Tag Archives: reputation management

How Check-ins Radically Boost Local SEO

When Google hunts for the best contractors to list for local consumers, the search engine collects all the evidence it finds. Sure, website service pages can claim a business provides impact resistant shingle installation, but how often is the company really performing that service? The best types of evidence are customer reviews and check-ins. The latter is what we’ll be talking about today.

Jobsite check-ins are woefully under-utilized in the contracting industries. Of course, there’s another way of looking at it. Any roofing contractors who consistently utilize the right check-in tools can earn serious lead generation improvements through local SEO! Find out more about check-ins in our latest podcast with Amberlynn and Madison from Roofing Webmasters.

Key Lessons for Roofing Contractors

  • Building up a collection of check-ins each month drives higher local SEO ranks.
  • Consistency is key. Only your team can perform these check-ins.
  • This type of activity is rare, meaning businesses can still reap tremendous rewards.

How Do Jobsite Check-ins Work?

Have you ever seen a Google Map of your city? Hundreds of businesses line the streets, and all corners swell with thriving residential communities. What you do not see is all the places your roofing company has provided service throughout the city. Google doesn’t see it either, no matter how many times you’ve written about it in your website.

Check-ins change that. When you whip out your phone and perform one, you provide Google with some invaluable data:

  • Your location,
  • The services you just finished providing, and
  • The time.

Why Do Check-ins Matter?

While other companies are busy claiming to provide (for example) metal roofing installation in Atlanta, you’ve just shown Google very real evidence of your activity. That’s one small pin on the Google Map, at first. Scale this up to hundreds of pins over the course of a year, and you’ve given Google a very real reason to rank your business first in local search results.

All your competitors have roofing websites. Most of your competitors know to collect reviews. Very few roofing companies in your area are performing check-ins. That means there’s a clear opportunity to get ahead of other brands and generate some exclusive roofing leads.

Thanks to the Local Search Update of last year, it’s now possible for young (or even brand new) businesses to win placements in local map packs if they optimize well. We’ve seen previously unknown brands earn top spots within a matter of months after starting up a regular check-in program. The results are real!

Who Can Use Check-ins?

Employees of any business can use check-ins once they have been granted a user login. At the end of each job, they take a picture of your installation (roof replacement, roof coating, etc.) and fill out the project information. Finally, you select “check-in” and your job is done for that particular location.

The check-in is populated to your company website in the necessary context, creating an SEO advantage and also validating your business as credible. This kind of content is premium in Google’s eyes and is not something that can be copied or duplicated by a competitor website because of its uniqueness.

Maximizing Your Check-in Capabilities

The two things that make or break check-ins are frequency and accuracy. Accurate check-ins establish credibility with your business and serve as premium SEO content. Frequent check-ins prove your business is doing regular jobs and provides an indication that you are a popular service. Furthermore, you are likely to earn more reviews, the more check-ins you publish on your website.

Since many of your competitors lack check-in functionality, accumulating as many as possible in the near-term should give you a major head start several years down the road. Once other roofers start to catch-on, they will be significantly behind the curve that you created.

Another aspect of check-ins that should be maximized is image optimization. If you snap an original photo on the job-site it is going to be worth far more from an SEO standpoint, than a non-visual check-in, or worse: a stock photo check-in. The whole idea is to verify your legitimacy as a roofer, and nothing confirms that more than a picture of the actual job.

Conclusion on Check-ins

SEO can seem like a rat race in many industries. But roofers must ask themselves about the most efficient way to grow their brand online. By performing check-ins at job sites, you are differentiation yourself from other roofing websites. Not only can you improve local SEO on GMB and the Local 3 Pack but you can also increase conversion-rates and validate your presence in service areas that are outside your office or home zip code.

Nobody knows for sure where SEO will be in 5 years, but the best estimate projects that local businesses will be judged by social proof and confirmed job site check-ins. Imagine being #1 on GMB rankings and being able to serve customers throughout all nearby service areas. This is what online roofing marketing may look like in the coming years.

Posted: | Updated: Apr 28, 2020 | Categories: Podcast

How Do Google Reviews Work?

Google Reviews drive business for thousands of service companies. While only one of many ranking factors, client reviews have been the deciding factors for homeowners for decades. It’s no wonder that Google also prizes this feedback as they consider which websites to rank highest.

