Podcast: To the Point, 'The Impact of Online Reviews and SEO'

Step into home services empowerment with our CEO, Zach Garrett, as he joins forces with the To the Point Podcast for an insightful and enriching episode. With a mission to help home services companies flourish, this podcast stands by its slogan, "the podcast that gives back." Get ready to dive deep into the world of HVAC, Plumbing, Electrical, Roofing, and more, as industry leaders share their expertise, providing actionable solutions to drive growth and success.

In this dynamic episode, Zach joins hands with the To the Point Podcast to discuss common questions around online reviews that come up for for service companies.


Key Takeaways

Q: When is the ideal time to ask for a review?

A: You will find that it's different in some industries. For a service business, for instance, an AC repair, you want to ask as soon as the job is done. For the restoration industry, we have found that they want to ask before that invoice is sent out. When the job is done, they can now move back into their home, or if they see that everything is resolved, send it before the invoice hits. For industries that work on large extensive projects like a remodel, ask 60-90 days in when the customer starts to see their project come to life. I challenge everyone to think about that question, implement a process or a partner, and determine the optimal time for your business.


Q: How should you handle fake reviews?

A: I'll give you three specific actions. The first is that you should immediately respond to the review publicly. If it's someone you've never serviced or was never a customer, you can respond by saying that you don't see that person in your database; this isn't an actual job you did. Potential readers will discredit the review right away. Secondly, report that to Google. If you want to use a tool that you have available and can try to get those removed, I suggest taking that route as well. Third and most importantly, you need to play offense. It would be best if you maximized the reviews you're getting. Get reviews from all of your positive and happy customers. For most businesses we come into, 95% or more of their customers are not leaving them reviews, and most of those experiences are five stars. The best thing you can do, is play offense, get the reviews from your happy customers, and let them tell others just how great you are.


Q: What elements of a review impact search engine optimization (SEO)?

A: Historically, four elements have impacted SEO, and now there are 5. The first one is the number of reviews that you have. Secondly is the rating. You want to be at that 4.5 to 4.7 rating. Third is recency, meaning how frequently you are getting reviews. If you look at the data, Google factored into the algorithms how often you get reviews. If you're a company that has 5,000 reviews but you're getting 1%, you might be losing in some local SEO battles with your competitors. Fourth is the comments you left on the reviews; when you're using SEO keywords and responding naturally, Google will track this. The last one is a new feature: the ability to tag the comments. Inside Google, when someone has worked with you, they can go in and tag the services they're using. This will be factored into the algorithm.


Q: What is the low bar for a review rating?

A: The low bar is 4.0. You do not want to be below a 4.0; no one will trust a company below this rating. Ideally, the sweet spot would be 4.5-4.7. We run into many companies that want to be at that 5.0 rating, but we respond that you need authenticity. Consumers want to see reviews and companies that look real; this makes it okay not to be the perfect 5.0.


Let this episode be a stepping stone toward a brighter and more prosperous future for your service company.

Listen to the full podcast episode

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Zach Garrett

Zach Garrett / About Author

Zach is the Founder & CEO of Liftify and also an industry expert on reputation, digital marketing, and brand experience.

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