e:/k:/l:/f:/o:average_rating
 

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Diamond Cert. isnt a paint company , its a POS lead gen website and I effing hate those. I would go with the listing in the places pack.
 

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I dont do a large volume really, but a few people say they went with me because of the reviews, and its only 6. But people address me by my first name in the reviews, its personal and you wouldnt fake something like that.
 

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I will check it tonight!

Hi pcplumber:
Your comment brings up another question. If you went to Yellowpages.com looking for a painting contractor in 94116 would you search by:

Best Match
Distance
Rating
Name (A-Z)

Please take a look at the results on YellowPages.com before you answer.

You can click here "painting contractor in 94116" to see what potential home owners see when they go to YellowPages.com looking for a painting contractor. http://www.yellowpages.com/94116/pa...nting+contractor#e:/k:/l:/f:/o:average_rating
I read the website briefly and if it can generate reviews and send them directly to Yelp as easy as it says then it sounds pretty good.

The problem I have with Yelp is you will see Yelp filtered out about 20 5-Star reviews for my company any it appears they never filter out the bad reviews.

I will look at it more tonight.
 

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They filter out 5 star reviews when the reviewer is not active. To Yelp it must have been a solicited review so they remove it.

Ask your customers to leave 2-4 star reviews on 10 other businesses they frequent before they review your business. Or to even just give you a 4 star review if they dont want to do that. If they go this route they need to make it personal like a specific date, the service guys name was so polite, your van was so clean and shiny. Personalize it and it wnt come down as often.
 

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I am going to say Google Places. My site doesn't get top search results but I am listed on Google Places in the top Places results which show up on the first page.

I disagree that most people think that the reviews are a scam. As long as the reviews are legit and have detailed information and personalized like JBM said.
 

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Which of these do you think generates more business?

1) Having your websites show up at the top of Google.
2) Having more reviews and better reviews next to your business listing on Google?

Based on the Google search results below, if you were a home owner would you be more likely to hire Diamond Certified or McCartney Painting? Why?

Painting Contractor 94116
I'd go look at McCartney Painting first. Because they're #2 on the search with a BBB listing and #1 with their Google Places page. :thumbsup:
 

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This brings up a good point. It is not always beneficial to rank your home page as you will propbably lose it to google places. Rank an inner page and you can have a spot up top and a google places result.
 

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This brings up a good point. It is not always beneficial to rank your home page as you will propbably lose it to google places. Rank an inner page and you can have a spot up top and a google places result.
:thumbup:
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Local SEO is Taking Over

If you're interested in looking at a heat map (where people actually click) of a Google results page, check this out. I think it might surprise some of you as to how many people click on the map section first.
1) When there's not a map, searches click on the first result.
2) When there is a map, people overwhelmingly click on the map first.

Click here to see heat map
 

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If you're interested in looking at a heat map (where people actually click) of a Google results page, check this out. I think it might surprise some of you as to how many people click on the map section first.
1) When there's not a map, searches click on the first result.
2) When there is a map, people overwhelmingly click on the map first.

Click here to see heat map
That's one perspective. I have seen many others say just the opposite. Seo is a fluid never ending beast best left to the professionals. For a small guy like me I just try to be a little of as many places as I have time for..

The point here is get reviews..
 

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Discussion Starter #17
That's one perspective. I have seen many others say just the opposite. Seo is a fluid never ending beast best left to the professionals. For a small guy like me I just try to be a little of as many places as I have time for..

The point here is get reviews..
Wow Matt! 24 Google Reviews with a 4.9 star rating. Sweet!

Has your reputation on Google (customer reviews) generated business for you? If so, how do you know?
 

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Wow Matt! 24 Google Reviews with a 4.9 star rating. Sweet!

Has your reputation on Google (customer reviews) generated business for you? If so, how do you know?
You can't. There is no one factor that "generates" business. All marketing should do is generate interest to the point of contact. Once contact occurs the marketing is all one on one.

There is no real measurable way to decern what was the actual "factor" that caused the initial contact. Do you consider the last factor as the catalyst for contact because it was the nudge? Is it the first touch that initiated the search because first impressions are everything? Or is it all the data gathered in between?

I think that what you will find is what Matt said, every camp would like to take credit for "generating" the business, when in fact it is never one thing that does the trick, but a combination of things.

You also have to consider the industry. Services, such as plumbing, can generate business from one source and be successful at it. When you need a plumber, you need a plumber. You search based on your need and make a few calls. The blog, twitter, Facebook, articles and relevant pages on your website are all there to generate top search results. So that like the yellowpages, you are at the top of the pile.
 

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Wow Matt! 24 Google Reviews with a 4.9 star rating. Sweet!

Has your reputation on Google (customer reviews) generated business for you? If so, how do you know?
While Robs dissertation was compelling, I can tell you that yes, without doubt it has generated business. I know this because people have told me they called after reading my reviews. I have also twice got calls from people who were friends of people who reviewed me, I call that the indirect referral.

The other way I leverage my reviews is by inviting potential clients to read them and offer them the contact information of each individual reviewer. This works well.

Most of my clients are well educated and well spoken. After reading what they wrote about my company, how could you hire anyone else? :laughing:

Its hard to get reviews on google. Of the people asked only maybe 1 in 10 say they will. Of those maybe 10% actually do. Of those probably 20% make it through googles filters..

My best advice is to treat every client as good as possible, and let the chips fall where they do..
 

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Discussion Starter #20
The secret to getting Google reviews to stick is to ONLY send customers who are qualified to leave a review on Google, to Google.

The secret to getting Yelp reviews to stick is to ONLY send customers who are qualified to leave a review on Yelp, to Yelp.

If a customer is not qualified to leave a review on either of those sites, it's best to give them additional choices. One of my favorite sites (after Google, Yelp and Angieslist) for customers to leave a review is on Citysearch. Here's why.

1) You can leave a review on Citysearch using your Facebook account information
2) When you leave a review on Citysearch they share it with 13 other review sites including:
Yahoo!
Bing
Insiderpages
YP.com
Switchboard
YellowBot
Kudzu
Merchant Circle
... and more.

The vast majority of people go to Google, Yelp and Angieslist to find a contractor, but these are not the only places they look. It's important to have a great reputation everywhere people look for the services you offer.

 

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