While the COVID-19 crisis has temporarily halted the creation of new ones, knowing how to collect and manage these reviews will be essential for your company’s future. In this handy guide, we dig into the easiest ways to protect your brand reputation, expand your collection of reviews, and respond to customer complaints. Grab a pen, paper, and take notes.

Keep hanging in there!

Important Lessons For Roofing Professionals

  • Google Reviews don’t happen by themselves. You have to actively ask for them!
  • The best defense is a good offense. Increase your positive reviews to dwarf negative ones.
  • Learn how to respond effectively to complaints. Future clients will be very impressed!
  • Fake reviews can cause lost trust, GMB listing cancellations, and even business failure.

How Google Reviews Work

Google Reviews are directly connected to your Google My Business (GMB) account. To leave a review, clients perform a direct search of your brand name, locate the knowledge graph on the side of search results – this assumes you have a GMB account, and you definitely should! and click on your reviews. From there, they submit a star rating for your service, and leave a message about their experience. This helps other consumers with similar heating and cooling needs create an clearer picture of your company.

Why Google Reviews Matter for SEO

Google Reviews garner more visibility than any other platform around. That’s because they’re featured prominently on your Google My Business profile. They’ll also appear on your Google Maps listings, and any local map packs your company wins in search. While Facebook Recommendations and other feedback platforms certainly offer their own unique user bases, people rely on Google Reviews more than any of these.

That means stakes are high when it comes to this very public feedback tool.

On a positive note, happy client reviews prove to both Google and consumers that your business is worth the investment. Reviews show relevant activity, which Google relies on to generate the best Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs) possible. If you aren’t familiar with the layout of SERPs, make sure you check out our video on search marketing, which offers key ranking factors for each section.

Prospective clients heavily depend on reviews when making their decision to invest or look elsewhere. The more recent and relevant your feedback, the more confident they’ll feel about choosing your heating and cooling services. Be sure to collect them as consistently as possible. Speaking of which…

How to Collect Reviews

Whether your company uses sophisticated software or old fashioned approach, collecting reviews boils down to one basic task: asking for them. If American consumers have proven anything, it’s that they have a very short term attention span. You need to ask your customers for their review as quickly as possible upon finishing any project. The longer you wait to request that review, the more goodwill is lost to forgetfulness.

A quick note: Google Reviews should be as natural and unfiltered as possible. You may ask clients to provide information about the services you provided and (perhaps) the project leader, but you shouldn’t ask for anything beyond that. Never offer to incentivise or compensate someone for a review. That includes discounts, gift cards, or direct payments to the clients involved. We’ll talk more about this later.

A Roofing Company Addresses a Negative Google Review
This Experienced Roofing Company Kindly Responds to Negative Google Reviews. (Names Obscured)

How to Handle Negativity

It’s so easy to take negative Google Reviews personally. After all, business depends heavily on maintaining a productive, positive reputation. Instead of immediately hopping on your GMB account, busting out your best writing, and making your case about how wrong their complaint is, pause. If you’re feeling heated, walk away from the issue for a few minutes.

You’ll need a cool head for tackling the problem. Here’s how to address negative reviews:

How to Respond to Negative Reviews

Analyze

Analyze the Problem

Try to figure out what happened. Was there an issue in communication with the client? Did a sub make a mistake on a portion of the project? Even if there was no direct error on your team’s side, there may still be an opportunity to improve your services. So keep an open mind.

Be sure to put yourself in the client’s shoes too! So many complaints are the product of misunderstood expectations or lack of communication. Try to understand what that client is going through before you try to provide a solution.

Reply

Reply Directly to the Review, Then Take Things Offline

Don’t rush this step! Write a courteous, sympathetic response to the complaint. Keep in mind, it’s okay to apologize even if you haven’t done anything wrong. After all, you want all your customers to feel satisfied with your services. Offer to hear more of the client’s problem, but take the matter offline. You don’t need to continue the conversation in Google Reviews for everyone to see!

Ask the client to call or email you with a description of what went wrong. If the situation warrants it, consider providing free touch ups, a discount, or another solution. Remember, fixing the problem in a timely manner should be the primary concern. You need to get this step right!

Ask

Ask Them to Change Their Review

Once you feel confident the client has been satisfied, it’s time to move on to the final step. Remind the client how important their review is to your business. Politely ask if they would be comfortable with updating their review to a higher rating, or removing it completely. Most customers will be more than happy to update their original review. You may even get some free brand recognition from it!

After that, simply move on. Continue collecting Google Reviews from all your happy clients. Just ask immediately after you finish their project, or within the next few days at least. Enthusiasm fades over time, and even the happiest clients can be forgetful.

How to Treat Fake Reviews

Treat them like the plague. Avoid fake reviews at all costs, as they’ve been the death of businesses. Fake reviews destroy trust with clients. Just as important, they destroy trust with Google, who may respond by suspending reviews. Google may even suspend your GMB account, which would severely limit your ability to appear in localized search.

Essentially, fake reviews could make your business disappear from search. We’ve seen one business lose millions in annual revenue because of review snafus. That’s a risk you cannot afford to take. When it comes to reviews…

  • Never pay for someone to provide a review.
  • Never ask a non-client to provide a review.
  • Never create your own reviews.
  • Never create fake reviews on competitors accounts to hurt them.
  • Never offer incentives for reviews.
  • Just ask for them after each project.

In Summary

Google Reviews create trust and connection with prospective clients. They also serve as a key ranking factor for local search, where the majority of online leads come from these days. Collecting them matters. So be sure to consistently ask clients for them, and you’ll notice stronger brand growth as a result.

Want help collecting those reviews and supercharging them for search? Try out our BrandREVU software, which comes with all of our custom designed websites. We’ve helped brand new businesses earn local map pack rankings in a matter of months, and we’d love to help you too! Call the Roofing Webmasters at (800) 353-5758 for more details.

Additional Resources From Roofing Webmasters

Related Podcasts and Articles
Local SEO Updates for Roofers (Podcast)
– Survey Says: Roofers Need Reviews to Excel in 2020 (Research)
– Roofing SEO Conference 2020 (Podcast)
Savage Exteriors Inc. (Case Study)

Related Services
– Online Reviews and Reputation Management for Roofers
Buy Roofing Leads

Posted: | Updated: Mar 24, 2020 | Categories: Podcast

True Client Stories: 34 Minutes and 34 Seconds Of Roofer Story Hell For Nolen

It’s a story we hear over and over again. A roofing contractor tells of how digital marketing companies have cheated them in the past. The frustration is so intense, so palpable at times, that contractors can’t even move forward and escape their situation. That’s the greatest tragedy.

We understand what it feels like to be disappointed and anxious. In today’s podcast, Nolen and Jason discuss real world contractors who’ve gotten stuck in a vicious cycle of marketing failure. Thankfully, your business doesn’t have to settle for mediocre business growth! We’ll explore how your company can start over again with a new, productive marketing plan.

Helpful Tips for Roofing Professionals

  • Before trying to fix your marketing plan, try taking some time to clear your head.
  • Use Google Analytics to see where your website is falling short.
  • See what the top roofing companies in your community do with their website strategies.
  • Try consulting with an expert before committing to one particular strategy.

Turning Frustration into Action

How can you take months (or even years) of disappointment, and turn them into success for your roofing company? It’s an arduous process, but we’ve seen so many businesses turn their marketing around with fantastic results. It all starts with examining your current situation, removing hindrances, evaluating your strategy, and making baby steps towards success.

You don’t have to have the perfect marketing plan to earn a place among the top local companies.

This process does require a clear head however, so give yourself some time to calm, organize your thoughts, and (if necessary) get alone by yourself. Anxiety only hinders your ability to plan, and online marketing strategy requires clear thinking! If necessary, you can talk about your current situation with a seasoned marketing expert, but try to do some research by yourself first.

Step #1: Make Your Exit

What’s the first step to escaping mediocre marketing results? Part ways with your current marketing strategy. That doesn’t mean you have to get rid of every marketing asset you have. But you do need to recognize which aspects of your plans are not contributing to your company’s success.

Online Marketing Graph Information
Your Marketing Company Should Be Able to Show Provide Proof of ROI.

Now, hopefully you have enough control of your online marketing program that you can determine which elements are actually producing leads. If not, that’s okay. A lot of businesses who pay an agency to manage their marketing end up with little understanding of what’s actually going on month to month. In cases where your marketing company shows no results after years of work, it’s often best to simply walk away and start fresh.

As you restart your online marketing, there are a few crucial assets to maintain.

  • Your Domain Name – if you have a long-time domain name, don’t get rid of it!
  • Your Brand – closely tied to your domain, your seasoned brand may still offer value.
  • Your Social Media Accounts – again, seasoned accounts are important for your brand.
  • Your Local Citations – don’t get rid of your profiles just yet, even if you have poor reviews.

Some experienced companies mistakenly get rid of these valuable resources. Hold onto them for now, especially your domain name! It’s a source of credibility and trust for your business. Without it, you will truly be starting over in your online marketing efforts.

Step #2: Reassess Your Strategy

Have you built a solid foundation for your local search performance? Most businesses haven’t, assuming that their marketing company can just flip a switch and enjoy instant success. In reality, real results demand careful preparation, website design, and reputation management. It won’t come by paying another business for mediocre leads either!

Take a sheet of paper (or a digital spreadsheet) and write down every marketing channel you’ve directed funds to over the last year. Examine each channel, and determine whether it’s contributing to immediate leads or long-term business growth. Here’s what your sheet might look like…

Digital Marketing Expenditure Report
Notice the Relatively Low Investment Towards Long-Term Company Growth.

Are you actively investing money towards building up your brand value, or has your marketing been focused on creating immediate leads? Channels like Google Ads and Lead Sales won’t contribute much to your long-term company growth, especially if you don’t have an optimized website to support them! We actually love Google Ads at Roofing Webmasters, but they work best for supplementing your leads, not driving them.

If you think the above report seems a little too highly priced, you’d be amazed how many contractors spend tens of thousands of dollars per month without earning a satisfactory return on their investment. For now, focus on understanding where your funds have been going, so that you can remember which channels aren’t producing good results for your team.

Step #3: Step Towards Success

Now all of this careful planning is wasted if we simply throw up our hands and swear away marketing. Once you’ve gotten a clear picture of the digital marketing channels that aren’t providing real growth for your business, it’s time to start taking steps towards success. Baby steps, mind you!

If you’ve discovered some areas missing in your marketing strategy, now is a great time to fill in the gaps. Here are some extremely valuable actions you can start on immediately!

  • If you haven’t already, claim, complete, and register your Google My Business account.
  • Contact Yelp, the BBB, Manta, and other citation sources and get listed.
  • Start a Facebook Business page and provide your contact information.
  • Train your team on how to ask for reviews after every successful project.
A Google Analytics Showing Upward Growth Trend
Upward Growth Takes Time, But You Can Start Taking Steps Now!

Follow these steps, and you’ll be well on your way towards developing lasting growth for your roofing business! If you need an experienced web design team to help you with your website optimization, our seasoned pros at Roofing Webmasters would love to partner with you. We’ve supported hundreds of businesses across the US, producing better search rankings and higher traffic.

For a free consultation with one of our SEO professionals, call us at (800) 353-5758!

Other Resources From Roofing Webmasters

Related Podcasts and Articles
Roofing, Marketing, and the Truth About Leads (Podcast)
Skin in the Game with Roofer Marketing Dollars (Podcast)
14 Roofing Sales Strategies to Boost Income Potential (Article)

Helpful Services From RW
Roofer SEO Services
– Website Design for Roofing Companies
Online Citations For Roofers

Posted: | Updated: Oct 31, 2019 | Categories: Podcast

Online Marketing For New Roofers (Podcast)

The best way to kick off your online marketing is with an open mind and zero assumptions. Marketing changes year after year, and the strategies that guided roofing professionals five years ago don’t always apply to today’s standards. Thankfully, your first steps toward building your brand and earning online leads are pretty simple.

Below, Nolen and Jason chat about claiming your domain name, setting up your Google My Business account, and earning reviews. Be sure to listen in if you’re operating on a tight marketing budget because most of these steps are either free or very low-cost. Let’s get started.

Helpful Tips for Roofing Online Marketing:

  • Local SEO begins with three key elements: your GMB listing, website, and reviews.
  • Cheap is better than nothing! Even a cheap website can start building equity for your brand.
  • Reviews heavily impact your results in local search, so keep asking for them!
  • Avoid complications later by getting your domain name registered under your business.

Just Starting Out

Even the idea of building your own roofing company is still fresh in your mind. You don’t have any website, specially wrapped trucks, or even a brand. But, you’re in the perfect place to craft a successful, optimized online marketing strategy! It all begins with three simple yet crucial steps.

How to Begin Your Online Marketing

  • Step #1: Pick and Claim Your Website Domain
  • Step #2: Claim Your Google My Business Listing
  • Step #3: Craft Your Starter Website

Depending on the competitive nature of your service area, you should be able to complete these steps for a few hundred bucks (maybe less). First, however, these are tasks you need to nail. So let’s take a little time to dig into each marketing task.

Choosing Your Domain Name

A considerable part of your online branding, the company domain name heavily impacts how easily people find your business. However, so many roofing businesses struggle with the selection process because they’re suffering from outdated strategies. For example, ten years ago, the most powerful domain name you could pick was (city name, plus “Roofer”).

Try employing that same domain strategy today, and you’ll almost certainly fall into the back pages of local search (where no one ever clicks). 

When a potential customer makes searches for “(city) roofer” now, they see results dominated by local guides, lead sellers, and listicle articles dedicated to the most experienced contractors in the area. Unfortunately, Google can’t distinguish these domain names from a general search, dramatically reducing the chances for a company with that name to succeed.

In short: don’t pick your city with a generic roofing term for your domain, or no one will ever find you.

Dallas Search Top Results

Nailing the Domain Name

Aim for uniqueness. If your domain stands out from the established roofers within 50 miles, that’s a serious win. There are a few tactics to distinguish your brand from other roofing companies:

  • Use a distinct personal name. Example: jimbobsroofing.com
  • Pick an uncommon symbol. Example: 7wiseroofingguys.com
  • Try a different domain extension. Example: htownroofing.co
  • Add your state abbreviation for better results. Example: roofingbrostx.com

Your domain name doesn’t have to be funny or clever to succeed. Just make sure that it’s clear enough for people to remember and Google to distinguish from general industry terms. Follow these guidelines, and you’ll have an excellent start for your online marketing!

Claim Your GMB Listing

If you want your roofing company to appear in Google Maps searches, you must claim and complete your Google My Business listing.

All you have to do is fill out all the necessary contact/location info, answer any industry-related questions, and go through Google’s verification process. Your GMB listing information should be the same details you use for all your other citation sources. When you claim a Yelp company profile (for instance), be sure that even your address abbreviations perfectly match those in your GMB account.

When your GMB listing finally activates – this usually takes a week or two – you’ll also gain access to a company Knowledge Graph when people search your business directly. From there, potential customers can access your reviews, website, company number, and much more! You can even create promotional posts in your GMB account specifically for the Knowledge Graph.

Google My Business Website

Build Your First Website

One of the great perks of starting an online website these days is that you have access to a host of great starter templates. While they don’t have the same schema coding or professional SEO of designer sites, you can always start with a free template to get the business going. In addition, a functional website contributes to your domain’s searchability as your business ages and earns new customers.

Start by choosing a color scheme and layout that’s appropriate for your community and client type. From there, most templates allow you to add pages for each of your roofing services. You’ll want to consolidate them under a handful of service categories (we generally recommend sticking with four or less) because this makes it easier for people to find their desired solutions. Next, make sure your pages are keyword-optimized, then craft a company blog post at least once a month.

Cheap Website Template

Looking for an SEO Expert?

Building a sustainable roofing business is a real challenge, especially in more competitive markets. Still, these beginning steps will take your business a long way towards creating a successful brand. As your company grows, you’ll be able to invest in more refined website design, PPC campaigns, and social media outlets.

When that day comes, our team at Roofing Webmasters would love to help take your brand to the next level! Our roofing clients regularly earn page one rankings for dozens of keywords, producing higher traffic and better quality leads. 

Posted: | Updated: Aug 17, 2021 | Categories: Podcast

The Google Homepage For Roofers (Podcast)

Do you ever worry about what shows up when people search your company on Google? While there are all kinds of results that benefit your brand, it pays to pay close attention to local search results! In today’s podcast, Nolen and Jason discuss these topics and other aspects of your Google Homepage. So if you’ve struggled with low traffic or poor reviews, be sure to listen in.

Helpful Tips on Google Homepages:

  • Regular GMB (Google My Business) updates make your site more valuable to Google.
  • Make sure you create enough content that other people aren’t controlling the narrative for your company and brand.
  • Avoid concentrated negative feedback by consistently asking for reviews.

What is a Google Homepage?

When a potential customer searches your company name/brand, the result that pops up is what’s known as your Google Homepage. You’ll see a knowledge graph on the right-hand side that contains crucial information about your company, including contact information. The listings on the rest of the screen may arise from many sources, such as:

  • Your Company Website
  • Your Most Popular Published Articles
  • Social Media Posts or Profiles
  • Citation Companies (Yelp, BBB, etc.)
  • Listicle Articles (“Best Roofers in Dallas” if you’re lucky!)
  • Listings from Lead Sellers (like Homeadvisor)

The sum of all these listings and features is your Google Homepage. From this homepage, consumers or commercial prospects will build a perception of your business. That’s why you must control what shows up when people search your name.

Webmasters Google Homepage

The Knowledge Graph

Think of the knowledge graph as a hub where people can access info on your company without ever stopping on your website. There’s a wealth of contact and location-based information. Potential customers can even contact your team directly from the knowledge graph by phone call or instant messaging. The Google Homepage feature also provides convenient buttons that link directly to maps and your homepage for those needing directions to your office or your website.

Those are just a handful of the features housed in the knowledge graph.

FAQs

Frequently Asked Questions

Did you know that your knowledge graph contains a section for direct questions to your business? This handy feature allows local consumers to interact with your company almost directly, learning handy tidbits and history about your brand. While anyone can post answers to these questions, this feature offers one fantastic opportunity.

You can post questions to your FAQ, then answer them! 

Think of some of the most popular topics people bring up about your company. Then, you can proactively answer questions about your roofing team’s services, your experience, and your warranties. Answering questions might encourage someone to investigate your services further or even prompt a call directly from the Google Homepage!

GMB Posts

Google My Business Posts

Businesses can also use their GMB accounts to create posts within the knowledge graph. You can use these posts to promote your latest blog articles further, show off ongoing promotions, or even introduce your team members. There’s only one catch: posts disappear off the knowledge graph after seven days. Consumers can still access them, but they won’t be visible after that period.

Try posting at least once a week if you want to get the most out of the GMB posts. 

You can further improve their functionality by adding pre-programmed calls to action at the bottom of each post. For example, “Learn more” is perfect for segueing into a blog article, while “Call now” is an excellent option for encouraging impulse calls. Again, experiment to see what sort of formatting works with your audience.

How to Enhance Your Google Homepage

Want to take back control of your Google Homepage? Start by reviewing all the materials that Google likes to see for your business. Then, you can start creating positive mentions of your brand through various channels.

Great Listings for Your Google Homepage

  • Better Business Bureau profiles and reviews
  • Facebook Business profiles and recommendations
  • Yelp listings and other citation sources
  • Your company website
  • Popular blog articles from your team
  • Entries in “Top X Roofers” articles

Any of these listings look fabulous for your brand. However, you don’t want negative social media posts showing up because your company hasn’t been active online! Of course, it’s not the end of the world if that happens, but you’ll need to get busy if you want to improve your reputation.

Steps to Improve Your Company Image

Take an active stance on updating your Google My Business account. Start posting regularly, and take some time to upload some quality photos of your work and staff! These create a more personable feeling for your brand, and they look great in the knowledge graph. Be sure to make that FAQ we talked about earlier too.

Next, you’ll want to get start regularly posting blog articles each month. “How To” posts are powerful fuel for website traffic, and you can tackle some pressing homeowner issues. Competent contractors can make these posts travel farther by sharing them on social media.

Finally, be sure your company appears on all the popular citation directories. The BBB, Yelp, and Manta are all great listing companies for roofing contractors. It will make it easier to collect reviews from all your happy fans as you complete your projects.

Posted: | Updated: Aug 4, 2021 | Categories: Podcast